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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751


OLIVIER, JAK (Jako). The state of online open educational resources in Afrikaans: Afrikaans teaching as a case study. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2018, vol.58, n.4-2, pp.905-924. ISSN 2224-7912.

The focus of this research was to determine the state of open educational resources available on the Internet for Afrikaans language teaching. Open educational resources (OER) refer to teaching, learning and research material that are available to the public for use and reuse, according to specific licencing conditions. These resources should be considered within the wider literature discourse concerning open education, open-source software and open content prevalent in an education context. It is clear from the literature review that in a South African context, the use of and research on open educational resources are limited. However, there has been a steady increase in interest in this field, especially within certain South African universities and organisations. Moreover, little research has been done with regard to Afrikaans and Afrikaans language teaching and open educational resources. The findings of this article can be linked with research that has been done on Afrikaans in online environments and the teaching of Afrikaans by means of online mediums. In this regard, the Afrikaans Wikipedia is an example of online content that shows characteristics related to open educational resources that have been explored in research literature. The research study made use of a document analysis of websites based on criteria linked to open educational resource characteristics. A total of 22 websites was chosen from a compiled database of 1 873 websites. These websites were then qualitatively analysed in an inductive manner. In addition, the open educational resource quality criteria, identified by Krajcso (2016), were also used to examine the nature of these websites. From this analysis it was evident that most of the Afrikaans language teaching resources only adhere to some of the open educational resource characteristics in terms of design, general characteristics of the content and to a lesser extent the technical aspects. The identified resources are not appropriate in terms of content when attitude, knowledge and competence were evaluated. In addition, the resources do not adhere to the didactical principles linked to open educational resource methodology, specifically with regard to goals, activities and tasks. Krajcso's quality criteria have also proven to be fitting when the suitability of resources in terms of general open educational resource characteristics was tested. Certain trends were identified during the analysis in terms of available online Afrikaans language resources. Although a single resource was published by a provincial education department and one by a language-related organisation, most of the resources are personal websites created by teachers. However, some of the resources were found to be limited in use, as most of the content is only available commercially. It is common for a number of resources to require registration. One of the resources showed promise in terms of e-assessments through the availability of online spelling tests. More than one general encyclopaedic resource exists. Extensive literature-related resources (especially for poetry and drama) exist for Afrikaans and cover both informal and more scientifically and peer reviewed resources. Finally, there are also websites that focus on linguistic content. Useful bibliographic resources were also identified - with some open content. Clearly, none of the identified resources can be regarded as an open educational resource. There seems to be room for improvement, especially in terms of reuse and easy open revisability. Very few Afrikaans online sources are subjected to peer review and there are questions regarding the quality of some of the resources. However, it would be possible to build on existing good practices in order to expand the Afrikaans language teaching open educational environment. There is definitely a need for Afrikaans language teaching open educational resource repositories that can fulfil both an archival and language planning role. It is, however, clear that extensive development and research are necessary in terms of open educational resources in the Afrikaans language teaching context.

Keywords : open educational resources; OER; Afrikaans teaching; Afrikaans; open education; open content; online resources; Internet; digital language resources; online repositories; Afrikaans websites; Wikipedia.

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