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Scoping the nascent: An analysis of K-12 OER research 2012-2017


Abstract and Figures

Awareness and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) has grown at all levels of education. Higher education researchers actively study OER but K-12 OER research indicates limited published results. To address this gap, this study examined articles meeting defined criteria and analyzed the results. Findings include cohesion of author-supplied keywords and ten primary categories of focus. From 38 articles studied, a variety of research methods were represented. Analysis showed Professional and Applied Sciences were overwhelmingly represented with the majority of articles within the discipline of Education and its fields with Humanities a distant second category of publication. The equal distribution between open and closed access journals may reflect changes to past scholarly publication practices. Citation analysis revealed divergences and reinforces the nascent quality of this topic. Future K-12 OER research that studies the complex change from resource scarcity to resource flexibility and digital abundance is needed.
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Reception date: 11 July 2018 • Acceptance date: 1 November 2018
Open Praxis, vol. 10 issue 4, October–December 2018, pp. 359–375 (ISSN 2304-070X)
Scoping the nascent: An analysis of K-12 OER
research 2012-2017
Constance Blomgren
Athabasca University (Canada)
Iain MacPherson
e-Learning Consultants (Canada)
Awareness and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) has grown at all levels of education. Higher
education researchers actively study OER but K-12 OER research indicates limited published results. To
address this gap, this study examined articles meeting dened criteria and analyzed the results. Findings
include cohesion of author-supplied keywords and ten primary categories of focus. From 38 articles studied,
a variety of research methods were represented. Analysis showed Professional and Applied Sciences were
overwhelmingly represented with the majority of articles within the discipline of Education and its elds with
Humanities a distant second category of publication. The equal distribution between open and closed access
journals may reect changes to past scholarly publication practices. Citation analysis revealed divergences
and reinforces the nascent quality of this topic. Future K-12 OER research that studies the complex change
from resource scarcity to resource exibility and digital abundance is needed.
Keywords: K-12, OER, open education, open educational practice, open pedagogy, literature analysis
Since UNESCO’s early open courseware forum in 2002, public domain or open licensed educational
materials - referred to as Open Educational Resources (OER) - have increased in three signicant
ways: awareness of these malleable educational resources; the use of OER through the development
of a variety of public repositories; and, the concomitant support for OER by an array of advocates.
Educators’ practices, informed by the educational publishing legacy who traditionally contributed
to and shaped content and curriculum at all levels of education, has amongst some circles begun
to embrace the pedagogical changes wrought by an open web and participatory technologies. As
Merkley (2018) notes, there has generally been a rapid rise in the use of open licenses, suggesting
approximately 1.4 billion licenses had been issued by 2017.
The understanding and awareness of OER continues to evolve. UNESCO (2012) dened OER
as including a wide range of learning materials, from “textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes,
assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation (UNESCO, 2012, para 1).” Wiley (2014)
later suggested ‘the 5Rs’ of OER. The 5Rs function to i) retain an open license that permits ii)
reusing, iii) revising, iv) remixing, and v) resharing. To further enhance the denition of OER and
its growth toward Open Educational Practice (OEP), Cronin (2017) suggests that OEP involves
“collaborative practices that include the creation, use, and reuse of OER, as well as pedagogical
practices employing participatory technologies and social networks for interaction, peer-learning,
knowledge creation, and empowerment of learners” (p. 18). The combining of these changes has
Open Praxis, vol. 10 issue 4, October–December 2018, pp. 359–375
Constance Blomgren & Iain MacPherson
helped engender a pedagogical reframing through the eight attributes of open pedagogy (Hegarty,
2015), with less reliance on the legacy practices of educational publishing at all levels of education.
Within higher education, the awareness, use, and support for OER has been widely discussed
with a focus on specic topics such as quality assurance (Atenas & Havemann, 2013) or within
broader domains including open scholarship (Pearce, Weller, Scanlon & Kingsley, 2012; Veletsianos
& Kimmons, 2012), and open pedagogy (Hegarty, 2015). In part due to a search for solutions to
the high cost of higher education textbooks, there has been a slow increase in the use of user-
generated content and open textbooks in higher education classrooms (Janghiani & Janghiani, 2017).
Synthesizing studies of efcacy and perceptions of use have afrmed that at higher education,
students achieve comparable learning outcomes with OER, with both students and instructors having
positive perceptions of using OER (Hilton, 2016).
But what about K-12 environments? Because of the unique nature of the K-12 educational system
and its prominent role within all countries, this study seeks to examine recent research in K-12 OER
from the years 2012- 2017.
In this paper we have used a set of researching decisions to determine a broad yet rigorous
catchment of K-12 OER scholarly articles published from the years 2012- 2017. From these results,
we have sought to answer two questions: What are the predominate areas of focus in published
K-12 OER research? And, secondly, what research methods do scholars apply when investigating
K-12 OER topics? The research methods used are those identied by West and Borup (2014)
who examined a decade of research to identify trends within instructional design and technology
scholarship. Because OER involves participatory technologies, these established classications
were applied for the purposes of this paper.
Unlike traditional academic scholarship, the intended benefactors of this overview of K-12 OER
research casts a broader net. There is increased expectation for practitioners inclusive of classroom
teachers, school principals and senior school authority leaders to “stay current with educational
technology research; participate in and apply research to learning and teaching” (Alberta Education,
2013, p. 3). Additionally, with the growth of open scholarship, access to openly licensed educational
research has the potential to contribute to aspects of citizen science (Silvertown, 2009 as cited by
Anderson, 2013), to support undergraduate and graduate students, and to enhance scholarly access
throughout the world (Anderson, 2013). Concomitantly, the movement toward evidence-based
decision-making has been buoyed through annual professional dues such as the Alberta Teachers
Association (ATA) nancing digital library access of subscription-based research journals (ATA,
2018). Such systemic library support for classroom-based teachers is likely rare but with the rise of
Open Access journals, educators without access to subscription-based journals may still be able to
read and consider pedagogical implications of current educational research. These developments
point to a greater movement toward reading, applying, and creating research as part of K-12 school
culture that has thus broadened the readership of educational research. Thus, this paper supports
the teaching profession and the ongoing cultural change that may further research ndings and
discussions by a professional yet previously underserved audience. Additionally, as OER is part of
the broader Open movement (Cronin, 2017), open scholarship also aligns with expanding research
dissemination known as Knowledge Mobilization (KM) strategies extending the distribution of
research beyond the conventional audience (Social Science and Humanities Research Council of
Canada [SSHRC], 2018) through pursuits such as open data and open practices. In short, interest
in K-12 OER research may increase not only because of topic growth but also because of increased
practitioner readership through KM dissemination activities and Open Access journals.
Open Praxis, vol. 10 issue 4, October–December 2018, pp. 359–375
Scoping the nascent: An analysis of K-12 OER research 2012-2017 361
It is only within recent years that stakeholders have begun to nurture K-12 OER awareness. In
part, this awareness catalyzed in 2015 with the United States Department of Education’s (USDE)
successful #GoOpen initiative. Similar to the use of OER within higher education, the USDE identies
a monetary rationale for reassigning funds away from traditional textbooks to supporting digital
learning through OER (USDE, 2018a, para 9). However, as OER advocates often state, the nancial
benets come with pedagogical advantages as well (Blomgren, 2017; Wiley, Hilton, Ellington & Hall,
2012). The #GoOpen initiative encouraged a
…broader dialogue and dissemination of information on the policies and practices that impact
teaching, learning, and collaboration. ... [and] documenting and sharing [of] new approaches to
professional learning for teachers, and curating resources that offer… options for personalizing
learning, and strategies to support curating, creating, adapting and sharing OER (USDE, 2018b,
para 2-3).
Within the three years since the initiative, 20 American states have developed OER and these states
may act as ambassadors to support districts embarking upon OER (USDE, 2018b, para 6). Prior to
#GoOpen, K-12 OER had little prominence in the USA and this extends to Canada because of the
complex political, historical, and geographic ties between the two countries. OER research signicance
for K-12, unlike within higher education, lays in potentiality but as this paper demonstrates, interest
grows in this topic.
Scope and search
We performed literary searches using the library search engines of two universities with graduate
programs in education (Athabasca University and University of Ontario Institute of Technology)
providing access to JSTOR (, Project Muse (, ProQuest
( and ERIC ( databases. To replicate the experience of
K-12 practitioners who have limited or no access to post-secondary databases, we performed a third
search using the publicly available Google Scholar (
The materials analyzed are limited to 2012 and later. This study’s authors perceived 2012 as
a suitable start date for the research analysis. Searches for the terms “K-12” paired with “Open
Education Resources” or “OER” returned few results prior to 2012, thus, suggesting K-12 OER
seemed to have had little prominence in the USA or Canada and that there were limited materials
that might contribute to an analysis of research trends. Grey literature was not included although we
later discuss its role in the changing face of OEP and the shifts experienced in KM with the scholarly
use of open sharing platforms.
Initial searches focused exclusively on scholarly (peer reviewed) articles within the discipline of
education. Due to the timelines for research / publication and the need to analyze the materials
further, only full-text articles were selected for each search. In an effort to ensure that we had not
missed relevant materials, the top 100 results from each inquiry were sorted by relevance and cross-
referenced. Items after the top 100 items appeared to yield no relevant results.
We applied the following search terms with relevant Boolean operators: Open Educational
Resources, OER, K-12, and PreK-12. Subject delimiters included all of “open educational resource,”
“education,” “oer,” “k-12,” “open textbooks.” Because the principle investigators only speak English,
we included the further delimiter of “only articles in ‘English’”. We saved results as searchable pdf
Open Praxis, vol. 10 issue 4, October–December 2018, pp. 359–375
Constance Blomgren & Iain MacPherson
format documents, loaded into the reference software Mendeley and then exported to Nvivo software
for detailed analysis.
Analysis and Results
A two-member research team used member checking to ensure consistency in coding decisions and a
series of research notes were recorded and further guided descriptive coding decisions. The analysis
included: word frequency searches of both full articles and author-supplied keywords; categories,
topics, and subtopics including topical root keyword analysis and the degree of inclusion by source;
classication of research methods; the discipline and eld of publication output; journal type; and,
lastly citation patterns. We decided to not include authorship, in part because of the nascent quality
of K-12 OER with only 38 articles meeting the scoping criteria (list available in Appendix A).
To begin, an overview analysis included searches for word frequency and source attributes (e.g.
journal articles by year and by title.) Word frequency searches included stemmed words (e.g. the
result for educators’ includes: educ OR educate OR educated OR educating OR education OR
educational OR educationally OR education’ OR educative OR educator OR educators OR
educators’). Extraneous common words (Appendix B) were excluded.
As to be expected the most common results included educators, OERS, teachers, students, use,
learns, and opens. However, frequency of use does not indicate alignment on how the term is being
used. The word open provides such an example. Depending on the researcher, open education
varies from an emphasis on empowering learners, to networked learning, participatory technologies,
collaborative practices, and open educational practice (DeVries, 2018). Further analysis of the word
cloud revealed other important results. Some third tier words only appeared in two articles (e.g.
“schools’”) while some of second tier terms (e.g. “students’”) appeared in multiple articles. As might
be expected, the overall frequency of a term did not, necessarily, suggest breadth of interest or
degree of discussion. More rigorous analysis was then applied.
Ultimately, rather than rely upon a pre-determined set of categories, we decided to perform a second
and third round of grounded coding (Saldaña, 2016). We extracted and performed a word frequency
search on the author-supplied keywords that appeared more than once. Any that returned multiple
results provided the basis for enhanced text searches of the full articles. To capture variations and/or
related concepts, we used the Oxford English Dictionary and a thesaurus to derive a list of synonyms.
Synonyms that were not applicable to the intended OER focus of the search were excluded. Three
non-keyword terms (i.e. adoption, integration, and support) were also included in this level of coding
as through the coding iterations they were observed to be integral to understanding OER research
yet had not been identied as keywords, either by authors or journal editors. The articles meeting the
criteria were coded, the coding reviewed, and unsuitable instances of coding removed. The results
were then grouped into themes, topics, and sub-topics.
Table 1 provides the terms used, number of resources, and total number of references produced
by this coding process. A comparative overview of the number of references by keyword is provided
in Figure 1 and the number of sources in which the keywords are referenced in Figure 2.
Table 1 results show the catchment themes, topics, and sub-topics of keyword search results. At this
level of coding, Khan Academy was noted to be overrepresented because three articles specically
focused on this non-prot web-based open learning resource that provides exercises, instructional
videos, and a student dashboard for support in subjects such as high school mathematics. In the
iterative coding steps that followed because of its specicity and lack of similarly narrow subtopics
appearing, we decided to not further pursue Khan Academy in this level of coding. In combination
with Figure 1 and 2, there appears to be a strong interest in the signicance of teaching and learning,
Open Praxis, vol. 10 issue 4, October–December 2018, pp. 359–375
Scoping the nascent: An analysis of K-12 OER research 2012-2017 363
Table 1: Categories & Topics / Sub-topics by Author-Supplied Keywords (Condensed).
Themes Topics Subtopics Files References
All Themes 38 89,622
Teaching & Learning 38 24,997
Learning 38 9,418
Student 38 2,649
Literacy 33 308
Teaching 38 15,271
Instruction 38 7,336
Administration Administration 38 24,265
Schools, Courses, Programs 38 1,071
Courses, Programs 38 1,773
Schools 38 5,787
Practice 38 1,042
Policy 38 24,265
Management 38 1,071
Professional 38 1,773
Access Access 38 11,581
Search 38 10,629
Research 38 10,270
Analysis 38 3,694
Information 38 3,460
Resources Resources 38 7,593
Material 38 3,320
Text 21 1,221
Development Development 38 5,921
Growth 38 2,187
Model 38 1,663
Adoption & Integration^^ 38 3,713
Adoption ^^ 38 2,334
Integrate 38 773
Support ^^ 38 606
Quality Quality 38 3,742
Defining Characteristics of OER 38 3095
4Rs; 5Rs 38 1,660
Share 38 1,435
Technology 38 2,784
Khan Academy Khan Academy 12 1,021
Cost, Expense 37 910
Note: ^^ indicate non-keyword
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Constance Blomgren & Iain MacPherson
and secondly administration. The next seven categories (access; resources; development; adoption
and integration, quality; defining characteristics of OER; and technology) highlight a focus on the
pragmatic nature of K-12 OER awareness and use. Classroom teachers and educational leaders
perceive potential nancial shifts with OER with cost being the least identied category generated by
the coding processes. Figures 1 and 2 reect the “how” of “doing OER” which relates to the following
areas and concerns: the changes brought to teaching and learning (e.g. understanding and applying
Creative Commons licenses and the 5Rs); administration (e.g. institutional processes to successfully
incorporate OER); access (e.g. computer connectivity); resources (e.g. the relationships among copy-
right restricted practices, OER digital pedagogies, and instruction); development (e.g. administrative
supports for teachers creating and sharing OER); adoption and integration (e.g. how to successfully
apply the 5Rs); quality (e.g. assurances for high-quality open resources); defining characteristics of
OER (e.g. dening OER practices and how they relate to the legacy publishing system); technology
(e.g. the degree and manner in which digital technologies are woven into using OER); and lastly,
cost/expense (e.g. examining the monetary expenditures that are required when moving to OER).
Article Types & Research Methods
From the qualifying articles, seven groupings were applied that represent “broad and easily identiable
paradigms of educational research and theoretical inquiry” (West & Borup, 2014, p. 547). As indicated in
Figure 1: Number of References by Category
Figure 2: Number of Sources in Which Categories Are Referenced.
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Scoping the nascent: An analysis of K-12 OER research 2012-2017 365
Table 2, these research methods revealed the following breakdown: 10 theoretical/philosophical articles;
eight combined (mixed methods) analysis, seven descriptive analysis, six inferential analysis, three
interpretative/qualitative; two content analysis and two ‘other’ types - an opinion piece and ‘how to’ article’.
Although West and Borup (2014) had a much larger study based on analyzing a decade of ten
journal publication patterns, a comparison reveals that for both their study and this one, theoretical/
philosophical articles held the rst spot. However, similarities end there and the combined methods,
descriptive analysis, and inferential analysis account for half of the methods identied. Interpretative
analysis which held the second spot (West & Borup, 2014) was in this study, the fth most common
K-12 OER research method, with content and discourse following next and lastly, “other,” which
included practical expository discussion papers of classroom OER collaboration and an overview of
the OER eld targeted at librarians.
The emphasis on theory is not surprising in a nascent area such as K-12 OER. Theory speculation
and development spawns new approaches and pedagogical models that reect ongoing technological
changes and their incumbent application including the societal implications of near ubiquitous mobile
devices. Theories evolve, respond, and reect how people are using and understanding digital
technologies, so it is not surprising that numerous articles reected this theoretical and philosophical
orientation. Additionally, the variety and distribution of research methods (gure 3) suggest that from
2012- 2017 there has been various research perspectives and approaches used to study K-12 OER.
These results could be viewed as unsurprising but also conrmation that no one research perspective
dominates which speaks to a healthy and varied research landscape.
Table 2: Article Types and Research Method
Type # of Sources
Theoretical & Philosophical 10
Combined methods 8
Descriptive analysis 7
Inferential analysis 6
Interpretative analysis 3
Content & discourse analysis 2
Other 2
Figure 3: Number of sources by research method
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Constance Blomgren & Iain MacPherson
Discipline, field and sub-fields
A fth analysis involved discipline and eld representation to investigate if any predominated.
Because of the broad and varied nature of OER within K-12 and its links to discipline and areas such
as computing, educational technology, learning sciences, curriculum, and pedagogy, the overview
of articles included disciplinary and sub-disciplinary analysis of where the journals were being
published, including if these journals were open access. The two main categories represented were
Humanities but with only one article included. Within Professional and Applied Sciences, Library and
Museum Studies also had one article and the Education discipline held the remaining 36. The elds
within Education included: open education, distance education, educational technology, and science
education. Because of the nature of education and its elds, movement between and among elds
was noted and indicates cross-fertilization (Table 3).
Figure 4 excludes fourteen documents that met the scoping criteria (i.e. book sections and
conference proceedings) and therefore illustrates article distribution published in non-open or open
journals. The equal breakdown between non-open and open journal publication reects the nature
of academic habit and precedent. Because they are not behind a paywall, open access journals may
attract users who may not have subscription-based access through a university library. Additionally,
newer articles also attract more trafc and there is the disputed “open access citation advantage”
(Piwowar et al., 2018, p. 5). Because of the nature of OER and its relationship to openness and
the open movement, researchers investigating K-12 OER may be more inclined to support Open
Access journals. This support represents a philosophical orientation and a strategic choice as the
readership of open journals may reect those interested in open scholarship. The equivalent choice
Figure 4: Number of Articles published in Open vs. Non-Open Journals
Table 3: Sources by Discipline
Discipline # of Sources
Humanities 1
The Arts (Literature) 1
Professional & Applied Sciences 37
Education 36
Distance Education (includes Distributed Learning) 12
Educational Technology 4
Open Education 18
Science Education 2
Library & Museum Studies 1
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Scoping the nascent: An analysis of K-12 OER research 2012-2017 367
by K-12 OER researchers regarding closed or open access journal publication reects a growing
trend (Piwowar et al., 2018), a philosophical stance, and a considered understanding of changes to
citation patterns.
Citation analysis
To analyze citation patterns, we used the Publish or Perish software (version 6.33.6259, Harzing,
2007), which uses Microsoft Academic Search and Google Scholar with its more inclusive search
capacities (i.e. languages other than English, book chapters, books). This decision is similar to that
of West and Borup (2014). Citation metrics are used for academic promotions and as a means to
measure scholarly impact but they were designed for the Sciences and are less representative of the
contributions to an area within the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Education. Using the software,
a broad net was cast which this literature-scoping task required. Pertinent ndings were highlighted,
especially the substantial range difference in the number of Google Scholar citations and four citation
groupings were established: high, moderate, minor and uncited. In the high category, only one article
was included as it had received 134 citations. In the moderate category seven articles were cited 77-
25 times. The minor category held twenty articles with citations ranging from 12-1. There were seven
articles with no citations at the time of analysis (Figure 5).
Discussion and Future Research
This study highlights several key ndings. Although higher education has been writing and researching
OER for quite some time, even before the 2002 UNESCO Global Forum adoption of the term OER
(UNESCO, 2002), this study reveals that K-12 OER activity substantially lags behind. With only 38
articles meeting the criteria, yet with K-12 OER potentially inuencing vast numbers of educators,
students, and public dollar investment, this signicant research area will likely continue to grow.
The scoping of OER K-12 research provides a sense of the current landscape. Through initial
analysis, we determined the writing cohesion of researchers explicating their results and through
the processes of coding pertinent categories, topics, and sup-topics emerged. Overall, the topics
generated indicate that procedural and pragmatic sub-topics have been initially studied, and with the
demanding nature of K-12 teaching this procedural emphasis comes as no surprise. Having OER
research explore what it means to teach students with public domain and openly licensed, accessible,
and manipulative resources marks the transition to resourcing and teaching options that previously
were unavailable in the legacy publishing system. The consistent appearance of these practical topics
in all of the articles studied reinforces their inter-relationships and suggests that further and deeper
research within each of these sub-topics (Figure 1) merit attention. This movement toward more
Figure 5: Study Articles Cited by Others
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Constance Blomgren & Iain MacPherson
specicity is supported by the outlier Khan Academy articles and suggests how research pursuits
may organically evolve and deepen over time.
Similar to higher education OER research, the concern regarding quality echoes studies and
reports previously identied by a number of scholars (Allen & Seaman, 2014; Atenas, Haveman
& Priego, 2014; Camilleri, Ehlers & Pawlowski, 2014; Misra, 2013). For K-12, in part because of
its unique parameters, denitions of quality require precision, such as the comparison of OER to
copyright restricted textbooks providing a springboard to discern such criteria (Kimmons, 2015). In
a similar vein, adopting the 5Rs requires unambiguous articulation of these processes to strengthen
future research studies as “open education narratives and initiatives have evolved in different
contexts, with differing priorities. …[and] open education often means subtly or substantively different
things to different people” (Cronin, 2017, p.16). The varieties of research methods also suggest that
despite the immaturity of the K-12 OER topic, researchers are not favouring one research approach
over the many available. The equal break down of closed versus open journals submissions also
suggest that there is a balanced approach when publication decisions arise. Why some authors
choose to research OER but select a closed access journal in which to publish results would prove a
worthwhile research topic and may reect the complexities involved with OER publication decisions
(Weller, Jordan, DeVries & Rolfe, 2018). Additionally, having inter-topic research answer questions
regarding attitudes of OER awareness, use, and advocacy would further pedagogical and theoretical
understanding of the changes that teaching and learning with K-12 OER involves.
The citation patterns indicated four divergences. The rst occurred with the most frequently cited
article that discussed OER quality being nearly twice in impact (i.e. 134 to 77 citations) to the second
most cited article regarding cost savings. Within the moderate range of seven articles, four had a
stronger level of citation (i.e. 77-47) and the remaining three somewhat less vigorous use (i.e. 39-
25); the titles and keywords of the moderately cited articles covered cost, Khan Academy, textbooks,
barriers to OER, general OER discussion, educator perceptions, and implementing OER at the high
school level. The 26 articles that were cited in a minor way (12- 1) spread out in a long tail, with two
thirds of these receiving ve or less citations. Lastly, there were seven articles that had no citations
but no obvious explanation emerged regarding this disbursement. These ndings were surprising
because within an emerging topic and its lack of scholarship, one would anticipate that citing published
K-12 OER papers would provide a clustering of citations. However, the overall pattern indicates one
strong leader, a small clustering of moderately cited papers and then a thinning of scholarly impact by
the majority of papers included in this scoping exercise. Low citations are not necessarily indicative
of impact and these patterns could dramatically change in a short amount of time.
We do note that the topic is a small part within the discipline of education and even within the
eld of distance education that historically spawned OER. Additionally, although OER forms part
of current higher education librarian scholarship, only one article came from library studies. This
can perhaps be explained with the decline of print materials and the rise of the digital, many school
based library programs dissolved into learning commons and the role of school librarians weakened;
however, with the rise of OER and its concomitant relationships to curation, review, and copyright,
school librarians may experience another change in their role. Nevertheless, this void remains active
as reected by these scoping results.
Limitations of this study include only a ve-year span and the results produced are admittedly
small. However, due to the nascent element of K-12 OER and of openness education in general
(Jordan & Weller, 2017; Peter & Deimann, 2013; Weller, Jordan, DeVries & Rolfe, 2018), a greater
time period may not have substantially shifted the results. Additionally, keyword frequency count
provides a useful starting place for scoping purposes but the depth and complexity of teaching
with OER cannot be easily captured. Keywords provide an initial representation of the article and
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Scoping the nascent: An analysis of K-12 OER research 2012-2017 369
aide search engine optimization, with suggestions to use keywords every 100-200 words (Eassom,
2017, para 3), something that authors are noting especially with Google Scholar becoming more
prominent. Keyword analysis was useful for our study but as this area of research matures, other
approaches would prove benecial. It would be fruitful to complete more in-depth analysis of the
sub-topics and inductively code them for thematic results. A nal limitation is that this study did not
include grey literature such as scholarly blogs or comprehensive reports, in part due to the difculty
in dening grey literature as well as the challenges in consistently locating these documents,
even with the efcacies engendered by the internet (Mahood, Van Eerd & Irvin, 2014). However,
with the growth of social software such as Twitter to announce and share information as part of a
professional learning network, the sharing of grey literature and KM practices are being redened
in the digital age.
Future research will no doubt pursue more detailed analysis of the nancial benets and challenges
of K-12 OER because of the inherent monetary implications associated with assembling and offering
educational resources. K-12 education is a public pursuit and forms UNESCO’s fourth sustainable
development goal. Effective education affordably delivered with high quality resources that reect
participatory and digital pedagogical practices align with research of systems based, broad or big
OER whereas little OER (Weller, 2010) studies pursue smaller scale more individually founded,
procedural, and pragmatically inclined explorations.
It is clear that signicant changes are afoot. With the movement toward K-12 teachers accessing,
reading, and applying evidence-based research - in tandem with the rise of open journals and the
continuing ease of access and sharing of grey literature through professional learning networks and
social media - these practices highlight professional change. The access, manner, and readership
of taking up K-12 OER research and its concomitant results reect broader knowledge mobilization
Broadly speaking, the pedagogical and educational resource practices of the previous century are
changing because of pervasive, participatory technologies. This fundamental change from resource
scarcity to resource exibility and digital abundance contributes to leadership and administrative
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Appendix B: Word Frequency Stop List
The following dates and terms were excluded from the initial Word Cloud key terms search.
2010 2011 2011a 2011b 2011c 2012 2012a 2012b 2013 2013a 2013b 2014 2015 a about above
after again against all am an and any are aren’t aren’t as at be because been before being below
between both but by can can’t can’t cannot could couldn’t couldn’t did didn’t didn’t do does doesn’t
doesn’t doing don’t don’t down during each few for from further had hadn’t hadn’t has hasn’t hasn’t
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Scoping the nascent: An analysis of K-12 OER research 2012-2017 375
have haven’t haven’t having he he’d he’ll he’s he’d he’ll he’s her here here’s here’s hers herself him
himself his how how’s how’s http i i’d i’ll i’m i’ve i’d i’ll i’m i’ve if in into is isn’t isn’t it it’s it’s its itself
let’s let’s me more most mustn’t mustn’t my myself no nor not of off on once only or org other ought
our ours ourselves out over own said same say says shall shan’t shan’t she she’d she’ll she’s she’d
she’ll she’s should shouldn’t shouldn’t so some such than that that’s that’s the their theirs them
themselves then there there’s there’s these they they’d they’ll they’re they’ve they’d they’ll they’re
they’ve this those through to too under until up upon us using very was wasn’t wasn’t we we’d we’ll
we’re we’ve we’d we’ll we’re we’ve were weren’t weren’t what what’s what’s when when’s when’s
where where’s where’s which while who who’s who’s whom whose why why’s why’s will with won’t
won’t would wouldn’t wouldn’t www you you’d you’ll you’re you’ve you’d you’ll you’re you’ve your
yours yourself yourselves
Papers are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This paper presents the implementation of an assessment model for generic competences in K-12 enabled by open educational practices. It showcases a digital competence assessment model that outlines the design of competence assessment scenarios constructed by means of a collaborative process involving teachers from six European countries, learning designers, and researchers. Our study draws attention to the concept of open educational practices as a broad descriptor of four areas of teacher practice regarding design, content, teaching, and assessment. The process unfolds through three phases, where teachers' engagement with collaborative processes and network-based tools facilitate the construction of active shared learning. It analyzes the joint creation of open practices, and the production of open educational resources. The scalability, flexibility, and adaptability of competence assessment scenarios underline their transferability to similar contexts. The experience may benefit educational institutions and communities of teachers interested in innovating and opening up education.
Full-text available
The term open education has recently been used to refer to topics such as Open Educational Resources (OERs) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Historically its roots lie in civil approaches to education and open universities, but this research is rarely referenced or acknowledged in current interpretations. In this article the antecedents of the modern open educational movement are examined, as the basis for connecting the various strands of research. Using a citation analysis method the key references are extracted and their relationships mapped. This work reveals eight distinct sub-topics within the broad open education area, with relatively little overlap. The implications for this are discussed and methods of improving inter-topic research are proposed.
Full-text available
p class="3">Khan Academy is a large and popular open educational resource (OER) with little empirical study into its impact on student achievement in mathematics when used in schools. In this study, we examined the use of Khan Academy as a mathematics intervention among seventh grade students over a 4-week period versus a control group. We also compared differences between students who had supplemental mathematics instruction and those who had not. In both cases, we found no statistically significant differences in student test scores. Khan Academy has several internal metrics used to track student performance and use. We found significant relationships between these metrics and student test scores in this study. Khan Academy and other OER provide access to information and knowledge to large numbers of the population. This research adds to the discourse methods by which Khan Academy and other OER may affect learners.</p
Full-text available
Open educational practices (OEP) is a broad descriptor of practices that include the creation, use and reuse of open educational resources (OER) as well as open pedagogies and open sharing of teaching practices. As compared with OER, there has been little empirical research on individual educators' use of OEP for teaching in higher education. This research study addresses that gap, exploring the digital and pedagogical strategies of a diverse group of university educators, focusing on whether, why and how they use OEP for teaching. The study was conducted at one Irish university; semi-structured interviews were carried out with educators across multiple disciplines. Only a minority of educators used OEP. Using constructivist grounded theory, a model of the concept 'Using OEP for teaching' was constructed showing four dimensions shared by open educators: balancing privacy and openness, developing digital literacies, valuing social learning, and challenging traditional teaching role expectations. The use of OEP by educators is complex, personal and contextual; it is also continuously negotiated. These findings suggest that research-informed policies and collaborative and critical approaches to openness are required to support staff, students and learning in an increasingly complex higher education environment.
Full-text available
Digital learning is on the rise in Canada and now exerting an impact upon education policy in most of the nation’s ten provinces and three territories. Without a national education department, the promotion of twenty-first century skills, technology, and learning falls to provincial and territorial education authorities with varying degrees of commitment to K-12 technology education reform and classroom integration. National advocacy groups such as C21 Canada do hold sway over provincial ministers of education, but, so far, the implementation of twenty-first century learning and the explicit teaching of “digital literacies” is very uneven, particularly outside of the recognised eLearning leaders among the provinces, Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. In spite of the tremendous potential for expansion of online learning and virtual schooling, the free market remains regulated and private providers are largely absent. Provincial or school district authorities promote a “growth-management” strategy where online and blended learning are considered the next evolution of effective technology integration.
Full-text available
This is a critical phase for Open Educational Resources (OER) movement: on one side the number of OER is increasing rapidly, and on other side debates about quality of OER-based courseware are heating up. These debates emanate from the fact that OER-based courseware are supposed to help users to follow a logical learning path and get an engaging, interactive, and enjoyable learning experience. There are two aspects of quality assurance in OER-based courseware: content and pedagogy. The content aspect primarily rests with subject experts, and pedagogical quality of courseware mainly lies in the hands of developers. Present trends reveal that mainly enthusiasts, working with some support from the institution management are designing and developing OER-based courseware. There seems a possibility that these enthusiasts are developing courseware without undergoing any specific courseware development training, and in the absence of proper knowledge and training about pedagogy, one can not be sure that the produced courseware will be of superior quality. In this backdrop, present paper discusses and details about a number of guiding principles for enrichment of pedagogical quality in OER-based courseware.
This book guides the adoption, design, development and expectation of future digital teaching and learning projects/programs in K12 schools. It provides a series of case studies and reports experiences from international digital teaching and learning projects in K12 education. The book also furnishes advice for future school policy and investment in digital teaching and learning projects. Finally, the book provides an explanation of the future capacity and sustainability of digital teaching and learning in K12 schools.
p class="3">Since 2005, open educational resources (OER) have played a key role in K-12 education in South Korea; so far, however, there has been little discussion about OER efficacy in South Korean K-12 education. In the meantime, South Korean education has been attracting a lot of interest around the world. Former U.S. President Obama’s comments about South Korean education might also be caused by South Korean students’ academic performance evaluated by international large-scale assessments such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). This article uses an ethnographic perspective to explore the experiences of teachers and students in the Korean context. The analysis of the findings shows how teachers adopt and adapt OER for their 12<sup>th</sup> grade (the final year of secondary school) Korean language arts classes. Through classroom observations, interviews, and questionnaires, this exploration revealed that nearly 92% of the students perceived OER as beneficial to their studies and that teachers were spurred on to orchestrate differentiated instructional plans by OER. We argue that there is significant value to using OER in the formal educational curriculum, but that a lack of knowledge of how to adapt OER restricts how their potential is realized in practice. We identify implications for maximizing OER adaptation and successful usage of OER in K-12 education.</p
The society in which we live has been transformed by technology and the subsequent provision of opportunities for education, connectedness, and communication. Advances in Internet technology see the online milieu playing a ubiquitous and influential role in the education of individuals and communities, as possibilities for learning continue to be reimagined. As access to education continues to expand in the online realm, this chapter provides an overview of current and emergent applications of online learning, with a focus on the implications of these developments for the school sector. The focus of this chapter falls upon the expansion of massive open online courses (MOOCs), with attention afforded to their manifestations in the education system. In this context, we consider both the merits and potential detriments of MOOCs within school settings, and consider if online learning is suitable as a teaching and learning mechanism for an increasingly heterogeneous cohort of high school students. As some nations signal movement towards acceptance of online courses in schools, this chapter also raises a number of implications for the policies and practices of schools, and the quality of learning students receive.
This article reports on the possibilities afforded by the availability of high-quality Open Educational Resources (OERs) for traditional Humanities subjects such as English. The OERs provided a rich multimedia environment that enabled students to explore a range of selected poems. This paper reports on the design, development and usability testing of OERs for the teaching of poetry at Junior Certificate level in Irish post-primary schools. The potential impact of such OERs is also addressed.