Global South Research on Open Educational Resources for Development - Metasynthesis Dataset

The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project was a four-year, large-scale networked project which set out to contribute to the body of research on Open Educational Resources (OER) and address the primary research question: Whether, how, for whom and under what circumstances can engagement with open educational practices and OER provide equitable access to relevant, high-quality, affordable and sustainable education in the Global South?

The project engaged a total of 103 research team members in 18 sub-projects in 21 countries across South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia, coordinated by a central Network Hub. The research work culminated in an edited volume, Adoption and Impact of OER in the Global South.

A primary contribution of the edited volume was the metasynthesis of sub-project findings, published as Factors influencing Open Educational Practices and OER in the Global South: Meta-synthesis of the ROER4D project. The aim of this synthesis was to distill key themes emerging from sub-project research and to identify:
● Educational challenges pertinent in the Global South context.
● Claims about OER as a mechanism to address these challenges.
● OER and related open educational practices observed in the sub-projects, as well as the structural, cultural and agential factors influencing those practices.
● Any impact that could be attributed to OER adoption in addressing educational challenges.

The 13 sub-project chapters from the edited volume comprised the primary data source for the synthesis, with final research reports being utilised in two instances where there were no associated sub-project chapters. Coding was performed before final book production using NVivo according to the analytical framework (Figure 1) developed by the principal investigator (PI) in collaboration with the deputy PI and other members of the Network Hub. The dataset is comprised of the primary codes and their associated sub-codes derived from the analytical framework, along with the corresponding coded excerpts. There was no de-identification undertaken on micro-data as the data objects were publication-ready narratives which had already been interrogated for disclosive information.

The dataset makes a contribution by demonstrating the transparency of the ROER4D metasynthesis process. Its publication allows external researchers to examine the ROER4D coding process and draw their own conclusions from the data, or to apply different theoretical, conceptual and analytical models to extract findings more relevant to their research contexts. It will be of use to researchers looking for an empirical baseline of research on OER in the Global South, and those interested in performing latitudinal research studies. It is also of use to PIs and researchers undertaking metasynthesis work in open education research.

This dataset was first published by DataFirst.