Arabic countries lack of an organized repository for open education resources that allows interoperability between educational organizations and focuses on open access and open content for instructors and students. The project tends to solve the problem by building a fully functional online educational system that provides free sharing of educational resources. It will also encourage the creation of Arabic learning materials by instructors, the re-use and the remix of these. On- the-ground implementation of the system will be initiated in different educational institutions in Jordan.
The project will consist of a web platform which allows uploading and downloading different learning materials. Users will be able to use and share videos, audio lessons, animated learning materials, documents and presentations. The platform will be fully localized for Arabic audience and will tend to cover different curricula for K-12 and undergraduate students. The project will also take into consideration the promotion of Arabic Open Content in se by producing a community of contributors and users, a vast repository of free learning materials and a set of organizations that will adopt and support Open Access in the Arab World.
Our targeted community consists of K-12, undergraduate students, school teachers and university instructors. Educational systems in Arab World still adopt traditional tools and means for communicating knowledge and sharing materials in classrooms. The project will give the opportunity to students to have access for innovative and high quality resources from different institutions and to the instructors to reuse materials and gain more advanced technical and pedagogical skills.br />
Jordan Open Source Association (JOSA) is deeply rooted in Jordanian educational organizations. JOSA consists of several student chapters in universities distributed across Jordan. Several initiatives have been already started by JOSA in Jordanian schools including “Firefox Education” and “Linux in Schools”, in addition to a long history of training sessions, lectures and classes organized in collaboration with Jordanian institutions. JOSA is the only Jordanian organization that promotes Open Content and Open Access in Jordan. On the Arab level, JOSA is already linked with the Arab educational community and plans for future collaboration with other institutes.
Impact will be measured by the number of benefiters, students and instructors, number of institutions involved, number of content contributors and size, originality and diversity of contributed content. Number of registered users in the platform, average frequency of use and geographical coverage will be taken into consideration.
19 participants are organized into several teams as follows: Software development and system administration (4), project coordination and community relations (3), delegates of educational institutes (12). After the launch, the number of participants will increase consistently to include instructors and students who use the platform. The participants are involved in the project on a strong volunteering basis. Different organizations showed interest in the project and they are willing to provide human resources to participate in the project.
The platform represents a repository for creative commons licensed learning materials that will consist of cultural, scientific and educational content, not to mention that it will significantly increase the semi-inexistent Arabic content in the “commons”.
For this project only free and open source technologies will be used. The web platform will be implemented using content management systems or LCMSs (e.g. Drupal or moodle). The project needs fully-localized interfaces and data processing, easy translation tools, an Arabic clean implementation of SCORM technical standards and other “E-Learning 2.0” requirements.
Educational organizations may reject the project or oppose change in their current methodologies, in addition to the lack of knowledge in “sharing culture” among Arab academics and teachers. The project will start within organizations that already showed interest in Open Content, our sessions will help other organizations to adopt the platform, will show the socio-economic benefits of Open Access and will provide solutions to the obstacles that some organizations may face. In order to encourage more adoption, the platform will be easy-to-use, fully-localized for Arabic audience and with consistent support provided by JOSA.
The project aims to be self-sustainable and to run with limited resources. In the long term the project can be sustained by: 1- Sponsorship/Endowment. Other organizations can sponsor the project. Funds can also be raised from charitable or philanthropic institutions that are interested in culture and education. 2- Institutional Membership. We expect the educational institutes that adopts our platform will participate and provide running costs of the project. 3- Government Support. For the pilot phase, a number of Jordanian institutions have already expressed their interest for JOSA's projects, namely Jordan Education Initiative (JEI) and Queen Rania Al Abdullah Center For Educational Technology. JOSA will seek for more support from government entities in the Arab World.
The project is highly scalable. In the pilot phase, it will be implemented in a set of educational organizations in Jordan, but the platform can be easily scaled up to include additional organizations and additional content. The web platform is developed to host additional functionalities in the future.
Additional support from Creative Commons is well accepted in these fields: a) Publicity, promotion and marketing on different channels. b) Expertise in previous works and projects in the field of education. c) Help from Creative Commons to individuate institutions and academics interested in Open Content and Open Access in Arab World.
The Jordan Open Source Association communicates with members using social media (Facebook group, Facebook page and Twitter/Identica), mailing lists, emails, phone calls and offline meetings and events.