Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

9 Case Studies about Using Open Educational Resources(#OER) to Foster Creativity

Open educational resources can be change agents leading to the release of creativity for organisations, for teachers and for learners. Here are 8 research publications that observed the evidences and best practices – Special Themed Issue on Creativity and Open Educational Resources (OER) from The European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning – EURODL.

Exploring OER: Internet Information Literacy, Problem Solving and Analogical Thinking

Cinzia Ferranti

This paper presents a model to apply analogy in problem solving (PS). Based on studies, on experimental evidence found in specific literature, and on empirical data obtained from a case study, the model focuses on the awareness level that professional adults engaged in learning activities have in applying this thinking process. Their use of the web and of OER serves multiple purposes: for self-guided training, to plan educational activities, to solve problems or to express their creativity. Field experience conducted during three annual editions of teaching Internet Information Literacy (IIL) in the specialisation course Social software and Web 2.0 for didactics and education highlighted the importance of setting up online, problem oriented activities which focus on analogical thinking and a creative use of OER.

YouTube as a Repository: The Creative Practice of Students as Producers of Open Educational Resources

Helen Keegan, Frances Bell

In this paper we present an alternative view of Open Educational Resources (OERs). Rather than focusing on open media resources produced by expert practitioners for use by peers and learners, we examine the practice of learners as active agents, producing open media resources using the devices in their pockets: their mobile phones. In this study, students are the producers and operate simultaneously as legitimate members of the YouTube community and producers of educational content for future cohorts. Taking an
Action Research approach we investigated how student’s engagement with open media resources related to their creativity.  Using Kleiman’s framework of fives conceptual themes which emerged from academics experiences of creativity (constraint, process, product, transformation, fulfillment), we found that these themes revealed the opportunities designed into the assessed task and provided a useful lens with which to view students’ authentic creative experiences.

Learner Generated Content: Quality Criteria in online Collaborative Learning

Maria Pérez-Mateo, Marcelo F. Maina, Montse Guitert, Marc Romero

This study focuses on quality in a Learner Generated Content (LGC). The main objective is to identify and describe the criteria supporting the quality of the creation of content by those learners working together in an online environment. Contrasting a literature review and learners’ perception, we propose a quality criteria framework for LGC organized in three clusters: content, format and process. Emphasis on both process and end product highlights the LGC’s twofold intention of being useful as a creative new pedagogical strategy and as a way to share educational resources imbued with the learner’s voice and perception.


Framing Creativity. User-driven Innovation in Changing Contexts

Niels Henrik Helms, Simon B. Heilesen

This article outlines a way of understanding and modelling how it is possible to design for creative processes. The processes in question involve user-driven didactic design in a Danish project for developing e-learning designs to be used at small and medium sized enterprises (the ELYK-project). After briefly discussing the concepts of creativity and innovation, the article outlines three levels of analysis. On a meta-level, a new model of quadruple helix innovation is introduced, providing a framework for interrelations between enterprise, government, knowledge institutions, and users (learners). On a meso-level, a four-field model is introduced. It is an operational model for user involvement in creativity and innovation processes, depicting and demarcating the changing roles of users and developers at different stages of the design process. On a micro-level, the design practise of running workshops as “communities of ideas” is discussed. Some examples of the practical application of the model are discussed. It is concluded that creativity and innovation are the outcomes of multidisciplinary collaboration where different rationalities and competences become articulated.

Collaborative Environments to Foster Creativity, Reuse and Sharing of OER

Paolo Tosato, Gianluigi Bodi

The popularity of ICT within teachers has operated a shift between an individual way of producing resources to be used in class and a social way of doing it. Nowadays teachers do not have to be passive users, but reflective practitioners. To do so it is necessary to foster collaboration between teachers and find a way to improve the circulation of knowledge. We believe that Online Community of Practice could be a place in which, not only teachers can share their knowledge on their professional domain, they can also work collaboratively to create-reuse-remix-share Open Educational Resources (OER) to be used by everyone. Furthermore, Online Communities of Practice are the perfect place where the individual creativity and the social creativity can dialogue and give life to new Best Practices. This paper present a project called CREA.ti in which the individual dimension of each teacher is linked to the social dimension of its practice.

Inspiring Creativity in Organisations, Teachers and Learners through Open Educational Resources

Patrick McAndrew

The design of educational material has a history of allowing people to present an individual expert view (the researcher as academic teacher) and a published base of knowledge (the academic teacher as text book writer). As learning has moved online and has now become more open a new dynamic of communication is emerging from the teacher to the learner, from the teacher to the teacher, and from the organisation to the world. In exploiting these new dynamics there are changes in motivations for creating and designing materials, but are there also chances to embrace a new creativity? In this paper we use an activity theoretic approach to look at three sources of evidence for impact from taking an open approach to learning resources. First impact on an organisation to identify its role as an enabler for creativity and change. Second on the educator and the way reuse of content allows selection of new patterns of design. Third impact is on the learner as open educational resources blends content with social. The cases present evidence that seeing open resources as change agents can lead to the release of creativity for organisations, for teachers and for learners.

Cloud Computing and Creativity: Learning on a Massive Open Online Course

Rita Kop, Fiona Carroll

This paper explores cloud computing and how it might advance learning and teaching, particularly in terms of social creativity and collaborative learning. We present a study of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – a semi-autonomous learning environment mainly distributed on the cloud – in which Open Educational Resources were produced, researched and shared by participants worldwide. The objective of this research was to explore the level of importance of creativity for learning and then to closely investigate how this creativity might be fostered in such a ‘vast’ educational setting and what factors might be of importance to enhance creativity in open networked learning. Through the participants’ experiences, we discuss the various dynamics and profiles of the participants as they move from being consumers on the environment to becoming ‘producers’ and take creative steps in their learning. More importantly, we identify the elements of the course that need to be in place to encourage and support this move towards more effective creativity and learning.

Adaptability as a Special Demand on Open Educational Resources: The Cultural Context of e-Learning

Thomas Richter

Producing and providing Open Educational Resources (OERs) is driven by the concepts of openness and sharing. Although there already are a lot of free high-quality resources available, practitioners often rather rewrite learning resources than creatively embed (and thus, reuse) existing OERs. In this paper, we analyse the reasons for this in two different educational contexts. As a result of this analysis, we found that the uncertainty on possible adaptation needs is one of the major barriers. In order to overcome this barrier and make different learning contexts comparable, we analysed the context of learners and in particular, in the research project ‘Learning Culture’, we investigated the field of culturally motivated expectations and attitudes of learners. This paper shows the results of this research project and discusses which cultural issues should be taken into consideration when OERs are to be adapted from one to another cultural context.


The openness-creativity cycle in education from  Journal of Interactive Media Education (JiME)

Martin Weller

In contrast the low production quality of little OERs has the effect of encouraging further participation. The implicit message in these OERs is that the consumer can become a producer – they are an invitation to participate precisely because of their low quality. Whether this is in writing a blog post that links to it, or in creating a video reaction, the low threshold to content creation is a feature of little OER.

In this interpretation creativity is driven by openness, because people are learning from each other’s shared efforts, and openness is enhanced by creativity, as the performers seek to compete with each other and share with a global audience. This creativity-openness feedback cycle is not only present for visual skills such as skateboarding, graffiti and dancing, but has a scholarly version also.

photo credit: derrickcollins via photopin cc


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5 Responses »


  1. Research into Open Learning and the communismization of knowledge and education | My Mind Bursts
  2. 9 Case Studies about Using Open Educational Resources(#OER) to Foster Creativity | Everything open |
  3. 9 Case Studies about Using Open Educational Resources(#OER) to Foster Creativity | Social Learning - MOOC - OER |
  5. 9 Case Studies about Using Open Educational Res...

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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