Bernard Mandeville – Dutch political economist. Fondness for change – ideas about imitation and prosperity, industrial revolution. Inventive processes.
V Rolfe - open education and innovation
Open education projects
– through the lens of
Dr Vivien Rolfe
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK
For OpenEd 2015 Conference, Vancouver 19-21 November 2015
• Review the impact of 5 OER projects through
the blurry lens of innovation 3-7 years post
• Conducted 8 staff interviews in March 2015.
• Identified themes relating to innovation -
defined as novel or unexpected outcomes.
• The aim was to share our findings and our
Rolfe OER15 Conference, Cardiff 2015. Rolfe paper submitted.
OER projects at De Montfort University, UK
2009 Virtual Analytical Laboratory (VAL) – static HTML
2010 Sickle Cell Open (SCOOTER) – WordPress blog / SEO
2010 TIGER (Leicester, Northampton) – DMU repository
2012 Biology Courses Midwifery – DMU repository
2012 Biology Courses Forensics, Biomedical – WordPress / SEO
OER in multiple formats = accessible = discoverable
Rolfe & Griffin 2011 Guide to SEO
• Reliance on champion (3 mentions)…
– “Part of the problem was you scedaddled – the
champion – I’m not blaming you, but the champion
effectively had gone and there was no way other
teaching fellows or NTFs were able to own it”
• But others had followed…
– “It has changed my practice in terms of whenever I’m
doing anything I think how could this be an OER or
how could it supplement what I’m doing”
New local partnerships
• Local partnerships….
– “So we did that by working closely with a college,
Leicester College and getting their theatrical
makeup students to make the injuries for our
– “I rang up the police and they actually came back
to us and come out and told us the calculations
that we need to make mock skid marks”
• OERs translated into Nigerian dialects…
– “The particular university had already got their
project on sickle cell in schools which was a bit
more about giving information to teachers, and
had gone for the spirit of OER, adapted it, …”
• OER translated into Portuguese…
– “It was a full blown socio linguistic evaluation
looking at the tone of the author…they’ve gone
through several stages from a literal translation to
a cultural adaptation”.
New global partnerships
Creative and digital learners (7 mentions)…
– “I think that they are used and there is great potential to do more and
students like being digital learners and media learners”
– “The students themselves are filming each other doing simple tests”….
“And those local to us here are happy to come in during the holidays to
In a constraining IT infrastructure (9 mentions)
– “The main problem is getting dedicated time to produce proper videos
with proper editing that is good enough to go out”.
– “The team has a range of other pressures on them –we need a lecture
capture solution, we need a multimedia solution, a eAssessment
solution, and the idea of open is kind of secondary. (Not as shiny). It’s a
set of kind of cultural approaches, it is a mind set, it is not a shiny
– “We are effectively saying to say to staff we are going to narrow down
your pedagogic choices based on our technology you have to use these
two tools unless you go through the whole palaver of opting out”.
When OER goes bad
• Difficulty of cultural translations for a health
policy document in UK vs US….non-compliance
with CC license but referenced.
– “They appointed someone from their team to work on it and I
hoped it would be an adaptation in the full spirit of OERs and
what it ended up as a document that really was entirely
different but did link to the original OERs so there was some
• UK vs Ghana….non-compliance with CC license
and not referenced.
– “They didn’t seem to want to recognise the spirit of OER.
Whether it was at an early stage they hadn’t understood the
principles although we spent long and long emails spelling it
– “They wanted complete copyright control…not to share”.
When OER goes bad
• The technological approaches (WordPress Blogs, Social
Media, SEO) provide a low-cost sustainable means of
curating and distributing OER globally.
• ‘Bottom-up’ ‘champion’ approach works if people follow,
but is vulnerable to change.
• OER ignites new partnerships – gives a reason to go and
talk about education but a small fraction is vulnerable to
abuse – not entering into the spirit of OER.
• Students and staff are the digital drivers of innovation but
are at odds with institutional infrastructure/policy.
• Lots more.
OER Research Hub Impact Hypothesis 12?
Impact via new partnerships? 6
• We need more evaluation and sharing of our
experiences – good and bad.
• OER license terms can be misused and
• In negotiating, how can we ensure clarity of
license terms with ‘high stakes’ OER?
1 Godin, B. (2008). Innovation: the History of a Category. Project on the
Intellectual History of Innovation Working Paper. (From The Fable of the Bees,
2 Nisbet, R. I., & Collins, J. M. (1978). Barriers and resistance to innovation.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 3(1), 1. (Referring to Trump).
3 Bower, J. L., & Christensen, C. M. (1995). Disruptive technologies: catching
the wave (pp. 506-20). Harvard Business Review Video.
4 Johannessen, J. A., Olsen, B., & Olaisen, J. (1999). Aspects of innovation
theory based on knowledge-management. International journal of
information management, 19(2), 121-139.
5 Von Hippel, E. A. (2005). Democratizing innovation.
6 OERMAP.ORG. Impact hypotheses. http://oermap.org/hypothesis-list/
7 Rolfe V and Griffin SJ (2011). A Guide to SEO
8 Rolfe OER15
9 Rolfe Sustainability and vulnerability of OER. In press. Preprint here.
Thanks De Montfort
Thanks to funders
And for this conference
@UWECC BY SA Jacob Escott, Biology Courses