Skip to content

Toggle service links
  1. Institute of Educational Technology
  2. Research & Innovation
  3. Projects
  4. Opening Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS)

Opening Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS)

Project website:

What research questions the project addresses, aims & themes

 IET is responsible for the research component of the OEPS project and is producing outputs that contribute toward the following five of the overall project deliverables:

  • Mapping current practice of open education practices (OEP) and related work in Scotland;
  • Awareness raising of Open education;
  • Developing the concept of OEP in the Scottish context;
  • Developing an evidence base of effective practice;
  • Evaluating economic models of open practice.

 For more on the overall aims of the project:

How the research questions are addressed by the project (methodology and activity/environment)

Four work packages structure our research for OEPS:

Workshops: The workshop series work package will deliver a thrice yearly cycle of high quality half day or full day workshops to interested organisations, initiatives and projects across Scotland. The workshops aim to raise awareness of different facets of OEP and cover the following themes: learning design, open scholarship, accessibility, open research, open educational resources (OER) research and Thinking about Open.

Best practice guide and course: We are developing a best practice guide on open practice and an accompanying short course on Creating OER and Good OEP. The development and delivery of the course will be open, transparent and community centered. The course will be hosted on OpenLearn Works and will be openly licensed so that others can develop it further.

Research and case studies: We are developing a series of case studies with a range of Scottish institutions, organisations and projects across all sectors, who utilise OER and/or open practices. The case studies will be structured by a range of research questions that cover topics such as (but are not limited to) social justice and non-traditional learners, widening participation, the particularity of the Scottish context and access. To evaluate economic models of open practice specific case studies will examine cost savings from OEP/OER, sustainable models of practice, the viability of OER and MOOCs, the role of OER/OEP in recruitment etc. Evaluating the impact and effectiveness of OER/OEP and explicating the benefits of building in evaluation, and sharing the results with others, is an important part of this work package.

Map: We will develop a flexible, living map and visualisations of Scottish OEP projects and practices. The map will be initially created from data generated by activity at the October 2014 OEPS Advisory Forum and desk research. It will also incorporate data from our planned Scotland wide survey and case studies and impact data from the research (where appropriate).

Based on the CC-BY licensed Impact map (code available on GitHub) created by the OER Research Hub, which visualises OER projects, evidence and policy etc. this map will be distinct from, but fully integrated, into the parent OER Research Hub Impact map.

For more details on the four work packages see:

Current activities

We will open for bookings and launch our day and half-day workshop sessions during early Spring 2015. Our first workshop, Thinking about Open, will take place at Heriot-Watt University during April 2015.

 A draft outline of the course on why and how to produce good open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices is currently being developed. The course will be available for community review later in the year and we plan to have ongoing input and liaison with the community as we develop the course and its materials.

 We are currently working on the research framework and methodologies for our case studies and have started work on developing a map for current practice in Scotland.

Findings and outputs


Project impact


Publications (and ORO feed)

Pending (but blog posts on project’s progress and research available via the OEPS website)

People involved

IET OEPS Research Team (as at 23 February 2015):
  • Martin Weller
  • Beck Pitt
  • Bea de los Arcos

Project partners and links

IET are working with colleagues from the OU in Scotland and the Open Media Unit and OEPS involves a wide range of institutions, organisations and projects across Scotland.


Scottish Funding Council

Start Date and duration

1 October 2014 – 31 July 2017

Research & Innovation