The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project has developed an open research toolkit to profile the conceptual and other tools utilised in the meta-synthesis of the sub-project chapters presented in the edited volume, Adoption and Impact of OER in the Global South.
The “Meta-synthesis conceptual and analytical frameworks” brief is the first in a series of three open research briefs. It discusses the iterative approach taken by ROER4D Principal Investigator Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams in developing a conceptual framework – informed by Hodgkinson-Williams’ open education cycle and Margaret Archer’s social realism theory – to understand the insights emerging from 17 empirical sub-project research reports and chapters which were refined and operationalised through an extensive qualitative data analysis process, as elaborated in Chapters 2 and 16 of the project edited volume, Adoption and Impact of OER in the Global South. It shows how the conceptual framework was developed during the course of the four-year project and how it fed into the resulting analytical framework used to interpret the diverse sets of findings from 17 sub-projects.
The brief reveals that in a networked project employing divergent theoretical and conceptual frameworks, the articulation of a preliminary broad conceptual framework in the project scoping period was valuable as it provided a foundation for later analytical synthesis by establishing a shared understanding of concepts and how they were reported upon in sub-project findings. It also explores the challenges not only inherent in assessing such a broad mass of diverse data, but of doing so while the various sub-projects were at different stages of completion, revealing how ethical (privacy) and logistical constraints also shaped this process.
View and download a summary poster of the ROER4D project findings at https://zenodo.org/record/1209083#.WyC1HVOFOCQ.
The published open dataset arising from the meta-synthesis can be accessed at https://www.datafirst.uct.ac.za/dataportal/index.php/catalog/696.