ROER4D open research toolkit – Meta-synthesis conceptual and analytical frameworks


The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project has developed an open research toolkit to profile the conceptual and other tools utilised in the meta-synthesis of the sub-project chapters presented in the edited volume, Adoption and Impact of OER in the Global South.

The “Meta-synthesis conceptual and analytical frameworks” brief is the first in a series of three open research briefs. It discusses the iterative approach taken by ROER4D Principal Investigator Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams in developing a conceptual framework – informed by Hodgkinson-Williams’ open education cycle and Margaret Archer’s social realism theory – to understand the insights emerging from 17 empirical sub-project research reports and chapters which were refined and operationalised through an extensive qualitative data analysis process, as elaborated in Chapters 2 and 16 of the project edited volume, Adoption and Impact of OER in the Global South. It shows how the conceptual framework was developed during the course of the four-year project and how it fed into the resulting analytical framework used to interpret the diverse sets of findings from 17 sub-projects.

The brief reveals that in a networked project employing divergent theoretical and conceptual frameworks, the articulation of a preliminary broad conceptual framework in the project scoping period was valuable as it provided a foundation for later analytical synthesis by establishing a shared understanding of concepts and how they were reported upon in sub-project findings. It also explores the challenges not only inherent in assessing such a broad mass of diverse data, but of doing so while the various sub-projects were at different stages of completion, revealing how ethical (privacy) and logistical constraints also shaped this process.

View and download a summary poster of the ROER4D project findings at

The published open dataset arising from the meta-synthesis can be accessed at

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