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To share or not to share – an exploration of staff and student attitudes to sharing and using open educational resources

Monday 14:00-15:30 (1), Darwin Suite

Type: Short paper

Theme: Academic practice, development and pedagogy

#oer14 #abs59


Ms Catherine Naamani, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning, University of South Wales, [email protected]



Changes in education linked to global competition and the global financial crisis together with a transformation in the way in which learners access learning have led to an increased impetus in higher education to develop and share materials and resources freely (Brown and Snower, 2012). Others suggest that the combination of technological innovation and the concept of open education has the potential to radically change learning and teaching (Kumar, 2012). The University of South Wales is committed to being an active contributor to the Open Education movement. It has its own iTunes U channel, was the first UK anchor partner of OERu and is a key player in the Higher Education Wales OER project.

The University is currently undertaking a review of all its learning systems available to staff and students to deliver online learning. Early results of the surveys indicate that students want more, easily accessible online resources to support their studies. The review has also highlighted the concerns of staff relating to the development and sharing of online resources. This paper will present the findings of an evaluation of staff and student attitudes to creating and sharing open educational resources and will explore some of the barriers to this and how they might be overcome in an institutional context.


This study is presented as work in progress and will build on the findings of the Learning Environment Review being undertaken at the University of South Wales, across its five campuses. A multi-method approach will be taken using data collected as part of the Learning Environment Review from staff and student questionnaires, focus groups and interviews exploring in particular, attitudes to developing, sharing and using online resources.


This study is presented as work in progress. However, initial findings from the surveys and focus groups appear to indicate that while some staff are comfortable with the concept of sharing resources, many staff are more reluctant to do this, citing lack of time, quality and copyright issues and lack of control as barriers to sharing. This accords with existing work by for example, Stephens (2013). Students on the other hand are keen to have access to more online resources that are easy to find and can be accessed not only on a PC or laptop at home, but also on their mobile phones.


The study will explore some of the barriers that have been cited as reasons why staff are reluctant to share resources and attempt to identify examples of good practice where this is happening successfully. The need for effective staff development and awareness of the benefits of open educational resources will be discussed together with the need to improve learners’ digital literacy skills to enable them to search for online resources more competently.


Brown, A.J.G. and Snower, D.J. (2012). Skills development: rethinking the future. OECD Observer No 290-291 Q1-Q2.
Kumar, M.S.V. (2012). The new landscape for the innovative transformation of education. Social Research Vol. 79 : No. 3, pp 619 – 630.
Stephens, M. (2013). Lost control, not a problem. Library Journal, Vol. 138, Issue 5.


Recap recording

The recording of this presentation at OER14 can be found at: https://campus.recap.ncl.ac.uk/Panopto/Pages/Viewer/Default.aspx?id=b6ec1d73-ed0c-83ca-3058-92a5a84b368c
©University of South Wales 2014 Catherine Naamani cc-by 4.0

Further details

Keywords: staff attitudes, sharing, staff development, mobile technology,

Ms Catherine Naamani, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning, University of South Wales

Twitter: @cnaamani

Twitter abstract: Why share? Staff and student attitudes to open educational resources and approaches to overcoming barriers to sharing.