The University of Cape Town (UCT) will launch its first phase of locally-created MOOCs in early 2015. Each individual MOOC has its own strategic goals that, to varying degrees, include the provision of open educational opportunities to engage participants in locally generated knowledge. The academic leads are committed in principle to producing their MOOCs as Open Educational Resources (OER), with the likelihood that most content will adhere to Smith’s “Access Levels 1-3” , ranging from material that is free to read and view to material that is free to copy, download, share and redistribute to material that can be free for adaptation and derivation. As well as serving the needs of potential participants, the academic leads all intend that the OER they develop and use for their MOOCs will be repurposed in other courses both within the institution (e.g. postgraduate programs) and outside it (e.g. short courses). This has the potential of mainstreaming OER created for MOOCs within formal courses.
The rationale for this study is to explore whether developing MOOCs – as a form of OER with a pedagogical design – has an impact on the quality and reuse of the course materials and whether there is an effect on the educators’ practices with respect to openness due to the necessity of developing open materials for a MOOC format. As Hodgkinson-Williams  notes, expansive pedagogical openness is required in order to copy, customise or combine OER. It is our premise that the creation of OER for integration in an open course will facilitate greater pedagogical openness and improve both the quality of OER and their reuse across different educational contexts, including the reuse of the MOOC materials in closed or non-MOOC format courses and contexts.
While this OER Impact Study is at an early stage, the MOOC production process will have been in operation for nine months by the time of the conference, and the research team will have created benchmarking instruments for ascertaining educators’ intentions and attitudes to OER, openness and course design. The team has been working through the IP and licensing requirements imposed by the major platforms as well as course convenor preferences, and we will, through illustrative examples, show the practical implications of these factors for the creation of MOOCs as OER, as well consider how OER are being used in MOOCs. We will also be able to report some initial findings, on how and whether educators’ attitudes or pedagogic approaches have changed as a result of undergoing the course design process.
 Smith, M. (2013). Ruminations on Research on Open Educational Resources. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Available online: http://www.hewlett.org/sites/default/files/OER%20Research%20paper%20December%2015%202013%20Marshall%20Smith_1.pdf
 Hodgkinson-Williams, C. (2014) Degrees of ease: Adoption of OER, Open textbooks and MOOCs in the Global South. OER Asia Symposium Keynote. Available online : http://www.slideshare.net/ROER4D/hodgkinson-williams-2014-oer-asia