University of Cape Town
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South Africa - OER in and as MOOCs 2015-2016, ROER4D Sub-project 10.3

posted on 2021-03-18, 12:18 authored by Laura CzerniewiczLaura Czerniewicz, Andrew Deacon, Sukaina Walji, Michael Glover
This dataset underpins ROER4D Sub-project 10.3 South Africa - OER in and as MOOCs 2015-2016.

The 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 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and how this informs their practices and attitudes. Deepening understandings of these changes is important for informing strategies involving helping educators in adopting productive Open Educational Practices (OEP).

The study draws on semi-structured interviews conducted with lead educators of four MOOCs developed as part of a UCT MOOC project. Interviews were conducted 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 comprises the dataset provided here and detailed in Appendix A below.

The research for which the interviews were collected 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 related sub-questions which need to be answered in order to address this main question are as follows:
1. Why do educators create MOOCs?
2. How do educators understand openness in education?

3. What are the contextual dimensions which shape OEP?
4. How does MOOC design help, or not help, educators achieve their objects?
5. How do educators understand and express copyright, licences, and the legal dimensions of openness?
6. How is pedagogical openness experienced and expressed as an OEP in MOOCs (in terms of) the educators’ objectives?
7. How is financial openness expressed?
8. How do educators use and reuse OER beyond the MOOC?

This dataset pertains primarily to those aspects of the research that focused on the financial, pedagogical, and legal (licensing and copyright) aspects of MOOC production. The original interview transcripts contained information pertaining to the other aspects of the study (as identified in the research questions), but these sections often contained disclosive information. Where possible, these sections have been redacted in order to preserve the confidentiality of the research participants.

The analysis of this dataset makes a unique contribution to establishing empirical evidence about the practices of lead educators in a MOOC development process. 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.

The files included in this dataset include a dataset description, the quantitative data, the associated survey instrument, the ethics clearance, and the data de-identification protocol.

The dataset was first published in DataFirst.




Book information

Hodgkinson-Williams, C. & Arinto, P. B. (Eds). (2017). Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South. Cape Town & Ottawa: African Minds, International Development Research Centre & Research on Open Educational Resources for Development. Retrieved from


  • English

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Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching

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    Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project



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