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The last Embedding OER Practice event took place on September 10 at the Bentley Hotel, South Hykeham. Teams were invited to reflect on their experiences and identify directions for embedding outcomes both within subject areas and across Schools and Faculties. Reflection included lessons learned, both as individuals and at an institutional level, and highlighting barriers to the adoption of OER with suggestions for overcoming them. The predominant theme was double edged. On the one hand there were advantages gained from allocated time to work with digital environments but on the other, this process uncovered a lack of institutional resource for supporting the digital enhancement of teaching practice. Professionally produced materials require professional skills and expertise and the project highlights the demand for such a resource to be made centrally available. Lack of confidence with the look and functionality of materials is a barrier to releasing them under a Creative Commons licence and if the university is serious about taking advantage of the affordances of OER then content creation is an area to be examined more closely.
As project coordinator, one of the highlights has been the bottom-up approach to change. This has demonstrated how staff already engaged with the philosophy and practice of OER are in the best position for sharing that experience will colleagues and students across the university. The student engagement on each project team was another successful initiative; creating valuable opportunities for exchanging knowledge and practice.
The last stage of the project is developing a strategic approach to digital enhancement of teaching and learning using the experience of Sharing OER Practice, and identifying pathways for ensuring the sustainability of project outcomes. Over the next few weeks, teams will be producing individual case studies which will feed into the final report and recommendations. This website will be redesigned to become the central resource for OER at Lincoln and supporting OER materials will be developed and made available in both print and digital copy for all staff involved with teaching and learning. As the funded part of Embedding OER Practice comes to an end so the focus of attention will move to ensuring ‘Sharing Practice’, open approaches to teaching and learning, becomes the platform for the design and delivery of educational content across the university.