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OER Reuse

ReuseResearch Leads

Andreia Inamorato Dos Santos, Chris Pegler

What is it?

The aim of this research strand is to understand whether and how OERs are used and reused worldwide in a variety of contexts and target groups. Research in the Re-Use strand uses action research to analyse the use and reuse of OER in cross-cultural contexts.  Case studies into OER reuse have been carried out in the UK, Zambia and Brazil, in a variety of contexts and focusing on different target groups, such as HE lecturers, secondary school teachers and student teachers. The case studies provide a rich description of the contexts in which OER are used and how, as well as enabling the identification of the possible drivers and barriers to use and reuse.

The case studies carried out to date come from collaborations with the following institutions/projects:

  1. UnisulVirtual (Florianópolis, Brazil)
  2. Aisha Project School (Lusaka, Zambia)
  3. SCORE fellows (Open University, UK)
  4. OU Masters’ course H800 (Open University, UK)
  5. Universidade Federal Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  6. Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (Minas Gerais, Brazil)

This work has been disseminated internationally, notably through a series of presentations and workshops in Brazil, and at the e-Learning Africa Conference, May 2010 alongside two other projects from The Open University: Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) and Health Education and Training (HEAT).  Key findings to date include: 

  • Institutional support and strategy are essential for OER adoption and use.
  • Lecturers and teachers are often unclear of what are or are not OER.
  • OER support the use of new teaching practices.
  • Lecturers and teachers may perceive OER repurposing as a daunting task.  This confirms previous research into recontextualisation of reusable educational resources (e.g. Brosnan, K.D.B., (2006). Initial Participation in a learning-object exchange network: A practice theoretic perspective. Lancaster University.)