BC Campus Open Textbook project
Dates: January 2014 – December 2015
Understanding educator use of OER and open textbooks across British Columbia
Since 2012 the British Columbia (BC) Open Textbook project has produced a range of open textbooks for use in Higher Education institutions the BC province. As at April 2016 the project has a total of 140 open textbooks available, saved over 13,000 students $1.3-1.7 million and is aware of 421 adoptions of materials at 27 participating institutions [REF].
Our work with BCcampus, in conjunction with their Faculty Fellows and colleagues, comprised of a survey of educators across British Columbia and a report, which concluded with a series of targeted recommendations to facilitate OER use at HE institutions. The research produced a unique insight into open textbook use across the project and helped the project better understand educator use and understanding of OER, sharing practices and the impact of resources used. Research also investigated educator use and perceptions of BCcampus open textbooks and included questions around perceived quality of open textbooks. The study was groundbreaking in looking at personality traits in relation to open practices and found a relation between being open to new experiences and the reuse and creation of OER.
Jhangiani, R. Pitt, R. Hendricks, C. Key, J. Lalonde, C. (2016) Exploring the Use of Open Educational Resources at British Columbia Post-Secondary Institutions BCcampus research report, Victoria, British Columbia.
Jhangiani, R. Pitt, R. Hendricks, C. & Lalonde, C. Faculty attitudes towards OER and open textbooks in British Columbia and Beyond OpenEd 2015, Vancouver, British Columbia (19 November 2015) http://www.slideshare.net/thatpsychprof/faculty-attitudes-towards-oer
Distinguishing the dOERs: Faculty use of Open Educational Resources. BCcampus: Open Education Week webinar (10 March 2015) https://open.bccampus.ca/2015/02/06/open-webinars-for-open-education-week/
Dates: Dec 2012 – August 2014
Helping community colleges in the USA better understand the difference OER is making to students, institutions and educator practices
The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) at the Open Education Consortium is composed of over 250 community and technical colleges representing individual, regional, and statewide consortia members in 17 North American states and provinces. OER Research Hub worked with CCCOER to collect quantitative and qualitative data from educators in seven states about the impact of using OER on their students, institutions and educational practice. The results showed that most educators reported positive effects on teaching practice as a result of OER use, particularly around peer collaboration and improved subject knowledge. Positive effects were also identified for learners, especially around increased self-reliance, subject interest and experimentation. The research also revealed that while many OER creators in colleges believe in the value of open licensing, few seem to practice it. Most educators believe OER saves their students money but the picture is less clear for financial savings in institutions.
Results were disseminated through the CCCOER network, through a webinar programme, and at high-profile conference presentation, helping educators to better understand their own practice and strategies for OER adoption. Community colleges were intended to increase educational access by being low cost and having open enrolments. They were also set up to facilitate credit transfer to universities. Growth was rapid though the 1960s and 1970s. There are now 1,166 colleges in the USA, providing access to high quality affordable academic programmes as well as preparing students for further study.
Farrow, R. & Daly, U. (2014). OER Impact at Community Colleges. eLearning 2014. Hilton Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, Florida, USA. Available from http://www.slideshare.net/OER_Hub/20140215-oerrh-cccoer-pres-34906775.
Farrow, R. & Daly, U. (2014). OER Research Hub examines OER Impact in community colleges. Open Education Global 2014: Open Education for a Multicultural World. Available from http://conference.oeconsortium.org/2014/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Paper_85.pdf.
Pitt, R. (2014). OER Research on Open Textbook adoption and Librarians (webinar). Available from http://www.slideshare.net/OER_Hub/cccoer-42566531.
Daly, U. (2013). CCCOER / OER Research Hub Fellowship Report. Available from http://www.slideshare.net/UnaDaly/cccoer-oerrh-fellowship.
Date: July 2013 – Dec 2014
Helping OER providers to better understand their audiences and their needs
Saylor Academy provides complete free, college-level courses presented similarly to enrollment majors at traditional U.S. colleges. Consultant subject experts and instructional designers create outlines for courses which are then populated with openly licensed content as well as bespoke material. Courses are peer-reviewed before release on a CC-BY Attribution Licence. Some Saylor courses are accredited but alternative assessments (such as badges) are also encouraged.
One consequence of the Saylor open distribution model is that it can be hard to understand how the end user – typically studying privately – is engaging with their material. Through a programme of survey based research engaging with non-formal users of Saylor materials it became possible to have a clearer understanding of how these users compare with users of other repositories; what motivates their study; the impact on their learning; and how exposure to OER influences future behaviour. Our research showed that most of their users were well educated and interested in primarily interested in professional development. An unanticipated finding was a relatively high level of OER adaptation by these learners. This information was shared through OER Research Hub reports and academic papers as well as feeding into Saylor Academy strategy..
Farrow, R., de los Arcos, B., Pitt, R., & Weller, M. (2015). Who are the Open Learners? A Comparative Study Profiling non-Formal Users of Open Educational Resources. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-learning, 18(2). http://oro.open.ac.uk/4496
Presentation from Open Ed 2015 http://www.slideshare.net/robertfarrow/who-are-the-open-learners-a-comparative-study-profiling-nonformal-users-of-open-educational-resources
Dates: Jan 2013- June 2014
Localising OER to meet the needs of educators in India
TESS-India aims to use OER both in training new teachers, to meet a shortfall estimated at 1.33 million, and in improving the practice of existing teachers, reducing pressure on teacher education institutions and enabling them to deliver quality teacher training, at scale and speed, to both teachers in training and teachers in the classroom. The project worked in partnership with Indian states and a range of education institutions to create the first and biggest network of freely available, high quality, teacher education resources in India, co-written by UK and Indian academic experts and available both in print and online. OER Research Hub fellow Leigh-Anne Perryman conducted research on the process of OER localisation, whereby various aspects of the teacher education materials (e.g. language, pedagogy, imagery and cultural references) are adapted to meet the needs of each of the Indian states in which those resources will be delivered. A large-scale pan-India survey of attitudes towards OER use, adoption and practice in a variety of settings is currently in progress.
Perryman, L.-A. & Seal, T. (2015). Open educational practices and attitudes to openness across India: reporting the findings of the OER Research Hub pan-India survey. In: OER15, 14-15 April 2015, Cardiff. http://oro.open.ac.uk/43345/
Perryman, L.-A. & Coughlan, T. (2014). When two worlds don’t collide: can social curation address the marginalisation of open educational practices and resources from outside academia? Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2014(2), article no. 3. http://oro.open.ac.uk/41629/