GO-GN: Lessons in Building an Open Research Community

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

Whilst the range and amount of published OER research has increased over the past few years the OER research community is, in academic terms, still a relatively new area of interest. It is also an area which is often characterised by advocacy and personal values. The combination of its novelty and the type of activity in the sector can lead to a research deficit. As the field matures, the need for high quality, objective research has become more apparent, in terms of effective approaches, and also developin g a critical mindset within the field. However, given the globally dispersed nature of OER practitioners and researchers, it is often the case that any individual researcher will be acting in isolation within their institution. In order to nurture and exp and the OER research community, the Global OER Graduate Network (GO

GN) network was founded in 2012. This is a global network supporting PhD researchers in the area of OER. The GO

GN is based around an annual seminar, providing researchers with intensive support. This is associated with a major OER conference, which the researchers attend. Supporting this annual activity is a set of online activities, including monthly webinars, social media use and newsletters. The central team at the UK Open University a lso produce guides and resources for researchers. There are currently over 100 GO

GN members, with 20 alumni, covering 16 countries. They have produced 30 publications in peer reviewed journals. This paper will set out how the network operates, the data r epresenting the network, the range of research conducted by the members, lessons learned and plans for the future. It will also provide an opportunity to hear from the students themselves. This represents a model for techniques in developing and nurturing research communities.// Paper ID 88

Research,Open Educational Resources (OER)