Adoption of OER by Educators in Dutch Public Higher Education: A Long and Winding Road or Free as a Bird?

Robert Schuwer, Ben Janssen

Fontys University of Applied Sciences

In the Netherlands, many activities have been carried out to stimulate adoption of open online education in higher education. Still, large-scale adoption by (in Rogers’ terminology) the early and late majority is not taking place. In order to achieve large-scale adoption of OER, it is crucial to know what factors will stimulate such adoption.

From previous inquiries it may be concluded that inclusion of openness at the institutional policy level is a necessary but insufficient precondition. Educators are considered to be the decisive change agents in large-scale adoption.

A survey conducted in Fall 2015 provided some insight into the state of affairs of adoption by educators, but the data were insufficient to draw conclusions about why there is a lack of adoption. Therefore, in Fall 2016, a qualitative research has been carried out. Educators in 5 Dutch HE-institutions have been interviewed about their actual involvement with OER and other forms of open education: what do they do, how they do it, why they do what they do, what they want to achieve, what difficulties they encounter, what support they receive? As the institutional setting or environment of the educator is expected to play an important role in the adoption process of individual educators, other stakeholders within the HE institutions have been interviewed too.

The approach taken in this research is that of a mixed-method approach, combining the results of the Fall 2015 survey and the qualitative research of Fall 2016 with outcomes of several other recent surveys in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Finally, a set of actions and activities both on the level of an institution and on a national level is being proposed, that could lead to large-scale adoption of open online education by Dutch HE educators.


Adoption of OER by Educators in Dutch Public Higher Education: A Long and Winding Road or Free as a Bird? from Open Education Consortium