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.

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

Recent Submissions

  • Undergraduate Student Perspectives on Textbook Costs and Implications for Academic Success

    Rush Wittkower, Lucinda; Lo, Leo S (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    To provide more affordable course content to our students and faculty, local data on how students perceive textbook expenses and how the costs impact student success would be necessary in order to advocate to faculty and other stakeholders. This survey, conducted at a mid-sized research public institution, aims to explore student perceptions of textbooks and how these perceptions influence academic success. The results reveal that students feel that the cost of required textbooks is unreasonable and that students are more likely to purchase required textbooks for in-major classes than for elective or general education courses. The most common means of reducing costs are purchasing from a vendor other than the campus bookstore, renting, or sharing books with classmates. Implications for academic success included not purchasing required textbooks or withdrawing from a course due to not having the materials. Students whose majors are housed in the College of Business have the highest textbook costs.
  • Quality and Cost Matter: Students’ Perceptions of Open versus Non-Open Texts through a Single-Blind Review

    Sheu, Feng-Ru; Grissett, Judy (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    Although prior research has examined student perceptions of open materials, research investigating students’ perceptions of open versus copyright-restricted textbooks through a direct, experimental approach is lacking. To better understand how students perceive open textbooks outside the context of the classroom, we examined students’ perceptions of unfamiliar open and non-open (copyright-restricted) psychology textbooks. Forty-four introductory psychology students reviewed chapters from two open textbooks and two traditional/copyrightrestricted textbooks and then ranked the textbooks from most to least favourite. Students rated each chapter on several quality measures, including layout structure, visual appeal, ease of reading, and instructional features. Next, bibliographical information and cost were revealed, and students re-ranked the textbooks accordingly. Before knowing the bibliographic information and cost, students were more likely to prefer the two traditional textbooks. There after, they were more likely to select the open texts. Students often referred to textbook price as a determining factor for their change.
  • Design of a chatbot as a distance learning assistant

    Tamayo, Pedro Antonio; Herrero, Ana; Martín, Javier; Navarro, Carolina; Tránchez, José Manuel (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    Within the process of progressive digitization of materials and tools for teaching and distance learning of a subject of introduction to Microeconomics (quarterly, in year three of the Degree in Social Work), taught by the authors at the National University of Distance Education (UNED), a virtual assistant in the form of chatbot, or conversational robot, called EconBot, has been designed and made available to students from 2017. This paper presents the reasons that led to its adoption, the process of its development, differentiating two phases, its characteristics and functions, the assessment of its usefulness and the role of teachers in the implementation of this type of technological innovation.
  • Opening Futures for Nigerian Education – Integrating Educational Technologies with Indigenous Knowledge and Practices

    Adeyeye, Biliamin Adekunle; Mason, Jon (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    This paper highlights some key historical perspectives and antecedents of African Indigenous knowledge (AIK) and practices while identifying ‘open’ futures and opportunities for the application of digital technologies for educational opportunities that build on this cultural base. The role and negative impact of colonialism in the under-development of AIK is examined in this context together with the impact of post-colonial and contemporary corruption in further undermining the value of Indigenous knowledge systems. Two key concepts are identified as a counterpoint to this: the resilience of AIK and ‘local wisdom’ and the openness underpinning much of the ongoing digital revolution. This natural alignment can help guide the integration of Indigenous-based knowledge and practices and the deployment of open and distance learning in the re-birth of African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS). Openness is a pivotal concept here for it is integral to both the architecture of the Web and in its ongoing evolution. Given the identified opportunities associated with digital technology, and despite the challenges, it is argued that there is an unequivocal need for AIKS to explore the advantages of open education resources and practices in promoting this rebirth that is also consistent with modern science and technologies in Africa and beyond.
  • Faculty Members’ Lived Experiences with Choosing Open Educational Resources

    Martin, Troy; Kimmons, Royce (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    The cost of textbooks has continued to increase with significant financial effects on students in higher education. Although many faculty express a desire and willingness to adopt and create open textbooks (and OER generally), few actually do. To better understand this gap between attitudes and practices, this phenomenological study builds upon the findings of a survey of faculty members at a large, nationally-ranked, high-research-activity university in the U.S. and uses in-depth interviews to understand faculty members’ lived experiences with OER adoption and creation. Results indicated that though faculty might be motivated to use and create OER to reduce cost and improve pedagogy, they are regularly stymied by quality considerations, copyright fears, technical difficulties, and sustainability concerns. We explore each of these issues in some depth and provide discussion and suggestions on how similar institutions (e.g., high-research-activity) should respond to help support OER adoption and creation.
  • Digital Technologies for Learning at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU): Investigating Needs and Challenges

    Noreen, Sidra; Malik, Muhammad Abid (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    The present study investigated the need of digital technologies for the distance learners of AIOU (Allama Iqbal Open University), and the challenges in its implementation. Within mixed-method approach, an explanatory sequential design was employed to conduct this study. Quantitative data was collected through questionnaires from 963 students to find out the needs for digital technologies. Later 3 administrators and 1 library in-charge were interviewed to find out the challenges in its implementation. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. For qualitative data analysis, inductive analysis was done. Most of the students said that digital technologies were needed for increasing accessibility and flexibility of learning. The challenges for its implementation were in the requirement of diverse online learning resources, access, cost and lack of expertise. The paper recommended that there should be provision of portable devices to students with Wi-Fi, and guidance about its use. Annual need-assessment system was also suggested.
  • Book Review of Transactional Distance and Adaptive Learning: Planning for the Future of Higher Education

    Nichols, Mark (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    Book Review of Transactional Distance and Adaptive Learning: Planning for the Future of Higher Education.
  • Open Education Faculty and Distance Education Students’ Dropout Reasons: the Case of a Turkish State University

    Ataturk University; Open Education Faculty; Center of Distance Education; Gündüz, Münevver; Karaman, Selçuk (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    This study aimed to investigate open education faculty and distance education students’ dropout reasons. By implementing the use of a case study as a qualitative research method, this study investigated why students dropped out for their distance education programs. The study group was composed of 25 students who had dropped out of distance education and open education faculty programmes. The study group was formed by using a stratified random sampling method. The research included a data collection tool based on a semi-structured interview form that was generated on the basis of interviews with experts and an evaluation of theories, models, and studies concerning dropout. The data from the interviews were analyzed through content analysis and involved distinguishing between codes, categories, and themes. This study found the following main factors as responsible for students dropping out of these programmes: students’ difficulty in paying the tuition fees, their maladjustment to the form of education offered on the Internet, their need for printed books, and technical problems encountered in examinations. Students’ lack of personal career objectives and their worries about failure were also among the most important factors that increased the possibility of dropping out. Additional reasons for dropping out included issues related to environmental circumstances and conditions as well as individual responsibilities. In conclusion, it was found that programmes and other environmental factors were influential in instances of dropout.
  • Brief report on Open Praxis figures and progress

    ICDE; UNED; Gil-Jaurena, Inés (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    This brief introduction in the first Open Praxis issue in 2020 reports on some and information and data about the Open Praxis development in the period from January 2013 to December 2019, with a special focus on volume 11, published in 2019. After the brief report, what follows is an introduction to the first Open Praxis issue in volume 12, which includes nine research papers, one innovative practice paper and one book review. 
  • Culture, Identity and Learning: A Mediation Model in the Context of Blogging in Teacher Education

    Biberman-Shalev, Liat; Tur, Gemma; Buchem, Ilona (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    National culture has been an influential framework for comparative and international research. However, current theories suggest that people and societies are rather more complex constructs than their cultural layer. This work is based on a previous study in which, when students from Spain were compared to German students, the former showed higher levels of identity with their blogs and learning impact. The current study is a step forward as it presents the differences in identity and learning impact in blogging between Spanish and Israeli student teachers and offers a mediation model in which the relationship between culture and learning is mediated by the identity factor. The results show that Spanish student teachers feel more identified with their blogs and thus perceive a greater learning impact. Accordingly, this work suggests that blogging could act as learning spaces that may raise students’ identity with their learning products and their self-perceived learning impact.
  • Open Praxis vol. 12 issue 1

    ICDE; UNED; Gil-Jaurena, Inés (ICDE, 2020-06-13)
    The first Open Praxis issue in volume 12 includes a brief report on the journal development since its relaunching in 2013, with a special focus on volume 11, published in 2019; nine research papers, one innovative practice paper and one book review.
  • Results from a Psychology OER pilot program: faculty and student perceptions, cost savings, and academic outcomes

    Magro, Juliana; Tabaei, Sara V (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    This case study describes the library’s experience of collaborating with an undergraduate Psychology Department at Touro College to integrate open textbooks into their program. We discuss the pedagogical changes as well as explore the impact of Open Educational Resources (OER) on students’ savings, their academic outcomes and perceptions of OER. Furthermore, we highlight the successes and shortcomings in having the library as a central OER partner. To measure the results, we surveyed students and conducted a faculty survey and a focus group, in addition to analyzing the students’ final grades. This pilot program delivered strong results. The students’ perception was very positive, and faculty’s opinions on the textbooks used were mixed. Some professors felt that the textbook lacked important content, but because of its openness, they added their own content to the book. Students enrolled in OER courses performed better than those enrolled in the same courses using a commercial textbook.
  • Developing a framework for managing the quality use of podcasts in open distance and e- learning environments

    Makina, Antonia (ICDE, 2020-03-31)
    The integration of podcasts in an open distance e-learning environment can play a crucial role in reducing transactional distance through providing quality educational opportunities and access to information through any digital devise. However, technology does not improve teaching, unless if there is a well-conceived educational process taking place. The question therefore is how lecturers can be guided towards the quality use of podcasts in order to achieve most of the learning objectives. Therefore, this paper aims to design and develop a framework that manages the quality use of podcasts for teaching and learning in ODeL environments. Using literature review, a developmental qualitative research design was used to develop a framework. McGarr’s (2009) and the revised Bloom’s taxonomy (Anderson et al., 2001) were used as domain specific guiders in the development of the framework. Results provided a framework to guide academic developers, learning technologists and course designers interested in quality in online environments.
  • Toward a Critical Approach for OER: A Case Study in Removing the ‘Big Five’ from OER Creation

    University of Alberta, Centre for Teaching and Learning; Joseph, Kris; Guy, Julia; McNally, Michael B (ICDE, 2020-04-06)
    This paper examines the role of proprietary software in the production of open educational resources (OER). Using a single case study, the paper explores the implications of removing proprietary software from an OER project, with the aim of examining how complicated such a process is and whether removing such software meaningfully advances a critical approach to OER. The analysis reveals that software from the Big Five technology companies (Apple, Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft) are deeply embedded in OER production and distribution, and that complete elimination of software or services from these companies is not feasible. The paper concludes by positing that simply rejecting Big Five technology introduces too many challenges to be justified on a pragmatic basis; however, it encourages OER creators to remain critical in their use of technology and continue to try to advance a critical approach to OER.
  • Are MOOCs Open Educational Resources? A literature review on history, definitions and typologies of OER and MOOCs

    Stracke, Christian M.; Downes, Stephen; Conole, Grainne; Burgos, Daniel; Nascimbeni, Fabio (ICDE, 2020-04-06)
    Open Education gained more visibility as a result of the emergence of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). This article discusses whether MOOCs should be considered as OER. Open Education and OER can be treated as two strands with different historical roots even though, in theory, OER are an aspect of Open Education. Different OER definitions and typologies are analyzed in relation to their dimensions and categorizations. Furthermore, the four conditions and two original categories of MOOCs are discussed, leading to a debate on their quality. It turns out that there are two perspectives on MOOCs: from an OER perspective, MOOCs as a product can be called OER. From an Open Education perspective, MOOCs are going beyond OER as enablers of Open Education and are understood as an innovative way of changing education. These perspectives are reflected by the OpenEd Quality Framework. The short answer to our leading question is: sometimes, and it depends on your perspective.
  • Open Education for a Better World: A Mentoring Programme Fostering Design and Reuse of Open Educational Resources for Sustainable Development Goals

    Jožef Stefan Institute, University of Nova Gorica; Urbančič, Tanja; Polajnar, Anja; Jermol, Mitja (ICDE, 2020-04-06)
    An international online mentoring programme Open Education for a Better World (OE4BW) has been developed to unlock the potential of open education in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The programme provides an innovative approach to building Open Educational Resources, connecting developers of educational materials with experts volunteering as mentors. The model of the programme has been carefully designed and tested in two subsequent implementations in years 2018 and 2019. Results have proved the model to be useful for building capacities in open education, while producing concrete educational materials with great potential for social impact. Analysis of results has been used to suggest further improvements needed for enabling the program to be used on an even larger scale. The paper presents the development of the OE4BW model, its main characteristics, implementation results and guidelines for the future.
  • Assessing the Impact of “Open Pedagogy” on Student Skills Mastery in First-Year Composition

    Maricopa Institute for Learning; Bloom, Matthew (ICDE, 2020-04-06)
    This article presents the results of a 2016 classroom research study assessing the impact of open pedagogy on student skills mastery in English 101, a first-year undergraduate composition course at a two-year community college in North America. Ninety-two students in five sections used the same free OER course materials, but two sections were given traditional assignments (i.e. formal essays and grammar exercises) and the other three sections were given “open” assignments that involved designing and remixing open resources. Assignment results and other course metrics used to investigate the impact on student skills mastery yielded no statistically significant differences in performance between the student groups, which suggests that there may be no harm in shifting away from the traditional “disposable” assignment.
  • Establishing a MOOC quality assurance framework – a case study

    Erasmus + KA203; Poce, Antonella; Amenduni, Francesca; Re, Maria Rosaria; DE MEDIO, Carlo (ICDE, 2020-04-06)
    The rapidly growing number of learning materials and repositories makes the issue of how to find the most relevant and best quality resources to be integrated in teaching and learning offers. Thus, effective quality assessment tools are more and more needed. In the present paper, a case-study focusing on quality assurance in a Virtual Mobility (VM) international project is presented. VM stands for ICT supported activities, organized at higher institutional level, that makes possible or facilitate international, collaborative experiences in a context of teaching and/or learning. Different approaches were combined to ensure the quality of a specific MOOC and the OERs created to promote VM. Three main macro-indicators were identified for OERs evaluation: 1. Quality, 2. Appropriateness, and 3. Technical aspects. Each project partner was invited to search, select and peer-assess OERs related to the skills necessary to be engaged in VM. First results of the peer-review activity and future directions to ensure OpenVM OERs and MOOC quality are presented.
  • Open Pedagogy through Community-Directed, Student-led partnerships: Establishing CURE (Community-University Research Exchange) at Temple University Libraries

    Nizami, Urooj; Shambaugh, Adam (ICDE, 2020-04-06)
    This paper reports on the establishment of an open pedagogy initiative between community organisations and students, facilitated by the Temple University Libraries (TUL) and faculty in the Philadelphia area. The Community- University Research Exchange (CURE) produces community-driven social justice research. Library facilitators solicit research questions and project proposals from grassroots community organisations who experience social and economic marginalisation, limiting or even disallowing the access to information that is vital to innovating the services organisations provide. Students select from a bank of research projects, developed by community organisations, identifying issues that they wish to investigate, skillsets they hope to master, or organisations for whom they hope to contribute their intellectual labour. This project facilitates community organisations’ direction and autonomy in promoting beneficial research objectives. It also foregrounds students as the directors of their own knowledge output and learning. This project is modeled after the Quebec Public Interest Research Group’s (QPIRG) programme.
  • PRAXIS: Open Educational Practices and Open Science to face the challenges of critical Educational Action Research

    Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación, Uruguay; Czerwonogora, Ada; Rodés, Virginia (ICDE, 2020-04-06)
    The paper presents the findings from PRAXIS, an educational action research project developed within academic professional learning communities (PLC) in the context of public higher education in Uruguay. As a strategy towards fostering teaching innovation, we explored the potential and benefits of academic PLC for the reflection and transformation of teaching practices, and the integration of digital technologies in a meaningful way into teaching. The approach was based on Open Science (OS) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) as foundational frameworks to face the challenges of critical Educational Action Research. Key findings of the project emphasise the impact of PRAXIS framework combining OEP, OS, and academic PLC, as well as collaborative and participatory technologies for the transformation of teaching and educational research practices.

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