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ROER4D Project Activity Toolkit - Research Capacity Development

Trotter, Henry; Hodgkinson-Williams, Cheryl; Willmers, Michelle

The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project was a four-year (2013–2017), large-scale networked project which set out to contribute a Global South research perspective on how open educational resources can help to improve access, enhance quality and reduce the cost of education in the Global South. The project engaged a total of 103 researchers in 18 sub-projects across 21 countries from South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, coordinated by Network Hub teams based at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Wawasan Open University.

This chapter forms part of a project activity toolkit, which is comprised of five documents outlining activities associated with each of the UCT Network Hub pillars of project management activity: networking, evaluation, communications, research capacity development, and curation and dissemination. It is hoped that these chapters will be of practical use to other projects attempting to integrate any of these aspects in their operational strategies.

This chapter focuses on the research capacity development activities undertaken in the ROER4D project, which were seen as crucial in terms of addressing the project objectives of building an empirical knowledge base on the use and impact of open educational resources (OER) in the Global South, developing the research capacity of Global South OER researchers and building a network of Global South OER scholars. It outlines the rationale behind and implementation of four central aspects of the research capacity development process, namely: research question harmonisation, concept clarification, developmental editing and open research approaches (incorporating open data).

Key insights gained in conducting research capacity development activities amongst participating researchers have led the UCT Network Hub to recommend a research capacity development model which has a cohesive trajectory from conceptualisation to conducting research and, ultimately, publishing and profiling the findings of that work.

Trotter, H., Hodgkinson-Williams, C. & Willmers, M. (2018). ROER4D project activity toolkit: Research capacity development. Cape Town: Research on Open Educational Resources for Development. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1221331
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