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Tuesday, April 24 • 12:00 - 12:25
OER stigma: its contributing factors and impact on the open movement

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The open education movement continues to make strides in the higher education. There is an increasing amount of faculty who have considered authoring and/or adopting open educational resources to enhance their students’ learning experiences. Yet, there are still pervasive barriers that prevent a larger number of faculty from adopting OER. One particularly challenging barrier is the stigmatization of OER. Some faculty assign negative attributes to OER including inferiority to traditional resources and lacking scholarly-inquiry (Belikov & Bodily, 2016). Furthermore, the notion of “open” being “free with permissions” causes some faculty to doubt the quality and efficacy of OER, although there is a growing body of research that states otherwise (Allen & Seaman, 2014; Hilton, 2016). This and more could ultimately contribute to the stigmatization of OER, slowing the efforts of open education advocates. Using Goffman’s theory of social stigma as a model, this presentation seeks to address the contributing factors of OER stigma and carefully examines what systems maintain this particular barrier to OER adoption. While there are numerous studies that document perceptual obstacles to OER adoption, none examine how stigma specifically contributes to the reluctance among faculty to adopt OER and accept open materials as serious scholarly content. The presentation will include coded data of open-ended responses and interviews from faculty and department heads who are not interested in using OER in the classroom. The data will also speak to the challenges of creating cultural change in various departments who have declined to use OER. The audience will learn about a more nuanced approach in considering OER stigma in higher education institutions and, more importantly, what open education advocates can realistically do to overcome this barrier. The overall goal is to motivate open education professionals to create concrete strategies to address and reduce social stigma toward OER among faculty.

avatar for Jasmine Roberts

Jasmine Roberts

Lecturer/Teaching Professor, The Ohio State University
Jasmine Roberts is an educator, speaker, writer and strategic communication professional. She joined the School of Communication at The Ohio State University in 2012, where she teaches upper level undergraduate courses in the areas of communication campaigns and strategic communication... Read More →

Tuesday April 24, 2018 12:00 - 12:25 CEST
Classroom 12