D.3 Methodology

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The project uses a multi-method research approach to triangulate research data from different sources to gain an in-depth view into the topic. The research is organised into three implementation WPs - 2, 3 and 4 - as follows:

  1. (WP 2) Produce a global inventory of at least 100 of the most relevant national and other large-scale OER initiatives at the above institution level. This is done by in-depth desk research. This is coordinated by University of Leicester, using methodologies developed by Sero for VISCED, but input from all partners makes sure that language barriers are overcome and needed links used in an optimal way.
  2. (WP 2) Produce 11 country reports plus 13 more country mini-reports (8 European, 5 non-European). These are created based on literature review and document analysis of relevant policy papers and country reports from previous projects. If needed, telephone interviews are set up with relevant policy-makers. Every partner produces country reports.
  3. (WP 2) Foster volunteer effort via IAC to produce more country mini-reports.
  4. (WP 3) From the inventory in the context of the country studies, select 7 case studies (2 primary school, 2 secondary school, 2 university, 1 "other"). To gain an in-depth view into the dynamics of OER communities we use Social Network Analysis methodology (see e.g. http://www.open.ou.nl/rslmlt/). This is a well-known methodology based on sociometrics to get an in-depth view into network structures. Five partners gather all needed case study data but OUNL centrally analyses all data with the necessary SNA tools. Based on the analysis, OUNL writes the recommendations, with contributions from all case study partners.
  5. (WP 4) Distil lessons from these, the inventory and the country studies to produce 3 EU-wide policy papers: for schools, for universities, and for colleges and other organised education providers. This is coordinated by WP 4 leader SCIENTER, but, especially for this analysis, in-depth discussions are organised with the IAC. This results in a set of policies and guidelines. These results are combined with the recommendations from WP 3 and collected in an on-line handbook.
  6. (WP 4) Finally press down these reports to the national level with 7 options brief packs for EU nations/regions: UK (England, Wales and Scotland separately), Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, and France - each in the national language with an Executive Summary in the national language and in English.

Both the process and the outputs are evaluated by WP 7 Evaluation.

WP 1 Management makes sure all deliverables are produced on time and within the limitations of the budget. WP 1 Management also makes sure that partners meet on a regular basis so that all WP work is centrally coordinated and closely linked. This spine is strongly embedded in a body of Dissemination (WP 5) and Exploitation (WP 6) via the IAC and direct ministry links.