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Lunchtime webinars

By Man Yang, on 10 June 2011

We are going to run three lunchtime webinars during June and July, all on Thursdays from 1.00pm to 2.00pm.

The first webinar will be on 23 June, and is focused on rights and licensing issues in supporting OER in an institution. The second webinar on 7 July is designed for academic developers and those responsible for accreditation schemes. The third webinar on 21 July will target individuals who are interested in seeking HEA accreditation.

Each session will begin with a couple of short presentations from the project team to introduce the topic, and lead to a series of questions and discussion from the participants.

The web link to the sessions will be posted here near the event.

Dissemination plan

By Man Yang, on 3 June 2011

We are now planning our project dissemination over the next two months. The major event is the CPD4HE workshop which will target resource users and focus on research, values and digital literacy. The date of the workshop is now confirmed on 12th July 2011. We have invited David Kernohan from JISC to give a presentation at the event. An outline of the programme will follow soon.

With the support from HEA/JISC, we are also planning three lunchtime webinars targeting three groups of audiences: educational developers and programme providers, academics and individuals taking accreditation, and librarians. Date and title of each webinar will be announced when finalised.

Xerte Online Toolkits – an ideal OER creation tool?

By Man Yang, on 13 May 2011

Having heard of Xerte a number of times since starting on the OER project but never had a chance to look at it, I was delighted to find that there was a workshop Content Creation in an Open World: Xerte Online Toolkits and the Xpert Repository on the first day of the OER11 conference that took place in Manchester this week.

The Xerte Online Toolkits is an Open Source content creation tool developed by the Information Services team at the University of Nottingham with the help of JISC Techdis. It allows non-technical staff to quickly and easily build rich, interactive and engaging resources with high levels of accessibility already built in.

I was very impressed by this powerful suite of browser-based tools. The wide discussions on “Your ideal OER creation tool” recently suggest people like the OER creation tool to be cross-platform/web-based, easy to use, have the ability to search for and use existing OER content built in, and encourage creativity through the ability to mash-up and remix text, images, audio, video etc. Xerte plus Xpert, which is a repository of open educational learning resources, seem to match the requirements here.

We were giving a USB flash drive with the toolkits on and I can’t wait to get this installed and tried on my machine.

OER@UCL@TLN

By Jane Hughes, on 31 March 2011

We enjoyed our internal OER event yesterday –  a joint effort between the CPD4HE and DHOER teams, and part of the UCL Teaching & Learning Network (TLN) programme.

Ulrich Tiedau and I gave a short introduction to OER and the UKOER programme. This was followed by contributions from Simon Mahoney (DHOER) and June Hedges, Man Yang and Rosalind Duhs (CPD4HE).

Between us, we covered individual and institutional motivations for releasing and using OERs, IPR and Risk, the processes involved in developing and releasing OERs and the issues we have encountered in our different roles (teaching, technical development, licensing).

We also formally launched the OER@UCL website.

OER@UCL March 30

By Jane Hughes, on 11 March 2011

OER@UCL Event Confirmed for 30 March, 4.00 pm

Outline Programme

  • Introduction to Open Educational Resources
  • UCL OER projects – 10 minute show and tell for each project
  • Information and time for discussion of issues related to:
    • IPR and licensing
    • Finding and using open educational resources, including demonstration of repositories
    • The process of creating and releasing open resources

New postcard available

By Man Yang, on 11 March 2011

I have slightly redesigned the project postcard to include the url of our released resources, blog url and twitter ID. The postcard, along with other marketing materials, are available to download from the Documentation section on the project web site.

We’ve also post more than 100 postcards to the University of Nottingham to be included in the packs that will be handed out at the  Open Nottingham event. We are hoping that the project postcard will help us to raise more awareness of the CPD4HE project and our released resources.

UKPSF Mapping

By Jane Hughes, on 18 February 2011

I met up with Richard Atfield – OMAC Open for Business project leader – a few days ago.  He was interested in our approach to mapping our resources to the UK Professional Standards Framework. We are extending what we do in our accredited course, which is to map our learning outcomes, assessment tasks and activities against elements of the UKPSF.

One interesting thing that came out of our discussion was that the two projects were using mapping for different purposes. Richard was keen to develop a scheme that would aid discoverability whereas I viewed mapping as a quality and evaluation tool – an aid to making our resources fit for purpose.

I’m broadcasting, but is there anyone out there?

By Holly J Smith, on 16 February 2011

I’m finding it harder than I thought to convert activities I’ve done many times in face to face classes to individual study materials!  Even where I had a really clear task specification, if it is read by someone alone out there it is completely missing any context.

So, Ive been busy writing introductions to each activity,  a sort of preamble of all the things I might say when I ask people to do the task in a face to face class. It is very different to have these written down as I make  spontaneous remarks, putting my pre-written task in the context of that particular class, and the history of discussions we’ve had in it. I guess when I introduce a task in class I’m selling it to that very particular audience, and so I might do it in different ways with different groups. When I speak I’m locating the activity in the ongoing history of our relationship, and trying to link back to what was said or done earlier and forward to what we’ll be doing later in the course. By writing down these spontaneous remarks as introductions I’m addressing an imagined reader with whom I have no history and will have no interaction. I wonder what they will make of them…

Writing more texts

By Rosalind Duhs, on 15 February 2011

There is still a lot of development work to do on assessment and feedback. The power point presentations are not informative enough. I need to write texts to make them more useful and also plan to do audio of those texts. I tried voice-overs but there were technical difficulties when I used the power point software. MP3 recorders work better.

Producing these OER materials is exciting and worthwhile. However, uploading your teaching materials is not enough. You need to provide text, audio or video to fill in those gaps which would normally be dealt with through interaction between learners and teacher and learner.

Feedback from our colleagues on the project has been very useful in helping us to get the level of detail right. I just need to find the time to devote to this.

Rosalind Duhs

iPad friendly OERs

By Man Yang, on 15 February 2011

Saw the news article about iPad Officially Passes the Higher Education Test along with the discussion on iPad in Education in ALT forum recently and felt quite interesting.

OER is about portability and re-usability. As the OER developers, we need think again about the file formats we are using, and how to make our OERs more accessible and adoptable. We are already using HTML and PDF. But EPUB format is missing which is great for iPad. Maybe we should try convert some of our handbooks into eBooks?

With the increasing popularity of iPad,  there is no doubt more people will access the OERs from their iPads. So it’s important that our OERs are iPad friendly!