Open Content (OER) Case Studies from Oxford – Beyond Borders 2010

Introduction by Peter Robinson. Speakers include: Marianne, Talbot, Peter McDonald, Emma Smith, Tristram Wyatt and Martin Kemp.

OpenSpires – Opportunities and Challenges: The story of our first year.

“The world of learning need not be a possessive one” – Prof Oliver Taplin, Faculty of Classics, Oxford.

Supported by HEA/JISC, OpenSpires is an Open Educational Resources pilot programme.  The two main aims were to deliver Oxford content freely and to explore and report on the institutional implications (support academic colleagues to make informed choices and share outcomes with the UK HE community).

All UK projects will store outputs in the UK JorumOpen service.

The funders challenge: “we challenged successful projects to achieve sustainable practice in release OERs by the end of your first year of work, enabling you to continue the release of OER on an ongoing basis” – JISC/HEA funders.

OpenSpires (since last May) now has 280 recordings, 160 hours with over 130 academics contributing lectures and items.  All material is surfaced in man places, iTunes, Web, VLE and depts and KorumOpen. Keywords and subject tags can exposed related material.

Oxford on iTunesU was launched in October 2008.  There are now 1630+ items, 260+RSS feed, >3 million downloads. 2 in global Top 10 (~ 5k downloads per week). This is licensed for person use.

Content covers a wide range of topics, including Politics, English, Business, Physics, Engineering, Medical Research and Developing World.

How did Oxford do it?

Capture > Process > Publish > View. The Learning Technologies Group couldn’t do everything so they put in place technological systems to allow academics to develop their own resources.

Marketing: Tell people what you’re up to and what is available.

Legal: Creative commons licenses adopted. Oxford went with Attribution, non-commercial, share-a-like license.

Why at Oxford?

  • Accessibility.
  • Outreach.
  • A use of technology that reflect what is unique about Oxford.
  • High calibre material of global importance.
  • Fits with Oxford’s strategic mission, objectives and values.

Why be open?

Commitment to share – Academics not paid for content so process made as simple as possible to encourage them to create resources.

Syndication – systems in place to allow other people to pick up materials.

One thing that needs to be developed is a pooling of courses that can then be distributed and reused from a central source.  Value will be added as soon as people can find the resources.

Can Oxford maintain this momentum? – a question that can only be answered with time.

Marianne Talbot: Marianne is not a ‘techie’ but she is an early adopter – somebody who tries out new technology early on. The resource that is most popular is “Philosophy for beginners”. Marianne gets a lot of ‘fan mail’ (feedback) which encourages her and can help further development. Some of Marianne’s lectures have reached the number 1 global most popular on iTunesU.

Martin Kemp: Martin’s most recent production is Leonardo’s latest portraits. One reason Martin does it is to dispel myths and incorrect information that is available.  Making content open helps to distribute the ‘correct’ information. OER has also helped Martin to develop his personal profile. Martin even managed to add clause to iTunesU because he was not willing to sign something that meant he lost all rights to his own material.

Tristram Wyatt: Project that came out of ‘Continuing Education’ – Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning worldwide. It was realised that there was a requirement for an online study skills course for students around the world.

South Africa – making relevant resources. The course, which was originally developed in was in Moodle which was then adapted. Resources originally came from America which meant that the material was not relevant and adaptation of these resources was not permitted.  Out of this the new courses were developed which are now released under the share-a-like license to allow for adaptation so that the resources can be made relevant.

Possibly the most exciting thing about OERs is the potential for already high quality material to be reused and developed to make even better resources.

Emma Smith: Podcasts were “just” regular Undergraduate lectures recorded using mp3 recorder herself initially to be shared with students on the course who were not able to attend the original lecture.

One issue for medicine OERs is the issue of patient consent.  Many patients happy to have their case used for MedEd but not made available on the internet.  It is also important to ensure that the material is kept current.

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