The OU H818 ‘The Networked Practitioner’ Online Conference 2020 – Conference Abstract and Poster

Title of the Project: Breaking with tradition, Sri Lankan academic perspectives on adopting Open Educational Practices (OEP) for formal education

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Conference Abstract

Open Education Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are recently emerged innovative concepts in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) which uses the Information Communication Technology (ICT) in education (Towey, et al., 2016). Open Educational Practices (OEP); creation, use, or repurposing OERs is a trend in the education sector due to its cost and time effectiveness.  Therefore, OEP was readily adopted by most of the developing countries (Mishra & Singh, 2017).

Sri Lanka, being a developing country has identified the significance of Open Educational Resources (OER) and initiated to develop an OER national policy ( (Karunanayaka & Abeywardena, 2016) to adopt the Open Educational Practices (OEP) for education. University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka has identified the use of OER as a supplement for teaching and learning as an innovative practice which enhances the quality of the educational program (UGC, 2015). Therefore, the higher education institutions those who established a faculty level policy and guidelines to use OER will be given a mark during the quality assurance process in the year 2020. However, Sri Lankan education mainly relies on traditional teaching methods, and university teachers tend to use their developed educational materials (Abeysekara, 2011). University academics in Sri Lanka tend to work individually in teaching-related activities. Since the privacy is a prime concern for the Sri Lankan academics, they do not show a higher tendency on social media usage, sharing contents, open for peer reviewing and use of externally developed teaching materials (Alwis, et al., 2018).

Under the above scenario, it is questionable that the process of establishing OEP in Sri Lankan universities is breaking with tradition. Therefore, this project was designed as a case study to analyse the perspective of university academics on adopting OEP in the number one ranked university of Sri Lanka. The considered University has nine faculties which offer degrees in different disciplines with 12756 students and 824 teachers as per the 2018 university statistics (UOP, 2018). Main objectives of this project are to discover the present status of OEP, to analyse the perspectives on adopting OEP for formal teaching and to understand the problems and opportunities for proposing recommendations to establish OEP in the University. The data will be collected using web access logs, online surveying and interviewing. The web access log analytics will be used to analyse the access patterns of the OER sites and resources by the stakeholders of the University. The online survey was shared with all the academic staff members through the University online network. The scheduled interviews will be voluntary to collect the information on system feasibleness, readiness and supportiveness to adopt OEP.

This project was designed under the inclusion theme as the initial step to inculcate the good practices of OEP for formal education. Therefore, as the primary stakeholder in the university system, it is essential to understand the academics’ perspectives, problems and likeliness to adopt OEP for formal teaching. Statistically summarised results will be used for planning and implementing an OEP adoption process in the University.


Abeysekara, U. (2011). Critical Success factors of e-learning in Sri Lankan Universities,, Colombo: University of Moratuwa-PhD Thesis.

Alwis, A. C. D. et al. (2018). Social Media for Higher Education: A Cross-Sectional Study among Teachers in India and Sri Lanka. Humanities and Social Sciences Letters, 6(4), pp. 180-188.

Karunanayaka, S. P. & Abeywardena, I. S. (2016). Advocacy, sensitization and development of OER Policy for provincial education ministries in Sri Lanka. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia., Eighth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF8).

Mishra, S. & Singh, A. (2017). Higher education faculty attitude, motivation and perception of quality and barriers towards OER in India. In: C. Hodgkinson-Williams & P. B. Arinto, eds. Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South. Cape Town, South Africa: African Minds, p. 425–458.

Towey, D., Ng, R. Y.-k. & Wang, T. (2016). Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) in Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET). Bangkok, IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE).

UGC (2015). Manual for Review of Undergraduate Study Programmes of Sri Lankan Universities and Higher Education Institutions, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Ministry of Education & University Grants Commission.

UOP (2018). Statistical Handbook 2018, Peradeniya: University of Peradeniya.

Other Links

H818 Conference Poster

5 thoughts on “The OU H818 ‘The Networked Practitioner’ Online Conference 2020 – Conference Abstract and Poster”

  1. Hi Iroshini

    Here are the questions and comments from your conference presentation – please respond in whatever way you wish!

    Best wishes

    – Nice slides Iroshini
    – Really interesting to have the cultural context
    – Rigidity-So do our practice here in Bangladesh.
    – UGCs are sometimes with topdown approach but they don;t provide required funding
    – Understanding peoples perspectives, before implementing change, is so important
    – sometimes you get a short change and then folks return to older ways of working – trying to find som eearly adopters is key
    – I think, this is more bureacratic procedure problem than funding
    – Can you say more about how coleagues understood OEP??
    – In general, what is the level of computerising of the universities of SL?
    – Wou;ld be good to know why they like to publish OER that way
    – resources are an issue and access for faculty and learners
    – What do you think you will recommend to the uni admin?
    – Do other staff members feel thsi way as you ?
    – lovely to see how you got networking support for your research project – great idea to list it in the slide
    – You have some ingrained practices to overcome to integrate OEP into their current teaching approaches
    – what kind of e.g.s are you sharing with administrators to help them understand why it could be helpful?
    – so potentially using OA publishing route to get them to buy into OEP
    – great presentation – buy-in from staff is key

  2. Thanks Simon.
    Since there are a lot of questions, I will write a blog post to cover up all the questions and will put the link here.

  3. H818 Presentation Star
    Congratulations Iroshini!
    Your presentation at the H818 Online Conference 2020 has been voted by audience members as one of the most effective presentations, and you are one of the winners of this year’s Presentation Star awards!
    You may download your award certificate from

    Well done and many Congratulations!

    Simon Ball
    H818 Conference Organiser

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