Teacher's Practices through Adaptation of Open Educational Resources for Online Language Teaching

Pulker, Hélène (2019). Teacher's Practices through Adaptation of Open Educational Resources for Online Language Teaching. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f29d


One significant development that has recently come to disrupt teaching practices is the emergence of Open Educational Resources (OER). In the last 15-20 years, researchers have mainly focused on the creation, reuse and sharing of OER. However, little attention has been paid to what users do with the resources in their classroom and to date, there is scant evidence of OER reuse impacting on teaching practices. This study examines the process that a group of online synchronous language teachers undergo while adapting and repurposing digital resources. The research participants are part-time language teachers, with a range of experiences and cultural backgrounds, who teach online across a range of languages and levels at the Open University, a distance learning Higher Education institution in the UK. Data were collected and analysed within a constructivist grounded theory methodology. The experience of teachers’ reuse of OER was explored via seventeen semi-structured interviews. Consistent with a grounded theory approach, conceptual categories for the analysis of data were allowed to emerge, rather than initially driven by a theoretical framework. The findings can be summarised as follows: 1) As previously found in OER reuse studies in language teaching, teachers select resources they can adapt to suit their teaching styles and students’ needs; at the same time, teachers are reluctant to share their adapted resources publicly; 2) OER reuse promotes self-reflection and can play a significant role in teachers’ development as online educators; however, findings also challenge the assumption that teachers develop open educational practices as a result of working with OER; and, 3) OER reuse supports teachers’ development of technical online skills, but without necessarily resulting in changes in online teaching methodologies or beliefs. These findings therefore provide insights into the connection between OER reuse and reflections on practices, while raising questions with regard to the apparent normalisation of OER reuse and its promise to improve the quality of teaching.

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