Doing Digital Scholarship

Authors: Sheila A Brennan, Megan Brett, Sharon M. Leon

Abstract: Doing Digital Scholarship offers a self-guided introduction to digital scholarship, designed for digital novices. It allows you to dip a toe into a very large field of practice. It starts with the basics, such as securing web server space, preserving data, and improving your search techniques. It then moves forward to explore different methods used for analyzing data, designing digitally inflected teaching assignments, and creating the building blocks required for publishing digital work.

Citation: Sheila A Brennan, Megan Brett, Sharon M. Leon. “Doing Digital Scholarship.” Digital Culture Program. Social Science Research Council Labs

SourceSSRC Labs

What is Open Pedagogy?

Authors: Robin DeRosa, Rajiv Jhangiani

Abstract: There are many ways to begin a discussion of “Open Pedagogy.” Although providing a framing definition might be the obvious place to start, we want to resist that for just a moment to ask a set of related questions: What are your hopes for education, particularly for higher education? What vision do you work toward when you design your daily professional practices in and out of the classroom? How do you see the roles of the learner and the teacher? What challenges do your students face in their learning environments, and how does your pedagogy address them?

“Open Pedagogy,” as we engage with it, is a site of praxis, a place where theories about learning, teaching, technology, and social justice enter into a conversation with each other and inform the development of educational practices and structures. This site is dynamic, contested, constantly under revision, and resists static definitional claims. But it is not a site vacant of meaning or political conviction. In this brief introduction, we offer a pathway for engaging with the current conversations around Open Pedagogy, some ideas about its philosophical foundation, investments, and its utility, and some concrete ways that students and teachers—all of us learners—can “open” education. We hope that this chapter will inspire those of us in education to focus our critical and aspirational lenses on larger questions about the ideology embedded within our educational systems and the ways in which pedagogy impacts these systems. At the same time we hope to provide some tools and techniques to those who want to build a more empowering, collaborative, and just architecture for learning.

Citation: DeRosa, Robin, and Jhangiani, Rajiv. “What is Open Pedagogy?” Open Pedagogy Notebook. Retrieved from

The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics

Author(s): Nicholas Colvard, C. Edward Watson, and Hyojin Park

Abstract: There are multiple indicators which suggest that completion, quality, and affordability are the three greatest challenges for higher education today in terms of students, student learning, and student success. Many colleges, universities, and state systems are seeking to adopt a portfolio of solutions that address these challenges. This article reports the results of a large-scale study (21,822 students) regarding the impact of course-level faculty adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Results indicate that OER adoption does much more than simply save students money and address student debt concerns. OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students. They also improve course grades at greater rates and decrease DFW rates at greater rates for Pell recipient students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education. OER address affordability, completion, attainment gap concerns, and learning. These findings contribute to a broadening perception of the value of OERs and their relevance to the great challenges facing higher education today.

Citation: Colvard, N., Watson, C. E., & Park, H. (2018). The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30(2), 262-276. Retrieved from


SourceInternational Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Factors influencing Open Educational Practices and OER in the Global South: Meta-synthesis of the ROER4D project

Authors: Hodgkinson-Williams, C., Arinto, P. B., Cartmill, T. & King, T.

Abstract: This chapter provides a meta-synthesis of the findings from the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) empirical studies based on the 13 sub-project chapters in this volume as well as other sub-project research reports. It does so by analysing how three phases of Open Educational Resources (OER) adoption – OER creation, use and adaptation – are observed in the studies as forms of Open Educational Practices (OEP), identifying where there are most likely to be disjunctures that inhibit optimal OER adoption processes and their longer-term sustainability. It compares the open practices reported in the ROER4D sub-project studies to an idealised or maximal set of open processes, modelled as the Open Education cycle framework. It draws upon social realist theory to uncover agential decision-making about OER creation, use and adaptation in relation to structural and cultural environments, and seeks to answer the ROER4D project’s overarching research question: Whether, how, for whom and under what circumstances can engagement with OEP and OER provide equitable access to relevant, high-quality, affordable and sustainable education in the Global South?

This chapter interrogates findings from the ROER4D empirical studies using a metasynthesis approach. Following a review of sub-project research reports (including, in some cases, primary micro data), the authors used a literature-informed set of themes to create the meta-level conceptual framework for claims about OER and OEP in relation to access, quality and affordability; the Open Education cycle; and structural, cultural and agential influences on the potential impact on access, quality and affordability.

Nvivo software was used to help reveal literature-informed and emergent themes in the studies, identifying the most frequently occurring themes to provide a more comprehensive and classified interpretation of the findings across the empirical studies. Insights and recommendations were then distilled according to Archer’s (2003; 2014) social realist theoretical framework which assesses social change – and its counterpart, stasis – according to dynamically interactive and structural, cultural and agential factors. The authors used these three factors to guide their analysis of the ROER4D findings, as understood in relation to the three broad phases of OER adoption (creation, use and adaptation) proposed in the Open Education cycle.

Findings show that in the Global South contexts studied, the ideal or maximal Open Education cycle is incomplete in terms of optimising the benefits of OER adoption. There are five key points of disjuncture: (1) the dependence on copying of existing OER and the corollary failure to localise; (2) the adaptation of OER, but with inconsistent curation and rehosting of derivative works on publicly available platforms or in repositories, limiting access to the derivative OER; (3) limited circulation of derivative OER due, in part, to the absence of a communication strategy; (4) inconsistent quality assurance processes; and (5) a weak feedback loop for continuous improvement of the original or derivative work.

The chapter concludes with a critical exploration of the range of influences of OER and associated practices on access to educational materials, the quality of educational resources, educators’ pedagogical perspectives and practices, and student performance as well as the overall affordability and sustainability of education in the Global South. It argues that full participation in the OER movement in the Global South requires that certain structural factors be put in place – including a minimum level of infrastructural support, legal permission to share materials and OER curation platforms – to curate curriculum-aligned OER in local languages. However, these structural adjustments alone are insufficient for the full value proposition of OER to be realised. While individual educators and some institutions are sharing OER, this willingness needs to be bolstered by a much stronger cultural change where communities of educators and students are given technical and pedagogical support to enable OER uptake – especially the creation and adaptation of OER produced in the Global South.

Citation: Hodgkinson-Williams, C., Arinto, P. B., Cartmill, T. & King, T. (2017). Factors influencing Open Educational Practices and OER in the Global South: Meta-synthesis of the ROER4D project. In C. Hodgkinson-Williams & P. B. Arinto (Eds.), Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South (pp. 27–67). Retrieved from


OER and OEP in the Global South: Implications and recommendations for social inclusion

Authors: Arinto, P. B., Hodgkinson-Williams, C. & Trotter, H.

Abstract: The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project was undertaken to provide a better understanding of the uptake of Open Educational Resources (OER) and their impact on education in the Global South. The 18 sub-projects that comprise the larger project investigated the extent of OER adoption by educators and students; the factors influencing OER adoption; and the impact of OER adoption on access to educational resources, the quality of teaching and learning, and some of the costs of education provision in 21 countries in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.

The findings of each of the sub-projects are discussed in the various chapters comprising this volume, and a meta-synthesis of these findings is presented in Chapter 2. Using a social realist lens, the meta-synthesis provides a comparative analysis of OER use, adaptation and creation across the research sites, and identifies the structural, cultural and agential factors that enable and constrain these Open Educational Practices (OEP). It points out disjunctures in adoption processes in the countries and institutions studied, and draws insights regarding the extent to which OER adoption can expand access to educational materials, enhance the quality of educational resources and educators’ pedagogical perspectives and practices, and improve the affordability and sustainability of education in the Global South.

This concluding chapter explores the implications of the main research findings presented in the meta-synthesis for the attainment of social inclusion, which lies at the heart of the Open Education movement. The Paris OER Declaration of 2012 explicitly calls upon states to “[p]romote and use OER to … contribut[e] to social inclusion, gender equity and special needs education [and i]mprove both cost-efficiency and quality of teaching and learning outcomes” (emphasis added). The Ljubljana OER Action Plan of 2017 likewise recognises that, “[t]oward the realization of inclusive Knowledge Societies … [OER] support quality education that is equitable, inclusive, open and participatory”. Understanding how OER, OEP and Open Education more generally, can help to achieve social inclusion is particularly critical in the Global South where increased demand, lack of resources and high costs limit the capacity of education systems to provide accessible, relevant, highquality and affordable education. This chapter aims to contribute to this understanding the potential of OER and their accompanying OEP through a critical exploration of the ROER4D findings in terms of whether and how OER adoption promotes equitable access, participatory education and empowerment of teachers and students, and thus helps to achieve social inclusion. The chapter begins with a brief overview of the relationship between OER and social inclusion, details the implications of ROER4D’s findings as they pertain to social inclusion, and concludes with recommendations for advocacy, policy, practice and further research in OER and OEP in the Global South.

Citation: Arinto, P. B., Hodgkinson-Williams, C. & Trotter, H. (2017). OER and OEP in the Global South: Implications and recommendations for social inclusion. In C. Hodgkinson-Williams & P. B. Arinto (Eds.), Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South (pp. 577–592). Retrieved from


The BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide

Author: Lauri M. Aesoph

Abstract: The BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide is a reference for individuals or groups wanting to write and self-publish an open textbook. This guide provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, publication, and maintenance of an open textbook.

Citation: Aesoph, L.M. (2018). Self-Publishing Guide. Victoria, BC: BCcampus. Retrieved from

Source: The BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide

Leveraging Licensing to Increase Access

Authors: Michelle Polchow

Abstract: The Affordable Course Materials Initiative (ACMI) is a library-driven program established by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), designed to leverage existing library resources, encourage open educational resources (OER) content creation, identify cost-effective digital projects and modify existing license agreements in order to create reduced cost course materials for students, as an alternative to rising commercial textbook costs.  The faculty incentivized program encourages instructors to partner with the library to leverage free or low-cost resources, adjusting syllabi and assignments as needed.  ACMI’s two-year pilot resulted in convincing evidence that the service supported a broad and diverse range of campus disciplines, achieved substantial cost savings, served as a catalyst for community building with multiple stakeholders, and gained campus administration recognition with an ongoing commitment of financial support to permanently integrate the initiative as an ongoing component of library services.


Citation: Polchow, Michelle. (2018). Breakout Session: Leveraging Licensing to Increase Access. Presented by Jennifer Chan, Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of California Los Angeles. Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, 2(1), 1–3.

Source: Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship

A Tale of Two Globes: Exploring the North/South Divide in Engagement with Open Educational Resources

Authors: Beatriz de los Arcos, Martin Weller

Abstract: In this chapter we consider what evidence exists of a divide between the Global North and Global South in terms of engagement with open educational resources (OER), understanding engagement as the production and sharing of educational materials online. We discuss whether identifying educators as contributors or consumers of OER can be empirically grounded, and advocate advancing internet access in developing countries to reach a global balance where sharing is key.

Citation: de los Arcos, Beatriz and Weller, Martin (2018). A Tale of Two Globes: Exploring the North/South Divide in Engagement with Open Educational Resources. In: Schöpfel, Joachim and Herb, Ulrich eds. Open Divide: Critical Studies on Open Access. Sacramento, CA: Litwin Books, pp. 147–155.


Source: Open Research Online