Who are the Open Learners? A Comparative Study Profiling non-Formal Users of Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) have been identified as having the potential to extend opportunities for learning to non-formal learners. However, little research has been conducted into the impact of OER on non-formal learners. This paper presents the results of a systematic survey of more than 3,000 users of open educational resources (OER). Data was collected between 2013 and 2014 on the demographics, attitudes and behaviours of users of three repositories.

Questions included a particular focus on the behaviours of non-formal learners and the relationship between formal and non-formal study. Frequency analysis shows that there are marked differences in patterns of use, user profiles, attitudes towards OER, types of materials used and popularity of different subjects. The experience of using OER is fairly consistent across platforms in terms of satisfaction and impact on future behaviour. On the whole, non-formal learners surveyed were highly positive about their use of OER and believe they will continue to use them.

With regards to this making formal study more likely some degree of polarization was observed: some believed formal study was now more likely, while others felt it made this less likely. On the whole, while non-formal learners are enthusiastic about using free and online resources, the language and concept of OER does not seem to be well understood in the groups surveyed. A range of findings relating to OER selection and use as well as differences between repositories are explored in the discussion.

URL : http://www.eurodl.org/?p=current&abstract=707

Publié dans : EN | Étiqueté :

Donor Funded Open Educational Resources: Making the Case


This paper aims to explain the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) and how libraries can make a good case to donors to fund these types of projects.


The literature reveals that donors have been willing to support projects that save students money on textbooks. Course reserves have traditionally been a popular model. More recently, libraries have found funding for OER initiatives. These types of initiatives are discussed and several case studies of donors currently funding OER projects are examined.


Donors, internal and external to the library and to the university, have shown an interest in funding projects that reduce textbook costs for students. They have funded course reserves in the past and have begun to fund OER projects. There are both qualitative and quantitative methods to induce donors to fund these types of projects.


Libraries have traditionally supported the mission of access to information and for academic libraries that has sometimes included access to textbooks. Course reserves are a limited solution, whereas when an OER replaces an expensive textbook, it is a viable solution for all students.


OERs have strong social implications. Any person, whether associated with an institution of higher learning, or not, can access the information in an OER and learn the associated content.


There is some literature on specific OER projects. This paper aims to fill a gap in the literature, specifically on how to approach donors regarding OER initiatives.

URL : http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/57920

Open Scholarship Practices Reshaping South Africa’s Scholarly Publishing Roadmap

South African higher education institutions are the largest producers of research output on the African continent. Given this status, South African researchers have a moral obligation to share their research output with the rest of the continent via a medium that minimizes challenges of access; open scholarship is that medium. The majority of South African higher education libraries provide an open access publishing service. However, in most of these cases this service is via engagement with the green open access route, that is, institutional repositories (IR).

Some of the libraries have piloted and adopted gold open access services such as publishing of “diamond” gold open access journals and supporting article processing charges. The experiment with publishing open monographs is a new venture. This venture must be viewed against the backdrop of the need for open educational resources (OERs). OER is an area that is very much in a fledgling stage and is gaining traction, albeit, at a slow pace.

The growth of IRs, the growth in support for gold open access including the library acting as a publisher, the experimentation with open monographs, and OERs are all shaping South Africa’s scholarly publishing roadmap.

URL : Open Scholarship Practices Reshaping South Africa’s Scholarly Publishing Roadmap

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/publications3040263

Developing a Sustainable Financial Model in Higher Education for Open Educational Resources

Financial issues regarding the sustainable production, dissemination, and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education are reviewed and proposed solutions critiqued. Use of OER produce demonstrable cost savings for students. Yet OER development continues to rely almost completely on government and philanthropic funding.

This indicates that a mismatch exists between the financial interests of students and those of higher education institutions. Before OER will be broadly adopted, changes to government policy are required to align institutional objectives with faculty motivations and student needs.

URL : Developing a Sustainable Financial Model in Higher Education for Open Educational Resources

Alternative location : http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/2133

A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students

In some educational settings, the cost of textbooks approaches or even exceeds the cost of tuition. Given limited resources, it is important to better understand the impacts of free open educational resources (OER) on student outcomes. Utilizing digital resources such as OER can substantially reduce costs for students. The purpose of this study was to analyze whether the adoption of no-cost open digital textbooks significantly predicted students’ completion of courses, class achievement, and enrollment intensity during and after semesters in which OER were used. T

his study utilized a quantitative quasi-experimental design with propensity-score matched groups to examine differences in outcomes between students that used OER and those who did not. The demographics of the initial sample of 16,727 included 4909 students in the treatment condition with a pool of 11,818 in the control condition. There were statistically significant differences between groups, with most favoring students utilizing OER.

URL : http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12528-015-9101-x

Open Textbooks at Oregon State University: A Case Study of New Opportunities for Academic Libraries and University Presses

« INTRODUCTION. This article describes a joint open textbook publishing initiative begun in 2013 between Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries and Press and the Open Educational Resources and Emerging Technologies unit of Oregon State University’s Extended Campus.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM. This initiative combines the Open Access values and project management resources of OSU Libraries, the book production (peer review, editing, design, marketing) expertise of OSU
Press, and the technological development skills of the Open Educational Resources and Emerging Technologies unit. Authored by OSU faculty and focused across some of the University’s signature areas, the initiative seeks to establish a sustainable model for research libraries and university presses to collaborate with each other and other partners to publish open textbooks that will benefit students on both economic and educational levels. The article analyzes how open textbooks fit within the emerging library publishing movement, examines the implementation of the OSU open textbook publishing initiative, and conveys some lessons learned for other libraries to consider as they entertain the possibility of similar collaborations.

Next Steps. A description of next steps includes tracking course adoptions of the textbooks as well as establishing sustainable digital publishing platforms and business models. »

URL : Open Textbooks at Oregon State University: A Case Study of New Opportunities for Academic Libraries and University Presses

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.1174

The Battle for Open : How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory

« With the success of open access publishing, Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and open education practices, the open approach to education has moved from the periphery to the mainstream. This marks a moment of victory for the open education movement, but at the same time the real battle for the direction of openness begins. As with the green movement, openness now has a market value and is subject to new tensions, such as venture capitalists funding MOOC companies. This is a crucial time for determining the future direction of open education.
In this volume, Martin Weller examines four key areas that have been central to the developments within open education: open access, MOOCs, open education resources and open scholarship. Exploring the tensions within these key arenas, he argues that ownership over the future direction of openness is significant to all of those with an interest in education. »

URL : http://microblogging.infodocs.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/weller.pdf

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/bam