International HE instructors' use of OER in the Global South 2014-2015, ROER4D Sub-project 2

Despite the many useful studies on the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education, most are focused on the activity of students and instructors in the Global North who enjoy comparatively higher levels of economic development, educational provision, policy elaboration, and technological access than those in the Global South – the region where OER is touted as having its potentially greatest impact.

This dataset arises from a study focusing on higher education instructors and students in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. Based on a cross-regional survey of 295 instructors at 28 universities in nine countries, this research seeks to establish a baseline of empirical data for assessing OER awareness and use in the Global South.

The overarching research questions that this study set out to answer are:
1. What proportion of instructors in the Global South have ever used OER?
2. Which variables may account for different OER usage rates between respondents in the Global South?

In order to address these questions, survey responses were correlated against the question (26) of the survey which directly addresses OER usage: “Have you ever used OER that are available in the public domain or has an open license (e.g. Creative Commons) that allows it to be used and/or adapted by others?”

A core purpose of the overarching ROER4D project is the development of an empirical baseline of OER and Open Educational Practice (OEP) activity in the Global South. OER itself is a novel concept, and is tied to a broader spectrum of OEP that overlap with, but do not always exactly coincide with, formal OER practice. As such, an investigation into the use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing practices performed by higher education instructors, and the digital infrastructure and foundational literacies that underpin these practices (regardless of their knowledge of formal OER activity) is integral in ascertaining baseline practice.

This dataset includes responses by instructors who engage in reuse and sharing activities, irrespective of whether they have consciously used OER in their practice. As such, it offers insights into the practices that exist outside of formally-labelled OER production. Dimension
2 of the survey instrument “Educational Resources” is framed around general practice relating to sharing, use, reuse, creation, and licensing of educational materials, rather than OER per se. Data arising from these responses are to be treated with caution in terms of making inferences around OER, but remain useful in terms of gaining a more informed sense of instructors’ everyday practice.

The survey was conducted in four languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Bahasa Melayu); as such, four research instruments were originally produced and four sets of microdata collected. The microdata have been translated into English, and only the English instrument and the aggregated, translated instructor-response microdata is included here. The student-response microdata is not part of this dataset.

The dataset is considered to be of potential interest to OER scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers, as it seeks to provide a useful cross-regional comparison of various aspects of OER adoption.

This dataset was first published by DataFirst.