A systematic review of literature on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in open education: implications for future research

Iniesto, Francisco and Bossu, Carina (2023). A systematic review of literature on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in open education: implications for future research. In: OEGlobal 2023 - Building a Sustainable World through Open Education, 16-18 Oct 2023, Edmonton, Canada.

URL: https://oeglobal2023.sched.com/event/1SIPV/a-syste...


Educational systems and policymakers worldwide aspire to provide diverse student populations with sustainable educational opportunities. However, achieving this goal is challenging, as it requires addressing the issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Although these terms have different meanings, they are interconnected, and achieving one often involves addressing the others. For instance, inclusion can only be achieved when diversity is acknowledged, and exclusion is recognised as a form of inequality, which calls for equity. Addressing exclusion may reveal equity issues that go beyond equality and require dedicated resources and efforts to break the cycle of past or present structural injustices (Bossu et al., 2019).

EDI concepts are often linked to discussions about education, including open education. However, this is not always the case, as some research suggests that the values of EDI are hard to realise in open online environments where diverse perspectives can lead to conflict (Funes & Mackness, 2018). Furthermore, a study found that references to social justice and EDI concepts in publications about openness were scarce, and these concepts were often taken for granted in the context of open initiatives (Lambert, 2018). There exists a lack of knowledge about the progress made in EDI in open educational contexts. To bridge this gap, we conducted a literature review in open education including 15 papers. More than half of the articles that were identified are considered position papers, which is reasonable given the newness of the field of EDI in open education. Six of the papers used case studies to investigate the application of open education to student learning. Three used qualitative research, two implemented mixed methods research, and one used a quantitative approach. One paper showcased and discussed a diverse range of research projects related to inclusion.

This presentation will detail the review showing that stakeholders, including institutions, faculty members, and students, should be involved in the development of EDI to enhance Open Educational Practices. In addition, the co-creation of Open Educational Resources should consider factors such as culture, language, and location.

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