There is a lack of strong evidence around how open educational resources are used and reused. It is relatively easy to track and measure metrics such as number of downloads of materials, time spent on site and location of visitors, but more challenging to find out if and how they have actually been used.
Comment and rating systems may be used but, again, are not necessarily a guarantee of use.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a long-standing commitment to releasing OERs under the ‘OpenCourseWare’ programme. Their 2005 evaluation as to the programme’s effectiveness and outcomes is available as an summary [PDF] or full report [PDF]. The 2009 report is currently only available as a summary [PDF].
- Jisc’s re-purposing and re-use of digital university-level content and evaluation (RePRODUCE) summarized the findings of 20 projects that aiming “to develop, run and quality assure technology enhanced courses using reused and repurposed learning materials sourced externally to their institution.”
- The Open University run an ongoing Impact evaluation on use of their iTunesU offering.
- The ORIOLE project, based at the Open University has a focus on investigating, understanding and disseminating about use and reuse of digital online resources in learning and teaching.
The Jisc/HE Academy UKOER programme (2009-2012) considered which kinds of OER are relevant to different stakeholder groups and considered issues around granularity, pedagogic context, discoverability, accessibility and re-use.
Phase two offered some interesting insights into OER requirements and considerations for different subject disciplines and phase three looked at needs of an interesting range ofdifferent stakeholder groups (including part-time tutors, HE in FE, schools, public sector, NHS, private sector (including commercial publishers).
Practical issues relating to the above can be found in wiki educator’s OER handbook.
Phase two of the UKOER programme included two research studies around use:
- Learner use of online educational resources for learning (LUOER) Paul Bacsich, Barry Phillips and Sara Frank Bristow Sept 2011
- OER impact study: research report. Liz Masterman and Joanna Wild University of Oxford, July 2011