Qualitative methods for researching teachers’ (re)use of OER.
In: OER13: Creating a Virtuous Circle, 26 - 27 March 2013, University of Nottingham.
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The literature on Open Educational Resources (OER) points to a need to further research how best to foster teachers’ reuse of OER (Masterman and Wild, 2011), and how best to enable the infrastructure for sharing OER to appropriately support the needs of teachers (Davis et al., 2010).
This paper proposes variations around the themes of Peer Observation of Teaching and Professional Conversations as tools to investigate the use and reuse of OER by teachers. It reports on two qualitative studies on the use and reuse of OER by language teachers at the Open University UK. Teachers use LORO (loro.open.ac.uk), an open repository of OER for language teaching, to select their teaching resources.
Using Peer Observation of Teaching and Professional Conversations for data collection and a thematic analysis, the studies looked at how teachers used OER in their teaching, reworked existing resources or remix materials with others in LORO, and how they shared (or not) their new versions of the resources. The study also sought to understand the role of professional knowledge in the use and reuse of OER, and to explore the extent to which working with OER results in the adoption of other Open Educational Practices (OEP).
The study stresses the importance of using innovative qualitative methods alongside evidence from quantitative data in order to understand teacher engagement in OER reuse, and that this understanding is one of the key elements needed to “build on the last ten years of OER development, and move towards the creation of a virtuous circle of open educational practice”.
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