Eighteen research projects around seven clusters engaging 86 researchers and associates across 16 time zones, bent on investigating the adoption and impact of open educational resources (OERs) in 26 countries.
OERs encompass teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property licence that permits their free use and/or re-purposing by others. An example of this is the OpenUCT portal launched last year.
This three-year project aims to undertake actual research as openly as possible. "In other words we are sharing our initial literature reviews, our bibliography, project and conference presentations and papers throughout the project – rather than waiting until the end to publish our findings," says Assoc Prof Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams, the project's principal investigator.
"We have a long-term plan to share our data too, so that it can be used by other researchers. In other words, we are sharing our research materials as open educational resources themselves, with a Creative Commons licence that specifies the re-use permissions upfront."
Communicating research in 'the open' will come in the form of visibility through the ROER4D website, which links to documents hosted on OpenUCT and social media. "The process of research is being shared through Facebook, Twitter and blogs, to build credibility and invite feedback. We'll also share our workshops and presentations regularly on hosting platforms such as SlideShare and/or YouTube," Hodgkinson- Williams says.
She goes on to explain that "some of the benefits of this open research include increasing the breadth of readership (the result of having documents available openly), and invitations to collaborate with other OER researchers and be keynote speakers at conferences around the world."
Story by Abigail Calata.
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