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I am embarking on my qualitative research project to complete my masters.  Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior.

Generally, I am interested in the transformational/developmental nature of the open education landscape.  I have remarked that openness and a willingness to share, inherently, is a general trait found in teachers.

For our upcoming research module short course we have been asked to define a few potential research areas.  This will be used in the development of reserach questions and the assignment of a supervisor.  Here are some of my ideas so far:

  1. How does the role of the teacher change in a world where free and open educational content exists on mass?  Does the academic become a filter of information.
  2. What are the emerging roles and responsibilities associated with the creation and support of Open Educational Resources(OER)/Practice(OEP)  (management, technical, research, dissemination, evaluation, training)  (Derived from PHEA Framework, Czerniewicz, 2007) How can we facilitate an open ecosystem?
  3. Does the use of OER challenge, transform or disrupt teaching and learning strategies traditionally associated with particular disciplines?  (Derived from PHEA Framework, Czerniewicz, 2007)
  4. From didactic to interactive learning through content; does the teacher teach or recommend and explain tools for learning?
  5. The demands and expectation of the student of today in comparison with the offerings of the academic (Academic lag)  What do students value today?  What are their expectations?  How do academics respond?  What about changing identities?
  6. The tensions (using activity theory) between academics as subject matter experts, teaching with technology experts and expert teachers.  How can they be all of the above?
  7. The impending loss of the “academic greybeards” (Smith, D, 2008) at UCT and the potential to retain their knowledge using OER / OEP.
  8. “The age of information abundance will/is challenging decision-support processes which are based on ordered knowledge” (Siemens, 2009 via Twitter)  What does this mean for the academic profession/structure?
  9. Research agenda versus teaching and learning focus at universities, how is it disrupting innovation and openness?
  10. Defining the Open lifecycle: how do people come to create open content? What are the common obstacles? How do they respond to those? Are there ways to address the characteristics of the stages; what do we learn from what we have done? What is the taxonomy for an OER project?
  11. Petrides, 2008 states that “we know little about users and what inspires reuse, and even less about what motivates OER creators to republish content that they have resused and augmented or how communities of OER users form, operate, and collaboratively create content.
  12. Consider the tension between those who say students can learn everything they need online with content such as video lectures, podcasts and tests, and those who say the role of the teacher is increasingly important in a world of open content.  Which side of the fence do I sit on?  Academic as filter metaphor.

Love to hear the thoughts of any readers!

Getting into my Research

CC BY 4.0 Getting into my Research by Michael Paskevicius is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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