Citation Pounds A & Bostock J (2019) Open educational resources (OER) in higher education courses in aquaculture and fisheries: opportunities, barriers, and future perspectives. Aquaculture International, 27 (3), pp. 695-710. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10499-019-00355-9
Abstract The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether educators and students in the aquaculture and fisheries sector might use and benefit from Open Educational Resources (OERs). The use of OERs has the potential to increase teaching efficiency, increase quality of teaching, and reduce economic and geographic barriers to education. The main barriers to use are academic competition between institutions and educators, low awareness and availability of OERs and copyright policies, mistrust in OER quality, and technological limitations around adaptation and sharing. This study used online questionnaires of students and educators in aquaculture and fisheries subjects to examine perspectives and opinions on OERs and other online educational resources. Questionnaire data showed that a demand for OERs exists from both educators and students, who already utilize online materials for learning and teaching. Furthermore, students were more likely to enroll and respect institutions that offered OERs but were not willing to pay higher tuition fees. Despite the demand, little OER material exists for higher education in the aquaculture and fisheries sector, mainly due to lack of awareness, institutional support, and technological structure, which are common barriers found in other sectors. This paper concludes that OER initiatives associated with higher education institutions in aquaculture and fisheries subjects have the potential, in theory, to support the enhancement of a skilled workforce that will meet the increasing global demand for seafood production.
Keywords Aquaculture; Aquatic resources management; Fisheries; Higher education; Learning; OER; Open educational resources; Pedagogical innovation; Rural development; Teaching; Training