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  • Special Section: Open Educational Resources Initiatives in Oceania
  • Open Access

OER adoption: a continuum for practice

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201511:11030152

  • Received: 15 January 2014
  • Accepted: 15 March 2014
  • Published:


Whilst Open Educational Resources (OER) offer opportunities for broadening participation in Higher Education, reducing course development and study costs, and building open collaborative partnerships to improve teaching and learning practices, they have yet to gain significant mainstream traction. Research surrounding open education has focused on adoption at the institutional level, identifying key enablers and barriers to practice, but the practicalities of engagement with open resources are not often addressed.

By reviewing existing literature, and studying prior models used to explain OER (re)use, this paper proposes a continuum of use model. The proposed model seeks to acknowledge the complexity of applied knowledge required to fulsomely engage with open education by examining practitioner behaviours and the necessary supporting mechanisms. This conceptual model aims to be of use to both practitioners and also those responsible for designing professional development in an educational setting. Whilst the proposed model is designed for teaching staff use, some discussion is given as to how it could be applied to student learning using open resources as well.


  • open educational practice
  • open educational resources
  • mediating artefacts
  • academic staff development
  • learning design