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Researching learners' needs

Projects led by The Open University (OU) around open educational resources (OER) aim to tackle a range of questions from 'What is the impact on teaching and learning of OER?' to 'How can we help researchers and practitioners in the OER field to contribute to the evidence of OER effectiveness?' Research around OER is broad and can be institutionally driven or set by external funders. 

The Institute of Educational Technology (IET) leads research into open learning at the OU.  It has a research focus on understanding why openness is important to the future of learning, identifying activities that need to be supported and showing how evidence of impact can influence policies and decisions.

IET and Open Media and Informal Learning (OMIL) work closely specifically around the research and delivery of open educational resources (OER) and within that, the use of OpenLearn Create as a platform for large-scale OER projects that incorporate social media, assessment and user collaboration.

Institutional research into OER

The OU is constantly striving to find out more about our informal learners.  We undertake surveys and review statistical data to uderstand the demographics of our many thousands of informal learners, their motivations and expectations on all our open platforms and media channels.  Data gathered in this way is important both to improve our widening participation offering and for research purposes.

Open Research Online

The Open University's Open Research Online is an open access respository of OU research publications and other activities by OU staff. Below is a selection of OER papers:

View the ORO RSS feed of OER papers