The Global OER Graduate network is a global network of PhD students involved in projects, policy development and implementation strategies on open educational resources (OER). At the core of the network are doctoral students whose research projects include a focus on openness in education through, for example, OER, MOOC, open data, open licensing and open access publishing. Around these students is a network of experts, supervisors, mentors and interested parties. The aims of the GO-GN are:
- to raise the profile of research into open education,
- to offer support for those conducting PhD research in this area, and
- to develop openness as a process of research.
In addition to publishing details of events, funding opportunities, publications and webinars, the site provides a space for members of the network to discuss research activities with peers and experts.
History and Funding
GO-GN started as an initiative from the UNESCO Chair in OER at the Dutch Open Universiteit, initiated in collaboration with the UNESCO / COL Chair in OER at Athabasca University (Canada).
GO-GN is currently funded through the OER programme of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and administered by the Open Education Research Hub from the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, UK.
Although we have witnessed relevant research efforts in the field of OER in recent years, the research is still rather scattered while many research questions remain unaddressed or unanswered. There is a clear need for a substantial expansion of the OER research base in order to:
- develop and explore new knowledge in the broad OER field linked to a variety of disciplines
- provide a solid foundation for the introduction and implementation of OER innovations
- monitor and evaluate the outcomes of institutional, national and international OER initiatives
- increase evidence and guidance for OER in practice.
Special attention should be paid to the contextual dependence related, for example, to the variety of societies (developed, emerging, and developing economies; with the cultural diversity manifest around the globe). More in general, the OER field has a strong international dimension which carries specific implications for the research agenda.
In summary the goals of the Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) are to:
- substantially expand the OER research base as indicated above
- achieve this expansion mainly through good quality PhD trajectories
- find these PhD trajectories distributed among universities in a variety of societies in the different continents around the world (global balance)
- connect the research projects and researchers through a global learning network
- provide free and easy access to the generated knowledge through papers, conference presentations, dissertations, as well as reports and publications for a broader audience.