Open Education. Introduction to selected papers
Open Education. Introduction to selected papers
Inés Gil-Jaurena 0
0 Editor for Open Praxis. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia - UNED , Spain
Papers submitted for publication in Open Praxis have followed a separate review process. The Open Education Global Conference 2017 Programme Committee first reviewed submissions for inclusion in the conference. Those accepted for presentation and best rated by the committee, among the 89 submissions that stated an interest in the publication opportunity in Open Praxis, were then recommended to Open Praxis for peer review and possible inclusion in this issue. 12 contributions were preselected and invited to submit the full paper; 9 did so. These papers followed the usual submission guidelines in Open Praxis (i.e. double-blind peer review by two reviewers); additional revisions were requested during the peer review process, and finally 7 papers were accepted for publication. The selected contributions cover various topics in relation to Open Education: - The first three papers present conceptual approaches to the adoption of open education. - The next two papers address survey-based studies in specific contexts (Kenya and Japan) with regards to the use of OER. - The last two papers focus on postgraduate students' experiences and perspectives in relation to MOOCs and OER.
Dealing also with the adoption of OER, Glenda Cox and Henry Trotter, from the University of Cape
Town in South Africa (An OER framework, heuristic and lens: Tools for understanding lecturers’
adoption of OER), explore three analytical tools they have used when researching the use and/or
creation of OER in three universities in South Africa. With a special focus on the institutional cultures
and readiness, the framework they suggest is valuable for other researchers and institutions willing
to adopt OER.
Judith Pete, from Tangaza University College in Kenya, Fred Mulder, from Open Universiteit in The
Netherlands, and Jose Dutra Oliveira Neto, from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil (Differentiation
in Access to, and the Use and Sharing of (Open) Educational Resources among Students and
Lecturers at Kenyan Universities), present a study developed also in the ROER4D project that details
the state of the art around OER in Kenya. Through questionnaires to lecturers and students, they
explore quantitative descriptive data and provide an overview of the use, perceptions and intentions
about OER in that context. They conclude with a set of recommendations derived from the study.
In a different context, Katsusuke Shigeta, Mitsuyo Koizumi, Hiroyuki Sakai, Yasuhiro Tsuji, Rieko
Inaba and Naoshi Hiraoka, from various higher education institutions in Japan (A survey of the
awareness, offering, and adoption of OERs and MOOCs in Japan), provide an overview of the
situation in their country, as a follow up of another previous survey-based study. Their detailed report
covers universities and colleges all over Japan and explores awareness, use and intention about
OER and MOOCs, highlighting some significant findings when comparing perception about MOOCs
between institutions that provide them and those that don’t.
Tasneem Jaffer, Shanali Govender and Cheryl Brown, from the University of Cape Town in South
Africa (“The best part was the contact!”: Understanding postgraduate students’ experiences of
wrapped MOOCs), use the Community of Inquiry framework to analyse a blended learning space
that combined MOOCs about soft skills and a local face-to-face group with postgraduate students.
The characteristics of the programme –supplemental and voluntary– made them incorporate a
‘learner presence’ category to the CoI framework and consider structural factors, as well.
Finally in this section that presents selected papers from the Open Education Global Conference,
Thomas William King, also from the University of Cape Town in South Africa (Postgraduate students
as OER capacitators), explores a project developed in his university where students were involved in
adapting lecturer’s materials and transforming them into OER. The successful experience is clearly
described so the different steps, challenges and findings can be useful for other programmes.
This Open Praxis issue also includes three innovative practice papers.
Juan García-Gutierrez and Marta Ruiz-Corbella, from UNED, and Araceli del Pozo Armentia, from
Universidad Complutense in Spain (Developing Civic Engagement in Distance Higher Education:
A Case Study of Virtual Service-Learning (vSL) Programme in Spain), present a service-learning
experience developed in virtual mode involving students from UNED and from a university in Benin.
The authors introduce this new modality of practical learning with a civic commitment and report on
this specific experience, highlighting the success and the challenges faced, as well as the potential
of this type of programmes in distance education institutions, and claiming for its promotion.
Carmel Haggerty, from Whitireia Community Polytechnic & Wellington Institute of Technology, and
Trish Thompson, from Ara Institute of Canterbury in New Zealand (The challenges of incorporating
ePortfolio into an undergraduate nursing programme), report on a experience with the Mahara
platform. A group of tutors and students used this ePortfolio, and the paper explains the process,
results and difficulties encountered in the progressive introduction of this electronic tool in a context
–nursing programme– where paper-based portfolio is more commonly used.
Finally, José António Moreira, Susana Henriques, Maria de Fátima Goulão and Daniela Barros,
from Universidade Aberta in Portugal (Digital Learning in Higher Education: A Training Course
for Teaching Online - Universidade Aberta, Portugal), discuss the progress of an online course
addressed to professors who work at higher education institutions in Portugal and in other Portuguese
speaking countries. They describe the course and the innovations they have incorporated, such as
e-portfolios, interaction and collaboration, providing an example that could be of interest for other
higher education institutions concerned with professional development.
We wish Open Praxis readers an enjoyable and critical reading of this issue, which aims to
contribute to the ongoing debate about open education.
We specially thank from Open Praxis to the authors and the reviewers for their valuable contributions,
and to the Open Education Consortium for the partnership and collaboration in the preparation of
this special issue.