Embedding OER Practice Interim Event

[nggallery id=4]

The two day Embedding OER Practice Interim Event was an good opportunity for project teams and students to work with the HEA Change Academy team and individual  project critical friends.  The Agenda for the day is shared here.  Day One included a Rich Picture Group Activity where teams were encouraged to make visual representations of their project timescales and a Liquid Cafe event which gave teams opportunities to comment on each other’s work in progress.

[nggallery id=3]

Day Two included a number of presentations; key points from each are listed below.

OER Specialist presentation (Steve Stapleton)

Steve Stapleton gave a useful account of an institutional approach to adopting OER at the University of Nottingham. The PowerPoint presentation slides are available here Open Nottingham Presentation.  The U-Now collection of OER at the University of Nottingham can be accessed here http://unow.nottingham.ac.uk/

Evaluation and Dissemination (Ranald MacDonald)

Ranald reminded us how getting feedback is a continual process. Project logs are one way of recording feedback as and when it happens. Key questions to bear in mind when designing evaluation and dissemination outputs include:

  • Why are you going to evaluate
  • What are you going to evaluate
  • Who is going to do the evaluation
  • Who determines the evaluation questions
  • With whom will evaluation take place
  • How and what methods will the evaluation use
  • Who is going to use the evaluation
  • What effect will your evaluation have the project and the whole initiative

Useful links

Making Your Initiative Sustainable (Steve Outram)

The HEA Change Academy programme is about changing people and culture. Although we are working on separate projects connected with embedding OER practice, they share similar goals. These include student engagement by empowering student involvement with achieving project team objectives , ensuring project outputs are sustainable and promoting institutional change through adoption of the philosophy and practice of open education.

Opportunities to publicise our projects will ensure people know what we are doing. In particular we need to continually work to ensure senior managers are aware of our projects and engaged with their principles. Examples where OER are already being embedded into practice at Lincoln is their mention within the Draft Teaching and Learning Plan KPIs and the development of BuddyPress as a staff profile tool offering opportunities to promote OER. We are all acting as ambassadors and consultants for OER through promoting the existence of OER collections and the licensing of our own work as OER. It will be useful to look for alignment between the projects and institutional policies and practices. One good fit is Student as Producer which is central to teaching and learning at the Universityof Lincolnand grounded in principles of openness and sharing.  The HEA sees Student as Producer as a distinctive good practice in student engagement and it is also currently being promoted by JISC as an example of open education http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/topics/opentechnologies/openeducation.aspx

When we are all short on time and feeling stretched, it can be useful to think how small steps or nudges (see Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point)  can make a big difference and to consider how to make projects ‘sticky’ or create added value.  All projects have identified generic aspects of the student experience which will benefit from project outputs and this makes each project distinctive. Content branded by the University of Lincoln as OER will be quality assured and accessible. This will be achieved through piloting and evaluating with staff and students and ensuring resources comply with TechDis Accessibility Essentials (all project teams have been given a set of these and they are also available at https://oer.lincoln.ac.uk under Links). The issue of time shortage and feeling stretched was repeated throughout the two days and this needs to be taken seriously. The HEA have asked for all our project plans to be submitted for public dissemination on the HEA website so now is a good time to revisit and revise these plans, taking in to consideration the need for sustainability within the constraints of existing commitments. Each project has a budget of £5000 allocated which may be helpful in this respect.

Next Steps: returning to your institution (Sharon Waller)

Guidelines for the after the Interim event:

  • Refine work packages in particular the dissemination and evaluation elements. Share these with each other (draft versions are now all available on each Team page of the project website at https://oer.lincoln.ac.uk)
  • Organise the next round of visits with critical friends.
  • Work with students to discover how they use online resources for example what are they looking for and what influences their choices.
  • Make use of the range of existing OER in particular: