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Thursday, November 12 • 10:00am - 10:25am
Open Education Practices in Zimbabwe Higher Education: Open Scholarship, Creativity and Innovation

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This paper presents the concept of Open Education as it is practised in Zimbabwe Higher Education Institutions. The idea of investigating the concept of open education practices was to examine how the Zimbabwe Government is using the concept in widening access to higher education by the diverse population in an environment of melting economy and the era of COVID-19 pandemic. The study sought to examine the current practice of OEP in Zimbabwe, establish strategies to enhance open education that promotes equitable and inclusive higher education. The study was underpinned by the theory of constructivism. Data were generated through a structured review of all Zimbabwe registered universities, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development (MHTEIST) and Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ). Zimbabwe Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are mandated to deal with the associated challenges of structural inequalities that hinder equal access to higher education. The current task of HEIs is to make all students access and participate fully in the creation and exchange of knowledge in an environment of melting economy, abject poverty and global pandemic. Except for one Open and Distance eLearning University, all the other universities use the face-to-face conventional mode, with some introducing regional campuses, weekend and evening classes as well as block release mode of teaching and learning. Open Education Practice (OEP), by contrast, has not been explicitly supported by Zimbabwe government initiatives, funding, or policy. The advent of COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the need for implementing OEP in an environment that is disconnected, with isolated examples of good practice that have not been transferred beyond local contexts. The study sought to examine the current practice of OEP in Zimbabwe, establish strategies to enhance open education that promotes equitable and inclusive higher education. A structured desktop review of all 24 Zimbabwe registered universities were conducted based on a range of indicators and criteria established by a review of the literature. The study was guided by constructivism theory. The review generated evidence of engagement with OEP using publicly accessible information via institutional websites. The criteria investigated strategies, policiesopen educational resources (OER), infrastructure tools, platforms, professional development and support,

Learning Outcomes:
1. Describe open education concept
2.Explain open education practice in Zimbabwe Higher education Institutions
structural inequalities that hinder equal access to higher education
3. Describe current policies of Open Education Practice in Zimbabwe higher education institutions
4. Establish current challenges experienced in Zimbabwe Higher education institutions in implementing open
5. Determine strategies to enhance open education that promotes equitable and inclusive higher education

avatar for Betty Kutukwa Mutambanengwe

Betty Kutukwa Mutambanengwe

Editor, Zimbabwe Open University
Betty Kutukwa-Mutambanengwe is currently an editor in the Materials Development Unit of the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). Prior to coming to ZOU, Betty, an experienced secondary school teacher, was a Research Manager at the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council. She is an evaluator... Read More →
avatar for Leonorah Nyaruwata

Leonorah Nyaruwata

Programme Leader, Zimbabwe Open University
Leonorah Tendayi. Nyaruwata is Associate Professor, in the Faculty of Education at Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). Her core business is supervision of Doctor of Philosophy candidates, research and evaluation. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Management and Policy Studies... Read More →

Thursday November 12, 2020 10:00am - 10:25am EST
Concurrent 3
  COVID-19, Presentation