Monday, October 22, 2012

Better than nothing at all?

Governing the Commons Leaving aside the criticisms of this paper (low response rate, one institution), the conclusions it contains confirm my own experience.

"OER is still mostly a bottom-up phenomenon, where the managerial level of the institutions are not involved and not aware of the activities going on"

"small-scale local sharing is more common than more formal approaches to sharing"

"although staff are willing to share and, in many cases in this study, willing to share openly, they are not doing so to any formal large-scale degree, that is, through specific OER repositories and open licenses"

You won't find anyone who argues publicly against open access in principle, but the reality is disappointing. The author is determined to finish on an optimistic note:
Participation, albeit on a small and local scale, is better than no participation at all.


Awareness, attitudes and participation of teaching staff towards the open content movement in one university. Research in Learning Technology 2012, 20: 18520
This research investigates the current awareness of, and participation in, the open content movement at one UK institution for higher education. The open content movement and the open educational resources can be seen as potential methods for reducing time and cost of technology-enhanced learning developments; however, its sustainability and, to some degree, its success are dependent on critical mass and large-scale participation. Teaching staff were invited to respond to a questionnaire. Respondents (n59) were open to the idea of sharing their own content and, similar to other studies, demonstrated existing practices of sharing resources locally amongst colleagues; however, there was little formal, large-scale sharing using suitable licenses. The data gathered concurs with other research suggesting a lack of awareness to the Creative Commons licenses as well as a lack of participation in large open educational resource repositories.

See: Governing the Commons

1 comment:

  1. Hey

    I was reading this and thought, 'that sounds familiar' :-)

    Yeah I openly accept the criticisms you mention (I think I identified some of them myself in the paper). This started out as a single case study at the Institution I worked at, so I appreciate we can't really generalise from this.

    I am now repeating this study at my new place of work (MMU), with minor amendments to align it closer with Viv Rolfe's study at DMU. I currently have about 3 times the response rate, and am hoping to have the study repeated at LJMU as well.

    I think it's an interesting area to research so hoping to get more data together and compare across the different HEIs.

    Anyway, thanks for picking up on the paper.