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James Cook

October 28, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm MDT

Dissertation Information

Title: Open Educational Resources: A Case Study on Librarian Involvement in Eleven Community Colleges Located in the Southeastern Region of the United States

Program: Doctor of Education in Education Technology

Advisor: Dr. Norm Friesen, Educational Technology

Committee Members: Dr. Kerry Rice, Educational Technology and Dr. Ross Perkins, Educational Technology


Multiple studies about open educational resources (OER) discuss their promise for K-12, higher education institutions, and their potential financial benefit for governments and institutional best practices. Studies also reveal ongoing challenges to widespread adoption. Although such resources promise freely adaptable educational content without the encumbrances of copyright and licensing, challenges remain for the widespread adoption of OER. In fact, many researchers identify mainstream adoption as the salient challenge for OER. The adoption process requires content knowledge and skills associated with instructional design and learning sciences; however, possessing such expertise has, on its own, been shown to be insufficient for mainstream adoption. Common barriers to adoption include gaps in awareness, time constraints, content quality, and licensing. Historically, librarians have functioned in capacities that addressed similar barriers for accessing, retrieving, and using information. Librarians promote and advocate information literacy and requisites skills to retrieve, assess, and use varied resources. As information science professionals, librarians qualify as potential resources to help strengthen adoption rates among faculty, but the research that examines their current contribution to this effort is limited. Are librarians properly trained to reduce barriers to mainstream adoption? Are they otherwise prepared to support faculty regarding their questions about copyright, quality assessment, and reuse that OER pose? In this context, this case study will investigate the current state of librarian readiness for and involvement in OER adoption to advance research on this phenomenon. Research will take place in eleven community colleges locatedĀ in the southeastern region of the United States. Results will include themes that connect to findings in OER literature, lessons learned, and opportunities for future research.