Like many busy people in the world, I wear many hats. There are three specific hats I want to talk about today.
First hat, I am an open education practitioner working for a government funded post-secondary organization called eCampusOntario. Our mandate is to conduct research and explore teaching and learning practice in partnership with administrators and staff at 24 colleges and 21 universities in Ontario, Canada. My specific role at eCampusOntario is to support funded projects (exploring online and technology-enabled teaching and learning), and to support open community building and use of OER among educators at member institutions. There are approximately 25,000 educators and 800,000 post-secondary students in Ontario. A great part of my work is engaging with Ontario Open Rangers and Open Education Fellows, open advocates and researchers situated on a variety of campuses across Ontario. These are early adopters, those that are already using OER, and have knowledge they want to share with others about their interest in the potential of OER to positively impact post-secondary learning experiences.
Second hat, I am an doctoral candidate in the final year of a three-year Doctor of Education (Ed.D) program. I conduct my studies fully online at Arizona State University.
Third Hat. I am an extremely proud member of the Global OER Graduate Network, GO-GN. This is a group of 57 doctoral-level researchers working on studies about open education. Some are policy, use of OER, open educational practices, but all related to open paradigms in global education. Managed by the OER Hub team at the Open University UK, this community of practice is in its 7th year of growing and thriving. We share, we support each other, we publish, and do our best to embody the values of openness that we are researching. www.go-gn.net
As part of my appreciation for the support I receive from my GO-GN supporters, I try to contribute to the open global community in a variety of ways. I volunteer for committees, events, and open learning opportunities such as open education week, awareness raising within my Ontario province, and projects like 101openstories.org. I collaborate, co-create, and publish a variety of OER about OER and communicate to others where they can be found. As I near completion of my dissertation, I will publish in open access journals, and ensure as much of my data as possible is made available openly for others to explore. I welcome questions and opportunities learn from and to support the work of global others as much as my time allows.
My doctoral program requires that my research be grounded in a workplace problem of practice, all researchers in the program are working full time in an education role in addition to conducting doctoral studies Mixed Methods Action Research is also a requirement of the program (I’m following Ivankova, 2015 MMAR) Related to my eCampusOntario professional role, I have defined my problem of practice as, “Awareness and use of open educational resources is not widespread in Ontario post-secondary education.” Action research typically requires an intervention of some kind related to the stated problem. In my case I am developing workshops and materials for Ontario educators. This professional development is designed to raise awareness and hopefully increase use of OER. The purpose of my study is to develop and refine professional learning strategies that increase awareness and use of OER among Ontario post-secondary educators.
Related to my purpose, my research questions focus on two participant groups, open education advocates (in a variety of post-secondary roles such as librarians, instructional designers, educators, and technologists), and post-secondary educators, instructors that are currently teaching at least one course. In my Ontario context, post-secondary educators have a spectrum of autonomy related to selection of course materials, but in large measure, educators are empowered to select core and supplemental resources for their own teaching practice. How do open education advocates define their goals and motivation about use of OER? Among educators, how might attitude, social norms, and self-efficacy related to OER affect intention to use OER? What barriers do educators identify related to using OER? What design for OER professional development would educators recommend?
Quantitative elements of the study. So the study is mixed methods action research. For the quantitative element of the study, my work is informed by Azjen’s (1995) Theory of Planned Behavior. Azjen developed a framework (initially for healthcare behavioral change processes) to determine which personal elements (among the constructs attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and intention) had the strongest affect on a person’s actual behaviour. Using a pre-intervention and post-intervention survey instrument, I will use Likert scale items capture and analyze pre- and post- workshop responses to determine if the workshops lead to a change of some kind in any of the constructs. Workshops may be further refined to accommodate areas of influence, for example if attitude about OER seems to have a significant impact on actual use of OER, then future workshops might focus more on attitude than self-efficacy.
On the qualitative side of my mixed methods, I’m influenced by Karl Weick’s Sensemaking framework. Weick is an organizational psychologist, a pioneer in this discipline practice. In his book Sensemaking in Organizations he explores his own extensive practice with employees and administrators in a wide variety of organizations, including higher eduction institutions. Wieck cites many organizational change management studies and strategies, and provides an overview of individual, team, and organizational processes of “making sense” when faced with disruption and external pressures for change. In my view, open education and use of OER is a disruption in post-secondary education that continues to capture the attention of learners, educators, administrators, and governments in small and large ways. I seek to learn more about processing (making sense) of OER by engaging in meaningful conversations with educators about how they find and select course resources for their teaching practice. I will be asking them how they feel about OER (positive and negative feelings), and observing what they experience as they learn more and practice finding and using OER. I will also be interviewing a sub-set of participants post-intervention (after they complete their post-intervention survey instruments) to explore their perspectives in depth.
My current stage of research is data collection. A challenging element of this stage for me is a low response to recruitment for face-to-face workshops at the 2 Ontario universities and 2 Ontario colleges I’ve selected for my study (a subset of the 24 colleges and 21 universities). At University A in my study I have a robust 10-person group of educators for different disciplines to work with. At the other institutions only 2 or 3 per institution, which is not an ideal number based on my research design.
I have developed a Plan B, and will be offering a two-week Cross-Canada Mini-MOOC from June 1 - 15, 2018. The MOOC, called Making Sense of Open Education will be open to any interested global educator, and will be designed as an introductory-level learning experience for post-secondary educators. It will only be offered in English, and I will be recruiting actively for Ontario educators (to satisfy my contextual needs). I will partner with the Ontario Open Rangers and OE Fellows to design and deliver the short course. It will be delivered on the Moodle-based OpenLearn platform, provided by the Open University UK, and all materials will also be made available with no password required for those that wish to learn or use the resources outside of the OpenLearn environment. It will be a mix of short daily learning opportunities and active practice assessments and will include a social media community-building element. Thank you for your attention and interest in my work, please let me know if you have any questions or ideas related to my research.
Making sense of open education
Making sense of
Jenni Hayman, Doctoral Candidate
Arizona State University
Mixed Methods Action Researc
Ivankova (2015): Mertler (2016)
Problem of Practice
Icek Azjen (2005) Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB)
• Subjective Norm (social expectations of others)
• Perceived Behavioral Control (self-efficacy)
Karl Weick (1995) Sensemaking in Organizations
• Making sense is a process
• Continuous for practitioners
• Can be rapid or extended depending on complexity of issu
• Can be individual, team, or organizational in nature
• Can be borne of a new process rather than a disruption
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