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University College Falmouth 
   OER and institutional change:
   Our Approach, and the way forward
Our OER story so far

• Phase 1 project – MA Professional Writing, launched 
  March 2010


• Submitted proposal for Phase 2, Performance 
43 Full members
Taster sessions
Taster sessions
Why ?
• One manageable subject – tasters and one 
  20 M‐credit unit
• Marketing, profile, upskilling, attracting new 
  kinds of learners, research
• Small, flexible and autonomous – change more 
  manageable
• Geography and creative ethos make us 
  progressive
• Commitment to new modes of learning for new 
  types of students
Lessons learned institutionally
• Cultural as much as organisational shift –
  knowledge gaps
• Ideal team  (Project Manager, IT Partners, The 
  Enforcer, subject specialists) 
• Sustainability
• Site needs to be monitored post‐launch ‐ organic 
• We are on our own – no subject precedents – chance 
  to be pedagogically creative 
Lessons learned: IPR
• The approach we took: Non‐commercial, Share Alike, No 
  Derivatives
   – Tutors are respected & active practitioners in their fields
   – Protecting their intellectual property = protecting their non‐academic 
     livelihood 
   – Supports tutors’ ability to negotiate favourable terms for future 
     contracts
• Was it the right one?
• Will it be right for future project?
• Huge knowledge gap in this area
Lessons learned: users like it
User sent a message using the contact form at http://openspace.falmouth.ac.uk/contact.
Hello Openspace,
Many congratulations on this wonderful online initiative, it is a truly brilliant idea. I spend much 
of my time at work doing my organisation's "public" writing ‐ brochures, factsheets, website, 
Annual Report ‐ but am looking to improve my skills and these taster courses seem an ideal 
opportunity for me to "test the water" of one of your postgraduate courses.
I have just registered and was browsing around the site when I noticed that   no‐one has yet 
posted any work for the first of the units (non‐fiction). I was wondering if the project is up and 
running, and if so, if there are a lot of people like me out there seeing no postings and feeling 
reluctant to take the plunge and pop something on themselves! I imagine one would need at 
least a few fellow learners to make sharing opinions and experiences worthwhile, and/or might 
the tutor be able/willing to provide feedback?


With many thanks indeed!
Other lessons learnt
•   Content creators – training needed
•   Finding the right open source software to deliver what we need, with no 
    ongoing cost
•   Hosting and bandwidth
•   Dealing with creative subjects – no straight right and wrong – no 
    precedents – generally lo tech approach –steep learning curve
•   Tight project management – milestones and deadlines
Creating a process
•   Process of adapting campus‐delivered course units into online formats. 
•   Identity pre‐existing unit and guidance materials. 
•   Ask the question “what will encourage active OE learning?”
•   Agree OERs’ file formats and train Performance tutors in how to create 
    them.
•   Identify open source and/or free software or browser‐based apps
•   Write the lessons, assignments and supporting information (How this unit 
    works, etc).  
•   Upload to platform and edit.
•   Outline the peer review and quality control processes (alpha & beta testing)
•   Evaluation by stakeholders
Internal Impact
•   New skills and roles for academics
•   Expertise developed for one projects is transferable to other disciplines ‐
    flexible and scalable digital learning materials: portable products
•   Transferring course dynamics into OE format (community and 
    interactivity)
•   Greater understanding of learner – and potential learner – behaviour
•   Above leads to understanding of cost effective delivery
•   Phase 2 – OER development established as part of core job
•   OER materials can become part of core delivery – institutional motivation 
    for doing more
External Impact
•   Raised profile of UCF – as innovator/cost effective
•   Have a product that is flexible and scalable
•   Community learning model ‐ Research potential – do we need tutors for 
    day to day delivery at all?
•   New relationships – Loughborough, JISC, subject centres, leaders in the 
    field, other OER developers
Where Next?
• Hopefully Phase 2
• Adapt to new platforms – mobile app
• Marketing, distribution and dissemination – shout alot
• Develop sustainable IPR policy
• Evaluation and research – users, cost‐benefit of learning approach, new 
  types of learners, ROI
• Permanent academic‐led, in‐house development team – in tune with 
  institutional imperatives and strategy
Contacts
Alex di Savoia, Lecturer
alex.disavoia@falmouth.ac.uk


Christina Bunce, Programme Leader, MA 
  ProfessionalWriting
christina.bunce@falmouth.ac.uk

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Alexdi Savoia