At Open Education 2014 last week in Washington, DC, I presented our preliminary findings on our JIBC OER study that we conducted in September and October 2014. The presentation can be fully accessed here but it’s a bit useless without some narrative, so here’s a summary.
1. Our institutional context – I spent some time talking about institutional context since I think it’s relevant to discussions about OER uptake especially in relation to business models, yet doesn’t often get discussed. Since I was staying near George Washington University I did a crude comparison of GWU tuition dollars to JIBC institutional budget (and number of students). To some extent, this answers the question of why consider OERs at JiBC. This was supplemented with some information about who our students are – 75% of whom are working 30+ hours a week, and an approximate 10%/age group distribution from 20-60+.
2. So why open at JIBC? And what’s this stuff about business models? I spent a bit of time talking about where our institutional funding comes from, since the research is structured around the $ part to some degree. Basically, as this slide shows, we most of our funding is spread equally across four pots, with a bit coming from federal research funding. Our research assumption was that business model (as it relates to the institutional context) was going to influence degree of uptake depending on the type OER.
Secondly, we noticed in our lit review that most studies that focus on OER uptake for the most part have gathered faculty or student perceptions at the expense of a broader institutional perspective. Furthermore, OERs are generally lumped together as a group in research surveys, whereas in our own institution type of OER seems to be closely related to degree of uptake (eg. Open textbooks vs instructional video; see also Babson survey where instructional video adoption greater than open courseware, but research doesn’t drill into the why of that).
3. Research Questions: The research was designed around 3 questions:
1.Globally, what are the key drivers at JIBC for OERs?2. Are the drivers different by depending on type of OER project and type of business model?3. What has contributed to the diffusion of OERs at JIBC?
4. The Study: In an nutshell, the design involved:
- inventory the OER projects by year, type of OER, stage, context, technology used
- distribute survey with 19 stakeholders – program managers, directors, librarians
- interview 19 stakeholders
Diffusion of OERs happens at JIBC because it provides an easier or more practical solution to a problem, it’s good for students, and it’s the right thing to do.
1. being open has actually increased the bottom line (as measured across 3 projects)
2. increased access—some adult learners don’t want to go through the registration process3. perception that being open has raised profile of the institution because…a. it positions us as a quality control mechanism—allows us to be the standard and set the standard in areas where this has previously been a problem and…b. makes our standard more visible and transparent