6 Articles

In this section we provide a set of publications from the OER Hub which you may find interesting to read. The full set of articles is available in ‘Publications’ on the website, and listed in the Bibliography. All of the articles have been published in open access journals as we believe that all publicly funded research outputs should be openly available, but particularly those that are in the subject area of OER. It also means we retain the ownership of the articles, and so are free to distribute them in this pack for example.

OER Hub Report OER Evidence Report 2014 – this is the main report of evidence against the 11 hypotheses regarding OER use

Some key OER Hub articles are as follows:

Personalising learning through adaptation: Evidence from a global survey of K-12 teachers’ perceptions of their use of open educational resources

It has been suggested that open educational resources (OER) can lower cost and lead to greater flexibility, however while there has been significant investment in opening up content there have been few studies looking at how these resources are perceived by those who might use them. This quantitative article contributes to fill a gap in our knowledge of how K-12 educators teaching in face-to-face, online and blended contexts currently think about and use OER. The authors report findings from a survey of 600+ schoolteachers who answered a set of attitudinal and behavioural questions in relation to how they use OER, what types of OER they use and what influences their selection of content, in addition to the purpose, challenges and perceived impact of OER in the K-12 classroom. The research highlights how OER allow schoolteachers to personalise learning through adaptation, and argues that mainstreaming OER in K-12 education is not only a matter of raising awareness but of changing teachers’ habits.

de los Arcos, B., Farrow, R., Pitt, R., Weller, M. & McAndrew, P. (2016). Personalising learning through adaptation: Evidence from a global survey of K-12 teachers’ perceptions of their use of open educational resources. Journal of Online Learning Research, 2(1), 23-40. Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). http://www.editlib.org/p/151664

Who are the Open Learners? A Comparative Study Profiling non-Formal Users of Open Educational Resources

This paper presents the results of a systematic survey of more than 3,000 users of open educational resources (OER). Data was collected between 2013 and 2014 on the demographics, attitudes and behaviours of users of three repositories. Questions included a particular focus on the behaviours of non-formal learners and the relationship between formal and non-formal study. Frequency analysis shows that there are marked differences in patterns of use, user profiles, attitudes towards OER, types of materials used and popularity of different subjects. The experience of using OER is fairly consistent across platforms in terms of satisfaction and impact on future behaviour. On the whole, non-formal learners surveyed were highly positive about their use of OER and believe they will continue to use them. With regards to this making formal study more likely some degree of polarization was observed: some believed formal study was now more likely, while others felt it made this less likely. On the whole, while non-formal learners are enthusiastic about using free and online resources, the language and concept of OER does not seem to be well understood in the groups surveyed.

Farrow, R., de los Arcos, B., Pitt, R., & Weller, M. (2015). Who are the Open Learners? A Comparative Study Profiling non-Formal Users of Open Educational Resources. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-learning, 18(2). http://oro.open.ac.uk/4496

The Impact of OER on Teaching and Learning Practice

The OER Research Hub has been investigating the impact of OER, using eleven hypotheses, and a mixed methods approach to establish an evidence base. This paper explores the findings relating to teaching and learning. The findings reveal a set of direct impacts, including an increase in factors relating to student performance, increased reflection on the part of educators, and the use of OER to trial and supplement formal study. There are also indirect impacts, whose benefits will be seen after several iterations. These include the wide scale reporting of adaptation, and the increase in sharing and open practice that results from OER usage.

Weller, M., de los Arcos, B., Farrow, R., Pitt, B., & McAndrew, P. (2015). The Impact of OER on Teaching and Learning Practice. Open Praxis, 7(4), 351-361. doi:10.5944/openpraxis.7.4.227

Mainstreaming Open Textbooks: Educator Perspectives on the Impact of OpenStax College open textbooks

This paper presents the results of collaborative research between OpenStax College, who have published 16 open textbooks to date, and the OER Research Hub, a Hewlett funded open research project examining the impact of open educational resources (OER) on learning and teaching.  The paper focuses primarily on the results of two surveys that were conducted with educators during 2013 and 2014/2015. These surveys focused on use and perceptions of OER and OpenStax College materials, financial savings and perceptions of impact on both educators and students.  This paper reports on the research findings related to the impact of OER on educator practice and make a series of specific recommendations based on these findings.

Pitt, R. Mainstreaming Open Textbooks: Educator Perspectives on the Impact of OpenStax College open textbooks (2015) The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) 16 (4): 133-155 http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/2381

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