I am currently working on version 3 of my doctoral dissertation proposal. I expect (and hope) that I will be soon submitting version 4 after the third committee member gives me his feedback. It is an arduous, labour-intensive process but at each rewrite I think I am somewhat fine-tuning the research design and research process I have proposed in addition to improving my academic writing skills.
For those of you who may be curious, the title of my dissertation is:
OER LEARNING DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR BRAZILIAN K-12 TEACHERS SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
And here is the spoiler abstract, which is still a work in progress as well:
K-12 public education in Brazil suffers from lack of adequate funding, little investment in teacher training and lack of support to foster pedagogical change through use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in the Brazilian K-12 public education sector enables teachers to have access to a wide variety of free sources and new ideas for planning and enhancing their lessons. OER materials are freely copiable, freely remixable and free of barriers to access, sharing, and educational use (Johnson, Adams Becker, Estrada, & Freeman, 2014). OER also afford teachers the possibility to improve their knowledge and skills in ICTs. The use of OER and ICTs has great potential to improve the professional practice of K-12 public education teachers and could improve the quality of basic education in Brazil. Additionally, at this time, research is lacking to inform if and how effectively Brazilian K-12 public education teachers are using OER in their instructional material development. Consequently, awareness-raising strategies and teacher professional development in OER and ICTs are critical to ensure effective practices. This Design-Based Research (DBR) study aims to shed light on what are pedagogically sound design principles for OER learning and uptake in a Brazilian K-12 public school by means of the design, development, and implementation of a pilot blended-learning OER Development Course (ODC), professional development programme. Data will be collected through multiple iterative phases to assess the intention of the participants of the study to adopt and use OER, to identify learning needs, to assess learning outcomes, and to evaluate, refine, and make adjustments to final OER learning design principles. The findings of this study are expected not only to raise awareness about OER but also to disseminate the concept of OER in Brazil through practical implementation actions. The OER learning design guidelines that result from this study may be used and expanded by other K-12 public schools in both developed and developing countries, and in varying contexts according to specific needs and demands.
More about this work in progress to follow…