Eliciting Complex Thinking through Open Educational Resource Projects

Paloma Suárez-Brito, Edgar Omar López-Caudana, Jose Jaime Baena-Rojas, María Soledad Ramírez-Montoya


Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) has increased due to its advantages for academic activities and educational quality. Hence, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have sought to develop strategies to promote curricular and extracurricular activities that favor developing disciplinary and transversal competencies such as complex thinking and its meta-competencies: critical, systemic, scientific, and innovative thinking, oriented to favor problem-solving among students and the academic community. The main objective of this study was to analyze how using OERs in virtual education can promote the development of complex thinking as a transversal competency in higher education. We analyzed the content of 65 educational projects in a webinar aimed at promoting the adoption of OERs in the professional practice of the educational community. Each project had to comply with specific requirements, from the project's identification and description to measuring and evaluating the results and its impact and added value. Once all the projects were reviewed, the responses were classified into defined categories for better presentation; the sub-competency of complex thinking promoted by each project element was identified qualitatively. The results highlight how an OER can, through concrete activities, elicit complex thinking and its sub-competencies in higher education. The present study adds new evidence to the literature regarding boosting OERs as a tool to develop competencies aligned with UNESCO recommendations and contribute to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals in education.


Complex thinking; Open Educational Resources; Higher Education; Educational Innovation

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