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Teachers' informal learning characteristics in using open educational resources in relation to their innovative work behavior

Hamed Mubarak Al-Awidi (Education Studies, Arab Open University-Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Suad Abdul Aziz Al-Furaih (Curriculum and Instruction, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait)

International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

ISSN: 2056-4880

Article publication date: 20 February 2023

Issue publication date: 17 March 2023

306

Abstract

Purpose

Informal learning is an effective and motivating strategy to support the learning process. Informal learning has received increased attention recently due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, finding effective ways to facilitate innovative teaching and learning through open educational resources (OER) is a vital issue. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the informal learning characteristics (ILC) (i.e. observation, imitation, exploration, innovation and articulation) of teachers in using OER and whether these characteristics have any relationship with teachers' innovative work behavior (IWB, i.e. opportunity exploration, idea generation, idea promotion and idea realization) in schools.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study utilized a descriptive quantitative survey approach. A survey with three parts was developed: the Open Educational Resources Scale (OERS), the Teachers' Informal Learning Characteristics Scale (TILCS) and the Teachers' Innovative Work Behavior Scale (TIWBS). The information was gathered from a sample of 2,024 teachers working in Kuwait's public schools through an online survey.

Findings

The results revealed that social media, YouTube, PowerPoint and games were the most common open resources used by teachers. Teachers' responses on the TILCS showed that observation was the most common among teachers and exploration was the second. Responses on the TIWBS showed that idea generation was the highest. When using OER, the results showed that all five subscales of the TILCS and all four subscales of the TIWBS were linked in a good way.

Research limitations/implications

This study had several limitations that should be considered in future research. First, the data collection method was self-report. Future research necessitates adopting qualitative methods such as participant observations where IWB can be monitored and documented. Another limitation is almost all teachers have smartphone with Internet access, which may have affected the results. This situation might not be found in other countries since a large percentage of young people in Kuwait use information and communication technology as is the case in other Gulf region countries.

Practical implications

This study expects that this kind of support will be reflected on teachers' IWB which accelerates teachers' movement toward upper IWB tasks such as idea promotion and idea realization. This support will motivate teachers to transform teachers' innovative ideas into useful applications and try to assist teachers' colleagues through conducting workshops or inviting well-known educators to present their experiences to school personnel.

Social implications

This study can be a guide to help teachers be independent, self-directed, problem-solving-oriented and internally motivated by incorporating the assumptions of andragogy theory. Furthermore, this study points out the high tendency of teachers to use OER and helps to plan teachers' professional development programs that take Andragogical tendencies into account in addition to developing teachers' lifelong learning skills.

Originality/value

The results implied that teachers have obvious ILC toward OER, specifically through observation and exploration to create their own innovations in their work environments. With the appropriate internal and external incentives and support from school administrators, this study expects that teachers will move forward toward upper informal learning stages such as innovation and articulation and toward upper tasks in IWB such as idea promotion and idea realization. As a result, schools as places of work can go through a lot of changes if new OER-related applications and workshops are added.

Keywords

Citation

Al-Awidi, H.M. and Al-Furaih, S.A.A. (2023), "Teachers' informal learning characteristics in using open educational resources in relation to their innovative work behavior", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 113-129. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-03-2022-0057

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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