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Breaking barriers : understanding and removing barriers to OER use
Carson, Brandon Thomas
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While there are many benefits to the use of OER, such as cost savings for students, increased access to resources, and the ability for faculty to adapt the resources to meet their specific needs, new and experienced faculty members also face many barriers when attempting to incorporate Open Educational Resources (OER) into their courses. Research suggests that awareness, funding, time, and institutional supports are factors that impact faculty using or not using OER. The purpose of this research was to investigate the barriers that business faculty in Ontario colleges face when using OER within their teaching practices and determine if faculty have recommendations to overcome the barriers to using OER. Based on a review of the literature on OER and the barriers business faculty experience when using OER, a mixed-method approach was used in this research. The study focused on Ontario college faculty teaching business courses. Data was collected via a survey and follow-up interviews. Seventy-two respondents from 12 Ontario colleges responded to the survey. Nine participated in follow-up interviews. Respondents were asked about their experiences using OER, the barriers they faced, and solutions to overcome them. A thematic and cross tabulation analysis of the responses demonstrated that faculty are introduced to OER in different ways, and institutions have unique approaches to supporting faculty with OER. Faculty experience barriers to using OER, such as no suitable resources, awareness, knowledge, support, and institutional processes. Faculty outlined ways to overcome such barriers, including but not limited to professional development, creation of new high-quality content, time to create the resources, and enhanced collaboration and networking efforts.
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