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Title: Supporting lifelong learning with Open Educational Resources (OER) among diverse users : motivations for, and approaches to, learning with different OER
Author: Kozinska, Katarzyna Aldona
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis presents a study which aimed to understand: 1) What motivates and influences learning with Open Educational Resources (OER) among different users, and 2) What role OER play in supporting lifelong learning among different users. The activities of key international organisations promoting lifelong learning as significant in the context of globalisation, combined with the innovative character of OER as high-quality open learning resources, were the reasons for the focus. The aim was to understand the function of OER through exploring motivational aspects, approaches to and contexts of individual learning among users of five different OER: penLearn, OpenSpires, OpenStudy, METU OpenCourseWare and Wolne Lektury. A case study approach allowed the focus on the uniqueness of specific OER. Semi-structured interviews and virtual output collection were triangulated as data gathering methods. Interviews were analysed using the Miles and Huberman’s (1994) qualitative framework and output - using Preece et al.’s (2002) thematic analysis guidelines. Results show OER as not only resources but learning environments supporting ‘expansion of human learning’ (COL, 2011:2) through being accessible free-of-charge, openly, without registrations, exams; providing various subjects, levels and formats suitable for users with different needs, disabilities, interests and resources. OER support wider access to and inclusion in learning, empowering individuals in directing their learning, especially 9 during transitions or ‘critical periods’ (Knowles, 1973). OER users emerged as motivated by various online and offline factors related to supporting formal education or non-formal learning, and exchanging expertise or support. Even if linked to supporting formal goals, learning, participation and communication within OER are motivated intrinsically, by interest, knowledge, curiosity, enjoyment and appreciation of learning, subject or interactions. OER help foster positive attitudes to learning and teaching as flexible and innovative possibilities of skills development and re-using OER are valued by learners, educators and organisations using OER to promote their missions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available