Open Educational Resources

Supporting the OSTRICH project at the University of Bath

Topic: Events

OER Workshop for Innovations Day

📥  Dissemination, Events, OERs

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.

[slideshare id=8107873&doc=oer-openinguptheworldoflearning-110526034721-phpapp01]

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.

OSTRICH OER Presentation for UKOLN

📥  Dissemination, Events, Repository

We've now hit the stage in the OSTRICH project here at the University of Bath where our understanding of the OER environment is really taking shape. And with more experience of the processes involved under our belts, the issues and challenges of creating or converting OERs for our institutional context are beginning to show as emerging themes.

  • Intellectual property rights and copyright issues
  • What makes a reusable OER: an understanding of audience/end-user and of the use and reuse cycle
  • The sustainability of the OER creation/conversion process

Many of these themes were echoed in discussions at last month's dissemination event for UKOLN.  This talk with an invited audience and live stream online saw myself and Alex Lydiate (Educational Software and Systems Devloper in the e-Learning Team) explaining the context of the OSTRICH OER project, describing the build of the OSTRICH repository and highlighting the emergent themes at this mid-way point in the project.

[slideshare id=7994882&doc=ostrichoerukoln-110517083648-phpapp01]

The audience was a mix of information professionals, research staff and data managers. It made for some interesting discussions that mirrored many of the themes that have been raised both in the Synthesis and Evaluation stage of the pilot JISC programme and in recent conversations at programme level events for Phase Two.

The discoverability of resources was considered of great importance. It was useful to hear an end-user perspective on this in the form of Library Services staff who advise academic staff on locating suitable resources and struggling to find their way through the maze of available OERs.

This was followed by a debate about metadata; the need to get the balance right between adequate metadata to ensure discoverability of resources and the impact that providing this information has on staff time and their willingness to engage with OER.  This naturally led on to a technical discussion around the automation of metadata collection and options for the presentation of metadata to enhance discoverability of OERs.

It was really useful to engage with a wider OER audience in this way and the conversations we had will provide a valuable input into our evaluations of the project and the processes we've been developing recently.