SP8: OER adoption and use in Mongolia

Exploring the cultural-historical factors that influence OER adoption and use in Mongolia’s higher education sector

Project overview
Project outputs

Монгол хувилбар

General objective: The proposed research would serve as the first study focused specifically at the factors affecting adoption of open licensing and OER in Mongolia and could in turn contribute to more general theoretical and empirical frameworks for OER studies in the Global South.

Specific objectives: Assess how open licensing of free educational resources would influence Mongolian educators, institutions and government educational policy in coming years and how this new environment could be adopted and adapted to suit local and educational strategies and policies.


To investigate the thesis that open educational resources (OER) might positively affect educational practices, reduce costs and increase quality in Mongolian education, research sub-themes from the ROER4D framework (IDRC, 2012) are proposed as topics for investigation in this study. The intention of this research is to move beyond OER advocacy and action research projects in Mongolia to identify cultural-historical factors that could be addressed in an effort to more deeply stimulate the adoption, implementation and dissemination of OER in the Mongolian education environment.

Despite some direct action research in the pre-school education sector associated with OER development and deployment in Mongolia, no significant activity has yet occurred in the higher education sector, in contrast to what is reported in higher education in other parts of the world, including extensive OER activities within an Asian context (Dhanarajan and Porter, 2013). Researching the cultural-historical factors that enable or hinder OER adoption in Mongolian higher education is the focus of this research project.

Understanding the context in which administrators and instructors understand and do their work, the communities of practice in which they are situated, and the conventions, rules, and constraints that govern their practices within an institutional setting, requires an interpretation framework for research that can work within the context of institutional and professional activities. The researchers propose to use activity theory (Engeström et al., 2001) as the framework for analysis in this study.


Dhanarajan, G. and Porter, D. (Eds). (2013). Perspectives on open and distance learning: Open educational resources: an Asian perspective. Vancouver, Commonwealth of Learning, 2013. Retrieved, January 31, 2013 from http://www.col.org/resources/publications/Pages/detail.aspx?PID=441

Engeström, Y. (2001). Expansive learning at work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization. Journal of Education and Work, 14(1), 133-157.

IDRC (2012). Research into open education resources for development (ROER4D): Call for proposals. International Development Research Centre (IDRC Canada), 2012.

Project Leader: Batbold Zagdragchaa

Recipient Institution: New Policy Institute, Mongolia

Estimated duration: 2 years

Methodology: Mixed methods

Mentor: Dr David Porter

Project outputs
Presentation at OEC Global Conference, Banff, Canada, 2015: Exploring the cultural historical factors that influence OER adoption and use in Mongolia’s higher education sector