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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Shironica P. Karunanayaka and Som Naidu

A critical attribute of open educational practices (OEP) is the pursuit of open scholarship which comprises the release of educational resources under an open licence…

Abstract

Purpose

A critical attribute of open educational practices (OEP) is the pursuit of open scholarship which comprises the release of educational resources under an open licence scheme that permits no-cost access, use, reuse, adaptation, retention and redistribution to others. The degree of openness in relation to this attribute will depend on the context and culture of the place and the people in it. When left to chance, the adoption and practice of open scholarship by educators is at best sketchy. For optimum impact, a design-based approach is essential. A central focus of such an approach will need to target educators’ belief systems and practices about their scholarship. Any such work will involve researchers collaborating with practitioners in real-life settings to improve educational practices through iterative analysis, design, development and implementation. The purpose of this paper is to report on how the development and use of such a design-based approach, implemented by the Open University of Sri Lanka, impacted the adoption and uptake of open scholarship among teachers in the Sri Lankan school system in terms of changes in their use of instructional resources, pedagogical thinking and pedagogical practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a design-based research (DBR) approach (Reeves, 2006), which involved researchers collaboratively working with practitioners in real-life settings to improve their educational practices along three aspects – instructional resource use, pedagogical perspectives and pedagogical practices. Based on the four stages of the DBR approach – analysis, solution, testing and refinement, and reflection, a professional development intervention programme was designed and implemented to support teachers on the integration of open educational resources (OER) and adoption of OEP in their teaching-learning process. Data collected throughout the process using multiple strategies such as questionnaire surveys, concept mapping, lesson plans, focus group interviews, self-reflections and “stories”, were analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Findings

By the end of the intervention, significant changes were observed in teachers’ use of instructional resources, their pedagogical thinking and pedagogical practices. While resource usage has shifted from no or low usage of OER to reuse, revise, remix and creation of OER, the pedagogical thinking and practices of teachers moved from a content-centric and individualized patterns to more constructivist, context centric and collaborative ways. The diffusion of OEP was prominent along two dimensions – enhancements in the individual practices in innovative OER use as well as collaborative practices of sharing of resources, knowledge and good practices.

Practical implications

The systematic and flexible methodology adopted based on the DBR approach via a framework designed as a contextualized, process oriented and a self-reflective enquiry has been very useful to support changes in OEP among practitioners over time.

Originality/value

This iterative process allowed the researchers to function as “designers”, while investigating real-life issues in collaboration with the practitioners through reflective enquiry to further refine innovative practices towards OEP. This provides valuable insights for improved design solutions for future interventions in similar contexts.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2013

Andy Lane

This chapter outlines some theoretical, historical and analytical themes covering national, trans-national and international trends in open education. It starts by looking…

Abstract

This chapter outlines some theoretical, historical and analytical themes covering national, trans-national and international trends in open education. It starts by looking at the social, economic and political drivers for education systems in general, and how openness has been used to widen access through attacking the iron triangle of education: access, quality and cost (open as a door). It then looks at the more recent technological and ideological developments that have aided openness (open as a book); including the central role that open licensing of digital materials (open as a right) has played in changing the social and economic drivers of education and in particular open educational resources. Next, it looks at the importance of open innovation, social innovation and communities of practice for open education (open as a relationship) and includes a comparison between the development of open source software and the development of open educational resources. It goes on to consider the impacts of all these on national and international policy (open as a border) before reviewing the social and economic role of open education from the perspectives of lifelong learners, students, educational institutions and educational publishers (open for business in the future). The chapter concludes by forecasting possible trends in open education for the next 15 years.

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Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2020

Patrina Law, Anna Page and Rosie Storrar

The Open University (OU) United Kingdom manages two platforms for hosting Open Educational Resources (OER): OpenLearn, delivering the OU’s OER, reaching over10 million…

Abstract

The Open University (OU) United Kingdom manages two platforms for hosting Open Educational Resources (OER): OpenLearn, delivering the OU’s OER, reaching over10 million learners a year, attracting a mostly UK audience, and OpenLearn Create, reaching 3 million learners a year, where anyone can create and share OER, attracting a mostly international – non-UK – audience. Both platforms release OER using a Creative Commons license and afford accessibility to learning materials specifically catering to the needs of underserved groups, in other words, individuals or groups who may have limited access to education or continuing professional development (CPD) either as recipient or as educator. Using case studies, research data analytics and survey data, this chapter reveals how the approach to delivering OER on OpenLearn Create fosters community engagement and outreach across a broad spectrum of projects in a range of languages and format often to those with restricted access to professional development within organizations. The chapter discusses weaknesses in the platform’s usability for delivering online courses, but strengths and recommendations for its use as an adaptable project-based tool. Research data also reveal that where an institution is prepared to minimally support the provision of such a platform, the contribution to humanizing education for OER projects globally is great.

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2020

Merinda McLure and Caroline Sinkinson

This paper aims to examine librarians’ professional motivations and theoretical perspectives to attend to care and student voice, as they pursue open educational resource

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine librarians’ professional motivations and theoretical perspectives to attend to care and student voice, as they pursue open educational resource (OER) initiatives in higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine OER initiatives that serve as models for their work at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), describe how they have attended to care and student voice in their work to date and reflect on how they hope to continue to do so in their future OER initiatives.

Findings

The authors find connections between theoretical perspectives for care in education and the values and ethics of both the open education movement and librarianship. They propose that these connections provide a foundation for librarians to align their professional motivations and practices in support of learning. The authors provide examples of OER programming that attend to care and student voice and offer related strategies for practitioners to consider.

Originality/value

Librarians at many post-secondary institutions provide critical advocacy and support the adoption, adaptation and creation of OER in higher education. Theories of care, values and ethics in the open education movement and librarianship provide a foundation for librarians to attend to care and elevate student voice as they undertake OER advocacy and initiatives.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 48 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Anup Kumar Das

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the evolution of open educational resources OER initiatives in India – how OER movement emerges from the open access…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the evolution of open educational resources OER initiatives in India – how OER movement emerges from the open access movement in the backdrop of an emerging knowledge‐based economy. This paper also illustrates how OER help in democratizing lifelong learning spaces that eventually help in skills development.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper primarily uses baseline surveys and recommendations of different working groups of Indian National Knowledge Commission. Relevant policy instruments of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, UNESCO, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and other national and international bodies are also critically examined to understand India's stand on OER in comparison with other promising developing countries. This paper analyses impact of OER on Indian systems of education, ranging from lifelong learning, technical and vocational education and training to higher education systems. This paper also illustrates various models of innovations which are shaping up multi‐dimensional lifelong learning pathways to cater to career aspirations of young Indians.

Findings

This paper finds out that Indian OER initiatives make use of textual platforms as well as audio‐visual platforms embracing YouTube, Metacafe and other web‐based streaming video channels. This paper also illustrates the collaboration patterns in OER initiatives in order to attain sustainability, optimum usage and integration with formal curriculum of skills development programmes.

Research limitations/implications

Although this paper identifies external as well as internal factors that are shaping up OER movement in this emerging knowledge economy, this paper mainly focuses on country‐level initiatives. The challenges faced at the institutional level as well as users level can be traced through advanced research studies.

Practical implications

This paper suggests some sustainable models for OER deployment, lessons learned and challenges faced by practitioners and users communities.

Social implications

OER development has become a social movement. Proper deployment and utilization of OER resources will lead to social empowerment of young adults. This paper helps in understanding how Indian society embraces OER in order to attain social justice and empowerment through sustainable educational development.

Originality/value

This paper is a unique attempt to produce a state‐of‐the‐art report on the emergence of the OER movement in a transitional emerging economy.

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Article
Publication date: 19 November 2018

Eileen A. Horn, Ryan Anderson and Kristine Pierick

This study aims to describe how open educational resources (OERs) were used in a system-wide, competency-based higher education program. It discusses barriers encountered…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to describe how open educational resources (OERs) were used in a system-wide, competency-based higher education program. It discusses barriers encountered, solutions developed and suggestions for future research on OER-focused curricula for self-directed learners. The case demonstrates practical application of the best practices for OER usage and contributes to discussions among the open education community about what constitutes quality OERs and how quality measures can help instructors select the best available OER.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study uses a reflective approach to describe what the organization did to facilitate OER use in University of Wisconsin Flexible Option. The authors reflect on tools and processes used and highlight alignment with best practices from OER literature.

Findings

This case confirms that there are challenges associated with OERs, especially for faculty with limited experience using them. It also offers insights into how to evaluate and curate OERs and confirms that students are generally satisfied when OERs are used as primary learning resources.

Research limitations/implications

Formal research was not conducted. This case provides a starting point for potential future research about the use of OERs by self-directed, competency-based students.

Practical implications

Practical implications of this case study include concrete tools and methods faculty and instructional designers can use to locate, evaluate and curate OERs. This case study highlights the role OERs can play in increasing overall satisfaction with learning resources while decreasing students’ costs.

Originality/value

This case ties unique needs of self-directed, competency-based learners with the use of OERs, addressing two overarching questions about OERs: what constitutes a quality OER? and how is quality measured?

Details

Information Discovery and Delivery, vol. 46 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6247

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2013

Markus Deimann and Peter Sloep

For an extended period of time education was mainly formal, that is a system with clear roles, goals and responsibilities. Education resembled an immutable and closed…

Abstract

For an extended period of time education was mainly formal, that is a system with clear roles, goals and responsibilities. Education resembled an immutable and closed system with few, if any, connections to other parts of society. However, during the last century significant changes occurred in many areas of society, culminating in global reform movements to democratise education and to increase participation by opening up education. A current and prominent example of such a movement is Open Educational Resources (OER), which is a global attempt to facilitate the flow of knowledge, reduce the costs of education, and establish an educational system based on humanistic and moral values (i.e. sharing). Yet, recent developments are progressing at such an accelerated speed that it is hard to predict the ‘real’ value of OERs for educational purposes. Also, within OER little reference has been made to previous forms of Open Education, such as Open Classroom/Open Learning in the 1960s and 1970s or to the even older German progressive education (Reformpädagogik). Current OE forms can be characterised as a mixture of economical (‘education as a commodity’), moral (‘education as a common good’) and social (‘education as a shared enterprise’) claims, each of which contribute to the emergence of Open Education. This introductory chapter attempts to set the stage for a sound engagement with openness in education. It provides a conceptual framework that discusses major developments throughout the history of Open Education from a philosophical standpoint. Special attention will be paid to the concept of Bildung (self-realisation, self-cultivation) as an in-depth theory that can not only inform what happens when learners utilise OER but also allows one to reflect on the impact of OER on society. Selected cases of Open Education will be reviewed and then framed with the theory of Bildung. Eventually, this will lead to a set of lessons learned that are aimed at guiding current debates on Open Education.

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Ling Xu, Jingjing Zhang and Qinhua Zheng

After the official definition of Open Educational Resources (OER) at the Forum on Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries in 2002, the concept was…

Abstract

Purpose

After the official definition of Open Educational Resources (OER) at the Forum on Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries in 2002, the concept was soon introduced to China and popularised among scholars, practitioners, and educators. After ten years of proliferation, it is important to explore the landscape of Chinese OER research. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts social network analysis (SNA) to analyse the network defining the citations of 133 OER journal articles published in China.

Findings

The findings illustrate that the academic circle of OER in China is small, which leads to restricted innovation. Most publications are produced by researchers working at comprehensive universities and normal universities (teachers colleges).

Research limitations/implications

In these universities, a number of active OER researchers are emerging, but no OER research team can be identified from their citation networks. Currently, most OER research is still descriptive research, and only few case studies are being to gradually be conducted.

Practical implications

As the Chinese OER research is still in the initial stage, more research projects in OER need to be explored to construct higher quality and more influential open content to achieve deep openness.

Originality/value

In the literature, no one has adopted the SNA to analyse the citation network of Chinese OER research.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Ishan Sudeera Abeywardena

There is immense potential in open educational resources (OER) for encouraging systemic change within academic institutions toward increasing access and equity in…

Abstract

Purpose

There is immense potential in open educational resources (OER) for encouraging systemic change within academic institutions toward increasing access and equity in education. The purpose of this paper is to propose an empirical framework and a checklist for mainstreaming OER in an academic institution.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical framework and the mainstreaming checklist is formulated based on an extensive review of literature and case studies strengthened by the author’s personal experience as an academic, researcher, practitioner, policymaker and international development expert in the field of OER.

Findings

The proposed empirical framework and OER mainstreaming checklist identifies several processes to be completed by key stakeholders for successful mainstreaming of OER in an academic institution.

Practical implications

The proposed framework assumes that the institution which is undergoing mainstreaming of OER follows the principles of outcomes-based education and that it has an established mechanism for measuring the mastery of learning outcomes and the role of OER in accreditation.

Originality/value

One key feature of the framework is its horizontal structure where stakeholders take a team-based approach to completing the required tasks for mainstreaming OER. This, in turn, increases ownership of the mainstreaming process leading to higher success rates and sustainability. Second, the mainstreaming checklist breaks down each process into several achievable tasks and assigns them to the relevant team. Third, the framework supports continuous quality improvement which encourages institutions to periodically revisit the processes to make necessary course corrections and enhancements.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2414-6994

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2011

C. Angell, H. Hartwell and A. Hemingway

The purpose of this paper is to identify key concepts in the literature relating to the release of open educational resources (OER), with specific reference to the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify key concepts in the literature relating to the release of open educational resources (OER), with specific reference to the emergence of public health OER.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature relating to the development of OER was followed by an online search for OER literature relating specifically to public health. This was supplemented with evidence gathered during the Public Health Open Resources for the University Sector (PHORUS) project.

Findings

A wide array of OER literature was identified, although there was a limited number of public health‐related papers. The key concepts influencing public health OER release were identified as quality, ethics and values, rewards, risks and practical aspects, such as technological developments.

Research limitations/implications

There is a limited amount of public health‐related OER literature. Whilst it was possible to draw some conclusions using more general OER literature there is a need for more research in the specific area of public health OER.

Originality/value

The PHORUS project was the first to consider the literature relating to the release of public health OER. Understanding the enablers and barriers to OER is key to developing resources in this key area of health education.

Details

Health Education, vol. 111 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

Keywords

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