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PowerPoint Presentation, Anna Comas-Quinn, Eurocall CMC Teacher Education SIGs, 2011, Barcelona

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  1. 1. OER for language teaching: Using LORO to foster reflection and professional development Anna Comas-Quinn, Department of Languages, The Open University EUROCALL CMC & Teacher Education SIG Annual Workshop 14-15 April 2011
  2. 2. Languages at The Open University <ul><li>English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Welsh & Chinese (beginners to advanced) to 7000+ language students </li></ul><ul><li>Blended approach: independent study using mixed media and support inc. face-to-face, synchronous and asynchronous online teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Course materials produced centrally, teaching support provided locally </li></ul><ul><li>Course developers and course directors: 50+ academics plus support staff </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching staff: 320+ part-time teachers </li></ul>
  3. 3. What was the problem? <ul><li>Storing and managing resources for teaching (servers, the VLE…) </li></ul><ul><li>Finding out what others are doing </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid reinventing the wheel…(30-40 teachers might be delivering the same course in parallel) </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing resources produced by all colleagues </li></ul>
  4. 4. Languages Open Resources Online <ul><li>LORO is about: </li></ul><ul><li>...making all teaching materials for all levels and languages available to all users, </li></ul><ul><li>… making OU tutorial materials available to the wider languages community, </li></ul><ul><li>… allowing users to share their own materials with the whole languages community, </li></ul><ul><li>… starting a change in the way we work (OER, access, transparency, quality). </li></ul>
  5. 7. What are OER? <ul><li>Open Educational Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Resources (big and little OER) </li></ul><ul><li>Openly available for reuse and repurposing </li></ul><ul><li>Creator indicates that they are for public use and reuse through a Creative Commons license or similar </li></ul><ul><li>For more info on Creative Common licenses, see (a useful 3 m introduction) & http:// / </li></ul>
  6. 8. But you need to think about… <ul><li>Usefulness and discoverability of your material </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright (images in particular) </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution and ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Licenses </li></ul><ul><li>Quality assurance & peer review </li></ul>
  7. 9. Perceived benefits <ul><li>Professional development (feedback from colleagues) </li></ul><ul><li>Time saving </li></ul><ul><li>Student support </li></ul><ul><li>Authorship & showcasing your work </li></ul><ul><li>Survey of OU language teachers July 2009 (N = 129) </li></ul>
  8. 10. Perceived challenges <ul><li>Quality and usefulness of resources </li></ul><ul><li>System must work (search, browse, structure, file formats) </li></ul><ul><li>Time consuming </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of remuneration </li></ul><ul><li>Reciprocity </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition and authorship </li></ul><ul><li>Survey of OU language teachers July 2009 (N = 129) </li></ul>
  9. 11. Antonio’s latest work
  10. 12. March 2010 N = 173 March 2011 N = 156
  11. 13. March 2010 N= 173 March 2011 N= 156
  12. 14. Online communities: types of users <ul><li>The 90-9-1 rule </li></ul><ul><li>Passive </li></ul><ul><li>Active </li></ul><ul><li>Creators </li></ul>
  13. 15. Jakob Nielsen (2006) “Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute”
  14. 16. Jakob Nielsen (2006) “Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute”
  15. 17. LORO for professional development <ul><li>Incorporation of LORO into workflows for location, creation and sharing of teaching materials </li></ul><ul><li>Peer observation / peer review of teaching materials </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative creation of teaching materials </li></ul>
  16. 18. Teachers are using LORO… <ul><li>To find resources for their teaching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I often also check what other teachers have done to teach the same topic or a similar structure” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To find inspiration and ideas </li></ul><ul><li>“ even if I don’t find anything I can use, it starts the ideas flowing in my head” </li></ul><ul><li>To standardise their practice and ensure comparability of the student experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ to make sure the contents covered in my own tutorial are similar to those used by the rest of the course team and tutors” </li></ul></ul>
  17. 19. Peer observation <ul><li>Extending the concept of peer observation </li></ul><ul><li>“ for purposes of exploring the learning and teaching process and environment and where this ‘observation’ leads on to reflection and discussion” (Bennett and Barp, 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>Peer observation in a distance context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online synchronous and asynchronous teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bennett, S. and  Barp, D. (2008) ‘Peer observation - a case for doing it online’ Teaching in Higher Education , 13(5) pp. 559-570 </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. Benefits of using LORO <ul><li>Increased confidence in one’s own practice </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Seeing other work enables you to judge your own, and reassures you that you are doing the right thing” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Freedom to develop other aspects of one’s teaching practice </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ It gives us time and space to create some individual styles” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ I can concentrate on how I will teach culture or how to teach through the asynchronous forum” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 21. Benefits of using LORO <ul><li>Value of feedback on one’s work </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ gives me an opportunity to gain useful feedback on the work I do” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>… but there are constraints </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ peer comment should be extended, but the restraints of all our workloads make this a problem” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Increase quality of teaching materials </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ sharing the resources I have created with colleagues stimulates me to write very good materials, test them and improve them so that they can be used by someone else. LORO really pushes me to produce better materials” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 22. Collaborative working <ul><li>Some teachers would like more staff development time… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“… devoted to encouraging colleagues to share their material and to begin evaluating each others’ work. Tutors are not always good at commenting on each other, while many people, quite understandably, are anxious about being criticised” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Workshops on creating and sharing OER </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Face to face and semi-synchronous options) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 23. <ul><li>Contact FELS- [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>Anna Comas-Quinn </li></ul><ul><li>Lecturer in Spanish and SCORE Fellow </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>Thank you for your attention!