Who are the Open Learners? A Comparative Study Profiling non-Formal Users of Open Educational Resources

Robert Farrow, Beatriz de los Arcos, Rebecca Pitt, Martin Weller, International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications, Dec 26, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

With all the fuss about MOOCs over the last few years efforts like iTunes University have been lost in the shuffle. The closed platform didn't exactly make iTunesU feel 'open', but it was and is widely popular. And for today's analysis, the difference in usage patterns is revealing. Viewers skew younger, less educated, and less formal. And they reflect some trends also found in other open education resource (OER) efforts. For example: while many factors influence selection, licensing and attractive presentation aren't high on the list. Also, a significant number of people feel their needs are being met without the need for formal learning. And online assessment doesn't appear to be a major motivating factor.

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