Open Educational Resources

June 25, 2009

Those who know me know that I am a huge fan of sharing and collaboration. It was a key part of my role at the Western Colleges Consortium and I have contined to promote sharing of practice and resources.

Back in 2002, MIT launched their OpenCourseWare, and I on this blog reported in December 2007 about Yale’s entry into this field.

Yesterday, JISC officially launched the Open Educational Resources programme.

Open Educational Resources (OER), funded by HEFCE and run by the Academy and JISC, aims to make a wide range of learning resources created by academics freely available, easily discovered and routinely re-used by both educators and learners.

OER could include full courses, course materials, complete modules, notes, videos, assessments, tests, simulations, worked examples, software, and any other tools or materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge. These resources will be released under an intellectual property license that permits open use and adaptation.

As well as providing a wealth of resources which can be used (and much of the material can be used in FE as well as HE courses) it also sends a message to universities and college that it is okay to share and good to share. It should have a positive impact on your reputation and enhance and enrich the learning experience of your learners.

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Sharing

October 23, 2007

On a mailing list I frequent, the question was asked what was hindering or helping the sharing of digital learning resources. 

IPR issues aside…

One issue that I wonder about, is are practitioners (and/or colleges) actually creating a wealth of digital learning resources, or are they generally repurposing (third party) resources which exist already.

Second issue, sharing learning resources is only part of the story, the context in which those resources are used and how they are used is equally if not more important and certainly then makes the resources (or even just the ideas) much more transferable, not just between colleges but also internally between courses.

Third issue, storing and finding resources. A folder or hierarchal structure makes filing simpler, but searching more complex.

Fourth issue, compatibility. Here we could be talking about Office 2007 or 2003, Publisher on a Mac, or other resources which require specific software.

Fifth issue, branding, not just from a college perspective but also from a qualificational perspective. One of the things I didn’t like about the NLN materials, was they were branded by subject and level. But as anyone who teaches the subject knows, Level 2 Business materials can be used with Level 3 Tourism students, but sometimes the branding, or qualificational specific nature of materials can put off or confuse learners.

Sharing is good, it saves time, enables practitioners (and learners) to access a wider range of resources.

Despite the issues, these are not reasons to not share, more issues to be aware of.


Photo Sharing Guide

September 28, 2007

If you have read this blog before you will have noticed that I have embedded my Flickr photostream into the blog (look further down the page). You may have even visited my Flickr account and looked at my photographs.

Flickr

However not everyone knows what an online photo sharing service is and therefore visiting Flickr for the first time may appear daunting.

TASI (Technical Advisory Service for Images) who are funded by the JISC have posted a guide which highlights the advantages and potential issues that using these sites have for educational institutions.

Photo sharing has become increasingly popular in recent years as a means for individuals to publish or distribute their digital images online. As a result, some of the photo sharing sites that host these images have become useful sources of free or low-cost images. Many of these sites also include enough features to be seen as practical tools for managing and organising your own collection of images. This paper looks at the most common features offered by a number of photo sharing sites, highlights the pros and cons of using such sites, and offers some practical tips for both finding images and organising your own images.

Thanks to eNews from the JISC Regional Support Centres in Scotland for the link.