With the OSTRICH Open Educational Resources (OER) project coming to a close, the lessons learnt so far from the project will offer valuable guidance for any future OER practice at the institution.
To gain a better understanding of the experience of those involved in the project, participants who prepared materials for release were asked questions about working with OERs. A summary of feedback and lessons learnt from the OSTRICH project was then developed from the views expressed by participants and from themes and issues arising in conversations with other project stakeholders that took place during the life of the project.
Key points have been highlighted by the OSTRICH project that could guide ongoing OER work at the University of Bath in the future:
- There is interest in releasing a variety of learning materials as OERs; these range from ‘big’ OERs such as entire unit level resources, to a more granular approach of ‘little’ OERs that are made up of smaller reusable chunks of material.
- Different motivations for engaging with the creation of OERs can be found; from personal beliefs about the openness of education and a culture of sharing, to opportunities for offering ‘taster’ or marketing materials for prospective students.
- Creation or conversion of materials for OER can potentially be time-consuming and resource heavy. Building open practices into existing processes and making the most of planned changes and reviews could make the process more sustainable. The Design for Openness process (based initially on the CORRE model from the OTTER project) was developed by the institution to demonstrate a possible integration of OER into learning design.
- Concerns about copyright and other intellectual property (IP) rights need to be addressed with adequate support and guidance. In light of this, the project has created a variety of support resources in this area and has developed solutions to IP issues specific to OER at the University of Bath.
The OSTRICH project has left the institution well-placed for future OER developments. The OERs made available in the OSTRICH repository will offer examples of good practice for future contributors. With expressions of interest in releasing learning materials as OER continuing to be directed to the e-Learning Team, the support resources and processes developed during OSTRICH should prove to be valuable reference points for both the team and for individual content developers.
Engaging with OERs
o Why have you decided to release content as OER?
The process for creating and releasing OERs
o Did you convert existing content, create new content or release both?
o What did you find easy/straightforward about creating or converting your OER resources?
o What challenges did you encounter?
Perceived impact of OSTRICH project
o How has engaging with the OSTRICH project impacted on your OER practice?
o Has there been a wider impact beyond the scope of the OER project?
o Now you have released OERs, how do you envisage they will be used and by who?
Sustainability of OER production
o Do you believe there are particular barriers or enablers to engaging with OER?
o For further engagement with OERs, what support will be required?
o Where do you see OERs fitting in with your learning and teaching practices in the future?
o OER team
o e-Learning developers
o e-Learning team and Learning and Teaching Enhancement Office
o Academics and content creators
o Senior management
o Institutional Services (Legal, Library, Web)