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OER Research Hub Data 2013-2015: Informal Learners

de los Arcos, Beatriz; Farrow, Robert; Pitt, Rebecca; Perryman, Leigh-Anne; Weller, Martin and McAndrew, Patrick (2015). OER Research Hub Data 2013-2015: Informal Learners. Open Education Research Hub.

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In 2013 the Hewlett-funded OER Research Hub Project created a bank of survey questions to test eleven hypotheses related to the impact of OER use on teaching and learning. In the two years that followed, a number of bespoke surveys were designed and administered in collaboration with the Flipped Learning Network, Vital Signs, the Community Colleges Consortium for Open Educational Resources, OpenLearn, Saylor Academy, OpenStax, BCcampus, Siyavula, School of Open-P2PU and CoPILOT. Responses from each survey were then combined into a larger dataset to allow for comparison and in-depth examination. The final dataset is comprised of 7,498 cases –44.4% informal learners, 28.4% formal learners, 24.3% educators and 2.9% librarians.

The current report, first in a series of three, presents a frequencies analysis of responses from informal learners, i.e. those learners not registered on a course of study at an educational institution.

Some key findings: A majority of informal learners using OER are full-time employed and already hold an educational qualification; Cost is the most important factor driving adoption of OER by informal learners; Relevance to one’s particular needs and clear learning objectives guide informal learners’ selection of open content; Few (13.9%) informal learners are mindful of open licenses allowing adaptation when selecting OER; Discoverability of resources, quality and subject coverage are the most pressing challenges faced by informal learners using OER; 91.5% of informal learners are likely to continue using OER; A quarter of respondents declare their inclination to go into formal education after using OER.

Item Type: Other
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
OU OER Research Hub (H-12-016-PM)2012-7836The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Keywords: OER; open education; open educational resources; survey data; infographic; informal learners; attitudes; perceptions; impact
Academic Unit/School: Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 47933
Depositing User: Beatriz de los Arcos
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2016 14:31
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2019 23:52
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