Open Educational Resources: Staff Attitudes and Awareness
By Vivien Rolfe
Attitudes are changing in education globally to promote the open sharing of educational courses and resources. The aim of this study was to explore staff awareness and attitudes towards ‘‘open educational resources’’ (OER) as a benchmark for monitoring future progress. Faculty staff (n6) were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews that facilitated the development of a questionnaire. Staff respondents (n50) were not familiar with the term OER but had a clear notion of what it meant. They were familiar with open content repositories within the university but not externally.
A culture of borrowing and sharing of resources exists between close colleagues, but not further a field, and whilst staff would obtain resources from the Internet, they were reticent to place materials there. Drivers for mobilising resources included a strong belief in open education, the ability of OER to enhance individual and institutional reputations and economic factors. Barriers to OER included confusion over copyright and lack of IT support. To conclude, there is a positive collegiate culture within the faculty, and overcoming the lack of awareness and dismantling the barriers to sharing will help advance the open educational practices, benefitting both faculty staff and the global community.