The medium and long-term influence of OER projects on innovation in educational institutions, and the need for more research into the partnerships and lessons learnt from OER projects was highlighted by Rolfe (2015). Retrospective research on the impact of B2S was instigated as part of the Hewlett funded OER Research Hub project (http://oerresearchhub.org). 15 interviews with instructors, students and administrators plus 1 faculty focus group were conducted largely during visits to organisations in the Maryland region during 2013 to evaluate the impact of the project within both the non-profit and college contexts. We present this qualitative data with further exploration of the impact of the project over the two subsequent years, and consider the diversity of attempted innovations and impacts of B2S. How could these lessons learnt help future OER projects? We look beyond basic notions of reuse of a specific resource to consider:
-How the availability of an OER became a chance to experiment and innovate in response to the specific challenges and contexts of each organisation. This can vary from wholesale institutional change (for example the move at University of Maryland University College to an 100% e-resource/OER model) to small individual experiments in approach by a teacher with their class.
-The importance of a nuanced understanding of learners and organisations, as similar contexts conceal a diversity that is not always immediately apparent. In B2S, the use of the resources took unexpected turns, being found to be an excellent match to contexts where it was never originally envisaged, while failing to find traction for some of the core expected audience.
-The roots, life, and junctions of an OER. B2S drew on the OU’s content from retired ‘Openings’ courses. A long and winding path has taken this to uses overseas, and now remixed versions have found their way back into the OU’s use as Badged Open Courses.
By exploring B2S through the lens of innovation, we identify specific characteristics and practices of an OER project that helped support these diverse innovations and that can be generalised beyond B2S’s US context.
Building open bridges: collaborative remixing and reuse of open educational resources across organisations. Coughlan, T. Pitt, R. & McAndrew, P (2013). In: 2013 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings, ACM Press. 991-1000.
Assessing OER Impact across organisations and learners: experiences from the Bridge to Success project [Author 1] Ebrahimi, N, McAndrew, P. & [Author 2] (2013) In: Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME). Vol. 3, Article 17.
Open Education and Innovation Rolfe, V. OpenEd 2015, November 2015. Accessed from: http://www.slideshare.net/viv_rolfe/v-rolfe-open-education-and-innovation