On 5 February a Twitter chat was organized by the Alberta OER Journal Club about the paper Ben Janssen and myself have published last year in IRRODL. The paper presented the findings of our research on open sharing and reusing learning resources in Dutch Higher Education. For those unfamiliar with the concept of a Twitter chat: during some time (in this case 1 hour) people discuss a topic via tweets, all using the same hashtag. Often this conversation is guided by questions, a moderator introduces on certain time intervals.
This session used the hashtag #ABOERJC and was organized around five questions on our findings about the gains for sharing and reusing OER, open policies, barriers, organic growth of adopting OER and the recommendations.
During this session several assumptions and interpretations were made about our findings. Because the session was scheduled on 3:00AM in our timezone, we were not present to take part of the discussion. This blogpost is to add our clarifications and perspectives to the discussion.
One category of motivations for stakeholders to be involved in open sharing and reuse of learning resources was financial (expensive resources). One comment on this finding:
This motivating factor was in the interviews both mentioned with the student perspective in mind (saving them costs) as the institutional perspective (reuse a resource potentially saves money compared to creating the resource from scratch yourself).
Regarding the findings on the barriers, the following discussion took place:
I think this is right for part of the barriers. But especially the more personally oriented barriers (like lack of confidence about the quality or not clear about the “what’s in it for me”) are harder to conquer. This can probably explained by the right level of maturity a teacher should have in being involved with OER. Each level of maturity needs specific actions to bring a teacher to a higher level. Adrian Stagg has described this in more detail in his paper OER adoption: a continuum for practice.
Another finding of our research was the need for a safe experimentation zone for adoption of open sharing and reuse. Interviewees who mentioned this meant that no negative consequences should follow for them when they e.g. inadvertently breach copyright when publishing a resource. Participants in the chat also mentioned another potential drawback in this sense:
This drawback was not mentioned in our interviews, but I am curious to find out if these considerations also exist in the Netherlands.
And finally, a call was made to involve other fields of openness (like Open Science and Open Source) more in the field of OER or Open Educational Practices to widen adoption of OER:
I can only second that: we should be more open about open.
We are grateful to the participants of this chat for their insightful comments!