UK HEIs and the OERu: Snog, Marry, Avoid?


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Presentation given at the Higher Education Academy Conference, 4 July 2012, with Alejandro Armellini, my 'reality checker' on the TOUCANS project.

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  • Ralph Daily on Flickr
  • James Cridland
  • MisterJamie
  • UK HEIs and the OERu: Snog, Marry, Avoid?

    1. 1. UK Higher Education Institutions and the OER university: Snog, Marry, Avoid? Gabi Witthaus and Alejandro Armellini. HEA Conference, 3-4 July 2012.
    2. 2.
    3. 3. IntroductionTesting the OERuniversityConcept: aNational
    4. 4. Overview• Part 1: Background – the OER university;• Part 2: TOUCANS research;• Part 3: Findings: UK HEI views on the OERu concept.
    5. 5. Part 1:Background – the OER university
    6. 6. A traditional university education Image by ttarasiuk
    7. 7. OERs provide access to content…
    8. 8. But not to thesweet taste of success. Image by Ralph Daily
    9. 9. 100 million adultseligible for university who can’t afford it (UNESCO) Image by James Cridland
    10. 10. The OERuniversity(OERu)concept
    11. 11. OERu partners are all accredited by national accrediting bodies
    12. 12. Cost to learner: Less than 25% of usual fees Cost to institution:OERu - less than 0.5% of their total offerings
    13. 13. Can the OERu make this possible? Photo by Dallas Vegan
    14. 14. Part 2:TOUCANS research
    15. 15. Data Collection• Interviews with OERu network partner members (14)• Interviews with UK HEI thought leaders (11)• Survey among UK HEIs (42 respondents)
    16. 16. Interviews with thought leaders (11)• Open University (UK)• University of Leicester• University of Salford• University of Edinburgh• University of Nottingham• University of Derby• JISC
    17. 17. The UK HEI interviewees• Leicester: Christine Fyfe (PVC), Dave Hall (Registrar), Prof. Grainne Conole (Director, BDRA)• OU: Andrew Law (Dir, Open Media), Jonathan Darby (Dir, HE Shared Solutions)• Salford: Prof. Martin Hall (VC)• Edinburgh: Prof. Jeff Haywood (CIO)• Nottingham: Prof. Wyn Morgan (Dir, Teaching & Learning)• JISC (personal capacity): Amber Thomas and David Kernohan• Derby: Julie Stone (Head, University of Derby Online)
    18. 18. The surveyBournemouth University University of Bath,Coventry University University of CambridgeDe Montfort University University of Huddersfield,Institute of Education University of Hull,Kings College London University of Leeds,Leeds Met University (2) University of Leicester (5)Loughborough University University of ManchesterMiddlesex University University of Nottingham (2)Newcastle University University of OxfordOpen University (4) University of SouthamptonSouthampton Solent University of Surrey University Plus eight others
    19. 19. The survey respondents (N=42)
    20. 20. Part 3: Findings.UK HEI views on the OER university
    21. 21. Is your institution in the OERu network?
    22. 22. Responsetheme (1) Photo by rightee on flickr
    23. 23. Response theme (2) Image by Jans Canon on Flickr
    24. 24. Key concerns• Student support• Quality• Assessment & credibility• True cost• Credit transfer difficulty• Devaluation of qualifications… volunteers are clearly NOT seen as the answer
    25. 25. Learner support? Help!!!!! Photo by Erik Charlton
    26. 26. Volunteers not seen as the answer Photo by MisterJamie
    27. 27. Assessment and credibility? Image by flippinyank
    28. 28. True cost?
    29. 29. Credit transferdifficulty?
    30. 30. Perceived devaluation of qualifications Image by
    31. 31. Make up your mind!• Many lukewarm (very English) responses, e.g.: – ‘sitting on the fence’; – ‘we should not ignore it’… which do not suggest snogging, never mind marrying the OERu!
    32. 32. Institutional interestsWhat do we need to do to enhance our positionif the OERu idea does take off? Join it, perhaps?
    33. 33. The verdict: snog, marry, avoid? Photo by Pommekiwi1 on flickr
    34. 34. Snog, marry or avoid the OERu?In June, 2012…•No evidence for ‘marry’•Limited evidence for ‘snog’, often skewed byrespondents’ passion (rather than theinstitutions’ policy)•Some evidence for ‘flirt’ (at arm’s length)•Overwhelming evidence for ‘avoid’
    35. 35. With many thanks to…• Prof. Patrick McAndrew – Gabi’s SCORE mentor at the Open University.• Dr Angela Murphy (USQ) - co-creator of the TOUCANS survey instrument.• Colleagues who trialled early versions of the survey – Prof. David Hawkridge, Dr Palitha Edirisingha, Dr Paul Rudman, Dr Ming Nie, Brenda Padilla, Ali Ewing.• Dr Vivien Rolfe, Fred Garnet, Prof. Andy Lane, Prof. Graham Gibbs, Terese Bird and Stephen Walker, who responded to the survey (and agreed to be attributed for their contributions).• Wayne Mackintosh of the OER Foundation, who facilitated communication between the OERu community and me around the research.
    36. 36. To continue the Photo by Tim Sträter on flickr