Monday, November 24, 2014

#OER Evidence Report 2013-2014

A summary report of research on the impact of Open Educational Resources (OER) has been published (on open access, naturally). It is produced by the OER Research Hub.
Full details of the methods aren't given, but surveys were undertaken by project partners, and, aggregated, there were (in terms of number of respondents) "By role: informal learners (50.3%, n= 3212); formal learners (24.7%, n= 1578); educators (21.6%, n=1382); and librarians (3.4%, n=218)". They were aiming to test 11 hypotheses, namely: Use of OER leads to improvement in student performance and satisfaction; The Open Aspect of OER creates different usage and adoption patterns than other online resources; Open Education models lead to more equitable access to education, serving a broader base of learners than traditional education; etention: Use of OER is an effective method for improving retention for at-risk students; Reflection: Use of OER leads to critical reflection by educators, with evidence of improvement in their practice; Finance: OER adoption at an institutional level leads to financial benefits for students and/or institutions; Informal learners use a variety of indicators when selecting OER; Informal learners adopt a variety of techniques to compensate for the lack of formal support, which can be supported in open courses; Open education acts as a bridge to formal education, and is complementary, not competitive, with it; Participation in OER pilots and programs leads to policy change at an institutional level; Informal means of assessment are motivators to learning with OER.
A short section is devoted to presenting evidence relevant to each hypothesis.
de los Arcos, B., Farrow, R., Perryman, L.-A., Pitt, R. & Weller, M. (2014). OER Evidence Report 2013-2014: building understanding in open education.
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, November 2014

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