Researching the impact of open educational resources (OER) in the open has been a core aim of the OER Research Hub project (OERRH) (1) since it began at the end of 2012. But has this open approach to research improved the quality of our research on the impact of OER?
This paper explores the ways in which open research practices have enabled us to improve the quality of our research. We have utilized a range of open research practices including:
1) “Agile research” (2): our ability to be responsive to feedback and continuously evaluate the way in which we work has led to positive adjustments to our own practice.
2) Openly licensing our research instruments and all project outputs (inc. anonymised research data), blogging the progress of our collaborative research and disseminating research results as-and-when they are available. This has encouraged feedback from our stakeholders, and enabled us to broaden and network our existing range of collaborators.
3) Sharing experiences and ideas through collaboration: our four-week course Open Research via School of Open (P2PU/Creative Commons) explored and reflected on our experiences of researching OER in the open. Beginning with an exploration of the theory and practice of open research, course participants went on to actively explore the role of reflection in open research, what role openness has in the dissemination of research findings and ethical considerations for open researchers. We will be reviewing the course during December 2014 and plan to develop future iterations of the course based on participant and community feedback.
In this paper the research team will reflect on our open research approaches and the experience of sharing these via School of Open. We ask: how can we improve OER research through openness? What worked and what didn’t in our project? Which of our open practices did we change as the project progressed? And what benefits can openness bring to researching OER in particular?
2: Becoming more agile researchers: experiences from researching open educational resources McAndrew, P. 2013, http://www.slideshare.net/openpad/agile-research-for-open-education-reso