Student perceptions of OERs

Also now on Figshare:

Student Masters Dissertation

Student Masters Dissertation

Download Libor’s Dissertation here –>

PDF of Libor Hurt’s Dissertation

I’m very proud to look back on this work that Libor Hurt did at De Montfort. He was awarded his Masters by Research in 2013 and he looked at student perceptions of OERs in a life science faculty. He surveyed students across a number of health, nursing and science degree programmes and looked at their awareness and use of OER, what their working cultures were, and their deeper-rooted attitudes toward open education.

The research was undertaken during 2012 and it is important to note that in the UK this was the year of significant rises to university student fees, from £3,290 up to £9,000, and this is reflected in some of the qualitative findings.

What is lovely to see is the caring and sharing culture in which many students work, readily sharing learning materials with their friends, although some did comment on whether this crossed the line toward collusion, and whether using OER constituted plagiarism.

“to help and be helped by others”

“share with people, then they share with you”

Some welcomed the idea of sharing resources across courses at other universities:

“If a system were to exist that [allowed] students from different universities to  share resources with ease, [so that] students on the same course can connect and share work that can be used as referencing for essays and further reading”

Some were concerned that the nature of some medical subjects were not appropriate for public release. Others felt that since they were paying for their university experience, why should others access the resources for nothing?

“I know it sounds really cheeky but we live in a day and age where we’ve got to pay for it, why should everybody else get it free?”

“I suppose we pay to come to university so it’s a bit kind of selfish but we paid for it so we should keep it”.

Others did agree that it was worthwhile to share materials to broaden opportunities available to everyone:

“Because not everyone gets the same opportunities do they?”

For further research looking at the IMPACT of OER visit the OER RESEARCH HUB!