Open Praxis is a peer-reviewed open access scholarly journal focusing on research and innovation in open, distance and flexible education. It is published by the International Council for Open and Distance Education - ICDE. The aim of Open Praxis is to provide a forum for global collaboration and discussion of issues in the practice of distance and e-learning. Open Praxis welcomes contributions which demonstrate creative and innovative research, and which highlight challenges, lessons and achievements in the practice of distance and e-learning from all over the world. An article may present research or surveys of recent work, describe original work, or discuss new technology and its possibilities, implications and/or other related issues.


The library contains articles of the Open Praxis as of vol. 1(2007) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • A Framework for the Ethics of Open Education

    Farrow, Robert; Institute of Educational Technology The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (ICDE, 2016-05-13)
    What difference does openness make to the ethics of teaching and research? This paper approaches this question both from the perspective of research into the use of open educational resources (OER) in teaching and learning. An outline of the nature and importance of ethics in education research is provided before the basic principles of research ethics are examined through a discussion of traditional guidance provided by three UK research governance bodies: the Economics and Social Research Council; the British Education Research Association; and the British Psychological Society. The importance and foundation of institutional approval for research activities is analysed with several examples of the differences made by openness. It is argued that openness by its nature provokes particular issues for education researchers. A framework for understanding openness in education is then proposed based on basic meta-ethical positions (deontological; consequentialist; virtue). Used as a tool, the framework attempts to retain relevance in a variety of scenarios without requiring a dogmatic vision of openness (e.g. an insistence on open licensing). This framework is then evaluated in the context of the OER Research Hub project, which developed guidance for others in the form of an 'ethics manual' and online learning provided through the OER Research Hub’s 'Open Research' course hosted on P2PU’s School of Open. Use of the framework is intended to contribute to a better understanding of professional ethics for open practitioners.
  • Structural changes in the landscape of Spanish distance universities

    Domínguez Figaredo, Daniel; Alvarez Alvarez, José Francisco (ICDE, 2019-06-22)
    The main national distance learning universities were launched before the emergence of the Internet. In order to adapt to digital connectivity, these universities had to modify their organizational and methodological procedures. But in recent years important changes have emerged in the field of educational technology, and this has significantly altered the higher education sector.This work analyzed the recent updates that distance-learning universities in Spain have undertaken in order to adapt to the current higher education landscape. The evolution of enrolment rates in distance universities in Spain in the period 2003–2017 was taken as a reference. Based on the available data, the factors that explain the enrolment gap between types of entities are analyzed and key actions for the evolution of distance learning universities in Spain are suggested. This provides an evidence-based approach that aims to contribute to the reflection of academics, institutional managers and policy makers who are called upon to reorient the strategy of distance universities to make them sustainable in the medium and long term in the new landscape.
  • Introduction to Open Praxis volume 11 issue 2

    ICDE; UNED; Gil-Jaurena, Inés (ICDE, 2019-06-22)
    This Open Praxis issue in volume 11 includes eight research papers.
  • Open Praxis vol. 11 issue 2

    ICDE; UNED; Gil-Jaurena (ed.), various authors, Inés (ICDE, 2019-06-22)
    This Open Praxis issue in volume 11 includes eight research papers
  • Testing the Intervention of OER Renewable Assignments in a College Course

    Al Abri, Maimoona Humaid; Dabbagh, Nada (ICDE, 2019-06-22)
    The purpose of this study was to explore students and instructor perceptions of the concept of renewable assignments in the open educational resources (OER) movement. Mixed methods were used, with a combination of a survey and semi-structured interview, administered at George Mason University in the United States. Eleven graduate students enrolled in the Instructional Design and Technology program in the course Advanced Instructional Design were invited to complete an online survey. A face-to-face interview was conducted with the instructor of the course. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were used to examine the results of the study. The data analysis found that only a small number of students were knowledgeable about OER, but the majority of participants indicated that they were very satisfied with the concept of renewable assignments. The findings suggest further investigation of the pedagogical models that tend to support student-generated OER.
  • Challenges Faced by Adult Learners in Online Distance Education: A Literature Review

    Kara, Mehmet; ERDOĞDU, Fatih; KOKOÇ, Mehmet; Cagiltay, Kursat (ICDE, 2019-03-04)
    Although online distance education provides adult learners with an opportunity for life-long learning, there are still factors challenging them to engage in educational processes. The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges faced by adult learners in online distance education through the analysis of the relevant literature. The articles (N=36) published in the key journals in the fields of open and distance education, instructional technology, and adult education were reviewed and analyzed through constant comparative analysis in the current study. The findings reveal that adult learners have challenges related to internal, external, and program-related factors indicating the interrelated nature of these challenges. The findings also show that the challenges experienced by adult learners vary depending on their age, gender, knowledge and skills as well as the context in which they study. The findings of this study, which has an exploratory nature, have several implications for distance education stakeholders such as administrators, instructors, instructional designers, and policy makers. 
  • “I find the whole enterprise daunting”: Staff understanding of Open Education initiatives within a UK university

    Harold, Sinead; Rolfe, Vivien (ICDE, 2019-03-04)
    “Open” initiatives, which focus on increasing access to education, resources, and research, are often practised by individuals rather than universities. However, universities must now produce openly accessible research to comply with research funding and assessment requirements. To encourage staff participation, universities need to understand what participation barriers their staff face.67 University of the West of England staff were surveyed about how they understood and participated in open initiatives. Four staff gave qualitative interviews about their experiences. This data was analysed to find correlates for participation and to identify participation barriers. Participants valued open initiatives and supported their underlying goal of increased public access. Staff faced many entry barriers, especially around resource maintenance, copyright, and permissions. Universities could reduce these issues by emphasising how open initiatives allow staff to save time and to avoid reduplicating resources, and by creating unified “open policies” that make staff permissions and restrictions clearer.
  • Brief report on Open Praxis figures and data (2018)

    ICDE, UNED; Gil-Jaurena, Inés (ICDE, 2019-03-04)
    This brief introduction in the first Open Praxis issue in 2019 reports on some and information and data about the Open Praxis development in the period from January 2013 to December 2018, with a special focus on volume 10, published in 2018. After the brief report, what follows is an introduction to the first Open Praxis issue in volume 11, which includes seven research papers.
  • Open Praxis vol. 11 issue 1

    ICDE, UNED; Gil-Jaurena (ed.), Various Authors, Inés (ICDE, 2019-03-04)
    The first Open Praxis issue in volume 11 includes seven research papers.
  • The Complexity of Transnational Distance Students: A Review of the Literature

    Stewart, William H. (ICDE, 2019-03-04)
    Transnational education is a rapidly evolving and constantly changing field. The Internet has enabled virtually global access to distance education opportunities, however transnational distance students in particular have often been miscategorized, oversimplified, or overlooked in prior research. This literature review synthesizes research and publications over a ten-year period focusing on the emerging phenomenon of transnational distance students. Contrary to the allure of flexible, any time, any place learning often ascribed to distance education, diverse and complex situations are highlighted that paint a more nuanced picture of student circumstances and motivations, counterintuitive and underrepresented conditions that may influence students in their decisions to enrol in transnational distance education programs.
  • Findings from a Case Study on Refugees Using MOOCs to (Re)enter Higher Education

    Lancaster University; Kiron Open Higher Education gGmbH; Witthaus, Gabi (ICDE, 2019-01-21)
    This paper presents a case study evaluating the online learning experience of ten refugees on MOOCs. Qualitative data were collected from the learners, generating a set of 43 statements depicting the learners’ experience of learning, which were analysed using an augmented Community of Inquiry (CoI) theoretical framework. The key findings show that learners particularly desired teaching presence in terms of facilitation and feedback on their progress; they viewed online social presence as being important but generally not well managed in MOOCs; and they expressed cognitive presence mainly in terms of the selection and use of information sources. Learning presence (the additional element of the “augmented” CoI framework) was described primarily in terms of the importance of goal-setting and planning. The implications for organisations supporting refugees and other learners in disadvantaged circumstances on MOOCs are discussed.
  • The design of an empirical cross-boundary collaborative open learning framework

    Nerantzi, Chrissi (ICDE, 2019-01-21)
    This paper reports on the design and development of an empirical cross-boundary, collaborative open learning framework for cross-institutional academic development. The framework is one of the key outputs of a phenomenographic study into the lived experience of open learners in two open cross-institutional courses. Data was collected through individual interviews from 22 study participants from two courses that made up a collective case study. These courses were offered by UK higher education institutions in collaboration with informal partners nationally and internationally and were selected as these had different collaborative learning features built-in that could be explored. Course participants in these two courses include academic staff who teach or support learning and further open learners. The empirical design framework is proposed to support the development and implementation of cross-boundary collaborative open learning approaches within cross-institutional academic development and may also be useful in further learning and teaching settings in higher education.
  • Experiences of Timorese language teachers in a blended Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

    The University of Western Australia; Lorosa'e English Language Institute; King, Monty; Luan, Bernadete; Lopes, Esperança (ICDE, 2018-09-30)
    This paper details the experiences of a group of Timorese English language teachers from Lorosa’e English Language Institute (LELI) in Dili, Timor-Leste, who participated in a professional development MOOC entitled Teaching for Success: Lessons and Teaching between March and April 2017. Drawing on the pedagogical principles of blended learning; participants engaged with online course content, and once a week met as a study group to view some video content together and discuss issues arising from it. The authors draw on participant observation, individual and focus group interviews and post-course author reflections to outline the benefits and challenges of doing blended MOOCs in Dili, and propose that they can provide local English language teachers opportunities for subject area knowledge building, language literacy development and more general lifelong learning.
  • Introduction to Open Praxis volume 10 issue 3

    ICDE; UNED; Gil-Jaurena, Inés (ICDE, 2018-09-30)
    This third Open Praxis issue in 2018 includes seven research papers and a book review. These contributions by sixteen authors from various countries (Canada, Turkey, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Pakistan, Australia/United Kingdom, Timor-Leste and the United States of America) explain their research and experiences in open, distance and flexible education.
  • Book Review of Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies

    Belt, Eric Stewart (ICDE, 2018-09-30)
    This book is full of examples of how teachers can integrate technology into their classroom and should inspire the most tentative teachers to try something new. As with any book centered on emerging technologies, the content runs the risk of becoming outdated quickly, but the author acknowledges this in the introduction and continues to build on central tenants as evidenced in a second edition placing emphasis on smartphone and social media usage.
  • Open Praxis vol. 10 issue 3

    ICDE; UNED; Gil-Jaurena (ed.), various authors, Inés (ICDE, 2018-11-14)
    This third Open Praxis issue in 2018 includes seven research papers and one book review
  • Are Private Universities Exempt from Student Concerns About Textbook Costs? A Survey of Students at American University

    Murphy, Lindsay Renee; Rose, David (ICDE, 2018-09-30)
    A survey conducted in the fall of 2015 at American University in Washington, DC shows that rising textbook prices similarly affect students at an expensive private university as those at community colleges and state schools. Research on high textbook costs that has demonstrated corollary unwanted behavior changes in students, including not purchasing the book, resorting to illegal online downloads, and poor study habits, were confirmed at American University as well. Solutions that have been proposed to this problem of prohibitive textbook prices, including Open Educational Resources (OER), could have an equally profound impact at American University, and potentially similar private universities, as has been demonstrated at less selective and more affordable counterparts.
  • Days of future passed, the history of OEGlobal in titles

    Open Education Consortium; Schuwer, Robert (ICDE, 2018-04-20)
    This special issue contains some of the almost 180 accepted contributions of this years’ Open Education Global conference (OEGlobal), organized in Delft from 24-26 April 2018. These annual global conferences are organized by the Open Education Consortium (until 2014 named Open Courseware Consortium), together with a local institution. The first edition in this series of conferences was organized in 2005 by the Utah State University in Logan.
  • Open Praxis, volume 10 issue 2

    ICDE; UNED; Open Education Consortium; Gil-Jaurena (ed.), Various Authors, Inés (ICDE, 2018-04-20)
    For a fifth consecutive year, Open Praxis has partnered with the Open Education Consortium for the publication of selected papers among those presented in the 2018 Open Education Global Conference, held in Delft (The Netherlands) from 24 to 26 of April, 2018. After the peer-review process, seven papers were accepted for publication.
  • Transforming Education through Open Approaches. Introduction to selected papers

    ICDE; UNED; Open Education Consortium; Gil-Jaurena, Inés (ICDE, 2018-04-20)
    This special Open Praxis issue includes selected papers presented at the Open Education Consortium Global Conference, held in Delft (The Netherlands) on April 24-26, 2018.

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