An introduction to Open Education and Open Educational Resources (OER) by Dr Viv Rolfe.
This is a question issued to the group to provide a view of their level of understanding.
By the end of this session you should be able to: Understand what OER and open practice are. Find and use OER within your academic practice. Understand some tools and tips for USING OER. Be aware of a framework for PRODUCING OER.
An insightful definition of what an OER truly is.
OERs aren’t a new idea. Their emergence has been supported by technology (i.e. open courseware platform), facilitated by simple licensing (Creative Commons) and has build on the desire to share.
Large scale OER projects have been funded around the world, and most countries have a national OER portal. The leaders in the UK include the Open University (OpenLearn Platform) and University of Nottingham.
What about open education in the UK?
HEFCE has funded a large number OER projects across institutions and subject centres since 2009. The Pilot Phase in 2009 aimed to release OERs. Phase 2 in 2010 looked at releasing and building sustainable approaches. Phase 3 projects are due to be announced at any moment. We have placed a bid to work with external organisations such as the NHS and Publishers to produce OER. TOP TIP! Visit the JISC OER website and look at the Pilot and Phase 2 projects. Look for your subject discipline and see what OERs have been produced.
Like finding anything on the web, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Questions posed to the group.
There are plenty of places to look for teaching resources, not forgetting publishers as well. In my experience, I use a few tried and tested places to look for medical science materials, and I tend to stick with these.
Xpert and Xerte are products of Nottingham University. Xerte is a really nice “learning object” publisher. You can download it locally to your PC to generate interactive and multimedia resources. You can chose to publish your Xerte content back to the web, and this is where Xpert picks it up. So you can share stuff, and you can also use and reuse content produced by others in the Xerte community. The other search engines – Google and Yahoo are useful these days because by selecting the advanced search tab, you can search specifically by level of licence.
An activity to search for OER online. The speaker can start to point out the usefulness of the Creative Commons Licence as a signpost to what extent resources and be used or not. Can discuss the “ND” no derivatives aspect and “SA” how to share alike?
Have a discussion around what needs to be in place before an online resource can be used. The comments do not only apply to OER but really provide a model for good practice in finding and using all learning materials.
OK, so you’ve found some resources. Can you use them, and how do you use them? There are a few things to consider.
Copyright is one of the most common perceived barriers by staff wanting to use other people’s materials and also in wanting to release their own learning resources onto the web. There is help available!
With any teaching resource, not just OER, you need to be confident that the copyright permits you to use it. (OK I’m not a legal expert, so excuse if my language isn’t precise here). DMU offers some useful guidance on what to look for. We need to be confident we have the permission to use any externally sourced material, especially if we are uploading to a VLE or disseminating to students, because today, we have no control over where our materials might end up. An excellent resource providing tool kits and guidance on legal aspects of OER is provided by Web2Rights.
There are a number of open licences and the Creative Commons is one form widely used. You may need to consult with your institution copyright officers just to make sure you understand what these licences permit.
Creative Commons is a form of licence with 6 levels of openness. These provide a really quick and easy signpost to help you decide whether you can use stuff or not. However, just because a picture on Flickr has a CC BY licence accompanying it, you need to check that the author is authentic as far as is feasibly to do so. Be careful if the materials contain sensitive data or pictures of people. If in doubt, leave it out!
CETL – HEFCE funded 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning gained funding in 2005 to support student learning via a whole range of activities. http://www.hefce.ac.uk/learning/tinits/cetl/final/ The RLO CETL (Reusable Learning Object) I think provides a really useful check list of what to look for in a learning resource, and also what to do to produce quality ones yourself. What we do need is some critiquing guidelines to help students appraise the quality of video, animation and other forms of OER, similar to what we currently apply to text based resources. Hopefully, this is something the DMU library are going to develop – an extension of their…. http://www.library.dmu.ac.uk/Images/Selfstudy/ISEMLeaflet.pdf
As with quality, any OERs produced by the HEFCE OER Programme (UKOER) and that are made available on Jorum or the project repositories, these should all provide a reasonable level of confidence in terms of quality and accessibility standards. JISC TechDis provide a wealth of advice regarding how to make inclusive and accessible learning resources, and these should not be considered a separate or onerous task, but built into our academic practices. For example, if I produce a podcast, I will also provide a transcript. Whenever possible, I will place all video on YouTube because this service will publish it in formats that are operable across all devices and platforms, i.e. from desk to PC to iPAD and other tablets. This just saves you work converting to multiple file formats. SWF animations that aren’t viewable on Apple products, I also publish as video and place on YouTube.
Good referencing practice applies here. You must abide by the CC licence: BY – means you must attribute the author. If the author does not publish any details, then just reference it as you would normally. SA – this means you can use the OER but must share it back. Again it isn’t always clear how to do this, so you could always contact the original author and ask? If it is a UK university resource, you can share it back on Jorum. ND – this means no derivates are allowed, so you cannot repurpose, mash or mix up the resource. Images cannot be cropped, fonts cannot be changed etc. So just a more restrictive licence. The UK OER programme recommends the BY SA licence. The NC (non-commercial) is an area of debate. If you put SA on your resource and a commercial organisation wants to use your material, then they have to share it back! They therefore aren’t going to make any money are they!
There is a growing body of OER expertise at DMU. As part of the SCOOTER project, the Teacher Fellows, TEL networks and many staff and students have been involved in using and producing OER. Both VAL and SCOOTER resources are used globally. We can track user activity and share discussions via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. SCOOTER alone has around 500 visitors each month with all manner of benefits to us.
Some interesting educational models have emerged in the US which I think will become increasingly important here. If you look at the fees section, you can see that all the courses at Utah use OERs. Students then pay for the level of facility and support they require, and they pay to sit examinations and gain certification. This is a real flexible approach to learning.
Similar to the Utah approach, a global OER University is emerging, based around OERs and flexible learning, again where students pay for varying levels of function and support.
Open educational practices (OEP), or simply open practice is becoming mainstream and part of what we do. I suspect every UK university has been involved in the HEFCE OER Programme, and this has resulted in new OER policies, staff training and the advent of many institutional repositories where staff and students now share learning materials. There is some interesting work looking at students actually producing content. I’m interested in students producing assessment questions for example MCQs that are then placed back on a database to form part of their formative assessment. Other universities have found that OERs have helped programme teams work together and shape curricula. From my perspective, OER links me to potential collaborators, has helped me forge great working relationships with the NHS and local hospitals, and helps publicise our research and degree programmes. I like the aspect of student involvement – a 2 nd year arts student here producing work. http://www.sicklecellanaemia.org/teaching-resources/flexible-open-educational-teaching-resources And students love them… “ It is excellent to see such hard work being distributed throughout the world for free. These resources are of very high quality and are valuable adjuncts to the lives of thousands. I feel proud of the fact that I study at DMU”
Open Education Dr Vivien Rolfe [email_address] Twitter #DMUViv School of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of HLS, DMU Tom Magliery, @ Flickr Creative Commons BY NC SA
This talk was part of a 2 hour introductory session given to the PGCert group at De Montfort. It provides an introduction to open education and some questions and interactive elements to promote discussion.
Open educational resources (OER) and open practice. What does this mean?
Open educational resources (OER) and open practice. By the end of this session you should be able to: Understand what OER and open practice are. Find and use OER within your academic practice. Understand some tools and tips for USING OER. Be aware of a framework for PRODUCING OER.
Welcome to Open for Learning. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/toolkits/play_2588
Opening up the World of Learning. http://ostrich.bath.ac.uk/node/44
“It is excellent to see such hard work being distributed throughout the world for free. These resources are of very high quality and are valuable adjuncts to the lives of thousands. I feel proud of the fact that I study at DMU” Dr Vivien Rolfe [email_address] Twitter #DMUViv