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Engin Kursun

Engin Kursun OLnet Fellow


Engin Kursun

Project Title

Study of OER in Turkey

Project Summary

Engin visited the Open University as part of his study for a PhD. His research aims to inform decision-makers by developing a policy framework about OER in Turkey. He used multi-method research design to develop the policy framework. His PhD. study consisted of two parts. The first part focuses on incentives, barriers and benefits of OER in perspectives of faculty members. He used the survey method for this part. The second part takes three OER initiatives in Turkey into focus and aimed to understand the challenges those initiatives have encountered and strategies they applied to overcome those challenges. Multicase study approach was used in this phase by interviewing with practitioners in these three OER initiatives, observing the initiatives portals and examining internal documents, reports etc. of those initiatives.

Dates visited OU UK

3 August 2009 to 20 January 2010, with return visit to present at OER10 (22-24 March 2010) at Cambridge University, UK.


Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Biographic information

Engin Kursun is a PhD Student and Research Assistant at the Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey on behalf of Atatürk Üniversity. The PhD program that he pursues is an integrated PhD program, which requires completing 52 credit courses and a PhD thesis after a bachelor degree. He also did his undergraduate degree at the same department with a first honour degree at Ataturk University, Erzurum, Turkey. Engin’s main areas of interest are Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare movement,  game-based learning, human computer interaction and multimedia design.

Engin has a strong link to the Turkish Open Courseware (OCW) Consortium, through his PhD supervisor in Turkey. The Turkish OCW consortium site was administered by Engin using Drupal. The Consortium had 57 member universities and many interesting initiatives at the end of Engin's visit to the UK (January 2010).

Main Output

Engin said that his OLnet experience was very positive in being immersed in an academic context, discussing his thesis with OER experts.  Personally, his language development and the cultural exchange were very useful, as were the doctoral training workshops that he was able to attend and the Open University DigiLab and Library resources available to him. He added "The project was a fantastic opportunity for me because I had a chance to meet a number of experts in my PhD field, which would not have been possible otherwise. The project supported me not only financial, but also I had chance to get feedback from OER experts for my work."

He had a chance to investigate OpenLearn project closely in the context of OLnet project by interviewing with Andy Lane, Rose Webb and Patrick McAndrew about OpenLearn, examining its internal reports and web portals. This widened his perspectives while developing policy framework in his thesis and affected his decisions on these policies. Also he has a chance to get information about other projects on OER at OU (Pocket Project, SCORE) from first hand (Tina Wilson, Chris Pegler) and tools developed in the context of OLnet project like Compendium and Cohere (Anna de Liddo). OLnet project meetings were helpful for him especially to get info about updates in OER field like conferences, projects and tools. He also find a chance to learn different projects like iSpot (Doug Clow) and Fairy rings (Elpida Makryannis).


  • 3 conference papers
  • Presentation to OLnet Team 13 January 2010
  • Exchange of information about OER adoption in Turkey


Kozinska, K.; Kursun, E.; Wilson, T.; McAndrew, P.; Scanlon, E. and Jones, A. (2010). Are open educational resources the future of e-learning? In: 3rd International Future-Learning Conference: Innovations in Learning for the Future, 10-14 May 2010, Istanbul, Turkey. Available online:

Kursun, Engin; Wilson, Tina; McAndrew, Patrick and Cagiltay, Kursat (2010). Evaluating the current status of OpenCourseWare in Turkish Tertiary Education: Benefits, barriers and incentives. In: Open Educational Resources 2010 (OER10), 22-24 March 2010, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Available online:

Kursun, Engin; Wilson, Tina; McAndrew, Patrick and Cagiltay, Kursat (2010). Evaluating three different Open Educational Resource models provided to enable Learning in Our Connected World. In: Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 2010 AECT convention, 26-30 October 2010., Anaheim, California, USA. Available online:

Clow, D (2010), ‘OLnet full team meeting 13 January 2010’,, 13 January [online], (Accessed 1 December 2011)

Update Since Fellowship

Engin says, "Since I finished my OLnet Fellowship I have written my PhD thesis. The project helped my thesis work a lot in terms of critical analysis of the OER projects in my country."

He and his PhD advisor wrote a report to UNESCO titled as Open Educational Resources in Turkey: State-of-the-Art, Challenges and Prospects for Development with the help of network in the OLnet project (Svetlana Knyazeva).