Forms of Innovation Inspired by Open Educational Resources: A Post-Project Analysis

Coughlan, Tim; Pitt, Beck and Farrow, Rob (2019). Forms of Innovation Inspired by Open Educational Resources: A Post-Project Analysis. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning, 34(2) pp. 156–175.




It has been argued that Open Educational Resources (OER) present opportunities for innovation in education. However, there has been a lack of retrospective analysis of the forms of innovation that can emerge through OER, and the processes and challenges these entail. This paper presents a post-project analysis of the diverse uses and impacts of open courses produced through an international OER initiative. A thematic analysis of retrospective interviews and documentation from this case study is reported on, guided by a review of relevant concepts from innovation and OER literature. Through this we identify three archetypal forms through which the OER created opportunities for innovation: Specific Adoption; Preferred Practice; and Foundations for Innovation. We identify drivers and inhibitors through which these forms of innovation interacted with each other in this initiative. This elaborates on the notion that a single existing model does not capture the multi-faceted relationships between innovation and OER.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 57876
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1469-9958
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Open Learning: Bridge to Success (H-11-005-PM)Not SetNext Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC)
    OU OER Research Hub (H-12-016-PM)2012-7836The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Keywords
  • OER; innovation; impact; open educational resources; open education
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
  • Research Group
  • Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2018 The Open University
  • Depositing User
  • Tim Coughlan