Research for the OEPS project is being led by a team based at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University (UK). You can find out more about the research team on the Project Team page.

The research team will be producing outputs that contribute toward the following five of the overall project deliverables:

  • Mapping current practice of OEP and related work in Scotland;
  • Awareness raising of Open education;
  • Developing the concept of OEP in the Scottish context;
  • Developing an evidence base of effective practice;
  • Evaluating economic models of open practice.

Our research is structured into four work packages, as follows:


The workshop series work package will deliver a thrice yearly cycle of high quality half day or full day workshops to interested organisations, initiatives and projects across Scotland. The workshops aim to raise awareness of different facets of Open Educational Practices (OEP) and cover the following themes: learning design, open scholarship, accessibility, open research, OER research and Thinking about Open. You can find out more information about the workshops and how to book here soon.

As part of the workshop series we’ll be creating openly licensed assets (such as videos of speakers at the workshops); these will be made openly available for external reuse and integration elsewhere into the project (e.g. the best practice guide and course). We also plan to also utilise these assets within the workshops themselves, for example as part of a “flipped” workshop.

Key dates: 

  • Workshops will be scheduled during: April-May, October-November and December-January.

Best Practice Guide and Course

This research work package will develop a best practice guide on open practice and an accompanying short course (e.g. 4-5 weeks) on Creating OER and Good OEP.

The development and delivery of the course will be open, transparent and community centred. The course will be hosted on OpenLearn Works and will be openly licensed so that others can develop it further.

Initially the research team will develop an outline of the course and make this available via the OEPS website and relevant OEPS public meetings for feedback.  During this period we will also be reviewing existing OER and identifying potentially suitable materials for reuse or remixing into the course. We will aim to utilise as much of the high quality OER already available in addition to OEPS generated assets such as workshop videos of speakers in the course.

Responding to Advisory Forum and online feedback we will continue to design and develop the course and best practice guide alongside the first workshop cycle (April-May 2015) to ensure relevance and a range of input. We are also aiming to hold a sprint with interested participants either as part of a workshop or separate event where we will co-create material for use in the course. The final course will also be available for community review in its entirety before it is released toward the end of 2015.

Key dates: 

  • Draft of the course will be available for the 19 March 2015 Advisory Forum and online
  • Community participation and feedback: Spring/Summer 2015
  • Final draft of course available for community review: September 2015
  • Delivery of the course and best practice guide: January 2016

Research and Case Studies

This research work package aims to develop a series of case studies with a range of Scottish institutions, organisations and projects across all sectors, who utilise OER and/or open practices. The case studies will be structured by a range of research questions that cover topics such as (but are not limited to) social justice and non-traditional learners, widening participation, the particularity of the Scottish context and access. To evaluate economic models of open practice specific case studies will examine cost savings from OEP/OER, sustainable models of practice, the viability of OER and MOOCs, the role of OER/OEP in recruitment etc. Evaluating the impact and effectiveness of OER/OEP and explicating the benefits of building in evaluation and sharing the results with others is an important part of this work package.

Composition and depth of the case studies will vary depending on the collaborator and type of research but all will be structured thematically and with research questions. For example, some short case studies can be carried out retrospectively via a template format whilst others are envisaged as being more involved, by working with collaborations over a period of time to carry out research or document the effectiveness of their OER/OEP. Case studies will include interviews and incorporate/be informed by desktop research.

Case studies will be openly licensed (CC-BY) and included in the project’s map and (where appropriate and where time permits) in the planned best practice guide and other research outputs (see separate work packages). Where appropriate, research hypotheses, methodologies and instruments from the OER Research Hub project will be utilised in order for comparisons to be made between the Scottish context and the international context. A Scottish wide survey of OEP and OER will be conducted in summer 2015.

Key dates: 

  • Research methodology available: early Spring 2015
  • Scottish wide survey of OEP and OER: Summer 2015
  • Case study work ongoing but visits to Institutions/projects/organisations will be scheduled during: April-May, October-November and December-January
  • Case study data available on map from Summer 2015


This research work package will develop a flexible, living map and visualisations of Scottish OEP projects and practices. It will be initially created from data generated by activity at the October 2014 OEPS Advisory Forum and desk research. It will also incorporate data from the Scotland wide survey (see above) and incorporate case studies and impact data from the research (where appropriate).

Based on the CC-BY licensed Impact map (code available on GitHub) created by the OER Research Hub, which visualises OER projects, evidence and policy etc. this map will be distinct from, but fully integrated, into the parent OER Research Hub Impact map. This will enable the Scottish context to be fully situated whilst facilitating the open release of data/assets created elsewhere in the research work packages. As is the case with the Impact Map, the Scottish map will also be collaborative: you will be able to submit your own projects, evidence etc. for inclusion.

Key dates: 

  • First version of Scottish OEP projects and practices map available: July 2015

See the Research Overview blog post for the announcement about the OEPS research work.

This page was last updated on 2 February 2015 

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