In similar fashion to creating or adapting an OER, measuring the impact of OER requires planning upfront. Embedding impact measuring while in the project design can alleviate a lot of undue burden and frustration. As noted by Ebner, Orr, and Schön (2022), OER efficacy is not an afterthought – it has to be a part of the planning as you are setting up your initiative and it must match your own goals/research and examination for efficacy to their own vision and goals.
When it comes to OER efficacy research, Apurva Ashok asks a powerful question: “What future do we want to build and what questions are we asking to get there?” A good way to start is determining your purpose. Activity 1, located below, is a visual hotspot that lays out some reflection questions to think through while you’re planning your OER initiative.
The questions presented in this activity aim to inspire you to think deeply about your motivations and methods for assessing the effectiveness of OER. The rationale behind these reflection questions being located here is that now that you have an understanding of the three themes noted in the previous chapter, you can note any obstacles or incentives to investigating efficacy of OER within your specific region. Are you hoping to learn more about how educators and students use OER? Is your aim to delve into the educational impact of OER? Are you interested in exploring ways to fund and sustain your OER initiatives? Do you aspire to gain insights into enhancing and advocating for the diversity of OER initiatives, encompassing both content and participation?
With proper planning and reflection, we can look at OER efficacy with a fresh lens, paying close attention to:
Measures of impact that go beyond cost-savings
Research partners and collaborators who can bring in a global perspective
The narrative of our OER Efficacy that is anchored in equity
By the end of this section, readers will be able to:
Identify and describe the opportunities and benefits of customizing and adapting OER for diverse educational contexts.
Consider the significance of connecting and organizing within educational ecosystems.
Articulate the role of equity and social justice in OER efficacy research.