OER in and as MOOCs
This chapter reports on the investigation into the production and rollout of four Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, and on the experiences of the educators involved in their production. The overarching aim of this study is to address the question: How does MOOC-making with Open Educational Resources (OER) influence educators’ Open Educational Practices (OEP)? The authors were interested to know why UCT educators wanted to make MOOCs, whether they adopted OER, whether their practices become more open after making a MOOC, and in which ways.
Drawing on Beetham et al. (2012) and Hodgkinson-Williams (2014), an analytic framework of OEP was developed comprising three dimensions: legal, pedagogical and financial. The research methodology is qualitative, using semi-structured interviews and data from MOOC discussion forums. Six MOOC lead educators were interviewed at three intervals: before their MOOCs ran, immediately after their MOOC’s first run, and six to 10 months later. Transcripts were coded using OEP concepts.
The findings offer insights into the relationships between educators’ motivations for making MOOCs, their MOOC design tools, the OEP that can be identified and the contradictions they experienced in making MOOCs. Despite the challenges that educators faced, they largely achieved their purposes of making MOOCs and manifested legal, pedagogical and financial dimensions of OEP. The impact on educators’ open practices was observed in several subsequent projects after the MOOCs were first run. Tensions involved in making MOOCs, adopting OER and enacting OEP point to how educators could be better supported to become more open in their educational practices.
No negative experiences were attributed to the creation of OER and, indeed, MOOC-making with OER appeared to be conducive to OER adoption in general. However, more time would be needed to conclude whether these educators could become OER advocates or could function autonomously in creating and sharing OER.
The dataset arising from this study can be accessed at:
Czerniewicz, L., Deacon, A., Walji, S. & Glover, M. (2017). OER in and as MOOCs. In C. Hodgkinson-Williams & P. B. Arinto (Eds.), Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South (pp. 349–386). Retrieved from
Conference proceedings and papers
Czerniewicz, L., Walji, S., Deacon, A. and Glover, M. (2015). MOOCs, openness and changing educator practices: An Activity Theory case study. Presented at the International Council for Open and Distance Education, 14-16 October 2017. Sun City, South Africa. Retrieved from
Czerniewicz, L., Deacon, A., Glover, M. and Walji, S. (2015). OERs in and as MOOCs: an annotated bibliography. [online]. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oP-PVT0o12hrzyzfJYR0nwjVZHT1QinzY5PibVuRPUo/edit?ts=56375142#heading=h.c11zft4k1mqo
Czerniewicz, L., , Walji, S., Deacon, A., Glover, M. (2015). MOOCs, openness and changing educator practices: An Activity Theory case study. Presentation at the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa, 17 – 20 November 2015. Northwest University, South Africa. Retrieved from
Czerniewicz, L., Glover, M., Deacon, A. Walji, S. (2016). MOOCs, openness and changing educator practices: An Activity Theory case study. Presentated at the Networked Learning Conference, 9–11 May 2016. Lancaster, UK. Retrieved from http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/abstracts/pdf/P26.pdf
Glover, M., Czerniewicz, L., Walji, S. Deacon, A. Small, J. (2015). Approaches from the literature: Activity Theory, new tools and changing educators’ practices. Poster presented at the HELTASA Conference 2015. North-West University, South Africa. Retrieved from /wp-content/uploads/2014/01/HELTASA-2015-poster-AO.pdf
Glover, M. (2016). MOOCs and open practices: An activity theory view. Presentation for PGDip Educational Technologies class, guest lecture. University of Cape Town.
Glover, M., Czerniewicz, L., Deacon, A., Walji, S. (2016). MOOCs and open practices: An activity theory view. Presentation at University of Cape Town, Teaching and Learning Conference 30 March 2016. Cape Town, South Africa. Retrieved from
Czerniewicz, C., Deacon, A., Walji, S. & Glover, M. (2017). Making MOOCs and changing open educational practices. Presented at Open Education Global Conference, 8-10 March 2017. Cape Town, South Africa. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/oeconsortium/making-moocs-and-changing-open-educational-practices-73123400
Czerniewicz, L. (2017). OER in and as MOOCs (video). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQKf-9sLM80&index=13&list=PLqSYUJvxD-UDZPS5NwTJixYZqHTgYu7i2