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 methodology” brief is the second in a series of three open research briefs. It explores the conceptual, technical and analytical processes utilised to synthesise the data, insights and findings of 15 empirical studies produced by ROER4D sub-project researchers. It highlights the value of a meta-synthesis approach for assessing data that has been produced through multiple methodologies, and discusses the seven-step process taken to distil broadly relevant findings from data garnered from diverse linguistic, socio-economic and educational contexts.
The key lesson learned from this meta-synthesis approach was that, because of the diverse backgrounds of the many sub-project researchers involved, the Network Hub faced a significant challenge in ensuring that the concepts employed were sufficiently aligned to be collated and compared. The ROER4D experience points to an implicit tension for projects with meta-synthesis ambitions in terms of balancing the need for rigorously defined concepts understood and applied consistently across study sites with researcher autonomy and methodological agility.