Farrow, R., Pitt, R., de los Arcos, B., Perryman, L.-A., Weller, M., & McAndrew, P. (2015). Impact of OER use on teaching and learning: Data from OER research hub (2013-2014). British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(5), 972–976.

doi:10.1111/bjet.12310


The dataset behind this study is an openly shared asset of the OER Research Hub, an open research project based at The Open University (UK). The project has conducted surveys, focus groups, and gathered data about the use of open educational resources worldwide.

Looking to a dataset populated by more than 20 separate surveys of different sizes and samples but with common core questions, certain bands of information emerged through analysis: profiles of learners and teachers, behaviors toward OER, motivations behind particular OER use, challenges faced in OER use, the impact of OER on pedagogical practice, and so on. Unlike other studies, the scale of their dataset allowed for examples of OER beyond just basic textbooks (e.g. course elements, multimedia, lectures, lesson plans, assessments, datasets, and learning tools.

Generally, the metrics that the OER Research Hub is capable of collaboratively uncovering posthoc seems an impressive argument in favor of open data. Because of variation in survey instruments and collection methods among resulting data, however, it seems imperative that large-scale data sharing efforts should prioritize the standardization of metrics as much as possible before collection.

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