Open Education Licensing - Research


The Open Education Licensing research project investigated open educational practice in Australian higher education. The project has delivered practical open licensing resources to assist Australian higher education institutions in delivering open online education.


Collection and analysis of  data on the current plans and needs of all Australian universities around copyright, licensing and open education practices:

  • Conducted online survey between 16 June and 18 July 2015 with selected business and teaching professional staff from 38 Australian universities
  • Recipients selected with assistance from university copyright officers. Aimed at individuals who had an existing engagement with OER or OEP at their university. Recipients  recruited from 3 categories:
    • managers and policy makers
    • educators and content developers
    • information professionals (including librarians, lawyers and copyright officers)
  • Survey instrument designed, consisting of 33 questions asking about respondents’ understanding and experience with OER and OEP
  • Survey distributed to 389 individuals from 38 Australian universities and circulated through newsletters / websites of 6 peak industry bodies:
    • ASCILITE (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education)
    • ACODE (Australasian Council on Open, Distance and e-Learning)
    • ODLAA (Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia)
    • HERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia)
    • CAUDIT (Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology)
    • CADAD (Council of Australian Directors of Academic Development)
  • Survey responses collected – response rate 33.9% – 132 surveys returned
  • From volunteer respondents; 7 individuals then selected for further follow-up interviews to provide a deeper understanding of issues explored through the survey
  • Seven follow-up interviews conducted Dec 2015 to Mar 2016
  • Thematic approach to data analysis – data from the survey responses and interviews compared to themes and concepts from existing literature and resources on OER and OEP
  • Analysis of data collected from the survey and interviews used to inform development of the OEL Toolkit.
  • OEL Toolkit requirements defined in collaboration with Toolkit development team, response to research data
  • Toolkit guidance content developed concurrently with design and development of Toolkit web application


Dissemination of information to help the sector to develop effective policies and practices for the development and deployment of open online education in a global environment.


A national series of workshops were held during 2016 to disseminate project results and incorporate usability testing to the development of the OEL Toolkit

  • Workshop 1 – Perth – Curtin University – 7 July 2016
  • Workshop 2 – Brisbane – Queensland University of Technology – 6 September 2016
  • Workshop 3 – Sydney – University of NSW – 12 October 2016
  • Workshop 4 – Melbourne – Swinburne University of Technology – 13 October 2016

Toolkit launch

  • The OEL Toolkit was officially launched at a panel session at Ascilite 2016 in Adelaide 28 – 30 November 2016