OER14 homeApplication › Dr Anesa Hosein

Mapping the methods - student-friendly guide for using OERs in Social Science research methods

Tuesday 11:00-12:30 (1), Grainger Suite

Type: Short paper

Theme: Students as users and co-creators

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Dr Anesa Hosein, Lecturer in Higher Education, University of Surrey, [email protected]
Dr Namrata Rao, Lecturer in Education Studies, Liverpool Hope University, [email protected] @NamrataRao22
Dr Philippa Hunter- Jones, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Liverpool, [email protected]



In the final year of most Social Science undergraduate degrees, students often have to revisit research methods learnt in their previous year when deciding appropriate methodologies for their research project. Conventionally, the trend is to use OERs for teaching by tutors and not often these are considered as resources which students are directed to, to reinforce their learning. This paper presents the development and evaluation of a study guide which helps students to locate and use OERS to support them in enhancing their understanding of different research methods. In this manner, students are also co-creating repositories which they can share with other students.


The key aims of this paper are to determine:
• The extent that students view the research methods study guide based on OERS as a valuable tool in enhancing their understanding of research methods and during their research project.
• The extent that students engage in co-creating resources and contributing to a community of sharing resources
• Students’ preference in the structure of study guides


Three study guides using OERs were created for research methods on a wiki. These study guides were based on one of the following three research methods: questionnaires, interviews and observations. The study guides provided an introduction of what were OERs to students as well as places on the web they could find additional OERs such as Scribd, Youtube, jorum etc. To determine the preference of study guides for students, the three study guides had different formats. The observation methods used an ‘Open Approach’ where students were given a bullet point of resources that were grouped and provided suggested other places they may look. The interview study guide had a “Workbook Approach” in which students were asked to go look at resources and to reflect and try out the methods. The questionnaire study guide had a mixture of these two approaches. Ten students in their final year of their Social Science degree were invited to a computer laboratory where they tested and explored these study guides and provided their feedback on them via a focus group and an evaluation questionnaire. The study guides will be rolled out to students in their final year and in the second year of their degrees.


The evaluation of these study guides are currently ongoing but preliminary analysis suggests that students like having a resource for the research methods they were using but were reluctant to add more information. They however would like to have more focused examples on the work that they find relevant to them rather than general research methods. To this end the research study guides will have to focus on how to make the OERs more relevant to the student context by guiding the students to build conceptual links through reflection and experiential learning.

Funding acknowledgements

This project is funded by HEA as part of ‘Changing the learning landscape grant scheme’ for OERs.

Further details

Keywords: OERs, Research Methods, Questionnaires, Interviews, Observations

Website: NA

Dr Anesa Hosein, Lecturer , University of Surrey

Twitter abstract: Students search and create repositories of OERs for their learning and applying of research methods