ERG SES C 03, Interactive Poster Session
Interactive Poster Session
Higher education institutions (HEIs) are reconsidering the way they deliver education to the public since openness in education has been introduced. However, although the concept of openness in higher education causes substantial attention for possible benefits, it also a source of discussion (Kalz, 2015).
One of the motives feeding the debate surrounding openness in education is the concept itself as it is not a very unified entity, and often means different things to different individuals suggesting that the term “open” is used to describe various things. It results from the fact that open education descriptions and projects have been developed in different contexts, with differing priorities (Sampson & Zervas, 2014). It can for instance describe resources, access to resources and the use and reuse of them, it can describe learning and teaching practices, institutional practices, the use of educational technologies, and the values underlying educational activities. Therefore, it is also recommended that “open” is more useful as an umbrella term (Weller, 2014). However, in open educational research contexts, it is important to identify the many interpretation(s) and contexts of openness being investigated, especially since the underlying ideas behind these different interpretations and contexts can yield different results.
Although openness in higher education seems to be this granular concept and is ought to be used as an umbrella term, there are broad subcategories defined. Within the movement of open educational resources (OER) the focus is on the creation, use (and reuse) of open educational content. On the other hand, the open online education (OOE) movement is more focused on pedagogies and open sharing of teaching practices, going beyond content (Kalz, 2015). However, although both OER and OOE are generally found important for social and inclusion policies, and are supported by many stakeholders in the educational domain, it has not caused a disruption in the educational domain. Reason for this could be because the emphasis in OER is on building more access to digital content, and it ignores the emphasis on teaching and didactical aspects of education, found in OOE. Additionally, the use of OER and OOE by educators is complex, personal, contextual, and continually negotiated. Therefore, attention must be paid to the actual experiences and concerns of staff and students (Cronin, 2017). In other words, there seems to be too little consideration of whether access alone, as emphasized in OER, will also support OOE and promote innovation in teaching and learning (OECD, 2007; Ehlers, 2011; Cronin, 2017).
There has been little empirical research on educators use of openness for teaching in higher education, especially comparing these two different approaches of openness (i.e. OER vs. OOE). This research study addresses that gap, exploring the identification and prioritization of organizational challenges and opportunities of two subgroups of projects (i.e. OER focused or OOE focused) within various higher education institutions in The Netherlands. Our main research question is: To what extend do OER projects differ from OOE projects in the identification and prioritization of organizational challenges and opportunities they encounter?
This study is a follow up study of a previous study by Schophuizen, Kreijns, Stoyanov and Kalz (2018). Since that study we have now collected a sufficient amount of data to identify and compare participants on certain characteristics, dividing them into sub-groups that respectively emphasize OER and OOE. This data stems from 31 funded innovation-projects that aim to implement OOE or OER initiatives within their respective HEIs. Because these projects cover almost all universities in the Dutch higher educational landscape, we assume that the impact of this study is substantial and representative for the Dutch higher education system, and comparable systems in western Europe.
Participants and procedure Participants were 33 project leaders that were involved in running funded OOE and OER innovation projects. these projects started in 2015, 2016 and in 2017 respectively. The OOE project leaders were recruited by addressing them directly to volunteer for this study. Before starting the study, participants were informed about the purpose, the procedure, and the time needed to complete the specific steps. In addition, they were asked to confirm that they understood the instructions and agreed with the informed consent. The participants had one month to generate statements based on the focus prompt: “My institution has with regard to open online education the following challenge OR chance...”. A total of 149 statements were produced and this set was reduced by the researchers to 106 statement. The OOE project leaders had to rate these remaining statements according to two criteria, namely importance and influence. Sorting and rating was accomplished in three groups during face-to-face settings and took about 30 to 40 min for sorting and approximately 30 min for rating. Participants who failed to complete all steps will be excluded from further analyses. Group concept mapping and Procrustes analysis Group Concept Mapping (GCM) is used to analyze the OER and OOE innovation projects. GCM is a technique to identify a group's shared understanding of a certain issue and is able to create a participant-driven visual representation (i.e. concept map) of ideas from the target group about a specific topic (Jackson & Trochim, 2002; Trochim, 1989). The comparison of the OER and OOE subgroups is typically shown by GCM pattern matches, but it could also be done by analysing and comparing sub-groups’ concept maps. It is claimed that by comparing sub-groups provides additional insight into the data (Stoyanov, Jablokow, Rosas, Wopereis, & Kirschner, 2017). In conducting these analyses, we aim to determine how much these configurations resembled each other. Data will be analysed separately for OER projects and OOE projects by using the Concept Systems Core® software, PROTEST software and IBM SPPS software.
We aim to contribute to the scientific evidence regarding organizational embeddedness of OOE and OER. With an assessment and comparison of OER and OOE subgroups on prioritization of organizational challenges and opportunities we will produce new insights into relations between organisational strategies and effects on quality and accessibility of education. The results of this study will be based on projects running in Dutch HEIs. However, since most western European systems have comparable characteristics, findings are generalizable to other western European HEIs. The data collection and access to innovations projects is a unique trait this study and produces valuable insights for other researchers dealing with educational innovation and development of open education.
Cronin, C. (2017). Openness and praxis: Exploring the use of open educational practices in higher education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(5). Ehlers, U. D. (2011). Extending the territory: From open educational resources to open educational practices. Journal of Open Flexible and Distance Learning, 15(2), 1-10. Jackson, K., & Trochim, W. (2002). Concept mapping as an alternative approach for the analysis of open-ended survey responses. Organizational Research Methods, 5(4), 307–336. OECD. (2007). Giving knowledge for free: The emergence of open educational resources. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/35/7/38654317.pdf Kalz, M. (2015). Lifelong Learning and its support with new technologies. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Vol. 14 (2nd ed.) (pp. 93-99). Oxford: Elsevier. Sampson, D. G., & Zervas, P. (2014). A hierarchical framework for open access to education and learning. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 10(1), 25-51. Schophuizen, M., Kreijns, K., Stoyanov, S., & Kalz, M. (2018). Eliciting the challenges and opportunities organizations face when delivering open online education: a group-concept mapping study. The Internet and Higher Education. 36, 1-12. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2017.08.002 Stoyanov, S., Jablokow, K., Rosas, S., Wopereis, I., & Kirschner, P. (2017). Concept mapping – an effective method for identifying diversity and congruity in cognitive style. Evaluation and Program Planning. Concept Mapping at 25 (special issue), 60, 238-244. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2016.08.015 Trochim, W. M. K. (1989). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 12, 1–16. Weller, M. (2014). The battle for open: How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press.
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