Open educational resources (OERs) have been around since 1994, however, after a series of events, UNESCO officially coined the term ‘Open educational Resources’ in July of 2002. The movement was aimed at providing students with freely accessible learning material and narrowing the educational divide in developing countries. Although, the movement was a noble one, certain challenges also arose. One of the key problems that this dissertation sought to address was that of designing for differentiation. OERs by definition is freely available to anyone, however, no two individuals have the exact same cognitive ability.
The research followed an intervention strategy to investigate how OER interventions could be designed (at the hands of the Bloom-Gardner Matrix) to facilitate for cognitive and intellectual diversity in grade 5 Science learners. An intervention strategy allowed for OER activity design which supported curriculum differentiation, the investigation of how the learners utilized the OER, and determining which design aspects within the intervention impacted on the learners’ experiences.
Therefore, by designing an OER that had differentiation at its core, the researcher was able to establish which elements an OER could incorporate to differentiate the resource and cater for cognitive and intellectual diversity.