OER factsheet: C-SAP cascadeproject
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE OER PROGRAMME
Open Educational Resources Pilot Programme (April Open Educational Resources phase 2 (August 2010-
2009-April 2010) August 2011)
The OER pilot programme hoped to find some answers Within OER phase 2, the Academy and JISC intend to
to the following questions: fund projects and activities that:
- Which types of OER are used by different - Extend the range of materials that are
stakeholders? available openly
- How far are use patterns influenced by: the - Investigate further the benefits offered by OER
subject discipline and/or topic area; type of to all those involved in the learning process
resources made available? - Enhance the discoverability and reuse of
- How is pedagogy manifested in open content, if materials
at all? - Offer a greater understanding of the benefits
- In what ways, if at all, do learning and teaching offered by OER release
practices (need to) change when OERs are - Continue the process of cultural change begun
widely available? in the OER pilot programme.
- What skills/literacies do staff and students need
to adapt to using and creating content in an Funding was awarded to:
open way? - 12 projects in strand Ai release
- 5 projects in strand Aiii cascade
Funding was awarded to: - 6 projects in strand Ci collections
- 6 institutional projects (primarily repositories)
- 8 individual projects C-SAP is currently working on both cascade and
- 14 subject strand projects collections strand projects.
OER KEY INITIATIVES (adapted from the “Open Educational Resources: A Global Perspective”
presentation, available on the cascade wiki and C-SAP slideshare)
Jorum provides access to free learning and teaching resources, created and contributed by
staff from UK further and higher education institutions. Jorum is a JISC-funded service, run
by the two national data centres Mimas and EDINA, and collects and shares learning and
teaching materials, allowing their re-use and repurposing. JorumOpen is also a primary
repository for all of projects funded within the OER programme.
OpenLearn was launched by Open University in October 2006 thanks to a grant from The
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The initiative gives free access to Open
University course materials (over 8000 study hours). Each of the free study units comes with
a range of learning tools, including a discussion forum and a learning diary.
MERLOT is a free and open online community of resources designed for faculty, staff and
students of higher education, primarily US-based. The repository provides a facility for peer
review; furthermore, along with the learning materials, members can contribute
assignments and comments to accompany the resources. Authors of the materials can also
attach “snapshots” to their resources to provide more depth and description. Importantly,
OER factsheet: C-SAP cascadeproject
MERLOT does not function as a typical repository – i.e. you cannot upload your files there,
only the link to a repository elsewhere (in the case of the pilot project, when releasing
material into MERLOT we provided the links to the resources in JorumOpen).
Connexions is a non-profit start-up launched at Rice University in 1999 that aims to provide
an environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing
scholarly content on the Web. The deposited content is organized in small modules that are
easily connected into larger collections or courses. All content is free to use and reuse under
the Creative Commons "attribution" license. The repository collects materials to support
education in K-12, community college, university, continuing education, and industrial
Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare (MIT OCW) ocw.mit.edu
MIT OpenCourseWare is a free and openly licensed web-based publication of MIT course
content, reflecting almost all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT. The
initiative does not grant degrees or certificates or provide access to MIT faculty. The
released materials are organized as courses, and often include course planning materials
and evaluation tools as well as thematic content.
KEY POINTS AND BENEFITS OF OERS
Adapted from Thomson, Simon. "A Staff Guide to Open Educational Resources." (2010).
OER key points
1. OER are free to use and publicly available.
2. OER can be used in teaching and learning (usually with attribution to the original
3. The majority of OER can be altered and adapted (‘repurposed’.)
4. Using OER is not cheating; in fact it can improve the quality of learning experiences
by building on other people’s work.
5. OER development is a global movement
6. OER are not just for teachers to use or repurpose; students can be encouraged to
use OER to support their own learning
7. Academics can get recognition for their own materials by sharing them as OER or by
being attributed by others through OER release
How can using OER benefit the student experience?
1. OERs let staff can provide access to resources that they wouldn’t be able to offer
without OER (e.g. photos or videos of locations and situations they can’t
2. OERs enable students to access a range of learning materials encompassing the same
content (so as to provide for more learning styles).
3. OERs can be used as a way of building a range of student support resources (e.g.
study skills, employability, enterprise, dissertation support).
4. OERs enable prospective students to see more detail of courses before they register.
OER factsheet: C-SAP cascadeproject
5. OERs allow students to review material and refresh their knowledge and
understanding after they have completed their course
IPR, COPYRIGHT AND CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSING (adapted from Open Educational Resources Infokit
When creating OER material it is important to ensure that any media or content you use
does not have any third party copyright or IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) restrictions - or
that permission has been granted and recorded for the use of such material.
‘Fair dealing’ (or fair use) is a copyright term that allows limited use of copyrighted material
without requiring permission from the rights holders. This may apply to some instances in
teaching situations (and the widespread tactic of visiting Google Images/YouTube when
putting together teaching materials…) but NOT for using in the development of an OER. On
the cascade wiki, you will find a number of alternative sources which provide copyright-free
digital images, often specifically for educational purposes. Pilot projects have also created a
number of useful tools on IPR, copyright and licensing, all of which can be accessed through
the JISC Open Educational Resources Infokit.
The advice from JISClegal is to use ‘as open a licence as possible’, i.e. attribution or
attribution + share alike. They suggest leaving out the “non-commercial” aspect of the
licence as this could have potential restrictions on future innovations based around OER,
however there is no consensus around that issue. Further advice will appear shortly in a
paper on strategic management of IPR, we will advise on that. Within the framework
suggested by JISClegal, you/the reuser would be free:
• to copy, distribute, display and perform the work
• to make derivative works
as long as these conditions are met:
• Attribution: you must give the original author credit.
• ShareAlike: if you alter, transform or build upon this work, you may distribute the
resulting work only under a licence identical to this one.
Creative Commons is not about giving up rights to your work, but making it available under
certain conditions. Importantly, creative Commons licenses are non-revocable. Once a
resource has been released under a CC-license users are permitted to continue using that
resource under the license even if you withdraw it from circulation.
EVALUATION AND SYNTHESIS REPORT http://www.caledonianacademy.net/spaces/oer/
The team of researchers Glasgow Caledonian University provided ongoing evaluation and
synthesis throughout the pilot programme, the wiki pulls all of their findings together and
addresses how different communities and cultures are progressing towards openness in
their shared practice. The report examines social, technical, pedagogical and legal /
organisational issues in each strand, and provides a synthesis account detailing barriers and
opportunities for change.