Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Who are the open learners? A comparative study profiling non-formal users of open educational resources

1,709 views

Published on

A summary of research into user profiles of three different repositories of open educational resources.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Who are the open learners? A comparative study profiling non-formal users of open educational resources

  1. 1. Who are the open learners? Dr. Rob Farrow Dr. Bea de los Arcos Dr. Beck Pitt Prof. Martin Weller The Open University, UK #opened2015 OPEN EDUCATION RESEARCH HUB
  2. 2. Farrow, R., de los Arcos, B., Pitt, R. & Weller, M. (forthcoming). Who are the open learners? A comparative study profiling non- formal users of open educational resources. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning.
  3. 3. @philosopher1978 @oer_hub
  4. 4. OER Hub Study design / methodology Demographics OER behaviours / attitudes Discussion & further research
  5. 5. OER Hub Study design / methodology Demographics OER behaviours / attitudes Discussion & further research
  6. 6. OER Hub Study design / methodology Demographics OER behaviours / attitudes Discussion & further research
  7. 7. OER Hub Study design / methodology Demographics OER behaviours / attitudes Discussion & further research
  8. 8. OER Hub Study design / methodology Demographics OER behaviours / attitudes Discussion & further research
  9. 9. • Research project 2013-2015 at The Open University (UK) • Funded by William & Flora Hewlett Foundation • Tasked with building the most comprehensive picture of OER impact • Organised by eleven research hypotheses • Collaboration model works across different educational sectors • Global reach but with a USA focus • Openness in practice: methods, data, dissemination OER Research Hub oerresearchhub.org  oerhub.net
  10. 10. OER Evidence Report 2014 http://tinyurl.com/oerevidence
  11. 11. OER Data Report 2013-2015 http://tinyurl.com/oerdata
  12. 12. Project Co-PILOT
  13. 13. Study design / methodology • Why look at non-formal learning? Finding evidence ‘in the wild’ • Collaborative, modular survey design • Some respondents are in formal education, but not connected with OER • Collectors on different OER repositories; active for several months • 3127 usable responses • Full survey data set is available from http://bit.ly/oerhubdata
  14. 14. Geographical spread of survey responses 8621
  15. 15. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Under 15 15-18 19-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 Over 75 Saylor (n=2299) iTunesU (n=103) OpenLearn (n=725) Age profiles by repository (N=3127)
  16. 16. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Saylor (n=2257) iTunesU (n=102) OpenLearn (n=731) Male Female Transgender Gender profiles by repository (N=3090)
  17. 17. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% No formal qualification School leaving qualification (16-18 years) Vocational qualification (i.e. practical, trade-based) College diploma or certificate Undergraduate/Bachelors University degree Postgraduate/Graduate School University degree OpenLearn (n=719) iTunesU (n=104) Saylor (n=2215) Highest prior educational qualification (N=3038)
  18. 18. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Employed (full time) Employed (part time) Volunteer (full time) Volunteer (part time) Student (full time) Student (part time) Unwaged (seeking work) Unwaged (domestic) Unwaged (disability) Retired OpenLearn (n=732) iTunesU (n=110) Saylor (n=2300) Employment profiles by repository (N=3142)
  19. 19. 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% Visual Hearing Speech Mobility Learning Neurological Mental Long Term/Chronic DisabilityProfile OpenLearn (n=737) iTunesU (n=102) Saylor (n=2298) Disability profiles by repository (N=3137)
  20. 20. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Personal interest Family interest Professional development Study related to work Support formal studies For use when training others at work For use when teaching To find information To share with others To improve study skills To improve 2nd language skills Saylor (n=2077) iTunesU (n=94) OpenLearn (n=612) Reasons for using OER (N=2783)
  21. 21. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Computing Psychology Religion Social Science Language/Linguistics Science Mathematics Arts Literature History Economics Engineering Medicine Health Education Physical Education Special Education Other Subjectareas OpenLearn (n=496) iTunesU (n=110) Saylor (n=1750) OER repository use by subject area (N=2356)
  22. 22. Most popular subject areas Repository Most popular subject 2nd ranked subject 3rd ranked subject Saylor (n=1750) Economics (34.2%) Computing (33.2%) Mathematics (28.2%) OpenLearn (n=496) Languages (29.8%) Sciences / Arts (24.6%) Computing (23.8%) iTunesU (n=110) Psychology (60.9%) Sciences (57.3%) Mathematics / Literature History (40.0%)
  23. 23. Reasons for using OER (N=3025) 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% The opportunity to study at no cost The chance to try university-level content before signing up The materials can be used flexibly The materials can be accessed at any time The materials can be studied online A desire to have a learning experience To find information (non-formal study) Saylor (n=2293) OpenLearn (n=732)
  24. 24. Patterns of OER repository use (N=2460) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Saylor (n=1802) iTunesU (n=104) OpenLearn (n=554)
  25. 25. Indicators used by non-formal learners to select OER (N=2975) 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Evidence of interest from others Recently updated/uploaded Ease of download/access Clear learning outcomes Reputation of creator Creative Commons licensing Open licensing for adaptation Length/complexity of resource Interactive/multimedia content Positive reviews or ratings Personal recommendation Successful previous use Relevance to particular need Attractive presentation Being required for formal study Resource previously used by formal students Detailed description of resource OpenLearn (n=729) Saylor (n=2246)
  26. 26. Challenges faced when using OER (N=1669) 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Saylor (n=1175) iTunesU (n=94) OpenLearn (n=400)
  27. 27. Support techniques used by non-formal learners (N=1892) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Discussion via social networks Discussion in online forums Discussion in person Discussion via microblogging Discussion via videochat Consulting and/or editing wikis Writing or reading blogs Writing study notes Informal study groups Use of a learning journal/diary Use of additional resources such as CDs, books, video Use of a study calendar/plan Use of digital note-taking applications OpenLearn (n=398) Saylor (n=1494)
  28. 28. Behaviours relating to use/reuse/review of OER (N=907) 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Adaptation of OER Creation of OER Publication of OER on open licence Added OER to a repository Reviewed quality of public OER OpenLearn (n=210) Saylor (n=697)
  29. 29. Impact of OER use on future behavior of Saylor users (n=1858) 84.6% 19.8% 78.3% 74.9% 35.6% 57.8% 77.7% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Take a free course / study OER Take a paid-for course Do further research in the subject Download more materials from the repository Make use of repository materials for teaching Share repository materials with others Recommend repository content to others More likely No change Less likely Don't know
  30. 30. Impact of OER use on future behavior of iTunesU users (n=94) 81.9% 23.4% 83.0% 86.2% 36.2% 59.6% 69.1% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Take a free course / study OER Take a paid-for course Do further research in the subject Download more materials from the repository Make use of repository materials for teaching Share repository materials with others Recommend repository content to others More likely No change Less likely Don't know
  31. 31. Impact of OER use on future behavior of OpenLearn users (n=583) 86.1% 31.4% 77.7% 73.2% 29.2% 44.8% 73.9% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Take a free course / study OER Take a paid-for course Do further research in the subject Download more materials from the repository Make use of repository materials for teaching Share repository materials with others Recommend repository content to others More likely No change Less likely Don't know
  32. 32. discussion & takeaway points profiling users of oer repositories
  33. 33. iTunesU channel users were much more likely to be younger and were mostly male. They are often in full time education and use OER on an informal basis outside of their formal studies to pursue interest in a wide range of subjects
  34. 34. Saylor Academy users are more likely to be in employment and already in possession of a degree. They tended to be middle aged and primarily motivated by professiona development.
  35. 35. OpenLearn users were more likely to be older, retired, and female, and had a higher proportion of users who were motivated mainly by personal interest (though 40% are in full time employment).
  36. 36. discussion & takeaway points
  37. 37. discussion & takeaway points • Data about prior qualification supports idea that OER mainly used by already educated
  38. 38. discussion & takeaway points • Data about prior qualification supports idea that OER mainly used by already educated • Very high degree of satisfaction with OER across all repositories
  39. 39. discussion & takeaway points • Data about prior qualification supports idea that OER mainly used by already educated • Very high degree of satisfaction with OER across all repositories • However, this doesn’t necessarily equate to increased likelihood of formal study
  40. 40. Impact of OER repository on likelihood of future study Repository More likely to study formally Less likely to study formally Saylor (n=1858) 19.8% 19.9% OpenLearn (n=583) 31.4% 13.9% iTunesU (n=94) 23.4% 25.5%
  41. 41. discussion & takeaway points • Data about prior qualification supports idea that OER mainly used by already educated • Very high degree of satisfaction with OER across all repositories • However, this doesn’t necessarily equate to increased likelihood of formal study • Most learners use a small number of repositories and indicate little awareness of OER as concept/method
  42. 42. discussion & takeaway points • Data about prior qualification supports idea that OER mainly used by already educated • Very high degree of satisfaction with OER across all repositories • However, this doesn’t necessarily equate to increased likelihood of formal study • Most learners use a small number of repositories and indicate little awareness of OER as concept/method • High level of ‘adaptation’
  43. 43. discussion & takeaway points relation to project hypotheses
  44. 44. Many factors appear to be at play, including: detailed metadata; subject area and level of study; format; perceived relevance; reputation of repository or creator; evident learning outcomes; ease of access; and evidence of interest from others. Less important factors included open licensing and attractive presentation. Non-formal learners use a variety of indicators when selecting OER
  45. 45. Non-formal learners use a wide range of study techniques, with taking notes; reading and writing blogs; discussion both online and in person among the most commonly reported techniques. Non-formal learners adopt a variety of techniques to compensate for the lack of formal support, which can be supported in open courses
  46. 46. Open education acts as a bridge to formal education, and is complementary, not competitive, with it Open education acts as a bridge to formal education, and is complementary, not competitive, with it For many learners OER use makes them feel more likely to embark on formal study but there also appears to be a significant minority of non-formal learners who believe their learning needs are being met without the need for a more supported or formalized experience.
  47. 47. Non-formal means of assessment are motivators to learning with OER Non-formal means of assessment are motivators to learning with OER Online assessments / badges were not identified as a major motivating factor; though they may be more important in the context of MOOC where learning assessment and certification is more central.
  48. 48. Farrow, R. de los Arcos, B., Pitt, R. & Weller, M. (forthcoming). Who are the open learners? A comparative study profiling non-formal users of open educational resources. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning.
  49. 49. • Research into open education and strategies for building worldwide open education research capacity • Available for research & consultancy (short & long term) • Current projects include: Open Education Research Hub
  50. 50. http://oerworldmap.org
  51. 51. Thanks for listening! oerhub.net oermap.org rob.farrow@open.ac.uk @philosopher1978

×