Strategic Priorities

CHS identified three strategic priorities for health education, which are the basis for its OER activities


Develop contextually appropriate teaching resources

Many medical textbooks and publications originate in Western countries, and therefore use photographs and examples that are not always suitable for the Ghanaian context. In addition to differences in local equipment or common practices, the manifestation of a disease may vary with skin tone.


When you look in textbooks it’s difficult to find African cases. The cases may be pretty similar, but sometimes it can be confusing when you see something that you see on a white skin so nicely and very easy to pick up, but on the dark skin it has a different manifestation that may be difficult to see. Sometimes it is difficult for the students to appreciate when they see a clinical case that involves an African. I think that [locally developed] OER will go a long way in helping the students appreciate the cases that we see in our part of the world.

(Richard Philips, lecturer, Dept. of Internal Medicine)


Increase student engagement with the local curriculum

Growing class sizes limit the in-person interaction between lecturers and their student. In order to supplement the limited time they have with students for classroom and clinical training, several CHS faculty are interested in creating interactive, self-guided learning materials that students can work through on their own and in their own time. The goal is to go beyond the standard the standard PowerPoint lectures and to design dynamic, media-rich, stand-alone instructional materials. For this reason, KNUST distributes OER electronically, either online or via CD-ROM, which enables the students to access the materials on a computer at their convenience. Due to infrastructure challenges (e.g. bandwidth, power outages, and other challenges that are exposed in more detail further on in the case study), goal has been to make these educational materials more readily accessible to its own students, but the open licensing allows it to reach students in other classes and faculty across departments within VHS, as well as health science students and educators around the world.


Classes used to be 35 students when we started [teaching 10-15 years ago]. No it’s gone all the way to 200 per class. It’s a shock for the lecturer. OER gives the student the chance to flip through all of the years, that interaction is a key priority. It will help the students to have one-on-one contact with some of these cases even before they come to the wards.

(Richard Philips, lecturer, Dept. of Internal Medicine)


Strengthen the core curriculum

Given the limited in-person instruction time and faculty availability, it is difficult to cover all necessary topics within the confines of the classroom and with locally developed resources. The provost and CHS faculty involved in the initiative view OER as an alternative method for delivering difficult topics to students, such as how to use an automated blood cell count. In addition the open licensing of OER allows CHS faculty to borrow and adapt health science resources developed by other institutions, and flow of information. An OER module developed by a KNUST lecturer on the Buruli ulcer has already been used by the World Health Organization and by a professor at the University of Michigan.






The content on this page has been adapted from "Growing an Institutional Health OER Initiative: A Case Study of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology", by Kathleen Ludewig Omollo, published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (