The weather may have cooled down since Bea’s review of our activity in April, but it’s been another scorcher of a month here at the OER Research Hub (OERRH) during May…


Fresh back from OER14 in Newcastle, we were honoured to host our final open fellow, Alan Levine, here at the Open University (UK). Alan’s fellowship focuses on the impact of the Maricopa Millions initiative, which reported student savings of almost $700K by Fall 2013. Alan has conducted a series of interviews with educators at community colleges in Maricopa, Arizona and will be working with OERRH researcher Rob Farrow over the coming months to look at the impact this OER initiative is having. In the meantime, check out Alan’s interviews with James Sousa, Sian Proctor and David Weaver.

Beck. Alan & Nats (Photo: Alan Levine, CC-BY-SA 2.0,

L-R: Beck. Alan & Nats line up for the “banner shot” (Photo: Alan Levine, CC-BY-SA 2.0,

Later in the month, we also hosted a visit from Nick Isles, Deputy Principal of MK College who had recently visited Chicago to find out more about US education practices. Nick met with Rob to talk about our work and US community colleges. Check out Nick’s blog post on his US trip here.

Out and About 

Our PI and IET‘s Director Patrick McAndrew and Business Improvement and Programme Manager, Gary Elliott-Cirigottis, visited Santa Cruz, California to participate in a Hewlett Communications meeting during May. Gary fed back some of his experiences at a recent team meeting and we’re looking forward to exploring the potential of storytelling as a way of expressing the development and achievements of the project over the coming months! We’ll be posting more on this shortly. In the meantime, if you’re curious to find out more, check out Andy Goodman’s presentation slides Storytelling as Best Practice.

Martin Weller: ICDE Chair 

Still buzzing with excitement from our OCWC Open Research Award last month, we were totally stoked to hear that OERRH co-PI, Martin Weller, was granted an International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) chair during May. To quote Martin from the official OU announcement:

“I am delighted and honoured to have received this award. It is recognition of all the excellent work the Open University has done in the field of OER over the past decade, including OpenLearn, TESSA, and the OER Research Hub. I am looking forward to working with the other OER Chairs on advancing the work in this exciting area.”

Congratulations, Martin!


We held not one, but two, webinars during May! First up was OER Localisation: Adapting OER for Local Contexts. Open fellow Leigh-Anne Perryman and TESS-India‘s Tim Seal and Alison Hemmings-Buckler explored their research to date on the process of facilitating remixing of OER in a range of different settings across seven states in India.

Later in the month, Beck Pitt was joined by open fellow Megan Beckett (Siyavula) and linked fellow Daniel Williamson (OpenStax College) to discuss and contexualise the findings of surveys that were carried out with open textbook using educators during autumn/winter 2013 and early 2014. Thanks to all those who participated in the webinars and if you missed them, find out more and watch the recordings here.


Leigh-Anne (centre, front row) during her research visit to India in 2013 (Photo: CC-BY Leigh-Anne Perryman)

Data Analysis and Impact Map Update 

May saw our data guru Bea working on combining over 6,000 OERRH survey responses from all around the world and across all our collaborations to create what could be described as our “monster dataset.” Currently this dataset is comprised of over 50% informal learners, and roughly 20% each of educator and formal learner respondents. An additional 4% of the dataset is made up of librarian respondents.

As you may be aware, our survey methodology (with key questions aligned to each hypothesis and used systematically across our surveys) means we can compare data from across collaborations. Bea’s additional work enables us to go further and provides us with the means to delve deeper and look for patterns and trends across our data as a whole.

Moreover, Bea’s work provides the basis for a new addition to our Impact Map. As part of the Impact Map’s next phase of development, our developer Martin Hawksey will be working with Rob to examine how best we can visualise our anonymised survey data so that you can run queries and explore the data yourself. In addition to our planned Survey Explorer Rob and Martin will also be making some interface improvements and other additions to the Impact Map. More from Bea, Rob and Martin shortly.

In the meantime, if you missed May’s review of Hewlett’s mapping prototypes, or want to find out why our Impact Map “…isn’t just one map…[but] a collection of different mapping techniques…” check out Rob’s The value of an #OERmap and Martin’s Studio Tour, respectively.

Open Research Course 

After several months work, we went to community review with our School of Open course on open research. More on the course’s launch date and sign-up period shortly. In the meantime, and whilst you will be able to browse the course materials prior to sign-up shortly, you can read feedback and explore the draft course here. Thanks to all those who have contributed feedback to date, and a special shout out to Jane Park at Creative Commons for all her support!

Next Month 

What’s coming up in June? The team will be out in force at CALRG 2014, where we’ll be presenting on open research, flipped learning and the Impact Map.  Then our Flipped Learning expert Bea will be hopping over the pond to Mars, PA for FlipCon14 (#flipcon14). More from Bea next month but if you’re heading to Mars, PA don’t forget to check out her session on how openness can make a difference to flipping the classroom in the K12 context (Weds 25 June at 08.30).