Distance-Learning Students’ Perception on the Usefulness of Open Educational Resources

  • Simon K. S. CheungEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10309)


Open educational resources or OER have been widely used for teaching and learning in higher education. This paper investigates the distance-learning students’ perception on the usefulness of OER for learning purposes. Through a survey conducted to the distance-learning undergraduate students at the Open University of Hong Kong, it is revealed that OER are often used and generally considered useful as supplementary learning materials for acquiring relevant knowledge and doing assignments and projects. Among other types of OER, open access textbooks and reference books, and openly shared lecture notes and video clips are considered in particular useful. Massive open online courses and tutorials are considered to be more useful than small-scale mobile learning modules. For online learning tools, online dictionaries and encyclopedia are considered to be very useful. It is also revealed that the reliability, quality and comprehensiveness of OER are key concerns for distance-learning students to use OER for learning purposes.


Open educational resources Open access textbooks Massive open online courses Online dictionary Distance learning Student perception 


  1. 1.
    Creative Commons: Website of creative commons (2017).
  2. 2.
    OECD: Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Education Resources, Centre for Educational Research and Innovation. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hoosen, S.: Survey on Governments’ Open Educational Resources Policies. World OER Congress, Commonwealth of Learning and UNESCO (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cheung, Simon K.S., Li, K.C., Yuen, K.S.: An overview of open education resources for higher education. In: Lam, J., Li, K.C., Cheung, Simon K.S., Wang, F.L. (eds.) ICT 2013. CCIS, vol. 407, pp. 26–34. Springer, Heidelberg (2013). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-45272-7_3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    MIT: Website of MIT OpenCourseWare (2017).
  6. 6.
    OpenLearn: Website of OpenLearn (2017).
  7. 7.
    CORE: Website of China Open Resource for Education (2017).
  8. 8.
    Apple: Website of iTunes U (2017).
  9. 9.
    EdX: Website of EdX (2017).
  10. 10.
    Coursera: Website of Coursera (2017).
  11. 11.
    OERU: Website of OER University (2017).
  12. 12.
    FurtureLearn: Website of FutureLearn (2017).
  13. 13.
    CNX: Website of OpenStar CNX (2017).
  14. 14.
    CCOTC: Website of college open textbooks collaborative (2017).
  15. 15.
    FlatWorld: Website of flat world knowledge (2017).
  16. 16.
    Gutenberg: Website of Project Gutenberg (2017).
  17. 17.
    Wikipedia: Website of Wikipedia (2017).
  18. 18.
    Wiktionary: Website of Wiktionary (2017).
  19. 19.
    Moodle: Website of Moodle (2017).
  20. 20.
    Google: Website of Google for Education (2017).
  21. 21.
    OUHK: Survey on the students’ perception on the use of open educational resources for learning purposes. Internal Report, Information Technology Unit (2016)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Time: College is Dead. Long Live College! Time Magazine. Accessed 18 October 2012
  23. 23.
    OUHK: Website of Open University of Hong Kong (2017).
  24. 24.
    Educause: 7 Things You Should Know About Open Educational Resources. Educause Learning Initiative (2010)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Allen, I.E., Seaman, J.: Opening the Curriculum: Open Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education. Babson Survey Research Group, Babson Park (2014)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Open University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong

Personalised recommendations