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OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Friday, October 13 • 3:30pm - 3:55pm
An exploratory study of learning patterns of non-formal learners in OER repositories

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The purpose of this study was to investigate sub-populations of 1014 non-formal online learners who were using OER repositories, according to their OER use patterns. This study conducted a three-step latent class analysis to analyze data about how the impact of OERs on non-formal learning.

The results indicated that the participants were classified into three groups. The first class (50.06%) was characterized by their inclination to using social strategies. The item-response probabilities indicated that the learners assigned to the first class had higher probability scores for social strategy items than individual strategy items. We labeled this latent class as social. The second latent class (34.28%) showed higher probability scores for individual strategy items than individual strategy items. This latent class was labeled individual. The last latent class (15.66%) had higher probability scores in all the six items than those of the other two classes. This latent class was labeled overall.

A covariate analysis revealed that the learners' age decreased the likelihood of being in the overall class and increased that of being in the social class (B=10.9252, p=.000); older learners relied on social strategies alone. Learners' education level influenced the probability of being in the individual class (B=5.971, p=.015); more educated learners believed they can learn with OERs without additional social interactions.

Noticeably, the participants who reported challenges in finding the latest resources of high-quality were more likely to be in the overall class; learners who reported challenges had awareness of potential barriers in using OERs, which led to the use of both individual and social strategies. Non-formal learners who used both individual and social strategies had significantly stronger future intention to use OERs.

OER providers, institutions, and educators may benefit from stimulating learners to use individual and social strategies simultaneously

Friday October 13, 2017 3:30pm - 3:55pm
Terrace A - C
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Attendees (8)