OER Research

OER Research Hub – Hypotheses

  1. I think it’s great that they have these important questions here so they can sort of “crowd source” the research. It also really works with the idea of open, that you don’t want to hide away your good research questions, you want to work with others to find the answers.
  2.  Central
    1. Use of OER leads to improvement in student performance and satisfaction
    2. The open aspect of OER creates different usage and adoption patterns than other online resources
  3. Other
    1. Open education leads to more access to education
    2. Using OER is effective at improving retention of at-risk students
    3. Use of OER leads to critical reflection by educations, with evidence of improvement in practice
    4. OER adoption by an institution leads to financial benefits for students and/or the institution
    5. Informal learners use a variety of indicators when selecting OER
    6. Informal learners adoption a variety of techniques to compensate for the lack of formal support which can be supported in open courses
    7. Open education acts as a bridge to formal education, complementary not competitive
    8. Institutional participation of OER pilots leads to policy change
    9. Informal means of assessment are motivators to learning with OER
      1. What does this mean? That having some sort of assessment included with the OER motivates learning?

Open Education Group

  1. Coup – Move from the rhetoric/hype to results
    1. Framework
      1. Cost (savings)
      2. Outcomes (learning)
      3. Use (student/teacher)
      4. Perceptions (student/teacher)
    2. Utah Open Textbook Project – take CK12 text books to professional development workshops. Teachers whittle them down to use.
      1. Cost $5 per year (compared to $11 per year for traditional/hands off books)
    3. Flat World Knowledge – offers books online, but also in print
      1. Provide tools for faculty members to customize books
      2. Frequency of changes correlates with how hard it is to do something
    4. Project Kaleidoscope – faculty members aggregating OER to replace their textbooks. Agreed to use text books developed by others.
      1. Most felt like the quality was the same, both students and teacher

Ruminations on Research on OER

  1. Hypothesis: the characteristics that define OER potentially add value above/different from those achieved by a similar non OER piece
    1. OER could be widely disruptive, but institutional barriers will need to be overcome. Research can help this happen.
  2. Research areas (buckets)
    1. Policy
      1. Positive and negative factors in the political environment
      2. Characteristics of current educational policies that constrain or enable the use of OER
    2. Access/use
      1. What added value does OER have?
      2. What distinguishes OER from other products?
      3. The local conditions that make it possible to easily and fruitfully exercise the 4Rs.
    3. Effectiveness
      1. “As the educational landscape changes, the nature and content that we expect of student learning might change as well” – also as the job market changes, as society shifts.
      2. Do OER that are adapted to fit local needs improve achievement and attainment?
    4. Innovation
      1. OER are less bound, and therefore might be more “genuinely innovative”
      2. Innovation is by definition unexpected – we should be open to it, especially since we don’t know what could come of it.
    5. Beyond Formal Education
      1. It would be interesting to organize OER by outcomes rather than sectors (e.g. water scarcity, global warming). This is similar to the learning outcome idea we had.
    6. Sustainability
      1. It isn’t necessary for any particular OER to be sustained forever.
    7. Development and Improvement
    8. Implementation
    9. Infrstructure
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