The global landscape of OER is diverse, robust, and still growing. Yet, the breadth of existing research has not been examined to understand how OER is used, and under what contexts, to create the greatest efficacy for learning. Equally unclear is whether the diffusion of the concept of OER, and the many activities underway across the globe, are well-designed to improve teaching and learning to make the most of the hypothesized potential of open education.
In 2018, the Hewlett Foundation engaged Redstone Strategy Group to review the global body of OER research to systematically examine how OER is used, and under what conditions, to improve teaching and learning. This focus lends insight into variation in research in different context and communities and can inform priorities to advance the field of open education (Strong Field Framework, 2009; Bernholz, 2009).
This session will be the first public presentation of the results of the study (Redstone Strategy Group, forthcoming 2019). Results are based on interviews conducted with more than a dozen research and field experts in open education from 11 countries (Brazil, Canada, England, France, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, United States) and an analysis of approximately 150 research publications and associated metrics, on open education. A public document of the findings will be made widely available prior to April 2019, with an additional executive summary translated into multiple languages.
Session presenters will include Cathy Casserly, lead investigator, and Angela DeBarger, Hewlett Foundation Program Officer. The session will address two elements: a presentation of the findings examining the global body of recent OER research (mostly within the past few years), and relatedly, the potential implications for research and the future of OER field development emerging from this study. Participants will be engaged to provide their input with respect to potential implications during the question and answer portion of the session.
Key questions to be discussed during the session include:
• What metrics related to learning goals are being used? Are models of efficacy being tested? Is there consistency across studies?
• How robust is OER research across topics such as OER perceptions, student learning outcomes, teaching practices, and financial outcomes? Are key findings known and referenced? Where are there persistent gaps?
• What core, shared beliefs or assumptions about the benefits and challenges of OER have been verified across multiple sources or contexts?
• What are the common, pressing questions that (should) guide the field, and differentiate it from other learning fields?
• What are the potential implications for research and the future of OER field development?
Research is built upon interviews with researchers and field experts, comprehensive literature review of published research and metrics, and data analysis. Note that Redstone Strategy Group conducted this study for the Hewlett Foundation and OER field with publication expected early 2019.
Bernholz, L. (2009), Building to Last: Field Building as Philanthropic Strategy, Blueprint Research + Design, Inc.
Redstone Strategy Group. (forthcoming 2019), Preparing for the Next Phase of the OER Movement, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
The Bridgespan Group (2009, June). The Strong Field Framework: A Guide and Toolkit for Funders and Nonprofits Committed to Large-Scale Impact, The James Irvine Foundation.