Opal case study 05 open spires oxford university uk
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Case Study Title:
OpenSpires – Oxford University
Case Study Country:
Type of organisation described by the case study, address of organisation,
hyperlink to organisation, hyperlink to case study source:
Case Study Contributed by:
Andreia Inamorato dos Santos
1. Mandatory - A brief summary of the institution to be used as a case study.
About 500 words please on a description of the institution, its OER history
OpenSpires is the Oxford University OER initiative sponsored by JISC and
HEFCE, from May 2009 to April 2010. The aim of the initiative is twofold: 1) to
provide the University's audio and video resources available online for free to
a wide audience and 2) to enable the institution to investigate the impact and
implications of making its resources available as OER.
Like most UK institutions, Oxford also licenses their content under the
Creative Commons License, BY-NC-SA. Some recordings are offered with a
non-derivative license BY-NC-ND.
Most of the content at OpenSpires is in the form of audio podcasts. This is
because the University decided to build upon their ITunesU initiative. There
are over 100 podcasts available at the moment. They can be found at http://
2. Quality – OER/OEP
How does the institution approach quality in OER? Is there any current
indication of a quality concept or process? Does the institution perceive
quality from the perspective of the quality of open educational resources or
the quality of open educational practice? How does the institution show
quality through OEP versus quality of OEP? What methods, concepts and
practices are used to enhance the quality of OEP?
The university seems to be building upon its lecture traditions.
How can OER/OEP innovate educational practices? What current innovative
practices are there in the institution? Please do not regard innovation from
just a technology perspective!
To build on their existing ITunesU initiative, materials are based on audio
podcasts. The podcasts are available at http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk.
What are the current OER/OEP policy arrangements at institutional and
national level across Europe/the World?
In the case of Nottingham University it falls into the OER UK national initiative
funded by JISC.
What actors are involved in OER/OEP? Is there any evidence to show that
OER actors do not always promote OEP but “only” access to OER?
• University decision makers
At the moment the initiative is promoting access, aiming take up and reuse.
What OER/OEP initiatives can be evidenced? Is there any evidence to show
that OER initiatives do not always promote OEP but “only” access to OER?
See above, number 5.
7. Open Educational Practices
Can you identify some case studies/ descriptions which form the illustrative
base for a more general model of OEP?
Transforming traditional ways of teaching (lecturing) into multimedia
8. Tools and Repositories
What tools and repositories are being used to deliver OER/OEP? For example
Their own repository, which is not IMS common cartridge compliant.
Can you identify any strategies for organisations to use OER/OEP? Can you
identify any business models that promote OER/OEP?
They seem to focus the informal learner.
10. Current barriers and enablers
What are the barriers to the use of OER/OEP? Is there any evidence to how
these barriers have been overcome? What are the enablers to the use of OER/
Although their aim is to make available video and audio resources, they seem
to have concentrated on offering audio podcasts as OER. However, the
reasons are not explored in their public website.