HEFCE investment: £4 million on 29 projects, including Oxford.Lack of evidence of demand and use – largely because difficult to find users. However, this situation has changed, as institutions involved in production/release projects now have a growing base of users of OER.
Qualitative becauseExploratory – seeks to find out what the issues are, as much as the frequency with which they occur: …much of the literature on evaluating impact concentrates on quantifiable measures such as download figures and Webometrics, with qualitative data adopting a secondary, supplementary role (as in Meyer, 2011); however, when exploring a hitherto under-researched area where the questions to investigate may be only vaguely defined, a qualitative approach is more suitable. This is particularly so when we are investigating expected changes in lecturers’ (and learners’) practice: looking for evidence of differences in what they do and in how they think about what they do (cf. Biggs, 2003)Looking at impact in terms of a change in behaviour: what people are doing differently (Wertsch 2002).(Assessing impact using qualitative measures is another area to explore: some tentative efforts made, but not reporting them here.)(Not reporting data from students: too scant to be meaningful.)
Capture the process of searching, evaluating, selecting in vivo Investigate challenges faced by OER ‘novices’ working alone101 searches recorded on log sheets
Enabling resources to be used in full confidence of the copyright terms attached to them: Addressing learners’ specific needs through providing opportunities for supplementary learning outside the classroom andalternative presentation of content to address students’ interests and preferences: Saving lecturers effort, through enabling them to offer their students learning materials where they lack the skills, the means or the time to create these themselvesBenchmarking their own practice in terms of content, approach and general quality when designing new programmes or modulesEnabling them to teach topics that lie outside their current expertiseStimulating networking and collaboration among lecturers, based on a ‘give and take’ (or, more accurately, ‘take and give’) principle: appropriating resources authored by others in order to fill a gap in one’s own repertoire and, conversely, identifying a specific gap in the resources available to support a particular subject domain; contributing materials to fill that gap; and obtaining feedback on the quality of those materials:
In relation to the question of effort, it is important to note that lecturers do not necessarily perceive OER as a means to save themselves time, at least, not in the short term ‘because, you know, you do have to spend [time] finding stuff, evaluating it, maybe correcting it, and getting it into the shape that you want’. Rather, the pay-off lies in ‘adding richness to your course.Despite these benefits, most of the experienced OER users admitted that they still own or create most of the materials they use for teaching, with OER mainly an extra: Reasons:A need to preserve one’s own ‘teaching voice’ (look at later) Cognitive-pedagogic benefits to be accrued to the lecturer where the learning involves the acquisition of novel concepts
That said, participants emphasised the vital importance of preserving the authenticity of their teaching (i.e. their own ‘teaching voice’), which is not open to negotiation, still less surrender, in adopting OER.. 3 very passionate quotes that don’t require further elaboration.(For reference if questions are asked about the data collected from students.)And awareness of the potential impact on students of the use of others’ materials: Students may soon be paying substantial tuition fees to their university, only to be offered freely available online resources originating from others:Lecturers’ awareness of this: I do sometimes worry about the issue, the fact that the students who come to your university will have paid to be taught by your university. [...] And here we are, taking them through an hour’s lecture and then saying, right, go and have a look at all this other stuff that’s freely available on the internet as part of your teaching experience at this university, which you’re paying for. I sometimes feel a little bit... well, I don’t know, I wonder if there are issues there with the students thinking, ‘Hang on, aren’t you supposed to be teaching it?’ In reply, W103 pointed out that the difference with paying to study is that one has the benefit of a teacher to provide a structure, context and support for one’s learning: the ‘pedagogic glue’: 2 things:1. Lecturer is ‘providing the pedagogical glue to hold the facts together. [...] it makes you think, well, you know, what is it as a tutor that... what value are you adding as a tutor coming into face-to-face contact with the student? So I think that’s what you’ve got to think about.’2. Lecturer should make it clear to students where they are not the authors of the learning materials being provided. – This can be triangulated by a quote from the students.
Interest in activities – not just resources, but also lesson plans and longer stretches of learning.THAT SAID… overall, they are mainly interested in little OER – small things.Illustrated in part by Dave’s metaphor of an iceberg – the big stuff being produced by JISC-funded projects is not necessarily addressing the needs of the mass of lecturers ‘out there’. We’ll return to this metaphor later.
For the third point:Lecturers appreciate resources that have a clear pedagogic intent embedded with them: that is, they have either been explicitly developed for educational purposes or can readily be co-opted for such a purpose. ‘pedagogic intent’ is suggestive of an affordance (i.e. that something may be used for a particular purpose) while ‘explicit teaching aims’ imply that the resource has been designed for learners with a specified level of competence, and to achieve a defined set of learning outcomes in relation to a particular topic.
(Ideally, use the ‘iceberg’ graphic from the ‘accessible’ report.)Cannot expect to achieve the same volume of OER as non-OER, but a critical mass does need to be reached if people are to be able to search with a degree of confidence that they will find something.The first quote is related to ‘search tools’ on the next slide: we need powerful search tools that return a manageable set of relevant resources.‘All roads lead to Google’: OER in OER repositories need to be findable via Google.
(Mnemonic – use only if needed)
Signs of emergent institutional strategies for fostering OER use in universities which already had a strong culture of reuse of ‘home-grown’ and/or externally sourced materials. In one university, strategic thinking appeared to have been triggered primarily by a desire to understand the potential market for its own resources rather than by a rationale of the pedagogic benefits of using OER to its own students and staffwe did uncover some grass-roots attempts to bring OER use closer to the universities’ policy makers: consultation processes and contacts at senior level, or by trying to make the accreditation of new courses dependent, in part, on OER use:A number of approaches to implementing these emergent strategies were also identifiable in our evidence, including an institution-wide curriculum design initiative, embedding OER use in professional development of early-career lecturers and customised workshops for individual departments. Two universities were even following the example of established repositories by improving the presentation of their resources and building a social network on top: ‘all the leading open education resource projects, MIT, MERLOT, Open Learn […] are now saying that we need a social layer; it’s not enough to have just your content and just to present it’ (S01).
Gap between discourse of learning technologists and most academicsLiteracies (digital and otherwise) of staff and students need supportDiscoverability still major barrier
DEPARTMENT FOR CONTINUING EDUCATIONTECHNOLOGY-ASSISTED LIFELONG LEARNINGOER Impact StudyMarion Manton - TALLDavid White - TALLLiz Masterman - OUCSJoanna Wild – OUCS19 January 2012
Overview Background to the study Defining OER and reuse What we did What we found New work Page 2
Background HEFCE investment in production and release of OER Lack of evidence of demand and use: „a major gap in understanding‟ (OER Synthesis project) Research questions: 1. Benefits of OER to educators and learners in HE 2. Factors conducive to uptake and sustained use: Attitudinal Pedagogic Logistical Strategic Page 3
OER Definitions „teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others‟ (Atkins, Brown & Hammond 2007) “Anything that I can identify, that I can scavenge from somewhere else, that might make my teaching a little bit easier.” Tutor “Its got to be CC [Creative Commons] or were not using it. Because that just removes all the complexities.” Strategist Page 4
What we did: Mostly qualitative Semi-structured interviews & focus groups with: Senior staff with strategic responsibility (10) Teaching staff already using OER (9) Students (17) Workshops with: Experienced teaching staff new to OER (16) Page 6
Workshops Capture the process in vivo Investigate experiences of OER „novices‟ Page 7
Perceived benefits of OER „no copyright issues, there‟s no worries; it‟s freely available‟ „extra learning opportunities, for reinforcement and preparation‟ „Engineers are very visually driven […] so I need something for them to hang a concept off‟ „if I can pick up three visualisations for one I‟ve created it means potentially I‟m reaching the students in a deeper way‟ „to make sure that I was creating something that looked equivalent or better‟ „found a module on genetics of obesity‟ „put materials to be shared and distributed […] in a way that then allows feedback to come, so it‟s a two-way process; […] you can then look to improve it‟ Page 8
Key points about benefits: Improve learner experience, not save time: „…adding richness to your course. […] I would never imagine it‟d save time, it‟s just that you carry on just getting it better and better.‟ Majority of materials (c80%) still their own: „… if it‟s relating to how you use a piece of software […] to me that would be fine to pull something from somebody else […] If I was trying to explain a concept to somebody […] then I would need to think how to present that […] how I would explain it to the student.‟ Page 9
Enabling factors:Attitudinal I think everyone in the university does this local sharing with colleagues, emailing things around: “Have you seen this resource? Use this presentation”‟ „…we need to be empowering students to understand that they can do exactly the same thing. If they have a learning problem, […] then they can just find these things through Google‟ „…it doesn‟t matter who‟s actually giving them that experience but […] they are getting it and they‟re being directed to it‟ „It‟s a growing culture now. Well, actually, we can do this. We can share. I can put stuff out there‟ „…to be stimulated by my peers as to their orientations and perspectives‟ Page 11
…but no surrender of one‟s own teaching voice Lecturers are not „neutral deliverers of objective content to passive recipients‟ „If you just took something generic and delivered it you […] wouldn‟t feel right with it; you want to put something of yourself into the design of the course.‟ „…the way somebody [else] delivers something is not the way you would naturally deliver it […] And then you spend a couple of hours re-jigging it to sound like you; using the concepts but put it in your style because you don‟t like their style because we‟re individuals.‟ I wonder if there are issues there with the students thinking, „Hang on, aren‟t you supposed to be teaching it?‟ Page 12
Enabling factors:Pedagogic Interest in activities as well as content Granularity: mainly interested in little OER: More control over its use Big OER for supplementary (optional) activities or teaching unfamiliar topic Confident in their ability to judge “[It‟s] academic judgement or its more sort of about a gut feeling that its the best way to do it.” Page 14
“What would you need to do to this resource toreuse it?”. Page 15
Enabling factors:Pedagogic Provenance: “It‟s my first port of call now, Jorum. I‟m on it all the time, looking for stuff… I can find really good stuff in there.” “Coming from a British university, for me, is fine. Why do I trust that more than some of the commercial sites? I dont know. Thats odd, isnt it? I think the university brings it that stamp of authority and quality, and often its been peer reviewed.” Page 16
Invisible reuse Benchmarking “Id be looking at level-appropriate sort of [resources] to find learning outcomes to make sure that I was creating something that looked equivalent or better.” Inspiration “I think it is a great source of ideas and imagination.” Page 17
Enabling factors:“Coming from a BritishLogisticalfor me, is fine. Whyuniversity,do I trust that more than some ofthe commercial sites? I dontknow. Thats odd, isnt it? I thinkthe university brings it thatstamp of authority and quality…” discovering Page 18
Enabling factors: Logistical “…we know they‟re out there; it‟s just that we‟re expecting to get more.” Discoverability: „All roads lead to Google‟ (61% success rate for general sites vs 38% for OER sites) „I put two search terms into [OER sites], they‟re nothing; and then went to Google and found those‟ Volume: „looking at 3,000 […] you end up checking on them randomly‟ vs „a general scarcity of decent resources‟ Discipline-related; interdisciplinary resources also hard to find Page 19
Enabling factors: Logistical Poor indexing; simplistic search tools: „are they using the same terminology I‟m using?‟ Registration and/or download required: „You had to click on and post your email address and various other things, as well, so I just didn‟t bother‟ „Couldn‟t access it directly as download and email address involved‟ Lack of licensing: „a US government video, so I assumed […] it was open source‟ OER or not OER? Only 50% of „successful‟ searches of OER sites yielded clear OER Page 20
Enabling factors:Logistical Media type important “I tend towards animations because they are very powerful in terms of their ability to teach dynamic situations.” “…a lot of the OER I grab off the web is to allow me to explain things in a visual or in an interactive way so that they [students] can interact with things. And the things that I create similarly are to do with allowing them to interact.” “I want something to support me, like a video clip, which I won‟t have the time to do or probably the expertise to do...” Variable opinions on media quality and student reactions Page 21
Enabling factors: Strategic Most strategic focus on OER creation Emergent strategic thinking (no strategies as such) Bottom-up/grass-roots initiatives: Contacts with senior staff New courses: „prove that there isn‟t any open content that‟s valuable‟ Practices to increase engagement: Curriculum design initiative Professional development Customised workshops Presentation of resources with „a social layer; it‟s not enough to have just your content and just to present it‟ Page 22
Students Generally oblivious to OER Contradictory perspective on value- issues “I do have certain expectations if I come to a university; I expect them to know something, to teach me something from their own, not … everything from other people, otherwise there‟s no authenticity to that.” “I think it‟s perfectly okay. If the lecturer, who is the person who‟s trained in everything, if they think it‟s a credible enough source and they think it‟s good enough, and that they think that they can‟t do better than this source, then we should … have access to that source.” Students Value curation of resources “…we need the lecturers to then draw a line and say, no, actually, …follow this link.” Student “…if the professor has recommended it, then we trust it.” Literacies in this area could be improved Page 23
Licensing and OER „great stuff out there‟ – but quite a way to go before the benefits are likely to be felt across the board. OER are distinct from other materials that can be found on the Web because of licensing But From the reuse perspective licensing is not the „big thing‟ about OER. More important from the reuse point of view is a whole culture of openness: that is, a shift in pedagogic approach in which OER are implicated. Page 25
Qualities of open practices and open (learning) content:Helen Beetham, JISC OER Synthesis and Evaluation team(http://oersynthesis.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2011/06/04/update-on-open-contentopen-practices/). Page 26
Conclusion: Towards Open EducationalPractice1. A belief in the value and validity of sharing and reusing resources, which may enhancement of the quality (and, hence, outcomes) of students‟ learning lecturers‟ personal professional development2. Using or encouraging others to use open resources…3. …within a supportive community: „Have you seen this resource? Use this presentation‟ vs „[I] think I would have stopped after 20 minutes or so on my own time‟ Page 27
Next at Oxford Sesame – Continuing Education Opening up Oxford: Weekly classes programme Embedding open practices in online support through OER creation Great Writers - OUCS OER around a theme Linked and enhance materials OER Engagement study – OUCS/SCORE In-depth investigation of situated practice of engagement with OER in institutional contexts Place within the overall teaching & learning strategy Position in the OER iceberg: above or below the waterline? How it links to other related practices Which barriers it is trying to overcome Page 28
Links to the OER Impact Study reports David White & Marion Manton: Open Educational Resources: The Value of Reuse in Higher Education Liz Masterman & Joanna Wild: OER Impact Study: Research Report Page 29
Picture creditsChild hidinghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/en321/33868864Cakeshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/sifu_renka/3071626060Super 8 camerahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rhk313/4846377172Book date stampshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/calsidyrose/6033655868 Page 30
DEPARTMENT FOR CONTINUING EDUCATIONTECHNOLOGY-ASSISTED LIFELONG LEARNINGThank youMarion Mantonmarion.firstname.lastname@example.orgTechnology-Assisted Lifelong LearningDepartment for Continuing EducationUniversity of Oxfordhttp://www.tall.ox.ac.uk This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Attribution: “JISC-funded OER Impact Study, University of Oxford, 2012”19 January 2012