The Open Educational Resources Research Hub (OER Research Hub) provides a focus for research, designed to give answers to the overall question ‘What is the impact of OER on learning and teaching practices?’ and identify the particular influence of openness. We do this by working in collaboration with projects across four education sectors (K12, college, higher education and informal) extending a network of research with shared methods and shared results. The 11 hypotheses drive our research, so it is worth looking at these. We have developed an OER Impact Map where you can see the evidence we have collected against these (and suggest any of your own).
OER have been around for over a decade now, and have been successful in terms of implementation and uptake. However, there is often a lack of real research and evidence about their impact. Beliefs and intentions are often expressed but as open education now reaches a stage of maturity we need evidence about what works, what doesn’t and why in order that lessons learned can be shared. Filling the gap in the evidence base and sharing data and methods widely is the intention of OER Research Hub.
The project combines:
- A targeted collaboration program with existing OER projects
- An international fellowship program
- Networking to make connections
- A hub for research data and OER excellence in practice
The collaborations cover different sectors and issues, these include: the opening up of classroom based teaching to open content; the large-scale decision points implied by open textbooks for community colleges; the extension of technology beyond textbook through eBook and simulation; the challenge of teacher training in India; and the ways that OER can support less formal approaches to learning. By basing good practice on practical experience and research we can help tackle practical problems whilst building the evidence bank needed by all.