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Identifying categories of OER users


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Using the work of the OER Research Hub at the Open University, different types of OER users are identified. The different strategies for reaching these audiences are considered

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Identifying categories of OER users

  1. 1. Identifying Categories of OER Users Martin Weller, Bea de los Arcos, Rob Farrow, Beck Pitt
  2. 2. OER Hub overview Hewlett Foundation 2012 Create an evidence base for the OER community Shift from belief driven statements Establish impact research
  3. 3. 11 hypotheses A - Performance: Use of OER leads to improvement in student performance and satisfaction B - Openness: The Open Aspect of OER creates different usage and adoption patterns than other online resources C - Access: Open Education models lead to more equitable access to education, serving a broader base of learners than traditional education D - Retention: Use of OER is an effective method for improving retention for at-risk students E - Reflection: Use of OER leads to critical reflection by educators, with evidence of improvement in their practice F - Finance: OER adoption at an institutional level leads to financial benefits for students and/or institutions G - Indicators: Informal learners use a variety of indicators when selecting OER H - Support: Informal learners adopt a variety of techniques to compensate for the lack of formal support, which can be supported in open courses I - Transition: Open education acts as a bridge to formal education, and is complementary, not competitive, with it J - Policy: Participation in OER pilots and programs leads to policy change at an institutional level K - Assessment: Informal means of assessment are motivators to learning with OER
  4. 4. Surveys 7498 respondents: Flipped Learning Network (n=118); CCCOER (n=128); Saylor (n= 3213); OpenLearn (n=1668); OU iTunesU (n=1114); Siyavula (n=89); Librarians (n=218); General Survey (n=147); School of Open (n=129); BCCampus (n=85); Open Stax (n= 400) and OU YouTube (n=189).
  5. 5. Different analyses Formal, informal, educators Against hypotheses Open textbooks Global south
  6. 6. My question Can we identify different types of OER users?
  7. 7. OER active Know what OER means Active and engaged in community Advocates Understand licences
  8. 8. Example Community College teacher who adopts a textbook, adapts it and contributes to open textbooks
  9. 9. Positive about OER 62.1% of educators and 60.7% of formal learners reported that using OER improved student satisfaction 44.1% of educators and 38.9% of formal learners agreed that OER use resulted in better test scores
  10. 10. But… Awareness of OER repositories is low compared with sites such as Khan Academy and TED. Disparity in belief and practice - only 14% of informal learners selected OER with an open license but 84% said they adapted the resources they found to fit their needs. Only 14.8% of educators published resources with a CC license but 70.4% considered open licensing important and 58.9% were familiar with the CC logo
  11. 11. So… Focus has been on expanding this group But there may be limits to how much it can grow
  12. 12. OER as facilitator Have some awareness of OER, Have a pragmatic approach toward them OERs are of secondary interest to their primary task
  13. 13. Example Flipped Learning network
  14. 14. Openness is useful benefit Online and free is main factor, but 79.4% of all OER users adapt resources to fit their needs “What I do is I look at a lot of free resources but I don’t usually give them directly to my students because I usually don’t like them as much as something I would create, so what I do is I get a lot of ideas”
  15. 15. Continuum of adaptation Get ideas Put it in diff context Adapts resource Importance of open licence increases teachers do not remain static on this continuum - the more educators used OER, the more willing they were to share
  16. 16. Cost saving Hilton et al (2014) found an average saving of $90.61 per course. 79.6% of formal students reported that they saved money by using open textbooks Improved retention Changes to pedagogy (Tidewater)
  17. 17. For this group Other goals may be primary focus OER as practical means of achieving these Some conversion then to OER active
  18. 18. OER consumer Use OER amongst a mix of other media & don’t differentiate Awareness of licences is low and not a priority OERs are a ‘nice to have’ option Users are largely consuming rather than creating and sharing
  19. 19. Example A student studying at university who uses iTunes U materials to supplement their taught material
  20. 20. Under-reported OER uses 32.4% informal learners using OER to try university-level content before signing up for a paid-for course Using OERs to supplement formal study - 46.9% of formal learners OER had a positive impact in helping them complete their course of study An alternative to formal study - 89% of learners using OER the opportunity to study at no cost 86.3% studying for personal interest
  21. 21. Quality is key “OER per se does not excite learners. Good content does - free or paid, legal or pirated. Siyavula's stuff works because it is GOOD. Being CC makes it legal to download, not fun to use. There are 100's of free/CC resources. 98% are useless to me” (educator using Siyavula content)
  22. 22. Discussion
  23. 23. Dark Reuse “If our goal is catalyzing and facilitating significant amounts of reuse and adaptation of materials, we seem to be failing. … If our goal is to create fantastically popular websites loaded with free content visited by millions of people each month, who find great value in the content but never adapt or remix it, then we’re doing fairly well.” David Wiley 3 groups represent way of realising both aspects
  24. 24. New strategies Continue to expand OER Active group BUT not only strategy Increase OER ‘brand’ Strategic content to compete with Kahn etc
  25. 25. Movement between groups Can occur – get the open bug Shouldn’t view as ‘progression’ Can have all three within one project eg Tidewater Z-degree
  26. 26. Discussion points Do you recognise these groups? Are there other groupings? What strategies should we adopt to reach them?
  27. 27. Links Data report: Data: Evidence report: @OER_Hub