About GO-GN

The Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) is a network of PhD candidates around the world whose research projects include a focus on open education (i.e. OER, OEP, MOOC). These doctoral researchers are at the core of the network; around them, over two hundred experts, supervisors, mentors and interested parties connect to form a community of practice.

The aims of the GO-GN are to:

  • raise the profile of research into open education,
  • offer support for those conducting PhD research in this area,
  • promote equity and inclusion in the field of open education research, and
  • develop openness as a process of research.

To meet these aims GO-GN:

  • Hosts an annual face-to-face workshop, bringing together researchers from around the world to share their work and further develop their practice. This event is usually aligned with an international open education conference such as OEGlobal or the UK OER conference.
  • Holds regular webinars, online events, drop-in sessions and mini-seminars, which showcase our members research, enable collaboration and provide a supportive space.
  • Collaborates with other stakeholders to promote our members work and widen the network.
  • Co-develops and authors a range of research publications with its membership. In 2020 these included a Methodology Handbook and the first in a series of reviews of the latest OER and OEP research.
  • Supports alumni and members nearing the end of their studies with a funded fellowship scheme.
  • Connects our members, supporters and friends through a variety of channels including social and What’s App.
  • Acknowledges our member and alumni achievements through the annual GO-GN Awards, and
  • Offers our membership additional benefits such as affiliate membership to ALT and a Reclaim Hosting account.

History and Funding

GO-GN started in 2013 as an initiative from Fred Mulder, UNESCO Chair in OER at the Dutch Open Universiteit, in collaboration with Rory McGreal, 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.


 In 2017, at the 6th GO-GN Seminar celebrated in Cape Town, the network adopted the motto ‘Tuko Pamoja‘, which in Kiswahili means ‘We are Together‘. Our dear friend and GO-GN researcher Judith Pete, who is the inspiration behind this, explains it as follows:

‘Tuko Pamoja’ denotes a shared sense of purpose and motivation like for us PhD students at GO-GN. It strengthens values like trust, empathy, responsibility, accountability, self acceptance, sharing, unity and wholeness, among others. In a nutshell, it  implies an ’empathetic understanding among the members of a group’. This is indeed very typical of us as GO-GNers.


In 2020 GO-GN received the Open Practices Award in Open Research for our Research Methods Handbook.

In 2018 GO-GN received the Open Research Award for Open Education Excellence.


Fred Mulder Awards 

We launched the GO-GN awards in 2017 to recognise and celebrate GO-GN member and alumni open practices and research in open education. In 2018 we renamed the awards to honour the founder of GO-GN, Professor Fred Mulder.

Award submissions are independently judged by an awards committee including the GO-GN team. We have previously celebrated our winners at OE Global in Delft (2018) and Galway (2019).

Best Open Education Research Paper


Aras Bozkurt for ‘Trends and Patterns in Distance Education (2014–2019): A Synthesis of Scholarly Publications and a Visualization of the Intellectual Landscape‘ co-authored with Olaf Zawacki-Richter and published in the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL).


Amy Nusbaum for ‘Who Gets to Wield Academic Mjolnir?: On Worthiness, Knowledge Curation, and Using the Power of the People to Diversify OER‘ published in Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME).

Joint Runner Up: Ada Czerwonogora and Virginia Ródes for ‘Praxis: Open educational practices and open science to face the challenges of critical educational action research‘ published in Open Praxis.  

Joint Runner Up: Aras Bozkurt for ‘A global outlook to the interruption of education due to COVID-19 pandemic: Navigating in a time of uncertainty and crisis‘ published in Asian Journal of Distance Education.


Michael Paskevicius for ‘Conceptualizing open educational practices through the lens of constructive alignment‘, published in OpenPraxis.

Honourable Mention: Sarah Lambert for ‘Changing our (Dis)Course: A Distinctive Social Justice Aligned Definition of Open Education‘, published in the Journal of Learning for Development.


Glenda Cox for ‘Institutional Culture and OER Policy: How Structure, Culture, and Agency Mediate OER Policy Potential in South African Universities‘, co-authored with Henry Trotter and published in the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL).

Honourable Mention: Aras Bozkurt for ‘Community Tracking in a cMOOC and Nomadic Learner Behavior Identification on a Connectivist Rhizomatic Learning Network‘, co-authored with Sarah Honeychurch, Autumn Caines, Maha Bali, Apostolos Koutropoulos and Dave Cormier, and published in the Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education (TOJDE).

Best Open Practice


Glenda Cox for the The Digital Open Textbooks for Development (DOT4D) project. 

“The DOT4D project embodies openness in all aspects of its research, implementation and advocacy activities; all of which aim to explore the social justice dimensions of open textbook production. This project, led by GO-GN alumna Dr Glenda Cox, was funded by the Canadian IDRC and is currently UCT funded and hoping to secure future funding. In its research processes, all instrumentation developed is published in repositories with extensive metadata. The project’s ‘Open Textbooks in South African Higher Education’ initiative aims to extend this open practice and reach beyond national borders. All DOT4D outputs are published via open access channels and released under a CC BY licence.”  


Joint winner: Tomohiro Nagashima

“My work looked at how education researchers and practitioners, such as teachers, can work together to design OER and to use them in meaningful and effective ways. In this project, we collaborated with middle-school teachers in US to design and use a visual representation for algebra. We shared our materials and tools widely as OER to promote evidence-based open educational practice. As an instructional designer turned into an education researcher, I deeply care about connecting research and practice in a sustainable way, and this project was the first step toward the goal of building an ecosystem in which education researchers and practitioners collaboratively engage in the design, reuse, and re-distribution of OER.”

Joint winner: Hélène Pulker

“In the context of the ongoing pandemic and its impact on education and educators around the world, a group of colleagues from the Open University School of Languages and Applied Linguistics has developed a free toolkit, ‘Moving your language teaching online’. The toolkit supports language teachers from other Higher Education institutions who are new to online teaching or have only recently had to adapt to online teaching in light of the Covid-19 situation. The toolkit consists of a series of help sheets, discussing the basic principles of online language teaching: from creating an online classroom to maintaining motivation or developing assessment strategies for online teaching. 

Since its launch on 30 October 2020, the toolkit website has attracted nearly 2,000 visits. Users are free to download the toolkit help sheets, to use them, modify and adapt them to their own context, or to translate them. They are encouraged to share them with colleagues from their institutions and beyond.

Toolkit project team: Zsuzsanna Bárkányi, Karina von Lindeiner-Stráský, Christine Pleines, Hélène Pulker, Elodie Vialleton, The School of Languages and Applied Linguistics, The Open University (UK)”


Caroline Kuhn


Chrissi Nerantzi

Special Award for Outstanding Open Educational Practice

Introduced in 2021 this new award aims to recognise the contributions of researchers, experts and friends working in open education.


Leo Havemann and the Understanding data: praxis and politics team.

“The project team designed, developed and piloted a collection of OER to support educators in improving their critical data literacies and building related pedagogic capacity. The resources provide educators with content and analytical tools to think about real-life situations that will connect them with the most recent issues and research in the field. The resources were used in locally-focused pilot events and courses, in collaboration with local leads in Kenya, Uruguay, the UK, and Spain. The project therefore innovatively combines OER and OEP to produce negotiated, locally relevant learning experiences to provoke participants’ further reflection, research and transformation of practice.”

Team: Caroline Kuhn H., Javiera Atenas, Leo Havemann, Cristian Timmerman and Juliana Raffaghelli