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Rresearch questions the project addresses, aims & themes

The rising prominence of open education, including open education resources (OER) and accompanying open education practices and changing societal expectations is requiring educators to extend and adapt their professional practice.

Research shows that efforts to embed technology use within educators’ practice must extend

beyond the development of conceptual and practical knowledge, to expand educators’ socio-cultural and self-regulative knowledge. When integrating OER into their practice educators need to build

understanding and develop awareness of what OER are and how they can be used. In order to reach higher levels of use, including reuse and repurposing of resources, educators next have to recognise how OER can address particular needs and reflect on what OER reuse means to them and how it manifests in their practice.

This study explored:

  1. the role that self-regulated learning practices and workplace context play in predicting educators' ability to engage with and learn from involvement with a particular workplace activity, using OER in their teaching practice.
  2. Whether and how new expertise and knowledge is supported by educators’ engagement with OER

Findings and outputs

521 adult educators completed a questionnaire consisting of three scales derived from validated instruments (measuring learning with OER, learning opportunities in the work context, and self-regulated learning). The relationship between the variables was tested through linear regression analysis. Data analysis determined the behaviours and actions associated with self-regulated learning provide a bridge between OER activity and workplace context. Regression analysis further identified three self-regulated learning sub-processes - learning value, self-reflection, and interaction with others - significantly predicted educators' learning behaviour with OER.

Hood, N. & Littlejohn, A.  (2015) Bridging learning and teaching: the intertwining of socio-cognitive and sociocultural factors in adult-educators’ engagement with Open Education Resources, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL) [impact factor = 1.36]

A three factor structure emerged from the analysis corresponding with Wild’s (2012) framework for educators’ engagement with OER. The three factors – ‘resource employment’, ‘resource evaluation’, and ‘resource knowledge development’ – align with Wild’s three ‘realisation steps’, which represent the learning processes that facilitate movement between the four levels of engagement – from no engagement to embedded engagement. The three factors further relate to the different types of

knowledge teachers must develop in order to support the integration of technology in their professional practice: basic knowledge of the technology itself together with self-efficacy and confidence in using the technology to support student learning.

Littlejohn, A. & Hood, N. (2016) How Educators Build Knowledge and Expand their Practice: the case of open education resources, British Journal of Educational Technology  [impact factor 2.098]

The ebb and flow of knowledge, from general, abstract knowledge to focused, embedded knowledge, seems a critical aspect of educators’ professional learning. While theoretical / conceptual knowledge can be learned through courses or reading, it is the application of knowledge in work contexts that results in a deeper understanding. This applied knowledge is tightly bound specific work settings and, therefore, less easy to generalise. This finding has implications in terms of what education professionals can be 'taught' and what has to be learned on the job.

Littlejohn, A. & Hood, N. (2016) Knowledge typologies for professional learning: educators’ (re)generation of knowledge when learning open educational practice, Learning Media & Technology

Project impact

Aside the academic papers, a key output from the  project is a set of guidelines which has been used to support the development of a MOOC to support professional learning around the use of OERs.


Professional & Digital Learning, Open Educational Resources, Open Learning

People involved / Project partners

Gothenburg University, Sweden

Linda Bradley and Sylvi Vigmo (project coordinators).

The Open University, Institute for Educational Technology (IET), UK

Allison Littlejohn (local coordinator), Nina Hood and Heli Kaatrakoski

Web2Learn, Greece

Ioannis Lefkos, Giulia Torresin and Katerina Zourou (local coordinator and project initiator)

The Open University, Faculty of Education and Language Studies Department of Languages (FELS), UK

Anna Comas-Quinn (local coordinator) and Hélène Pulker

Centrum Cyfrowe. Projekt: Polska

Anna Stokowska and Alek Tarkowski (local coordinator)

Flemish Ministry of Education, Belgium – KlasCement community

Hans De Four (local coordinator) and Bram Faems


EC Erasmus+

Start date and duration

October 2014 – September 2016, 2 years

Research & Innovation