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Wednesday, November 2 • 3:15pm - 3:40pm
Does it matter how much open? Impact in learning and degrees of openness

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The International Development Research Centre IDRC proclaims "openness" as a pivotal condition for development in disadvantaged contexts as an "Open Development" produces increased access, inclusion, efficiency, engagement, increased distribution, informed decision making, policy outcomes around enabling environments, and changes to political processes (empowerment). IDRC's cutting-edge research raises the issue of "quality of openness" as the range of qualities of openness within open initiatives, and the quality of the outcomes from those initiatives.

There is a great diversity of educational resources referred to as OER, but nevertheless, previous studies cluster the resources as OER with different characteristics, making it difficult to isolate openness and make meaningful conclusions about use practices and added value. This issue, what the OER Research Hub refers as a dimension of OER: "Level of Openness", is relevant as we need to dig deeper into specific types of openness as enablers for educational quality, innovation and sustainability, consequently, promoting development.

These reflections have emerged with the findings of a OER adoption and impact research investigation, "The effectiveness of OER use in student's mathematical outcomes: A case study of first and second year higher education students in Chile", sub-project 9 of the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) framework (http://roer4d.org/sp-9-oer-use-in-first-year-mathematics). One of the settings of the present research, compared what we call a "less-open" OER (Khan Academy CC-BY-NC-SA) and "more-open" resource (CC-BY Teacher produced Open Textbook), where the more or less depends on the type of licensing they were coined.

As major agreement grows that a "more open" licenses (CC-BY and CC-BY-SA) are better suited for education in the institutional level policy making because they exploit the possibilities of openness, maximizing its flexibility for different type of uses, in specific, re-purpose/re-use, some questions arise:

* does this presumption also apply to impact issues in the institutional level?

* does a "more open" OER rank higher from the quality perspective?

* is a "more-open" OER or a higher level of openness of an OER make a better or bigger difference in student educational performance or teacher's practice?

* does the degree of openness an issue for underserved or developing countries from the impact or efficacy perspective?

* does the degree of openness urge to be taken into account for OER infrastructure, deploying a "more open" scenario?

avatar for Werner Westermann

Werner Westermann

Civic Education Program, Library of Congress of Chile
History, Geography and Civics teacher with over 20 years of work experience in digital technology-enabled education and training in national (Ministry of Education), higher education (REUNA, IPP), international agencies (ECLAC-UN,UNESCO) and civil society institutions.  Kidnapped... Read More →

Wednesday November 2, 2016 3:15pm - 3:40pm EDT