A phenomenological study of the lived experiences of university educators as they use open educational resources




Symmons, Janet

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Eleven Canadian public university educators who used OERs in their teaching practices were interviewed about their lived experiences with obstacles and affordances encountered when adopting, modifying, and/or creating OERs. The reflective lifeworld phenomenological approach was used for data collection and analysis. The results were viewed through self-determination theory’s regulatory styles. Educators reflected on their experiences with several obstacles including, lack of time, perceived poor quality of OER textbooks, and difficulties using Pressbooks to modify and/or create OER textbooks, even though the educators appeared to have good technology skills. OER affordances included the ability to modify resources, OERs were easy to find, and OERs aligned with the participants’ teaching practices. Results found educators were motivated to use OERs primarily to ease their students’ financial burdens and have up-to-date teaching and learning material. All participants were externally motivated to engage with OERs and two were intrinsically motivated when creating OERs. The essential meaning of the phenomenon is understood as a device rooted in educators’ motivation to support students beyond the classroom. This research contributes to the growing body of qualitative OER research. The results and recommendations may be useful to educators who are considering using OERs and to teaching and learning centres that support OER use.



OER, open educational resources, university teaching practices, higher education, self-determination theory, phenomenology