Links between Open Education and DEI – findings from a Latin American study

Bossu, Carina and Vladimirschi, Viviane (2021). Links between Open Education and DEI – findings from a Latin American study. In: OER21 xDomains Conference, 21-22 Apr 2021, Online.



Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has been in the Global OER Graduate Network’s (GO-GN) agenda since it’s foundation in 2013, but it was in 2018 when its first project directly related to DEI was developed. The first phase of GO-GN DEI project focused on DEI practices in Open Education in Africa. Findings of this first stage informed the initial GO-GN guidelines for DEI. The findings of phase 1 have also been used as a foundation for phase 2 of the DEI project, which focuses on Latin America. DEI phase 2 started in early 2020 and we realized very soon that the project that was originally planned would certainly have to be modified due to the impact of the global pandemic on researchers, participants and in fact on the world.
Notwithstanding, we managed to conduct 12 online interviews with key OE experts across Latin America, including from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay. In addition to the online interviews, we plan to hold additional activities so as to validate the preliminary findings and to gather additional data. One of the activities will be to conduct an online workshop with project participants and also some additional experts to discuss the preliminary results and further DEI issues in Latin America. This event will occur before OER21 so that final results of this project can be shared with attendees.
The online interviews were conducted in English. Recorded interviews were transcribed, and transcripts were imported into the NVivo software for qualitative analysis. Interviews were structured around questions regarding participants’ perceptions of diversity, equity and inclusion, the elements needed to foster a DEI community of practice and/or research, the type of support that might be needed in the Global South, particularly in Latin and Central America, for PhD researchers/early career researchers in Open Education, and what would be the elements of the GO-GN guidelines for DEI, to cite a few. A similar process will be undertaken for the online workshop.
This presentation will explore the results of DEI phase 2 project, including analysis from the interviews and also additional data gathered from the online workshop. Based on the research findings, we will make some recommendations for the GO-GN DEI guidelines. Conference attendees will be asked to engage and provide their own views on DEI in their region/country. We hope that this project will assist better representation from the Global South in GO-GN, and that we have the strategy and implementation tools in place to fulfil our aims in an intercultural, connected and open world.

References DEI phase 1 – Blog post Bossu, C. & Vladimirschi, V. (Nov 16-20). Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Latin America in the Context of an Open Education Initiative, presented at the Open Education Global 2020.

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