Co-creation of OER by teachers and teacher educators in Colombia
This chapter, based on research conducted by members of the Collaborative CoCreation of Open Educational Resources by Teachers and Teacher Educators in Colombia (coKREA) project, assesses whether and how a contextually based, bottomup approach to the promotion and advocacy of Open Educational Resources (OER) – in which teachers are encouraged to collaboratively co-create resources – supports the adoption of OER in Colombian schools.
The study, conducted with public school teachers in southwestern Colombia, used a Participatory Action Research approach, in which the object of study is not external to the researchers, as the social practices under study are performed by the same subjects who are conducting the investigation. This allows teachers to identify possibilities of OER in their own educational practices, as well as the conditions required for their adoption, based on collective thinking processes immersed in their own sociocultural contexts.
A call for research participation was issued to teachers who were experienced in using information and communication technologies (ICT) in their teaching. The data collection process was undertaken through administration of a series of online questionnaires (completed by 19 teachers), a survey (completed by 248 teachers), webinars (in which 28 teachers connected and 14 participated actively), unstructured telephone interviews (with 30 teachers) and a series of focus group discussions (with a cohort of 49 teacher educators, teachers and students). A face-to-face workshop was also conducted with teachers to provide an introduction to OER, after which they identified challenges to incorporating OER into their pedagogical practices and discussed their own OER-related activities.
Data analysis followed a rigorous Grounded Theory process and involved an “approach stage” to identify key teacher practices; a “deepening stage” to uncover relationships and affinities; and a “condensation phase” to surface a theory of change.
The main finding in this study is that teachers create and use OER more effectively when they receive flexible and continuous pedagogical support that: (1) fosters pedagogical practices drawing upon constructivist models, so that teachers and students have an active role in the creation and recreation of knowledge; (2) promotes open licensing that respects authors’ rights, but allows for legal reuse and adaptation; and (3) facilitates the use of ICT available in schools and at home to access, create and share OER. Similarly, it was found that this pedagogical support generated better outcomes when teacher teams work around a project in their schools instead of attending general training sessions on OER.
The key recommendation is that pedagogical support be provided to encourage team-based teacher OER development projects within schools.