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Tuesday, April 24 • 15:15 - 15:40
Investigation into reuse of OER for synchronous online language teaching

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One significant development that has recently come to disrupt teaching practices is the emergence of Open Educational Resources (OER). In the last 15-20 years, researchers have mainly focused on the creation, reuse and sharing of OER. However, little attention has been given to what users do with the resources in their classroom and to date, there is scant evidence of OER reuse impacting on teaching practices. This study examines the process that a group of online synchronous language teachers undergo while adapting and repurposing digital resources. The research participants are part-time language teachers with a range of experiences and cultural backgrounds, who teach online across a range of languages and levels at the Open University, a distance learning Higher Education institution in the UK. Data were collected and analysed within a constructivist grounded theory methodology. The experience of teachers’ reuse of OER was explored via seventeen semi-structured interviews. Consistent with a grounded theory approach, conceptual categories for the analysis of data were allowed to emerge, rather than initially driven by a theoretical framework. Results can be initially summarised as follows:
(1) As in previous findings about OER reuse in language teaching, users select resources they can adapt to suit their teaching styles and accommodate their students’ needs; at the same time, teachers are hesitant to share their adapted resources, deemed of no value to anybody else.
(2) OER reuse promotes self-reflection and can play a significant role in teachers’ development as online educators; however, findings also challenge the assumption that teachers work together in communities of practice and develop open educational practices as a result of working with OER.
(3) OER reuse support teachers’ development of technical online skills but not necessarily resulting in changes in online teaching methodologies or beliefs.


Helene Pulker

The Open University

Tuesday April 24, 2018 15:15 - 15:40 CEST
Classroom 1