School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Susan Stanley


open education, open educational resources (OER), open educational practices (OEP), higher education, pedagogy, learner-centered




The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to describe the lived experience of creator-practitioners of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) in United States (U.S.) higher education institutions. The theory guiding this study is Vygotsky and Bruner’s constructivist theories, as they describe both the cognitive and social aspects of content creation. Eleven current instructors from colleges and universities across the U.S. participated in this study. These participants had used OER for at least one academic term, were current instructors at their institution, created their own OER, and engaged in OEP in at least one of their courses. This study followed a hermeneutical phenomenological research design, collecting qualitative data through journal entries, artifact analysis, and semi-structured interviews. The journal entries and semi-structured interviews were analyzed through van Manen’s (2014) data analysis framework and the artifacts were analyzed through Cox and Trotter’s (2017) OER Adoption Pyramid. The three themes that were revealed were the participants’ desires for (a) improvement of the student experience, (b) improvement of the creator-practitioner’s craft, and (c) community and contributions. The findings of this study include the alignment and emphasis of the learner-centered approach that creator-practitioners implement, the paradigm shift of power and control pertaining to the roles of instructors and learners, and the importance of cooperation between creator-practitioners and other stakeholders.

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