Chapter Fourteen: Teacher professional learning communities: A collaborative OER adoption approach in Karnataka, India
In this chapter, Kasinathan and Ranganathan (2017) evaluate the impact of training Indian secondary school teachers in "accessing, creating and sharing OER" (p. 514). The authors highlight that this study is conducted in a challenging context for OER in which there is (1) a low level of ICT use in schools, (2) a "'textbook culture' in which teachers often act as simply 'content transmitters' of officially prescribed texts" (p. 499), and (3) linguistic diversity that limits the relevance of English-language OER. Against this backdrop, the researchers compare the 67 teachers that participated in this training to a comparison group of 124 teachers that did not participate in the program. As the authors report, "Data analysis suggests that teachers are able to use digital methods to adopt OER and to contextualise (revise) OER to suit their needs, if given appropriate training. Their techno-social skills were advanced through greater knowledge and experience with digitally mediated collaborative OER activity... Their techno-pedagogical efficacy improved through greater networking with other colleagues and a sense of openness to having their materials adapted and revised, though teachers acknowledged that linguistic and quality challenges remained." (pp. 499-500). The researchers also find that the intervention improved teachers knowledge of copyright and "contextually relevant OER" (p. 500). Finally, "The authors recommend that state education authorities implement a professional learning community approach to teacher professional development within in-service teacher education, implement a collaborative model for OER adoption, suggest that copyright regulations should position open licensing as the default, and implement a Free Open Source Software-based ICT programme in school education" (p. 500).
Gurumurthy Kasinathan, Sriranjani Ranganathan