The purpose of the DOT4D advocacy strand is to leverage the existing expertise and professional networks established in previous open education initiatives hosted by the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) to support policy development and a more strategic approach towards open education.
DOT4D extends CILT’s legacy of research and implementation work that is aimed at interrogating the cultural, financial, technological and political dimensions that enable or inhibit the creation and uptake of open educational resources. The project takes a broad view in terms of its definition of open textbooks and aims to articulate a working set of operational features that define digital open textbooks in a South African and Global South context.
While DOT4D research and implementation activity is primarily focussed on the UCT context, the advocacy strand aims to engage a wide range of partners and stakeholders at the national level in order to communicate lessons learned at UCT and stimulate conversation in the South African higher education sector around the affordances and challenges of adopting open textbook strategies at scale. It also aims to contribute to the international conversation on open education through contributing insights around challenges and opportunities related to the specific socio-cultural dimensions of the South African context, such as decolonisation, identity politics and power relations.