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EURODL special issue on OER and creativity - call for papers

Deadline: 1 March 2011

Cloud created by:

Gráinne Conole
3 November 2010


Special Journal Issue on Creativity and Open Educational Resources (OER) 

Dear Colleague,

Gráínne Conole and I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to submit a paper for a special issue on the notion of creativity in the context of Open Educational Resources. The special issue will be published in The European Journal on Open, Distance and e-Learning (EURODL),, edited by Alan Tait. (See the call below). The deadline for submission of whole chapters is 1st March  2011.



Deadline for submission of papers: 1st March 2011

Title: "Fostering creativity in the use of Open Educational Resources"

Standardized curricula, learning paths, and assessment criteria have dominated the educational tradition since the theocratic middle ages, where the truth were known and absolute and only had to be learned, and culminating in the very real need for specific and well-defined skills and competencies in the industrial age. In the post-industrial, digitized and globalized present age, ongoing political and strategic attempts at maintaining high levels of standardization however well meant are in contradiction of societal and individual needs, and also with modern knowledge of individual and social learning processes.

Today, the pedagogical and psychological sciences are pointing to the need to address that different learners have different learning styles, while at the same time digital media have made it possible to learn or access the same content in a multitude of different ways. Furthermore creativity has been highlighted by a number of eminent researchers in the field as a key digital literacy skill that is needed by today’s and future learners and teachers. Open Educational Resources (OER) may offer enormous potential in supporting the development of creativity, as they can be used and reused by teachers and learners in a range of contexts; contexts of both formal, non-formal and informal learning, as well as contexts of both individual and collaborative learning in relation to both product and process:

Fortunately there are theories specifically of creative potential which lend themselves to practical application (Helson, 1996; Runco, 2003; Smith, 1999). Consider, for example, the idea that creative thinking reflects the original interpretation of experience (Runco, 1996). Each of us has the capacity to construct original interpretations, and if it is a useful and original interpretation, it qualifies as “creative.” That is how creativity is typically defined, as both useful and original (Barron, 1955; Runco, 1988). [Such view] should apply to interpretations and ideas, just as it does to observable products. There may be no manifest product with such a focus on interpretations, but what is important is to define creativity such that it is independent of a product. (…) [A process view of] creativity focuses on the mechanism which underlies all creative things, and it reflects an important potential. (Runco 2008: 98)[1] 

In this special issue we are interested in exploring in more depth the nature of creativity and how this might be understood and used to better harness the potential of OER. In related work we have explored how alternative theoretical perspectives such as drama might influence our imagination in relation to how we use OER (Sorensen 2010)[2], and how the use of collaborative pedagogical patterns might be used to support use of OER in collaborative learning contexts (Conole et al. 2010)[3].

The very premises and nature of creativity needs to be assessed in order to work for sustainable learning designs for our future teaching and learning society.

The idea of core competence reveals a traditional industrial mindset that builds on Adam Smith's idea of increasing specialisation as the key to the wealth of nations. [But:] The idea of competing on competence requires that competence can be monopolised long enough for the investments in special competence to pay off with a profit. In a society where the cost of access to new information approaches zero, this investment strategy becomes problematic to maintain. What organisations and individuals can survive on, are creativity and innovation. This turns the entire concept of competence on its head. Competencies may actually turn out to be the most important barrier to original thought. (Kupferberg 2003:n.p.)[4]

A concern for scientific rigor has directed most recent research on creativity towards the study of unambiguous expressions of talent. This is problematic for educators and anyone else who is interested in children’s creative potential. (…) Creative potential should be the primary concern for educators. Theories of and methods used for enhancing creativity which focus on actual performance are misleading and may not help with the fulfillment of potential. (…) Potential is not always obvious, but educators and others (…) should consider defining creativity in literal terms, as thinking or problem solving that involves the construction of new meaning. This in turn relies on personal interpretations. These are personal and new for the individual, not on any larger scale. This approach is consistent with the educational premise “to understand is to invent,” and it allows educators to target students’ self-expression. The emphasis is thus on the individual, the self. Equally significant for educators is that this view posits that creativity is widely distributed. Virtually every individual has the mental capacity to construct the personal interpretations that are involved. (Runco 2008:97).

Present-day attempts at maintaining standardization by means of heavy emphasis on competencies, curricular canons, and extensive testing seem to be a lost cause, attempting to revise an educational tradition that in the end does not meet the demands of the globalized and digital age. Skills that were learned last year may be obsolete today, and competencies that are necessary tomorrow may be learned today. The question: “Why must I learn that – I’ll never have any use for it?” has attained a certain amount of merit.

The invited contributions in this special issue include papers addressing the following overall areas:

  • Articulation of the nature of creativity and some of the key theoretical perspectives on creativity
  • Studies of creativity in the use of OER in teaching and learning for the future
  • Ways in which new approaches to design can foster creativity in both teachers and learners
  • Reports on case studies or educational programmes using new technology and OER in novel ways to enhance and support student creativity
  • Methodological studies that enhance dialogic approaches to creativity and empowerment using OER
    • Critical theoretical approaches to transferring modern social, community and private learning practices to educational contexts
    • Re-representation: One content, many representations in different media
    • Enhancing flexibility with OER
    • Analyses on flexibility and creativity enhancing factors in web-based community settings
    • Designing (personalizing) the task for the subject
    • Design suggestions for better inclusion and evaluation of qualified solutions that breach tradition or consensus in the established context
    • Teacher and student collaboration in designing personalized education
    • Bridging educational levels and disciplines in open educational environments (OEE)
    • Design suggestions for new and flexible forms of assessment
    • Design suggestions for presenting and representing qualifications in new and individual student profiles from individually customized educations
    • "Avant-garde" visions for OER and technology-based teaching and learning

With online educational environments, social software, different digital representations, and new assessment forms and possibilities, the educational tradition has the opportunity to be renewed and meet the needs and trends of the present day. Research supports the view that creativity and innovation may be supported by strong flexibility and diversity. Media use, social software, and group structures in web-based communities offer new ways of learning that support development of creative skills, and portfolio structures and social software offer new ways of networking and self representation.

In this call we ask for papers that address the questions of how new media, social software, and OER can foster creativity and lead to customizable educations for the future.

Success criteria

Success criteria for acceptance of a research article will include relevance and analytical rigor.


The special issue will be edited by:

Dr. Elsebeth Korsgaard Sorensen (, Dept. of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University,

Professor Gráínne Conole (, Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, UK,

Asger Harlung (, Dept. of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University, DK.

Overall objectives of the special issue

From the perspective of stimulating change and bringing about creativity in the design of OER, the special issue aims to identify and present, from a principled approach, the latest research, not only on relevant theory and various practice contexts, but also in terms of capturing learning designs and best-practice, which demonstrate significant and creative ways of enhancing the learning process through effective use of OER.

Key dates

Submission of full manuscripts:                                         1s  March 2011

Reviewers’ comments will be sent by:                                1st April  2011

Revised versions to be received by:                                   1st May 2011

Publication:                                                                     Early summer  2011


Submission procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit 2-5 pages in writing. The proposal should clearly explain the mission and concerns of the proposed paper, as well as indicating which of the themes for the special issue the paper is addressing. Deadline for submission of full manuscripts is 1st February 2012. Authors will be notified wit h the reviewers comments by 1st March 2011. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by 1st of April 2011. All submitted chapters will be reviewed by at least two reviewers on a blind review basis.

Kind regards,

Elsebeth Korsgaard Sorensen, Graínne Conole and Asger Harlung


Dr. Elsebeth Korsgaard Sorensen



Research Fellow at Cambridge University & The Open University


Associate Professor, Dept. of Information and Media Studies, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University.

The Dewey Buildin (Building 5350), Room 211, Finlandsgade 25, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark

+45 8942 9259 (direct); +45 4088 9088 (mobile); +45 8942 5950 (fax)

+44 (0)1223 212160 (uk-cable]; +44 (0)7733 801522 [uk-mobile]



Skype: vikingess




Professor of e-learning, Graínne Conole


The Institute of Educational Technology; The Open University;
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA; United Kingdom

+44 (0)190 865 4362 (direct)


Skype: grainneconole




Research Assistant, Asger Harlung


Dept. of Information and Media Studies, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University.

The Dewey Building (Building 5350), Room 211, Finlandsgade 25, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark

+45 8942 9296 (direct); +45 8942 5950 (fax)



Skype: asgerharlung





[1] Runco, M. A. (2008). Creativity and Education. New Horizons in Education, Vol.56, No.1, May 2008

[2] Sorensen, E. K. (2009), A Framework for Designing Online Education for Global, Democratic Citizenship: Promoting Intercultural Dialogue and Collaboration. In M. Hellsten & A. Reid (Eds.), Researching International Pedagogies. Sustainable Practice for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Springer Verlag. (pp. 277-293). ISBN: 978-1-4020-8857-5

[3] Conole, McAndrew, and Dimitriadis (2010). The role of CSCL pedagogical patterns as mediating artefacts for repurposing Open Educational Resources. In: Pozzi, Francesca and Persico, Donatella eds. Techniques for Fostering Collaboration in Online Learning Communities: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives. Hershey, USA: IGI Global. Available online at

[4] Kupferberg, Feiwel (2003): Creativity is more Important than Competence. In Fremtidsorientering 4/2003 (originally brought in Asterisk 11/2003), Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies 2003, (05-15-2010)


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Patrick McAndrew
9:05am 21 March 2012 (Edited 9:05am 21 March 2012)

The EURODL special issue on Creativity and Open Educational Resources is now published at:

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