Earlier this month saw the University of Bath's Learning and Teaching Enhancement Office hold its annual Innovations Day. The event focused on 'Innovations in Learning & Teaching in a Changing World of Higher Education' and offered members of staff opportunities for networking and sharing good practice, a showcase of learning technologies, seminars, workshops and external speakers.
The day's focus on the 'Changing World of Higher Education' provided the perfect forum for introducing Open Educational Resources to a wider cross-section of the university community and for highlighting the OSTRICH project within the institution.
The workshop 'OER: Opening up the World of Learning' gave participants an overview of the international, national and local OER communities. It offered the chance to search for and evaluate OERs, and highlighted the CORRE process and issues of quality in creating OERs. Participants then investigated the creation or conversion of their own open learning materials and concluded the session by reflecting on the benefits and challenges of engaging with OERs.
The workshop and all associated materials to support it have been made available as an Open Educational Resource in the OSTRICH repository at: go.bath.ac.uk/wd4h.
Participants with varying degrees of prior experience of working with OER took part in the session and some lively discussion gave great insight into attitudes and awareness. Colleagues involved in the OeRBITAL OER project shared their experiences with us and we were fortunate to be able to gain a wider international perspective from the active participation in the workshop by members of the Faculty of Science at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai who were visiting colleagues in our University's Department of Biology and Biochemistry.
Once again, echoing themes from previous discussions with contributors to the OSTRICH project, concerns were expressed about Intellectual Property, the resource intensiveness of the process of converting existing materials, and the discoverability of appropriate quality resources. However, all participants were positive about the prospect of finding open materials that might aid their learning and teaching and were interested in sharing their own resources openly with other educators.