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Open Learning, Social Learning - exploring the collective use of OER

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Presentation to UALL conference 2016

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Open Learning, Social Learning - exploring the collective use of OER

  1. 1. Opening Educational Practices in Scotland Open Learning, Social Learning – exploring the collective use of Open Educational Resources UALL Conference, March 2016
  2. 2. About the partners Opening Educational Practices in Scotland is a three year cross-sector project (ends 31 July 2017) led by the Open University in Scotland. www.oepscotland.org Scottish Union Learning is the learning arm of the Scottish Trades Union Congress
  3. 3. OEPS has been working with SUL to: •Develop and Understand the use of free online openly licensed courses in the workplace • Co-Design materials, resources and practices to enable the use of them •Support and evaluate those use practices A shared interest in use of Open Educational Resources
  4. 4. Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) have been a feature of many unionised workplaces since 1998 in England and 2000 in Scotland (Alexandrou, 2010; Findlay et al, 2006). ULRs:  Union members who receive training for their role; have a statutory function to survey learners’ needs; Arrange training and support and; liaise with the employer about learning in their workplace. ULRs at an OEPS workshop 2015
  5. 5. Open Educational Resources (OER) Free educational materials (and mainly courses) that are licensed to allow the 5Rs reuse, revise, remix, redistribute and retain Promise of widening participation
  6. 6. Challenges OEPS is tasked to develop the use of OER and OEP in Scotland with a particular focus on WP and transitions SUL are concerned with developing sustainable models of collective engagement in the workplace and providing a framework that supports progression OEPS and SUL draw on experience of working in partnership and small scale examples of effective practice
  7. 7. What we’ve been doing Workshops at Learning Conferences to get ULR perspectives Workshops at Local Learning Forums aimed at co-designing a framework for ULRs to become Open Learning Champions Supporting the development of Open Pathways material ( www.open.ac.uk/scotland/openpathways Developing a union learning community on the OEPS hub Supporting and evaluating pilots
  8. 8. What we’ve learnt – the ULR role ULRs see themselves as organisers, negotiators, advisors, motivators, supporters of learning. Facilitators? Interest in OER – often studied as individuals – lack of confidence about using in workplace setting The established collective model is tutor based – limited (decreasing) options for growth because of financial (and other) constraints Enthusiasm for doing more – but confidence an issue, and there is a lack of alternative models
  9. 9. What we’ve learnt – barriers Second digital divide – participation? Feedback from ULRs suggests barriers to participation understood by WP practitioners (situational, attitudinal, cultural) interact and intersect with digital factors OER sites are enticing and bewildering – too much choice – not enough information about level etc For the audience they are trying to support ‘looks too much like a university’ Preconceptions about online – implies isolated, individualised (tick box HR courses) There are circumstances where the flexibility of OER is valuable but often the structure and fixed duration of a MOOC is an advantage
  10. 10. What we’ve learnt – changing practice We shared what we have learnt from previous projects in workplace settings – ULRs shared the experience and perspectives Good practice (ULR role): •Allows for peer support and interaction •Considers transitions in and out of an episode of study •Provides simple structure and stepping stones Book group analogy Good practice (University): •Provide support for selection and curation •Provide suggestions for models •Build the understanding that courses may be studied by both individuals and groups into course design
  11. 11. What we’ve learnt - about the University role •Shifting boundaries of responsibility •Sharing knowledge of pedagogy •Reconceptualising learning design and support so that it allows for recognition of social and collective learning •Reaching beyond partnerships into networks
  12. 12. Community hub for ULRs OEPS has developed a community site for Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) in Scotland. The site includes information on new study opportunities, courses that are particularly suitable for workplace learning and case studies of effective ways of organising learning in the workplace. www.oeps.ac.uk
  13. 13. Supporting each other – a slide we’ve used with union learners All these courses can be accessed via a computer, a tablet or a smart phone. But just because they are online it doesn’t mean learners need to be isolated. There are great advantages in forming a study group with others in the workplace. This can be as simple as meeting up on a regular basis to share experience, swap ideas and explore what you’ve been learning. Pixabay.com
  14. 14. Contact Us: Email: OEPScotland@open.ac.uk Social media: @OEPScotland Blog and project progress: www.oepscotland.org Community hub for Open Educational Practice: www.oeps.ac.uk

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