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A review of how learners make use of online resources to support their learning

Sero Consulting Ltd conducted in May and June 2011 a literature search on the topic "Learner Use of Online Resources for Learning" (LUOERL), with a strong but not exclusive focus on OER. The OER community worldwide was encouraged to participate and the social networking/reference management tool Mendeley was used to support this. The community had an international flavour but the focus is on education in the UK.

The team created a Literature Review supported by an online Database of Literature. All areas of education were considered including HE, FE, schools, adult learning and informal learning. The approximate balance was aimed to be ideally HE 50% and rest 50% (roughly equally across FE, schools and ACL/informal).

"Literature" included not only cases where the literature was on the public web or academic web (academic/publisher repositories) including on web 2.0 systems (blogs, Twitter and especially the wikis relevant to this topic), or on the web but hard to find, but also literature that had "fallen off" the web, or that was otherwise available to us.

The focus was on the UK but selected international searches were done in line with the team’s experience of which non-UK countries are most relevant in this area. An initial list of "first tier" countries included Australia, Canada, New Zealand, US, Sweden, South Africa and Netherlands. However, material from any country were considered where the country is judged by the team as relevant to the UK situation.

The team drew on information gained from other projects it had undertaken with a global focus.

The online Database was developed in Mendeley ( to allow transparency and the community to assist in its development.

  • Those in the community interested in keeping up to date with the development of the Database could Follow the Mendeley groups Learner Use of OER and Learner Use of non-OER Online Resources.
  • Those interested in contributing can become Members of the open group LUOERL for the community where they could comment on developments and recommend papers for review and analysis by the team. * A number of other OER-related groups and groups for specialist topics have also been set up. All groups have been set up on a long-term basis to ensure that the references do not evaporate after project end.

The team was led by Paul Bacsich – email paul.bacsich AT


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