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Overview and analysis of practices with open educational resources in adult education in Europe

TitleOverview and analysis of practices with open educational resources in adult education in Europe
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFalconer, I., McGill L., Littlejohn A., & Boursinou E.
EditorsRedecker, C., Muñoz J. C., & Punie Y.
PublisherEuropean Commission Joint Research Centre Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
Date Published11/2013
Place PublishedSeville, Spain
Type of WorkJRC scientific and policy report
ISBN NumberISBN 978-92-79-34178-6 (pdf)
Report NumberEUR 26258 EN
Other NumbersISSN 1831-9424 (online)
Keywordsadult education, government policy, higher education, Lifelong Learning, open content

This report synthesizes the findings of the "OER4Adults study", a study conducted in 2012-13 by a team from the Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, under a contract with the European Commission Joint Research Centre IPTS, and in collaboration with DG Education and Culture. The project aimed to provide an overview of Open Educational Practices in adult learning in Europe, identifying enablers and barriers to successful implementation of practices with OER. The report identifies over 150 Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives, and develops a typology that classifies them primarily by their main activity type. A survey based on the typology drew 36 responses from initiative leaders, and these are analysed against a context of developments in adult learning to arrive at an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing OER in adult learning in Europe. The analysis reveals six tensions that drive developing Open Educational Practices in adult learning; open versus free; traditional versus new approaches; altruism versus marketisation; community versus openness; mass participation versus quality; addon versus embedded funding. The report recommends: 1. Recognising that ‘learning’ takes place everywhere; 2. Extending the range of people and organisations that produce and use resources; 3. Thinking about OER more broadly than as content; 4. Promoting awareness of open licensing and its implications; 5. Improving the usability of OER; and 6. Planning for sustained change.


© European Union, 2013

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Refereed DesignationDoes Not Apply
JRC85471.pdf1.25 MB
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