OERP Workshop; Methods & Processes- OER FAQ


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This document was part of the OERP Workshop; Methods & Processes held during the EE2010 conference (July 6th -8th 2010 @Aston University).

Please see the handout and presentation supporting this session.

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OERP Workshop; Methods & Processes- OER FAQ

  1. 1. OER FAQ We hope this page will quickly answer some of the main questions we often hear regarding Open Educational Resources (OER). OERs are teaching materials: presentations, photo's etc. made available for all to re-use, making them more likely to be referenced and re-used. It only takes a relatively small amount of time and can enhance both your and your institutions reputation and helps to share expertise across the sector, which you in turn may benefit from. 1. What is OER? Standard of Open Educational Resources and the common definition is 'teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge'. Definition used by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This means you have permission to release the material, and have attached a licence to that material granting others permission to use it too. 2. Why OER? • To encourage the sharing of learning resources between institutions, between academics and within communities of practice; • To enable learning materials and resources to be shared universally - locally, nationally and globally - to support learning; • To encourage development and uptake of tools and processes supporting the release of open resources that will enhance both productivity and relevance by being customisable and adaptable by both academics and students; • To act as a marketing tool where students can view resources produced by an institution prior to applying to study there. For further information please visit Higher Education Academy/ JISC Grant Funding 06/10. 3. What can I release? OER has no preconditions as to what does or does not constitute OER. It could be a PowerPoint presentation of a lecture, it could be the lecture notes. It could be a video presentation, or a piece of software used to help students. The idea is that what ever you release can be taken up and used by other people- either learner or teachers, to enhance their knowledge and resources. We have found that the best resources are granular in nature so that little chunks can be extracted without difficulty. Other people are doing this so that you can be both a contributor and user of OER, enhancing and developing your own materials where required. 4. Do you have any examples of existing OER? Yes. We have videos, animations, online tutorials, textbooks, lecture notes and presentations, word files and exam papers all released as OER by the OER Pilot Project (2009 -2010). Examples of other OERs can be found at the JorumOPEN repository. 5. What is IPR? IPR stands for Intellectual Property Rights and basically in OER terms, means copyright. One of the key stages of preparation before OER release is a copyright clearance process- i.e. identifying who owns the copyright in the material you want to release and ensuring you have permission to include that content within your resource. You will need local support as every institution has different rules on IPR ownership but the Centre can provide initial advice and guidance. (A comprehensive IPR Guide will be included within the STEM OER document coming soon.) © Loughborough University 2010. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
  2. 2. 6. What should I look for? • Look for resources that show off your expertise. • Look for resources that are widely used within your institution perhaps or that are well regarded across HE • Look for resources that are useful in a ‘stand alone’ manner. • Look for resources that can be easily altered. 7. How do I release it? We have produced a guide in collaboration with the STEM subject Centre which will be available soon. There are also guides and toolkits available online from sources such as JISC and UNESCO. 1. Ensure you have permission. a.Obtain permission. b.Remove, replace/reproduce content that you do not have permission for. 2. Ensure what you release is accessible i.e. can be accessed by all. 3. Add the correct licence to the resource along with any context that helps people to use the resource. 4. Ensure the resources is in an ‘open’ format, e.g. provide word versions of pdf’s etc. 5. Create a good description of the resource explaining what it is and how to you it, if applicable. 6. Add good metadata/tags/key words to the resource to ensure it is surfaceable in search engines. 7. Look for materials you can use, use it and re release the derivative work. 8. Where do I release it? • Use external facing institutional repositories/websites. • Use web2.0 and social media sites that have high levels of traffic. • Create or use your own website. • Simply deposit the resources in JorumOPEN. • Use good tagging, metadata and descriptions so that resources appear high up on search engine results. 9. What does OER involve? • Providing resources that would be useful to engineering teachers in FE (HE level) and HE. • Clearing ownership issues and fixing them where appropriate, writing support material to make the open materials useful to others (e.g. instructions, example applications etc.) recording your experiences to provide feedback about the process for the project and for any subsequent projects. • Ensuring resources are re useable by others. 10. Can I get help? The Engineering Subject Centre has released several guidance documents on the OER process, search for the tags ‘engscoerprojdoc’ and ‘engscoer’. These resources were created for project partners during the successful OERP project in 2009/10. Along with these documents the Centre is able to provide some more general advice and support for OER. This support can provide help with IPR, accessibility, dissemination and all other aspects of OER not just for engineering but for any subject discipline.