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Open Educational Resources: Articles About OER
A clearinghouse of OER, including learning object repositories, open course repositories, scholarly repositories, open textbooks, and information about open learning/education in general.
Abstract: The number of disabled students is rapidly increasing worldwide, but many schools and universities have failed to keep up with their learning needs. Consequently, large numbers of disabled students are dropping out of school or university. Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) contain several relevant features, including the possibility of reusing and remixing, which have led researchers to consider using OER and OEP to facilitate meeting the needs of disabled and functional-diverse students in order to increase their accessibility and e-inclusion capabilities in educational settings. The very limited research to date, however, has provided a limited holistic understanding of accessibility within OER and OEP in order to aid researchers in pursuing future directions in this field. Therefore, this paper systematically reviewed 31 papers to provide insights about functional diversity within OER and OEP. The results obtained highlighted that accessibility is still in its infancy within OER and that researchers should focus more on considering the four accessibility principles — perceivable, operable, understandable and robust — when providing OER. Additionally, while several researchers have focused on several issues related to accessibility within OER, limited focus has been given to assistive technologies using OER. Finally, this paper provides several recommendations to increase accessibility within OER and help design more accessible OER for students with functional diversity.
Abstract: In the 18th century, the educational model underwent a disruptive change driven by the transition from an agricultural to an industrial society. In the 21st century, the change from the industrial society to a knowledge society has been consolidated, but it has not involved a disruption in the learning context. Some elements, many based on technologies, can be considered disruptive, but they have not had sufficient effect to produce a change in the model that has predominated for 300 years. In 2008, teachers began to offer training outside the walls of the university, with a totally disruptive and chaotic model compared to the traditional one; this was supported by open, informal, cooperative, connectivist, autonomous and self-guided training. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) began with cMOOCs, and most universities join the initiative, but they abandoned this disruption, ultimately offering the same courses they always had with free access for anyone, resulting in the second generation of MOOCs (xMOOCs). These MOOCs responded to a new social demand, but their characteristics and context make a formative disruption – which has not yet emerged – necessary. This paper analyses the elements of the two generations of MOOCs in order to propose a new model that does not require sophisticated technological solutions and recovers the initial disruptive sense of MOOCs, so called ahMOOC. It also presents a case study that integrates the social advantages of cMOOCs, the organisational benefits of xMOOCs and the personalisation of the learning, which is essential due to the heterogeneity of the participants. The results and the participant viewpoints emerging from the case study confirm the feasibility of the model, the improvement of the results of current MOOCs and the need – demanded by the participants – to consider diversity, all of which should be accomplished in a disruptive way.
Abstract: The concept of open educational resources (OER) is becoming increasingly prominent in education. However, research circles around defining OER, content and forms of OER, technological features of OER, and the importance of the issue or lack thereof. Vital aspects such as the notion of the adoption of OER by educational practitioners remain underdeveloped. In order to shed light on the question of how to adopt OER in education, the article presents findings of a meta-study which critically reviewed 25 state-funded OER projects located in Germany. All projects aimed to anchor OER across educational areas, such as school, higher, continuing, and vocational education. The meta-analysis disclosed a mixed bag of results. Although interest and willingness to deal with OER can be confirmed, reservation is rooted in the complexity of the topic and especially the legal concerns. However, the findings demonstrate that OER can by no means be ignored in the context of teaching and learning in a digital world. Integrating OER as an aspect of existing educational training should, therefore, be encouraged. Concerning future design recommendations, to conflate OER with other pressing issues and to simultaneously emphasise its added value explicitly is a promising approach. Moreover, establishing central contact points in educational institutions to accompany and monitor actors on their path to OER appears to be necessary. Notwithstanding the concrete measures, any strategy must operate persistently at both levels, institutional and practical, embracing all relevant stakeholders.
Abstract: The increase in the cost of college textbooks together with the proliferation of digital content and devices has inspired the development of open textbooks, open educational resources that are free, openly licensed, and often peer-reviewed. Although several published studies have investigated the impact of open textbook adoption on educational outcomes, none have separated the effects of textbook openness and format and only two have taken place in Canada (Hendricks, Reinsberg, & Rieger, 2017; Jhangiani & Jhangiani, 2017). This study investigates the perceptions, use, and course performance of Canadian post-secondary students assigned a commercial or open textbook in either print or digital format. Results show that students using the print format of the open textbook perceive its quality to be superior to the commercial textbook. Moreover, students assigned an open textbook in either format perform either no differently from or better than those assigned a commercial textbook. These results are consistent with the existing literature and support the conclusion that the cost savings to students associated with the adoption of open textbooks do not come at the expense of resource quality or student performance.
Abstract: This paper reports on the first stage of an international comparative study for the project “Digital educational architectures: Open learning resources in distributed learning infrastructures–EduArc”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. This study reviews the situation of digital educational resources
(or (O)ER) framed within the digital transformation of ten different Higher Education (HE) systems (Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and the United States). Following a comparative case study approach, we investigated issues related to the existence of policies, quality assurance mechanisms and measures for the promotion of change in supporting infrastructure development for (O)ER at the national level in HE in the different countries. The results of this mainly documentary research highlight differences and similarities, which are largely due to variations in these countries’ political structure organisation. The discussion and conclusion point at the importance of understanding each country’s context and culture, in order to understand the differences between them, as well as the challenges they face.
Abstract: Conceptualisations of open educational practices (OEP) vary widely, ranging from those centred primarily on the creation and use of open educational resources (OER) to broader definitions of OEP, inclusive of but not necessarily focused on OER. The latter, referred to in this paper as expansive definitions of OEP, encompass open content but also allow for multiple entry points to, and avenues of, openness. This paper explores the theoretical and empirical literature to outline how the concept of OEP has evolved historically. The paper aims to provide a useful synthesis of OEP literature for education researchers and practitioners.
Abstract: In recent years, hopes that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) would make access to education fairer faded in the light of research showing MOOCs favoured the already educated and relatively advantaged. This paper presents the results of a systematic review of literature from 2014 to 2018. The aim was to investigate the extent that MOOCs and other free open education programs provide equitable forms of online education to address global widening participation agendas. The literature fell into two main groups: empirical reports on outcomes for students, and those providing policy or practitioner guidance. A globally diverse set of 46 studies and reports were examined, including 24 empirical evaluations of programs reaching over 440,000 disadvantaged learners in both distance and blended learning settings. Most literature claimed an interest in advancing student equity (enrolled or tertiary preparation learners) and/or social inclusion (community learners) with low-skills, low confidence, and/or low levels of previous education. In contrast to the existing literature, this study found that there was a flourishing of multilingual and Languages other than English (LOTE) programs and those addressing regional socio-economic disadvantage. Most cases involved MOOCs and free online resources combined with additional forms of support, including face-to-face study groups. Contrary to the existing debate in the open education literature, the review also found that the legal status of the learning materials (copyright or openly licenced) was of little consequence so long as it was free to the end user. What seemed to matter most was the intentional and collaborative design for disadvantaged cohorts, including the provision of digital or face-to-face personal support. Successful design collaborations often featured learner-centred, non-technical partnerships with community groups which increased the understanding of the needs of particular marginalised learners, while also providing more sustainable and distributed learner support. The review concludes that MOOCs which aim to widen participation in education are an alternative global practice that exists alongside more commercial MOOC offerings. Recommendations are provided for addressing gaps in offerings, and improving design and research.
Abstract: There are multiple indicators which suggest that completion, quality, and affordability are the three greatest challenges for higher education today in terms of students, student learning, and student success. Many colleges, universities, and state systems are seeking to adopt a portfolio of solutions that address these challenges. This article reports the results of a large-scale study (21,822 students) regarding the impact of course-level faculty adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Results indicate that OER adoption does much more than simply save students money and address student debt concerns. OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students. They also improve course grades at greater rates and
decrease DFW rates at greater rates for Pell recipient students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education. OER address affordability, completion, attainment gap concerns, and learning. These findings contribute to a broadening perception of the value of OERs and their relevance to the great challenges facing higher education today.
Abstract: The outbreak of COVID-19 leads to an increasing demand for online educational resources to continue teaching and learning. Open educational resources (OER), with the benefits of cost-saving and open licenses, have great potential in facilitating the rapid transition to digital education, but concerns about whether OER decrease the effectiveness of student learning remains unsolved. Hilton’s review article (2016) provides synthesized evidence stating that OER can help decrease college students’ textbook spending without undermining student learning effectiveness. It is also noteworthy that implementing OER in digital education needs additional considerations beyond the efficacy of OER. Therefore, this special issue article extends Hilton’s (2016) synthesized findings by presenting four additional perspectives in research, design, culture, practice about implementing OER in digital education.
Abstract: Evidence exists that American institutions of higher education are well-entrenched in the consideration of mechanisms for supporting the implementation of Open Educational Resources (OER) and alternative textbooks. Literature reveals that developing and implementing OER is a significant undertaking in terms of time and human resources. This study deploys content analysis of a sample of United States regionally based higher education institutional websites to determine the current state of institutional support mechanisms to implementers just embarking on the OER journey. Findings reveal that institutions have made strides in the development of faculty mini-grants and stipends with guidelines, proposal checklists, and weighting mechanisms to inform decision making. However, due to widespread language across the stratified sample emphasising award pool and individual limits, it is clear that OER funding is still seeking wider support as a permanent funded resource. Sponsorship of institutional OER initiatives seems split between institutional library functions and teaching and learning centres. Other issues, such as ownership and licensing, are significantly underdeveloped in field implementation or fall in a large continuum of practices. Recommendations of shared responsibility and use of data driven initiatives are provided that may improve institutional support of faculty OER adoption, adaption and creation.
Abstract: How can librarians seize the radical affordances of OER to complicate standard narratives with the stories of those istorically and systemically marginalized? Using work created through the University of Idaho’s Think Open Fellows 2019–20 Cohort as a starting point, the author explores how these projects created OER content that demonstrates Lambert’s three principles of OER and social justice. The author discusses the unique potentials of the academic library to support intentionally engaged OER as well as the responsibility of librarians to center marginalized perspectives in their work with faculty as cocreators and identifiers of OER. A discussion of some of the transformative aspects of this work follows, including the potential impacts on librarians with marginalized identities in creating intentionally engaged OER, as briefly examined through bell hooks’s notion of engaged pedagogy. The article concludes with a call to action, inspired by hooks and Austin, to specifically and intentionally diversify the perspectives represented in the OER we identify and create as librarians.
Abstract: Modern educational technologies might be perceived as practical and sufficient equipment for presenting educational tasks that simulate authentic language use. Through a defined procedure, learning activities can be delivered in the course of technology-based apparatus to change, manipulate, and control learners’ educational environments. Today’s teachers’ challenge has transformed from the best teaching method to the best teaching apparatus. One of the foremost kinds of these potentials is Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). It has received special attention in the recent years derived from Open Educational Resource (OER) movement. To investigate the effectiveness of such programs, this mixed methods and explanatory sequential design study evaluated a MOOCbased educational program in Baqer al-Olum University, Iran. Thirty-eight tertiary learners have participated in the study. Among them 20 learners participated in the MOOC-based educational program and 18 learners participated in a conventional English language class. Pretest/posttest and interview were employed to reach comprehensive data. The findings indicated that MOOC-based educational programs provide remarkable opportunities for language learners. Along with such opportunities, these new technology-based educational apparatuses provide challenges for stakeholders, policy makers, teachers, and learners that might constraint learners’ development in the course of their actions. Discussions and implementations are discussed.
Abstract: The current education system focuses the online related teaching-learning methods. In particular, all the learners want to free, open, accessible, and legal educational resources. The open educational resources fulfill all the related academic problems to the learners. The study's main objective is to determine the level of usage of open educational resources and determine the level of performance in education among the state universities of Tamilnadu research scholars. A sample of 300 research scholars from 22 state universities in Tamilnadu state is selected randomly for the study. The study conduct between 17/10/2020 to 26/12/2020 by using a survey method. Data were analyzed using percentage analysis and t-test. Findings reveal that 30% of the state university research scholars have a high level of open educational resources usage, and 24 % have a high level of education performance. Results also imply a significant difference in the utilization of open educational resources among male and female state universities research scholars. There is no significant difference in education performance among male and female state universities research scholars concerning gender. The COVID-19 epidemic and paralysis have questioned the education of migrant workers and their children. Open educational resources are a sustainable education system in the future, even in a virus outbreak, storm, flood, world war, etc.
Abstract: During the past twenty years Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) have increased educational access and affordability worldwide. The OER-OEP synergy reflects one of the most promising strategies for increasing access to education globally. Despite significant progress, emerging research suggests the need for a more concerted focus on moving from awareness raising to implementation. This article analyses the current status of OER and OEP in concert with the recent educational response to COVID-19 by educational providers with complimentary mini-case studies from Africa, Brazil, Canada, China, Sweden, and Turkey. The ICDE Ambassadors for the global advocacy of OER, and members of ICDE OER Advocacy Committee (authors) argue that in the six countries studied, there is a greater need and greater receptivity to expand access to education through OER and OEP. To better address the immediate needs of the COVID-19 educational crisis, and to make longer term educational improvements, countries should harness the policy supports and actionable steps offered by the UNESCO OER Recommendation. Currently, we see an opportunity to move OER-OEP to resilient sustainable education and the international policy framework to support such work. The article concludes with some general observations for the way forward.
Abstract: Open Educational Resources (OER) are becoming a significant, mission-driven trend within educational literature. To help address rising costs, instructors and designers are looking to OER to effectively replace traditional instructional content, which requires more than just identify and replace. Drawing from 51 OER studies conducted in countries across the five continents, this systematic literature review explored the empirical themes evident in the current research on a global scale. This review found (1) discoverability, sustainability, and remixing are significant barriers that stand in the way of OER disrupting traditional textbook models; (2) there is no significant difference in learning outcomes when instructors incorporate OER; and (3) implementation of OER as instructional strategies is challenging but can be effective in supporting positive learning outcomes when properly designed. The paper concludes with a discussion of gaps in the literature, considerations for implementation and further directions for future research.
Abstract: Academic institutions around the United States are facing pressure to reduce tuition and fees in order to keep higher education accessible. Open Education Resource (OER) is one attempt by academic institutions to provide high quality education resources at a lower cost to students, by replacing traditional textbooks with freely available or low cost materials. Libraries as information experts play an active role in the implementation of OER. This article looks at the current state of OER and what potential impacts OER will have on libraries.
Abstract: This study investigated Undergraduates’ Attitude towards the utilization of OER among Undergraduates and the influence of gender and area of specialization on their attitude towards the use. The study adopted a descriptive method of the quantitative research. 3 research questions were developed and answered. 398 respondents were randomly sampled from 3 purposively selected area of specializations. Frequency counts, percentage, rank order and mean were used to answer research questions 1 to 3. The findings of the study were:
Undergraduates have a positive attitude towards utilization of OER for learning; There was difference between male and female undergraduates’ attitude towards the utilization of OER for learning in favor of male undergraduates; and There were no significance differences among undergraduates based on Area of Specialization. The study concluded that students have a positive attitude towards use of OER for learning. The research recommends that institutions should endeavor to create their own OERs where students can access anytime and anywhere.
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