Since 2013 the OER Research Hub (www.oerresearchhub.org) has been conducting collaborative research with the UK Open University-led India-based TESS-India project (http://tess-india.edu.in/), which is developing OER for use in India’s teacher education system. In 2014 this research was broadened to include a pan-India survey of OER use and attitudes to OER and openness. The biggest of its kind ever to have been conducted in India, the survey employs many of the questions developed by the OER Research Hub for use in its OER impact research around the world (http://oerresearchhub.org/collaborative-research/instruments/), plus further questions designed to be appropriate to Indian educators and learners. Availability in English and Hindi language versions has increased the survey’s reach, as has its being available both online and in hard copy format, thereby avoiding the perpetuation of the digital divide that can occur when online-only surveys are conducted in the developing world. The survey respondents include educators in the K12, college and higher education sectors, in addition to teacher-educators, education managers, NGOs, academics, activists and policy-makers. Topics covered by the survey include understanding of open licensing, attitudes to sharing and actual sharing practices, open resource creation and adaptation, disciplinary differences in the creation and use of OER, selection indicators used when choosing OER, perceptions of the impact of OER on India’s formal and informal learners, cost-savings enjoyed through OER use, and barriers to OER use and re-use experienced by educators and learners.
The pan-India survey report will be launched at OER15 and this paper will share the main survey findings, building an overall picture of attitudes to openness and the use of OER in diverse education sectors across India. These findings will then be compared with data collected by the OER Research Hub elsewhere in the world. The paper concludes by providing recommendations to existing and future OER projects operating in India, arguing that the distinct social, economic and cultural factors impacting on India’s education system demand a unique approach to developing, using and promoting OER for use in the Indian sub-continent.