Openness and education: a beginner’s guide

This post was written by Martin Weller.

One of the things we’ve noticed as a research team attending different conferences that deal with aspects of ‘Open Education’ is that people come into it from a wide range of backgrounds. It is also quite a broad term, with many different interpretations and perspectives. This can make it quite difficult for a new researcher to know where to start, or to come to common understanding when people have different starting points.

So, along with Irwin DeVries, Vivien Rolfe, and Katy Jordan, we conducted some research to try and map the open education space, and from this produce a “Beginner’s Guide to Open Education”. In order to do this we used a citation analysis approach, whereby we seeded the network analysis with twenty key articles, and from these used the references to find further articles, and so on, creating a network of connected publications.  You can explore the network over on Katy’s site. 

Once we had identified some clear areas within the network (e.g. MOOCs, OER, etc) we gathered together some key references within these. The choice was not always the most cited but rather trying to provide a range of coverage and type of publication. There is also a timeline view you can use to explore by topic and year.

We’ve produced a 32 page Beginner’s Guide that covers these main areas, with an overview of the area, and summaries of some key papers. We hope this will be useful to GO-GN and other researchers in the Open Education space. Feel free to share widely and please let us have any feedback on it.

Featured image: Network, by Quinn Dombrowski, CC BY-SA 2.0