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Open Course Design and Development: A Case Study in the Open Educational Resource University

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Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
The purpose of this comparative case study is to explore and examine the practices of open course design and development as they are being undertaken in the Open Education Resource university (OERu) network, an international partnership of member post-secondary institutions. With a focus on the design and development of an OER-based university-level course, the study identifies and describes features of OERu open design and development processes and compares and contrasts them to similar practices in traditional instructional design and the open source software (OSS) development field. The study was conducted in three parts. First, a detailed description of the OERu project and its explicit purposes, structure and logic models was provided. Second, a review of the literature traced conceptual roots of the OERu in the history of reusable learning objects, open educational resources, sharing of learning design knowledge and OSS development, interwoven with the functions of social processes and mediating artifacts in collaborative design settings. Third, data were collected though interviews with developers and analysis of communications, artifacts and developer contribution histories within the OERu WikiEducator development environment. The study concludes that the goal of enabling achievement of university credit through study of free OER-based courses imposes important considerations on the planning stages of open design and development at both course development team and partner institution levels. Further, attention to community development is key to the success of open design and development in the OERu.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Kaufman, David
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