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Practical Usage of OER Material in the EFL Classroom

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In this research work, we want to follow the idea of using open educational resources (OER) in a classroom to gather practical experiences. The topic of our choice is English as a foreign language (EFL), because in our opinion a lot of teaching content should be available. The preparation of the lectures, as well as the final lecturing, is described to understand how OER can be used in the EFL classroom. The feedback of the pupils and the lessons learned point out that there are more obstacles than expected, mainly because of the strict copyright law in German-speaking Europe.
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Chapter 8
Practical Usage of OER Material in the EFL Classroom
Maria Haas, Martin Ebner and Sandra Schön
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.72452
Provisional chapter
© 2016 The Author(s). Licensee InTech. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution,
and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.72452
Practical Usage of OER Material in the EFL Classroom
MariaHaas, MartinEbner and SandraSchön
Additional information is available at the end of the chapter
Abstract
In this research work, we want to follow the idea of using open educational resources
(OER) in a classroom to gather practical experiences. The topic of our choice is English
as a foreign language (EFL), because in our opinion a lot of teaching content should be
available. The preparation of the lectures, as well as the nal lecturing, is described to
understand how OER can be used in the EFL classroom. The feedback of the pupils and
the lessons learned point out that there are more obstacles than expected, mainly because
of the strict copyright law in German-speaking Europe.
Keywords: EFL, language learning, open education, open educational resources
1. Introduction
Despite the fact that open educational resources (OER) movement has been around for
15 years, lile aention has been paid with regard to practical usage in secondary education.
Instead, the focus has been on tertiary education as well as education for developing coun-
tries. Geser [1] points out his benets of using open educational resources in education (p. 21):
OER oer a broader range of subjects and topics to choose from and allow for more ex-
ibility in choosing material for teaching and learning.
OER leverage the educational value of resources through providing teacher’s personal
feedback, lessons learned, and suggestions for improvements.
OER provide learning communities, such as groups of teachers and learners, with easy-to-
use tools to set up collaborative learning environments.
OER promote user-centered approaches in education and lifelong learning. Users are not
only consumers of educational content but also create own materials, develop e-portfolios,
and share study results and experiences with peers.
© 2018 The Author(s). Licensee IntechOpen. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative
Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Since those early days of the OER movement, dierent publications have pointed out why
OER are highly relevant for higher education [2–4] as well. For example, the necessity of
an own OER strategy is carried out by Schaert [5] and executed for the rst time at Graz
University of Technology [6] in Austria. Despite these initiatives OER is less represented in
secondary education right now, although open educational resources allow teachers to adapt
teaching material in order to suit the needs of their students. Rather than having to worry
about copyright-related issues, more time can be spent on creating quality material.
The author had a personal interest in determining how OER material can be used in second-
ary education in a subject such as English as a foreign language (EFL) where schoolbooks are
said to be the primary material used [7]. Therefore, a study was conducted in an Austrian
middle school with students in their second year of English study. Over the course of 2 weeks,
students were taught using OER material only.
During the study, inuencing factors, such as the time needed to create the material, complex-
ity of licensing, as well as students’ age and feedback, were evaluated.
The goal of this study was to determine how English as a foreign language (EFL) lessons would
look like if exclusively OER material rather than traditional schoolbooks would be used.
2. Research design
The term open educational resources (OER) was rst introduced in 2002 during the UNESCO
Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries [8].
According to the UNESCO websites, OER refer to “teaching, learning or research materials
that are in the public domain or that can be used under an intellectual property license that
allows re-use or adaptation (e.g., Creative Commons)” [9].
This means that OER material can freely be shared, remixed, and reused by both teachers and
students in order to allow for the best learning experience possible. A term often associated
with and seen as the “de facto standard” of OER is Creative Commons (CC) ([10], p. 7).
Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprot organization that was founded in 2001 [11]. It allows
users to release material under a license that is not “all rights reserved.” It should be noted
that Creative Commons licenses do not work against copyright but work together with it and
can be seen as an extension of it [11, 12]. At the moment (July 2017), users are able to license
their works under one of the six licenses as well as a special public domain license. These
licenses are “open” to various degrees. However, on the most basic level, material licensed
under a CC license is allowed to be freely shared, modied, and even sold without restrictions
as long as credit to the original source is provided. Altogether, there are four dierent “mod-
ules” that can make up a Creative Commons license. For the purpose of the study, particular
aention was paid to exclusively use the two most open licenses: BY and BY SA.
In November 2015, a 2-week long study was conducted in an Austrian middle school in order
to determine how lessons using OER material would look like with regard to EFL classes.
Advanced Learning and Teaching Environments - Innovation, Contents and Methods124
The middle school was selected because the sta, as well as the students, were open to try-
ing out and using OER material in the future. A class with 30 students in their second year
of English study participated in the study. The students were 11–12 years old, and the class
consisted of 21 female and 9 male students.
As mentioned in the introduction, according to a study regarding schools in Germany,
English is one of the subjects in which textbooks are most frequently used ([7], as cited [13],
p. 36). Similar results can be assumed with regard to Austrian schools. All in all, over the
course of 2 weeks, six lessons were taught focusing on the grammar topics which present
perfect simple as well as comparative forms. The subject taught was English as a foreign
language.
English as a foreign language (EFL) refers to English being taught in a country in which
English is not the primary language and the teacher is a non-native English speaker. In most
cases, both the teacher and students share a common mother tongue that can be used in order
to overcome potential problems and misunderstandings. ESL, or English as a second lan-
guage, on the other hand, refers to English being taught in a country in which English is the
main language, and the lessons are taught by a native speaker of English. In this context, both
students and teachers do not share a mother tongue, and therefore English needs to be used
as a lingua franca. The above paragraph is based on information provided by LinguaServe
Germany [14].
In February 2015, a preliminary study was conducted in the selected middle school. The pre-
liminary study allowed for familiarization with the available equipment and seing of the
classroom and school as well as the students. Each classroom was equipped with a desktop
computer and projector. While the school had two computer labs available, English teachers
do not frequently use these during their regular classes. Therefore, it was decided against
using online material and instead focused on oine material in order to beer simulate how
OER material could be used by EFL teachers in Austria.
In order to increase reusability, the so-called free cultural licenses [15], i.e., BY and BY SA,
were chosen for the material used and created over the course of the study. With the exception
of one audio le that the students listened to, all the material followed the abovementioned
principle [16].
As mentioned previously, 30 students participated in the study. During the course of the
study, one of two English teachers was always present which allowed for consulting the teach-
ers in order to receive feedback with regard to possible changes from students’ regular behav-
ior due to their familiarity with the said students. The students were in their second year of
English study which according to the Austrian curriculum [17] means that their English level
corresponds to the A1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
[18]. Due to the fact that the students were part of a special class called “English as a work-
ing language,” other subjects such as mathematics, chemistry, and music were also taught
in English. Therefore, it can be assumed that their level is slightly higher compared to other
second year students of English in Austria.
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It should be noted that OER is of particular interest for Austrian schools and teachers because,
while Austrian copyright laws permit classroom usage of copyrighted material under certain
restrictions, the law also states that this does not include material explicitly created for teaching
purposes ([19], § 42/6]).
In order to evaluate the results found during the study, an evaluation plan was created. It
consisted of the three criteria briey discussed below:
1. The rst criterion was preparation time. The potential time-saving aspect of using OER
material has been noted on various occasions [20, 21]. In order to evaluate the time needed
to create the material, a time sheet was kept throughout the research process. The time
spent researching the topics and exercises as well as the time needed to adapt and properly
cite pre-existing material was included.
2. The second criterion was feedback. At the end of the research period, students were asked
to evaluate the OER lessons in a special 30-minute feedback session at the end of the study
in order to determine if there were any dierences with regard to course content and stu-
dents’ motivation. In addition to that, feedback was received from the two English teachers
present in order to beer determine how the students’ behavior was compared to their
regular English lessons and whether or not any dierences could be noticed.
3. The nal criterion that was evaluated was the target group. Due to the results of a previ-
ous project seminar regarding OER material for EFL students in Austria, the hypothesis
derived that nding appropriate material for ESL/EFL learners with a relatively low level
of English (A1) would prove to be problematic. Furthermore, due to the fact that OER is
currently predominantly associated with the tertiary sector, and lile research has been
done with regard to secondary education, this is another aspect that needs to be consid-
ered if OER material is supposed to be used in lower-level EFL classes in the near future.
3. Field study
According to the CC website, the best practice for crediting CC material is TASL [22]. Due to
the fact that the material was created to be used oine, diculties arose due to the hyper-
link length of some of the source material. Unlike material created for online usage which
can simply link to the source, the hyperlink of the source material needed to be included in
full. Therefore, it was decided against including the links to the source material on the actual
worksheets. However, the teachers were provided with a separate document containing all
the links to the source material. In addition to that, for a memory game created during one of
the lessons, the title of the source images was omied from the les provided to the students.
This was done in order to avoid giving away the correct answers and thus defeating the pur-
pose of the exercise.
One of the benets of OER material is that teachers are able to mix and match various resources
in order to create material best suitable for their students. One of the exercises used as a base
Advanced Learning and Teaching Environments - Innovation, Contents and Methods126
for another exercise was released under a CC BY SA 4.0 version. SA stands for share alike
and means that new material containing a SA license material needs to be released under the
same license. The original exercise compared PDAs in order to practice the comparative and
superlative forms. In order to make the exercise useful for students in 2015, it was updated to
compare smartphones instead (Figure 1). While the base exercise as well as the pictures and
texts used were all released under either BY or BY SA, the version numbers of the licensed
material are dierent.
Therefore, some time was spent trying to evaluate what to do in a case like this. Due to the fact
that this seems to be a common problem with SA licenses, the CC website provides a detailed
explanation on how to deal with version numbers of SA licenses that do not match. In a case like
this, the latest SA license included should be used as the license for the entire document [11].
During the study, in addition to being taught about the topics of shopping and vacation
which included exercises for the grammar points present perfect simple and the comparative,
students also received a brief introduction to OER and Creative Commons licenses. The rea-
son for this is that the students are the future generation, and therefore it is important to make
them aware of issues such as copyright infringements and possible solutions, e.g., material
released under CC license.
Furthermore, in order to raise even more awareness for the topic of OER and CC licenses,
the majority of the nal lesson was used to create a class poster together with the students
(Figure 2). For this purpose, the students were asked to bring pictures from their previous
vacations, aach the said pictures to the poster, and write a short sentence about their experi-
ences during the vacation using the present perfect simple which they had learned in one of
the previous lessons. It should be noted that during the study the students were also intro-
duced to the concept of “right to one’s own picture”; therefore, the pictures included on the
poster did not feature people but rather featured objects and landscapes [19].
In the second to the last lesson, the students were introduced to the concept of OER and
CC licenses. During this lesson, the students heard about the various modules that make
up CC licenses, and the benets of OER material compared to copyrighted material were
explained. This was done because the poster of the students created would be released under
a CC licenses. Therefore, it was important to raise students’ awareness.
Due to the fact that the students were underage, a wrien permission by the parents needed
to be obtained before the poster could be released under a CC license. In order to protect the
integrity of the students, the poster was not released under a BY or BY SA license but was
instead released under a BY NC ND license. This means that the poster can be shared but
cannot be modied or resold. Additionally, while explaining the various licensing modules to
the students, it was discovered that they had diculties with the SA concept; therefore, it was
decided against using a license that contained the SA module.
For the future research with older students, it would be benecial to include them in the
license choosing process in order to get them more involved with OER as a whole and start
a possible discussion regarding which license to use and why. However, due to the fact that
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Figure 1. Worksheet: smartphone comparison.
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Initially, it was believed that repositories with EFL and ESL material could easily be found.
The reason for this was that OER material is predominantly produced in English or by institu-
tions situated in either the USA or Europe [23]. However, as mentioned in the introduction,
the OER movement is also mostly focused on the tertiary sector. Therefore, despite the fact
that material is available in English, the students’ level is assumed to be relatively high. While
there are repositories available that provide users with suitable language learning activities,
the beginner activities are mostly focused on Romance languages such as Spanish or French.
Very lile material with regard to EFL/ESL beginner students was found. While it would be
possible to reuse language learning material for other languages, due to the lack of Romance
language knowledge, this was not possible during this study [24].
Due to the fact that a relatively small number of repositories with material for secondary
education as well as EFL material in a suitable level could be found, so-called lile OER were
frequently used throughout the study process [25].
Big OER refers to repositories often hosted by renowned universities that provide users with
material for a variety of subject areas. Since these repositories are backed by abovementioned
universities, users are more likely to trust the provided material [25].
According to Clements and Pawlowski [26], trust is one of the main reasons that determine
whether or not a teacher decides to reuse the material.
Lile OER, on the other hand, are websites that are hosted by individual users. Therefore,
due to the fact that rating systems are often missing, the quality of the material cannot always
be easily determined [25]. Throughout the research process, it was found that teachers often
had their own blogs or websites where they oered material they had created themselves. In
addition to providing the material, some of the websites also included information and ideas
on how to incorporate the material in a classroom seing. Therefore, despite the fact that
according to Weller [25] lile OER are seen to be of lesser quality than big OER, this could not
be conrmed during the study.
One of the reasons why so lile suitable material for English beginner students was found
might be due to the fact that teachers are not openly sharing their material online. This does
not mean that no sharing takes place but rather that this sharing happens covertly, e.g., in
password-protected forums or via email. Due to the fact that teachers are often unaware of
copyright-related issues [27], sharing in this close-knit seing allows them to do so, seem-
ingly without having to worry about possible copyright infringement. In turn, this means
that OER material that could be shared and be useful for a larger group of people is hidden
in password-protected networks ([28], p. 4). Therefore, it is important to make people as a
whole and teachers in particular more aware of the OER movement and the benets it entails.
OER allows teachers to draw from each other’s experiences instead of having to reinvent the
wheel. Due to the fact that material is allowed to be changed and adapted, students can highly
benet from OER material. One of the misconceptions found during Richter and Ehlers’ [27]
study with teachers in Germany was that the interviewed teachers thought that oering and
puing material online were enough in order to ensure that the said material could be shared,
remixed, and reused by their colleagues. Once again, this reinforces the fact that awareness
Advanced Learning and Teaching Environments - Innovation, Contents and Methods130
raising and educating about copyright as well as the OER movement is important in order for
more people to benet from material created by others.
One of the diculties found during the research period of the study was that material mar-
keted as OER did not necessarily only include material that was licensed under a Creative
Commons license or material in the public domain. One of the examples was a shopping
dialog. While the text was released under a BY license, the image credit was provided as
“Google images.” Due to the fact that no link to the source images was provided, it could not
be determined whether or not the images were released under an appropriate license.
It should be noted that particularly with regard to pictures, proper credit was not always pres-
ent. Therefore, instead of simply not using the exercises, the parts that were credited properly
were used, while others were omied. However, in order to be able to remove pictures with-
out credit and for reuse to be feasible, it is important that the material is oered in an easily
editable format [23, 29]. An example for this can be providing users with PDF les for easier
printing as well as a Word document if the user wants to edit the provided material.
The pictures used for the exercises were almost always obtained from the Flickr website [30]
which allows users to search for pictures with a varying degree of openness. As mentioned
previously, suitable material for the students’ level could not always be obtained; therefore,
new material is needed to be created. It should be noted that pictures found on Flickr were
also used as a base to create new material for the students.
4.2. Lecturing
The students’ regular English class was predominantly teacher-centered, and the textbook
provided by the teacher was primarily used throughout the lessons. Over the course of the
study, particular aention was paid to use a more student-centered and interactive teaching
approach.
During the rst lesson, students were provided with a shopping dialog in order to act as an
awareness-raising activity [31] for the comparative and superlative forms. They were asked
to read the dialog together with a partner and form concepts about the new grammar point.
This allowed students to actively contribute to the grammar explanation process rather than
merely receiving information from the teacher. Additionally, the dialog provided students
with a guideline for creating their own shopping dialog during the lesson.
The second lesson was used to reinforce the comparative and superlative forms. Students
were asked to read a text about a raccoon trying to nd the ideal car and highlight the appro-
priate comparative forms. The text was chosen because it was seen as an interesting read that
still included grammar points from the last lesson. Afterward, a game was played in order to
practice the grammar formation. For this purpose, the class was divided into two teams, and
students had to race to the board and add the comparative and superlative forms to words
provided on the board.
Lesson 3 was the last lesson to deal with comparisons. Prior to this lesson, students had never
directly compared people or objects, e.g., “Lisa is taller than Tim.” Therefore, as a warm-up
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activity for the lesson, students were asked to compare the two English teachers present. The
class enjoyed the exercise, and a few students even asked to volunteer when talking about
criteria such as height, age, and hair length. Afterward, students were asked to nd the best
smartphone for one of the English teachers. They received a worksheet which included infor-
mation about three dierent smartphones as well as comprehension questions. At the end of
the lesson, the answers to the questions were compared, and students were asked to vote for
their favorite smartphone.
In order to incorporate the upcoming Halloween holiday, students were asked to create and
write about a “superpet” as their homework. The worksheet included images of superheroes
as well as sentences and useful words and phrases. In addition to writing about their super-
pet, students were asked to draw a picture. This part was included to allow students to be
more creative and to make their texts more visible.
The fourth lesson was created to give students an overview of the dierences between
British and American English. In Austrian schools, students are predominantly taught British
English, and often times they are not aware of the dierences between the two language varia-
tions. In addition to providing an overview of some of the main dierences between British
and American English, the lesson also acted as an introduction for the topic of vacation and
traveling to other countries.
Pictures of various objects with dierent terms in British and American English were used as
a stimulus for the students. The pictures were stuck to the chalkboard located in class, and
index cards with the corresponding terms were randomly distributed on the teacher’s desk.
Students were then asked to come to the front of the class and work together in order to add
the correct terms to the pictures. Other dierences with regard to spelling and pronunciation
were discussed in class. Later, students were provided with the pictures and terms located
on the chalkboard. They were then asked to cut the worksheet in order to create their own
memory game. This activity not only reinforced the vocabulary but also allowed students to
create the material themselves, an activity that would not easily be possible with a textbook.
The last two lessons introduced the present perfect tense. As mentioned previously, the last
lesson predominantly consisted of students creating a class poster using sentences with the
present perfect alongside vacation pictures. Prior to that, a worksheet as well as a listening
comprehension was used to familiarize the students with the present perfect tense.
4.3. Feedback
At the end of the study, a 30-minute feedback session was held with the students. Prior to
the study, a preliminary study was conducted in which it was discovered that the students’
feedback had mostly focused on the teacher rather than on the material itself. Therefore, the
students were provided with some guiding questions during the feedback session in order to
ensure that feedback regarding the OER material was received.
The students’ feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with only 2 of 30 students noting that
they did not like the OER material but preferred using the schoolbook. The others noted that
the material was as good as or beer than the material they used during their regular classes.
Advanced Learning and Teaching Environments - Innovation, Contents and Methods132
Additionally, they positively mentioned the games and activities that were incorporated in the
lessons. According to an email received by the two English teachers, the students were more
engaged and motivated than usual, and one of the teachers noted that she thought that this was
due to the fact that the material was created specically for the students which made the exer-
cises more “authentic” rather than, e.g., simply telling students to open the book on page 45.
One of the complaints the students frequently mentioned was the number of worksheets they
received. In order to decrease the amount of paper used for student copies, as well as to speed
up the communication process, email was supposed to be used. However, during the prelimi-
nary study, only about one-third of the students made use of the email feature. This is why it
was decided against using it for the main study. Additionally, the school website had recently
been restructured, and students were not allowed to use mobile devices in class. Therefore,
the material was provided only in hardcopy format.
Over the course of the six lessons, the students were provided with nine worksheets each.
This means that all together over the course of 2 weeks or six lessons around 420 copies were
produced. This not only meant a huge amount of paper usage but also led students feeling
frustrated because they needed to hole punch each sheet and loose sheets could easily get lost.
While it would have been possible to decrease the number of copies by printing double sided,
it was decided against it in order to increase exibility.
5. Conclusion
Open educational resources are a great opportunity for teachers to increase the quality and
enjoyment of students. As could be seen throughout the study, the students enjoyed working
with the material and were eager to learn. This suggests that students would not be opposed
to using OER material in class instead of using their schoolbooks.
However, the study also showed that while it is possible to exclusively use OER material in
an EFL seing in an Austrian school, at the moment there are certain challenges encountered
when doing so. Therefore, in order for OER material to be used on a regular basis in an EFL
classroom in Austria, certain changes need to occur.
While it is possible to use OER material in an oine seing, there are certain drawbacks asso-
ciated with it. In addition to the paper used to create hardcopies, citing Creative Commons
material became more dicult and confusing due to the oine seing. Further research
needs to be conducted in order to determine if measurements such as providing material
online could decrease the time needed to prepare the lessons.
Furthermore, it is important to spread awareness of the OER movement as a whole in order to
make teachers aware of its benets. Doing so will stop teachers from sharing material in a pri-
vate seing and allow a larger audience to benet from the material created by others. Therefore,
the author suggests implementing a course with regard to OER usage as a requirement in the
curriculum for teacher training in order to allow the future generation of teachers to learn about
the benets associated with using OER material and provide an introduction to OER usage.
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Author details
Maria Haas1, Martin Ebner1* and Sandra Schön2
*Address all correspondence to: martin.ebner@tugraz.at
1 Educational Technology, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
2 Innovation Lab, Salzburg Research, Salzburg, Austria
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Advanced Learning and Teaching Environments - Innovation, Contents and Methods136
... This might due to the fact that complete textbooks or collections for a certain course are rarely available. In Austria, for example, a study was carried out in 2018 to find out what materials are available at all for a specific school level for English as a foreign language and whether they are sufficient [18]. The case study shows that this is quite problematic on closer inspection: for example, many materials for learning English that are available as OER are written for native speakers who are much younger and do not fit well with the much older Austrian children when they start to learn English. ...
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The focus of this research is to find and implement OER to be used in learning German as a foreign language levels A1 to B1 of the The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) standards and to implement in teaching at Universitas Negeri Malang (Indonesia). An overview of the OER will be given, which was categorized language learning level, themes, among others level and themes. From the implementation in university classes with about 19-21 years old, our interviews with five lecturers and their answers in an online questionnaire showed that the OER material in learning did provide many benefits for lecturers and students, including the variety of materials, the forms, and the economic aspect. However, the existing OER still have some downsides, like their suitability to the needs of lecturers and students, in terms of their themes, the technical requirements and levels of difficulty.
... Not all teachers have attended a Level B training program and facilities; school equipment was considered low-level by the interviewees themselves. Therefore, all teachers should attend Level B training to enable the next generation of teachers to learn about the benefits of using ICT in the educational process, which coincides with that of (Haas et al., 2018;Zacharia, 2003). ...
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In the present study, we tried to find possible obstacles that Primary and Secondary education teachers face when managing Digital Learning Objects (DLOs) and/or Digital Simulation Tools (DST) in science. One hundred seventy-six teachers from all over Greece answered the questionnaire. The results showed that the main reason for refusing to deal with DLOs and DSTs is the technological equipment. Also, the lack of adequate training level B results in about 25% of the teachers who do not know the DSTs, and 30% do not know the DLOs. Factors such as the teaching experience, the specialty, the Pan-Hellenic examinations, the classes they teach in, and the number of students per class negatively affect the teachers' attitude to get involved with the DLOs the DSTs. Finally, the negative attitude seems to be related to the lack of trust in the curriculum content as teachers prefer to search DLOs and DSTs on the internet. Further research with mixed methods of analysis would help to obtain satisfactory results.
... Furthermore, respondents report that they also enjoy sharing. The character of open materials allows them for being then used again, e.g. in English lessons (Haas, Ebner, & Schön, 2018) or for getting to know the criteria and production possibilities of learning videos (Buchner & Handle-Pfeiffer, 2019). ...
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This paper shows that teachers in German-speaking countries who practice the Flipped Classroom in class tend to have a more positive attitude towards Open Educational Resources than teachers who do not practice the Flipped Classroom. It also shows that the understanding of OER differs greatly among the respondents. The general connection between Flipped Classroom and Open Educational Resources was shown by the authors in a previous publication.
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This study assessed the joint and relative contributions of demographic factors (age, sex, marital status, school, and academic level) to the prediction of Open Educational Resources awareness and usage among open and distance learning students in Southwestern Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive research design of the survey type. Three ODL institutions (Study Centre) were purposively selected. A structured questionnaire titled "OER awareness and usage Questionnaire" was pilot-tested, and an Alpha coefficient of .95 was obtained. Data collected from the study were analyzed using frequency count, simple percentages, and multiple regression analysis. Results of the study revealed that there is a joint contribution of age, sex, marital status, school, and academic level to the prediction of OER awareness and usage. It was further revealed that while school, academic level, and age had a significant relative contribution to the prediction of OER awareness among the students, sex and marital status had no significant relative contribution. Also, sex, marital status, and school have a significant relative contribution to OER usage, but age and academic level of students had no contribution. It was therefore concluded that if all these demographic factors are properly considered in the drive towards increasing OER awareness and usage among ODL students, there is a greater chance that high feet could be achieved both in terms of awareness and usage of open educational resources among the students in order to boost the academic performance and in turn improve productivity level of ODL institutions in the country.
Article
This study assessed the joint and relative contributions of demographic factors (age, sex, marital status, school, and academic level) to the prediction of Open Educational Resources awareness and usage among open and distance learning students in Southwestern Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive research design of the survey type. Three ODL institutions (University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre, University of Lagos Distance Learning Institute, and the National Open University of Nigeria, Ibadan Study Centre) were purposively selected. A structured questionnaire titled "OER awareness and usage Questionnaire" was pilot-tested, and an Alpha coefficient of .95 was obtained. Data collected from the study were analyzed using frequency count, simple percentages, and multiple regression analysis. Results of the study revealed that there is a joint contribution of age, sex, marital status, school, and academic level to the prediction of OER awareness and usage. It was further revealed that while school, academic level, and age had a significant relative contribution to the prediction of OER awareness among the students, sex and marital status had no significant relative contribution. Also, sex, marital status, and school have a significant relative contribution to OERusage, but age and academic level of students had no contribution. It was therefore concluded that if all these demographic factors are properly considered in the drive towards increasing OER awareness and usage among ODLstudents, there is a greater chance that high feet could be achieved both in terms of awareness and usage of open educational resources among the students in order to boost the academic performance and in turn improve productivity level of ODLinstitutions in the country.
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This study assessed Open Educational Resources (OER) awareness level and usage among Open and Distance Learning (ODL) students in Southwestern Nigeria. A descriptive research design was adopted for the study. Three ODL institutions (University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre, National Open University of Nigeria, Ibadan Study centre and University of Lagos Distance Learning Institute) were purposively selected. A structured questionnaire titled "OER awareness and usage Questionnaire" with Cronbach alpha coefficient of .954 was used as data collection instrument. Data collected were analysed using frequency count, simple percentages, mean, standard deviation and Pearson Product Moment Correlation. Results of the study revealed that OER awareness among ODL students was on the average while OER usage was high. Lack of orientation on the availability and use of OER and insufficient ICT facilities in the school to access OER materials, amongst others were challenges ODL students faced using OER. It was, therefore, recommended that there should be conscious efforts by ODL institutions to devise means to increase the level of OER awareness among students and sensitise them on the inherent benefits in OER usage.
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Remix is touted as one of the most important practices within the field of open educational resources (OER). But remixing is still not mainstream practice in education and the barriers and limitations to remix are not well known. In this article we discuss the design and development of a print and web-based booklet created to introduce the topic of OER to schoolteachers. The guide, the first of its kind available in Portuguese, was created through the remix and translation of existing resources available in English. Choosing design-as-remix raised a series of concerns related to licensing, attribution, context, and technical standards. In this article we review the concerns related to culture and inequity within the OER movement, followed by the design choices and procedures, and finally the implications of these issues for the open educational resources movement.
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Ziel der Ist-Analyse zu Open Educational Resources (kurz OER) in Deutschland ist es, deren Reichweite innerhalb Deutschlands abzubilden sowie insbesondere die Situation in den Bildungsbereichen Schule, Hochschule, berufliche Bildung und Weiterbildung darzustellen. In der Analyse werden unter „OER“ offene Bildungsressourcen bzw. freie Bildungsmaterialien verstanden, bei denen es allen gestattet ist, das Werk entgeltfrei, ggf. unter Auflagen, zu bearbeiten und weiterzuverbreiten. Dazu müssen die Materialien mit einer freien Lizenz zur Verfügung gestellt worden sein (z.B. CC BY oder CC BY-SA) oder der Gemeinfreiheit unterliegen. Der Ist-Stand zur Situation und Debatte um OER in Deutschland wird anhand existierender Quellen (insbesondere vorhandener Publikationen) abgebildet. Ergänzend werden im Vorfeld durchgeführte (Kurz-) Interviews sowie schriftlich gestellte Anfragen an Expertinnen und Experten präsentiert. Die Darstellung der Situation von OER in den einzelnen Bildungsbereichen greift jeweils deren (fach-)spezifische Besonderheiten auf, die in Bezug auf verwendete Bildungsmaterialien von Bedeutung sind. Die Ist-Analyse richtet sich an Bildungsexpertinnen und -experten, die sich zum Stand der Entwicklung zu OER in Deutschland informieren möchten. Diese Analyse entstand im Projekt Mapping OER - Bildungsmaterialien gemeinsam gestalten. Das Projekt wird von Wikimedia Deutschland durchgeführt und vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung gefördert. Die Analyse erscheint als Band 10 der Schriftenreihe „Beiträge zu offenen Bildungsressourcen“ (O3R.EU), welche von Martin Ebner und Sandra Schön herausgegeben wird. Die Reihe wird getragen vom gemeinnützigen Verein BIMS e.V. mit Sitz in Bad Reichenhall (http://bimsev.de). Die Autorinnen und Autoren sind Martin Ebner, Elly Köpf, Jöran Muuß-Merholz, Martin Schön, Sandra Schön und Nils Weichert.
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The Open educational resources (OER) movement is a new phenomenon in the field of education. Increasing use of Web 2.0 technologies along with growing competition between educational institutions have accelerated interest in the potential of such 'open' educational resources. Some educational institutions have made their learning resources available online for learners for the purpose of encouraging knowledge sharing and improving effectiveness of teaching and learning. Furthermore, some community organisations are also hosting and supporting OERs. However, at least some reports from educational institutions indicate that the motivation behind this move to OERs might be driven more by a desire to enhance their reputation and attract new students to their programs, rather than the promotion of OERs. This paper presents the findings of a content analysis of a sample of OER websites undertaken to identify whether 'Net Gen' learner needs are adequately addressed by current OER initiatives. The findings suggest that although many educational institutions state that their OERs allow learners to share knowledge and extend critical thinking and interactivity, the OER community organisation sites reviewed appear to be offering learners greater opportunities for online interaction, critical thinking, and reflective learning practices than the formal educational institutions reviewed. The findings of the content analysis also suggest that OER initiatives do not necessarily meet learners/users' needs. The findings from this analysis are discussed and the implications for future uptake of OERs as a strategy for supporting widening access to education in response to the changing needs of learners are explored.
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Due to the increasing professional mobility of their parents, pupils often find themselves in new and unfamiliar learning scenarios in foreign contexts and countries. Besides having to leave their familiar environments, these pupils additionally may face language barriers, different curricula, and have to cope with foreign cultures. Printed textbooks, which are the most commonly used educational resources in schools, provide little support for these pupils to manage the new challenges. Teachers are the professionals designated to provide the necessary support. However, they often may not fully appreciate the pupils’ individual challenges. Possible solutions could be the provision of alternative learning contents in the pupils’ native languages and an international open exchange of knowledge and experiences amongst schoolteachers. These issues are addressed by the Open Discovery Space platform. In order to empower this platform to provide the best possible support to teachers, we explored barriers to adoption of Open Educational Practices in the context of school education and asked for manageable solutions. The investigation took place in an action research scenario. After an introduction of the ODS project, we will present the identified barriers and recommendations for solutions to overcome these, and the mechanisms which we are going to implement in the ODS platform in order to provide the best possible support to the community.
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This chapter introduces the field of learning sciences, and outlines some of its key findings in recent years. It explains that while the standard model of schooling was designed to prepare students for the industrial age, the global shift to the knowledge economy will require the rethinking of schooling in order to accommodate evolving needs. Several key findings of learning sciences research and how they align with the needs of the knowledge economy are explained.
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The role of distance education is shifting. Traditionally distance education was limited in the number of people served because of production, reproduction, and distribution costs. Today, while it still costs the university time and money to produce a course, technology has made it such that reproduction costs are almost non-existent. This shift has significant implications, and allows distance educators to play an important role in the fulfillment of the promise of the right to universal education. At little or no cost, universities can make their content available to millions. This content has the potential to substantially improve the quality of life of learners around the world. New distance education technologies, such as OpenCourseWares, act as enablers to achieving the universal right to education. These technologies, and the associated changes in the cost of providing access to education, change distance education's role from one of classroom alternative to one of social transformer.
Chapter
This case study draws on work carried out as part of an Open University (OU) project on collaborative writing and peer review of open educational resources (OER). The article focuses on one teacher's experience of repurposing (i.e. re-using and adapting existing resources for different purposes) OER, examines how access to open repositories for OER can enhance teachers' own practice and reflection process and illustrates the processes involved in repurposing. Selecting suitable resources for repurposing can be based on image suitability, resource format, content suitability or on information gained from teacher's notes, descriptions or tags. It will also be demonstrated how resources can be designed for a particular teaching context and how resources can be made fit for re-use. The case study gives practical advice on how open images can be sourced and how using Creative Commons licences can assure that resources are shared in the way the author had intended. A checklist offers practitioners who are interested in using and designing OER guidance for the repurposing process. Keywords: repurposing, reversioning, creative commons, task design, re-using, adapting, open educational resources, OER, teacher practice.
Article
Reusable learning objects support packaging of educational materials allowing their discovery and reuse. Open educational resources emphasize the need for open licensing and promote sharing and community involvement. For both teachers and learners, finding appropriate tried and tested resources on a topic of interest and being able to incorporate them within or alongside other learning materials can enrich provision and share best practice. Resources are made available by a number of general and subject-specific repositories, but there are also many educational resources residing outside these repositories which may provide useful additional materials. Potential users of materials need to be able to locate relevant material and to assess it with respect to a number of factors (such as suitability for purpose and license requirements). However, even such basic requirements can be less than straightforward to determine. This paper presents a view of the field from the user's perspective, bringing together themes from existing research relating to practice-oriented concerns including discoverability, reusability, and quality. It provides a background in this area, exploring current trends, controversies, and research findings. The discussion is also aligned with current provision and practice, indicating areas where further research, provision, and support would be useful.