Opal case study 02 the support centre for open educational resources score uk
Template Sections for completion:
Case Study Title:
The Open University - SCORE – The Support Centre for Open Resources in Education.
Case Study Country:
Type of organisation described by the case study,
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) recently announced that
it was giving The Open University (OU) £7.8 million from its Strategic Development
Fund to enhance its national role. The HEFCE grant will be used for three projects. Of
significant interest to the OU OpenLearn work is the Support Centre for Open
Resources in Education project.
Address of organisation
Higher Education Shared Solutions
The Open University
Hyperlink to organisation
Hyperlink to case study source:
Case Study Contributed by: Paul Mundin
Case Study Sections:
Please complete Section 1 – mandatory. Please complete whichever of Sections 2-10
is/are relevant to the case study.
From an analytical perspective we are looking for the following generic questions to
be answered in the case study:
• What constitutes open educational practice in this case study?
• What are the elements of innovation in educational practice?
• How is OER being used to innovate educational practice?
• How is open educational practice used to improve quality?
1. Mandatory - A brief summary of the institution to be used as a case study
About 500 words please on a description of the institution, its OER history
SCORE will focus on sharing OU expertise in Open Educational Resources
(OER) with other universities. People are increasingly learning using freely
available online content on sites such as the OU OpenLearn web-site and
social networks. Universities need to harness these networks in order to
develop students’ learning. This is where the OU comes in – leading
collaborations to develop OER resources and services, as well as to lower
course development costs. SCORE will give staff from across the higher
education sector the opportunity to work with experienced Open University
staff on developing and using open educational resources.
Professor Andy Lane, Director of OpenLearn commented that ‘Open
educational resources involve sharing knowledge between teachers and with
learners and that involves much collaboration and cooperation’.
Jonathan Darby, Project Director of the OU National Role Programme said it
was ’Essentially setting up a national centre to provide a focus for the
development of the Open Educational Resources community within higher
education; to promote good practice - to provide opportunities for others to
engage with us in the development of the whole field’.
2. Quality – OER/OEP
How does the institution approach quality in OER? Is there any current
indication of a quality concept or process? Does the institution perceive
quality from the perspective of the quality of open educational resources or
the quality of open educational practice? How does the institution show
quality through OEP versus quality of OEP? What methods, concepts and
practices are used to enhance the quality of OEP?
How can OER/OEP innovate educational practices? What current innovative
practices are there in the institution? Please do not regard innovation from
just a technology perspective!
What are the current OER/OEP policy arrangements at institutional and
national level across Europe/the World?
What actors are involved in OER/OEP? Is there any evidence to show that
OER actors do not always promote OEP but “only” access to OER?
A central part of SCORE is its fellowship scheme. It expects to fund 36
fellowship projects between 2010 and 2012 with two thirds drawn from
outside the OU. Fellows work is expected to inform, influence and impact on
OER policy and practice across the higher education sector. Projects may be
‘stand-alone’ or involve collaborations with other fellowship projects to
address important themes in OER activity.
Based flexibly at the OU in Milton Keynes, fellows can draw on the OU’s
expertise in creating, sharing and using OER. They will receive support from
the SCORE team, mentors and the OU’s OER fellowship community (which
includes Open Learning Network (OLNet international fellows).
What OER/OEP initiatives can be evidenced? Is there any evidence to show
that OER initiatives do not always promote OEP but “only” access to OER?
7. Open Educational Practices
Can you identify some case studies/ descriptions which form the illustrative
base for a more general model of OEP?
SCORE (The Support Centre for Open Resources in Education) has been set up
as part of the Shared Solutions initiative (www.open.ac.uk/sharedsolutions),
to inform and enable best policy and practice around the use of open
educational resources (OER). Shared Solutions is HEFCE-funded from
2009-2012 with the objective of developing solutions to address sector-wide
challenges. In doing so it draws on OU expertise and competences, such as its
success in setting up OpenLearn (openlearn.open.ac.uk). SCORE aims to
establish and support a community of practice around the effective use of
OER to change and improve teaching and learning policies and practices. The
driving question for SCORE is:
• How can we build on the perceived potential of OER to help create
new teaching and learning policies and practices within and between
This high-level question is refined into three sub-issues:
• How can we make changes to teaching and learning policies for the
benefit of HE in the UK through the planned adoption of OER
• How can we make changes to learning and teaching practices for the
benefit of lecturers, students and adult learners more generally?
• How can we build and sustain new and existing communities of
practitioners that embrace OER as a key element in opening up
8. Tools and Repositories
What tools and repositories are being used to deliver OER/OEP? For example
Are there any other special tools for OER/OEP? e.g. Cloudworks, in
which practices can be discussed and validated?
Are there any tools for Visualisation? e.g CompendiumLD
Are there any tools for Argumentation? e.g. Cohere
Can you identify any strategies for organisations to use OER/OEP? Can you
identify any business models that promote OER/OEP?
10. Current barriers and enablers
What are the barriers to the use of OER/OEP? Is there any evidence to how
these barriers have been overcome? What are the enablers to the use of OER/