Project supported by a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

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The Global Healthy Living Foundation ( has received a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to produce a report on the awareness and use of Open Education Resources (OER) in U.S. Higher Education.  The work will be conducted in partnership with the Babson Survey Research Group at Babson College.

According to the Hewlett Foundation “Open Educational Resources (OER) are high-quality, openly licensed, online educational materials that offer an extraordinary opportunity for people everywhere to share, use, and reuse knowledge. They also demonstrate great potential as a mechanism for instructional innovation as networks of teachers and learners share best practices.”

This study will measure the level of OER adoption among the critical chief academic officer audience and to identify the primary drivers and barriers to adoption.  Modeled on the same process that has applied successfully for the past nine years to the tracking of the attitudes, practices, and penetration of online learning, the project will provide a national perspective on the state of adoption of OER among institutions of higher education.  The results will serve as benchmarks to support the tracking of changes over time.  The specific aspects to be measured are:

• The degree of familiarity with OER among key academic decision makers – to what degree are they aware of open education resources?  How does this level of awareness vary by the type of institution?
• Potential barriers to OER adoption – what concerns (or possible misperceptions) do key academic decision makers have that is preventing or inhibiting their adoption of OER?
• Identification of the key players in the decision to adopt OER.  Who on campus have a role in the decision, and which among them have the primary role?  Are the players the same at different institutions, or do they vary by size and type of higher education institution?

The report, to be based on a survey of nearly one thousand key academic leaders, will examine the perceptions and use of Open Education Resources among institutions of higher education in the Untied States.  The project will build on processes and methodology for the annual surveys of online learning conducted by the Babson Survey research group.  The report publication is expected later this year.

About the Global Healthy Living Foundation:

The Global Healthy Living Foundation, a 501(c)3 patient advocacy organization with the mission of improving people's quality of life through education, awareness and advocacy. The GHLF, co-founded in 1999 by Spondyloarthropathy patient Seth Ginsberg and social entrepreneur Louis Tharp, has successfully mobilized and activated groups of patients across more than a dozen chronic disease states, acting as a convener of organizations to address local, State and Federal issues. Mr. Tharp also serves as a Secretary of Defense appointee to the Army Education Advisory Committee.
About The Babson Survey Research Group:

The Babson Survey Research Group in the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurial Research at Babson College ( conducts regional, national, and international research projects, including survey design, sampling methodology, data integrity, statistical analyses and reporting.

About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

SOURCE Global Healthy Living Foundation

By Barbara Spies Blair,, 781-239-4621 | 04/25/2012 05:57