Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

What's mine is yours and what's yours is mine: Teacher communities as a means to increase adoption of Open Educational Resources in curricula?

Open Educational Resources (OER) have the potential to change teaching in Higher Education, but adoption is low despite the growing amount of resources available. The current project aims to investigate if and how teacher communities can foster adoption of OER in curricula.

2017 - 2022
Wilfried Admiraal
Saxion University of Applied Sciences


  • drs. Marjon Baas - PhD candidate
  • prof.dr. Wilfried Admiraal - supervisor
  • dr. Ellen van den Berg - co-supervisor

Since OER are shared across the world and can be used by others, it offers teachers increased access to more and diverse pedagogical practices. Which in turn can result in enhanced teaching practice. However, this effect will be a long way off if only a small group of teachers adopt OER. Research has identified the main barriers to explain the low adoption of OER in curricula. While communities are suggested as a mean to increase adoption, research has yet to examine this.

Open Educational Resources

OER are teaching, learning and research materials that use open licensing to permit users to use it for educational purposes. Due to these open licenses, teachers have the pedagogical benefits to adapt the resources to their specific teaching needs.

Teacher communities

Teacher learning, improved practices and collective capacity are proven benefits of teacher communities. Nevertheless, while communities can be effective as teachers will be aware of each other’s expertise and are committed to the exchange of resources, little is still known about the effect is can have on adoption of OER. 

Research plan

The overall aim of the project is to investigate if and how national communities foster teachers’ adoption of OER.

The first part of this project will be focused on gaining a comprehensive understanding about the criteria teachers use when selecting OER. What defines a qualitative resource?

The second part of this project will be focused on two teacher communities in which multiple universities of applied sciences participate on creating and sharing OER. Over a period of 2 years, qualitative data will be collected in these communities to examine the following research questions: 'how do teachers interact in the community?' and 'to what extent does the community foster OER adoption?'. The outcomes of this project will enable higher education institutes to understand if and how collaboration can foster adoption of OER in education.

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