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OER in practice: Organisational change by bootstrapping

Los REA en la práctica: el cambio organizativo mediante el bootstrapping


In this paper, we investigate an approach to institutional change that aims to establish open educational practices (OEP) in a university and inculcate the use of open education resources (OER) as part of its curriculum work and teaching practice. Traditional practices that involve delivering knowledge resources for individualised learning within semester-length units of study are becoming increasingly ill-adapted to the demands of a dynamic and global educational landscape. OER offers a sustainable and equitable alternative to such closed arrangements, with the potential to meet the emerging demands of distributed learning settings. Nevertheless, changing educational practice remains a formidable challenge, and adopting OER is a radical break from legacy institutional practices. Our focus in this paper is on the starting point for embedding OER in curriculum work and teaching practice. We investigate change through emergent initiatives rather than a top-down program at La Trobe University in Australia: we ask what connections are necessary to establish open practices in a university. We trace three instances of OEP in one university that together build capacity in OER. We draw on Bardini’s strategy of bootstrapping, as an iterative and co-adaptive learning process that connects good practices in situ with institutional structures in order to build the groundwork for emergent change. These cases demonstrate how disparate innovations can be connected and re-purposed to establish a network of nascent OEP.


En este trabajo investigamos un planteamiento de cambio institucional encaminado a establecer prácticas educativas abiertas (PEA) en una universidad e inculcar el uso de recursos educativos abiertos (REA) como parte de su trabajo curricular y su práctica educativa. Las prácticas tradicionales, consistentes en proporcionar recursos de aprendizaje para una enseñanza individualizada en módulos académicos semestrales, se adaptan cada vez peor a los requisitos de un panorama educativo dinámico y global. Los REA ofrecen una alternativa sostenible y equitativa a estas prácticas cerradas, y tienen la capacidad de satisfacer la demanda emergente en entornos de aprendizaje distribuido. No obstante, cambiar las prácticas educativas sigue siendo un reto formidable, y la adopción de los REA supone una ruptura radical con respecto a las prácticas institucionales heredadas. En el presente trabajo nos centramos en el punto de partida para integrar los REA en el trabajo curricular y las prácticas educativas. En la Universidad La Trobe (Australia) investigamos este cambio más a través de iniciativas emergentes que de un programa diseñado jerárquicamente desde arriba: nos planteamos cuáles son las conexiones necesarias para implantar prácticas abiertas en una universidad. Describimos tres casos de PEA que, juntos, generan capacidades de REA en una universidad. Aprovechamos la estrategia de bootstrapping planteada por Bardini como proceso de aprendizaje iterativo y coadaptativo que conecta las buenas prácticas in situ con las estructuras institucionales a fin de sentar las bases de trabajo para el cambio emergente. Estos casos demuestran cómo unos procesos innovadores tan dispares se pueden conectar y modificar para crear una red de PEA incipiente.


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Correspondence to John Hannon.

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Hannon, J., Huggard, S., Orchard, A. et al. OER in practice: Organisational change by bootstrapping. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 11, 134–151 (2014).

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  • open educational resources
  • open educational practices
  • sustainable
  • openness
  • practice
  • bootstrapping

Palabras clave

  • recursos educativos abiertos
  • prácticas educativas abiertas
  • sostenible
  • carácter abierto
  • práctica
  • bootstrapping