The Open UniversitySkip to content

Open educational resources and widening participation in higher education: innovations and lessons from open universities

Lane, A. and Van Dorp, K. J. (2011). Open educational resources and widening participation in higher education: innovations and lessons from open universities. In: EDULEARN11, the 3rd annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, 04-05 July 2011, Barcelona.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (219Kb)
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This paper, which references a European Lifelong Learning project under the Erasmus Virtual Campus programme, briefly reviews the role of open educational resources, open and distance learning and widening participation within European higher education. It also examines and analyses policies and practices from various European open universities, practices undertaken to widen the audience for higher education knowledge, increase engagement with higher education materials and improve participation in formal access higher education courses and programmes. It presents a framework for understanding the role of open educational resources and open and distance learning in widening participation based on their availability, accessibility, and acceptability. The paper concludes that open educational resources are beginning to influence educational opportunities in Europe, but that new policies and practices are required at all levels in the higher education system to address issues of openness and open educational resources in higher education study and the role that they can play in increasing and widening engagement and participation. There needs to be better collaboration between the various stakeholders if OER are not to be seen as a way of simply widening the audience for higher education knowledge rather than widening participation in formal studies.

Item Type: Conference Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 The Authors
Extra Information: EDULEARN11 Proceedings

Pages: 1353-1363
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
Keywords: open educational resources, widening participation, innovation, policy, open and distance learning
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Engineering & Innovation
Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Item ID: 29201
Depositing User: Andrew Lane
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2011 12:12
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2016 05:23
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340