This study aims to determine how educators at the University of Cape Town (UCT) engage with Open Education Resources (OER) and openness as part of developing open online courses, and how this informs their practices and attitudes afterwards. Deepening understandings of these changes is important for informing strategies involving helping educators in adopting productive Open Educational Practices (OEP).
In 2014, UCT initiated a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) project in which 12 MOOCs were developed over a three-year period. This study employs an Activity Theory conceptual framework as a heuristic tool to investigate whether and how the integration of OER in the design of four of these MOOCs impacted upon educators' OEP. The research centred on the educators and their motivations, rather than the MOOCs per se or on the MOOC participants. While there was an interest in OER as content, it is the intersection of OER and educator practices which is the focus of the research.
The overarching question which this study set out to answer is: How does MOOC-making with OER adoption influence educators' Open Educational Practices?
The study draws on semi-structured interviews conducted with lead educators of the four MOOCs at three time intervals: just before the MOOC was launched (T1), after the first run of the MOOC (T2), and ten months after the launch (T3). A total of 19 interviews were conducted with MOOC lead educators. Certain questions were modified or additional questions asked in each of the lead educator interviews due to the semi-structured nature of the interviews and the differing subject matter and timing of the MOOCs.
This dataset makes a unique contribution to establishing empirical evidence about the practices of lead educators in a MOOC development process, how these practices are mediated, contextual considerations, and the kinds of tensions which arise as practices change. It will be of use to researchers and practitioners working in the areas of MOOC production, OER, Open Education, course development, and higher education studies.
Kind of Data
Unit of Analysis
Units of analysis were individuals
v1: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution
Version 1 of the dataset was deposited with DataFirst on 22 February 2017.
Open Educational Resources
The survey covered educators in the single institution involved in the study.
Producers and sponsors
Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D)
University of Cape Town
International Development Research Centre
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Ethics approval for data collection was obtained from the Centre for Higher Education Development at the University of Cape Town on the 14th of December, 2015.
Public use data, available to all under CC BY licence
Research on Open Educational Resources for Development. OER in and as MOOCs (ROER4D Sub-project 10.3) [dataset]. Version 1. Cape Town: ROER4D [producer], 2017. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2017. 10.25828/4awk-8d91