Open Educational Resources for social inclusion
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This special issue explores Open Educational Resources (OER) and the ways in which they can be used to support social inclusion, one of the key challenges that needs to be addressed in today’s technologically rich digital environment (Conole, 2011). This fits well with the scope of Distance Education in terms of reporting on research in open, distance and flexible learning, as OER are a key mechanism for supporting these different types of learning, as well as learning across formal and informal educational contexts.
Content of this special issue
This special issue calls for papers, reflections, reviews, and reports focusing on the relationship between OER and social inclusion, as well as looking at ways in which OER might be used to promote social inclusion. We welcome both theoretical as well as positional papers, and also empirical case studies of practice. Key questions to address include:
- Who is using OER? Why? Where? What factors can explain the growth (or lack of growth) of OER use?
- How are new open, social and participatory media and OER being used in learning and teaching? In what ways are they leading to social inclusion/exclusion? In what ways can they be harnessed to promote social inclusion?
- What digital literacy skills do learners and teachers need to make effective use of these technologies and resources? To what extent are they evident and how can they be developed?
- What is the impact on organizations of these new technologies and resources? What are their implications for institutional structures and roles?
- How can we design OER more innovatively to harness the potential of these new technologies and resources? What new approaches might be used?
- How are the ways in which learners and teachers communicate and collaborate changing with the use of these technologies?
- How can we create effective new digital learning environments to promote the use of OER? How can informal learning using OER be assessed and accredited?
- What kinds of policy directives are in place to promote social inclusion through the use of OER and how effective are they?
Also welcome are:
- empirical studies of the use of OER and a reflection on the implications for promoting social inclusion
- empirical studies on examples of social exclusion or inclusion in learning and teaching using OER
- reports on case studies or educational programs using new technologies and OER in novel ways to enhance and support student creativity
- critical theoretical approaches to transferring modern social, community, and private learning practices to educational contexts
- explorations around the design and use of OER.
Guest editor: Professor Gráinne Conole, The Open University/University of Leicester, United Kingdom
Submitting your proposal
Submit your proposal to Gráinne Conole (email@example.com).