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Digital Humanities in Practice




Chapter 8: Open access and online teaching materials for digital humanities

Simon Mahony, Ulrich Tiedau and Irish Sirmons

Chapter Overview

We hope that this book may be used to support teaching and learning in the digital humanities and, as a result, felt it was important to include a chapter that is concerned with such matters. In Chapter 8, Simon Mahony, Ulrich Tiedau and Irish Sirmons discuss open access educational resources: a new initiative to make teaching materials available in digital form. They take, as their example, two projects at UCL: one in a traditional humanities subject – Dutch – and one in digital humanities itself. They show that the digital medium not only makes possible sharing and crowdsourcing of material for humanities research and in cultural heritage domains, but that learning objects can now be shared and repurposed by teachers, as well as enriching the experience of learners. Material from our new MA/MSc in digital humanities at UCL will form part of this new initiative.

Case Study: OER and distance education in a lesser taught language community

Simon Mahony, Ulrich Tiedau and Irish Sirmons

Modern Languages: strategically important and vulnerable subjects in higher education

Our first case study is about a lesser taught language subject community – Dutch studies. In the UK and the Anglophone world in general, Dutch is, undoubtedly, a minority subject,1 despite being the language of two neighbouring countries, who also belong to the largest trading partners of Britain. Dutch is also the modern language most closely related to English, making it very easy to learn for native speakers of English.2 Despite all this, student numbers in the UK have been modest and have fallen in recent years. The general decline in interest in modern languages (Worton, 2009) is affecting all language programmes, but this is especially serious for less widely taught languages, such as Dutch.

While modern languages are recognized as ‘strategically important and vulnerable subject areas’ (see: www.hefce.ac.uk/aboutus/sis), provision of Dutch exists only at four UK higher education institutions: University College London (UCL) and the universities of Sheffield, Cambridge and Nottingham. Confronted with diminishing resources, these departments, therefore, decided to co-operate and bundle their resources, and, in 2001, they formed the VirtualDutch consortium, with UCL Dutch acting as the lead institution.3 The main aims of this programme were to create shared electronic resources for teaching and learning and to develop ICT-supported forms of inter-institutional collaboration. Funding was provided from a range of sources: the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML), The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Nederlandse Taalunie (Dutch Language Union – the joint Flemish-Dutch equivalent of the British Council) and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in London, as well as additional internal university funding. By sharing resources and expertise amongst the participating institutions, the initiative has also brought more breadth and depth to the curriculum. Using learning technologies as a main strategy to achieve this was a deliberate choice. VirtualDutch was partly born out of the belief that today’s communication technology can no longer be ignored in an academic curriculum. Students encounter a wide range of learning environments, from classroom contact to multimedia language instruction in a Virtual Learning Environment and web based self-study. They also feel part of a larger Dutch studies community in the UK, especially when they collaborate in joint teaching projects.

A wide range of Open Educational Resources has been developed since the start of the programme in 2001, including self-access reading skills courses, learner’s grammars, online reference works and some 30 multimedia study packs for autonomous learning, covering various aspects of Dutch and Flemish language, literature, history and society. These resources cater for various levels of linguistic competence, ranging from topics such as individual Dutch or Flemish authors, such as Multatuli or Louis Couperus, to the sociolinguistic situation of Brussels and the multicultural society in the Netherlands today.

These resources are openly available on the VirtualDutch teaching and learning portal that was launched in 2007 and is currently in redevelopment. The portal also provides access to external resources, such as the relevant quality-controlled web resources of the Intute Arts and Humanities subject gateway4 and a directory of RSS feeds, audio and video podcasts from Dutch and Belgian newspapers, broadcasting stations and educational institutions. It also includes two bibliographical databases on Dutch literature in English translation and on Studies in English on Dutch history and literature, aimed at native English-speaking learners of Dutch ab initio. There is plenty of evidence of excellence for VirtualDutch. All individual sub-projects have been tested and evaluated. The VirtualDutch programme, as a whole, has been monitored by two external evaluators – one appointed by UCML, the other by the Dutch Language Union. Student response is fully documented and has been overwhelmingly positive (van Rossum, 2004, 163). VirtualDutch was also cited as an innovative collaborative teaching project in the HEFCE Annual Review 2002/03, Realising a Vision of Higher Education (September 2003).5

Thus, VirtualDutch has been developing forms of collaboratively creating OERs since 2001, independently of the larger worldwide Open Educational Resources movement that started at around the same time. As some of the earlier resources of VirtualDutch had become outdated technologically; the idea behind taking part in the UKOER pilot phase was to build on the VirtualDutch experience and re-release a cluster of resources around a specific topic in a case study, drawing on the support and expertise of the JISC and HE Academy communities. As the writer is a historian, and a cluster of VirtualDutch OERs on early modern history (16th/17th century) existed, the choice of topic was an obvious one – an Open Learning Environment for Early Modern Low Countries history. Also, while VirtualDutch is well known and respected within the international Dutch Studies community (Hammond, Hermann and Mahmody, 2009), it was not otherwise very visible. Part of the rationale for taking part in the UKOER programme was also to embed the initiative into the wider OER community and to create resources that would appeal to a wider audience, including prospective students.

Open learning environment

The first major resource release was a timeline of Anglo-Dutch exchanges, from ancient times to the 19th century, based on a manuscript by Jaap Harskamp – former curator of the Dutch and Flemish collections at the British Library – in which, drawing on a huge variety of sources, he had compiled and annotated a comprehensive list of over 800 events relating to Anglo-Dutch relations throughout the centuries. The manuscript that he very generously made available to the project was turned into an interactive multimedia Web 2.0 timeline on Anglo-Dutch relations using MIT’s Web 2.0 Simile technology. The 16th and 17th century, the Dutch revolt and the subsequent Golden Age of the Netherlands, are also, traditionally, the area of Dutch history which attract most interest in the Anglophone world. Consequently, a special focus of the OER was put on relations between the Low Countries and the Anglophone world. The timeline has attracted much attention from the UKOER community, e.g.:

One of the reasons I love the OER Programme is that it turns up stuff like this. The VirtualDutch timeline of Anglo-Dutch relations. It’s built using MITs Simile software and it’s packed full of utterly fascinating detail. Amongst more familiar historical events it includes such gems as the following: […]. Brilliant! Of course this has completely derailed any ‘real’ work I was going to do this afternoon.6

As the scope of the project has been extended, a great number of VirtualDutch resources have been re-worked as OERs, licenced under suitable Creative Commons licences, allowing for re-use and repurposing the material worldwide, under acknowledgement of authorship, and deposited on Jorum, HumBox and Languagebox. These include: Try Dutch! – a Dutch language taster; Amsterdam Represented – a taster in Dutch cultural studies; and a study pack on Dutch poetry. The project also gave some scope for investigation of how best to balance integrity and granularity of resources. We moved away from the idea of producing one single transferable learning package – an integrated Open Learning Environment – because it would go against the principle of making the resources easily reusable and repurposeable. Rather, a series of OERs has been released as individual learning objects and been made available via the project’s website – Jorum, HumBox and cloud channels, such as SlideShare.

Technologically, the project used existing software, mainly Moodle, Educommons, a content management system designed to support OpenCourseWare projects, and MIT’s SIMILE package (Semantic Interoperability of Metadata and Information in unLike Environments), all of which are Open Source, and existing cloud computing services like SlideShare, and Xtimelines – a web service that allows creating and exploring Simile timelines online.7 No new technical developments were planned as part of the project.

A substantial amount of Open Educational Resources in the ‘strategically important and vulnerable’ subject area of Dutch studies have been released, directly benefitting staff and students of Dutch at UCL and the VirtualDutch partner institutions. They are also open for re-use and repurposing worldwide. Apart from Dutch departments, the material will be highly relevant for students of British or European history. Uptake of the OERs created in this community is tracked with the help of web statistics and feedback questionnaires.

Synergy effects existed between OER Dutch and the OER projects of the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS). Being embedded into the VirtualDutch community, resources have been added to the infrastructure built after the project’s lifespan, and outputs were also used in a postgraduate degree programme, Dutch Cultural Studies, by distance learning at UCL and Sheffield.

Case Study: OER and digital humanities (DHOER)

Simon Mahony, Ulrich Tiedau and Irish Sirmons

Figure, Case Study 2, Chapter 8

Digital Humanities Open Educational Resources (DHOER)

DHOER (Digital Humanities Open Educational Resources) is a UKOER Phase II ‘release’ strand project, set up to create and release a comprehensive range of introductory materials on approaches, topics and methods in the digital humanities. These resources are based on modules taught at the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and are released under non-restrictive licencing in several open formats.8 As well as supporting the digital humanities, these resources are intended to benefit many cognate disciplines, including the whole spectrum of the arts and humanities, cultural heritage, information studies, library studies, computer science and engineering. The project has also been involved in awareness-raising of OER, by presenting at workshops, conferences and organizing several UKOER programme- and institution-wide events.

Turning these teaching and learning resources into OERs published on the internet, and making them freely available for anyone, has created an important teaching and learning resource for the emerging and strategically important subject area of digital humanities. These resources draw on the expertise of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and the Department of Information Studies, as well as being informed by the experience of previously creating and releasing OERs and the changes that this process brings about for learning and teaching, gained by the earlier pilot phase project, VirtualDutch (the first case study in this chapter).

The original plan was to create a single large Open Educational Resource, integrating the materials within the Open Source Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Moodle. However, as the UKOER programme progressed, issues of re-usability and repurposability became more prominent and, as with VirtualDutch, the issue of granularity, versus the integrity of OERs, emerged. The focus of the whole programme shifted towards the creation of smaller units of learning objects, and it became necessary to break down the larger resources into meaningful individual learning objects, in a way that they could easily be redistributed and repurposed. Striking the balance between granularity and integrity was one of the challenges encountered in the project. In addition to this problem of granularity, Moodle, while being Open Source and a proven platform for the delivery of OERs,9 lacks full support for exporting resources in SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) and IMS Content Packaging10 format. Licencing information is written into the cover page of the resources where possible and included in the associated metadata, which follows the Dublin Core11 and includes information on level, learning context and original intended audience.

The teaching materials used for DHOER come from existing modules taught within the Department of Information Studies. These had, as is usual in academic departments, been developed, updated and added to over several iterations, by successive module tutors. This is usual practice and, in fact, no different from the OER model, except that now the DHOER resources would be available for use outside of the department, faculty and institution. All tutors contacted were agreeable to having their content included, provided they were acknowledged and the resources released under suitable licencing (see above). Wider discussion did, however, throw up some anxieties. Academic publications are traditionally subject to peer review and rigorous editorial control, prior to publication; facts and citations are checked, typographical and other errors picked up along the way. They are then the result of a long process, starting with authoring and ending with the proofreading, before online or print publication. This does not happen with OERs, which do not have the benefit of ‘many eyes’ and editorial review before release. Consequently, some concerns were raised about work going out under the name of the author with errors uncorrected and the possible repercussions on their credibility. This, however, points to one of the strengths of the OER process that, when licencing for re-use, you are giving permission for the content to be adapted and re-published; errors and omissions can be corrected and re-uploaded by a user with the original author still acknowledged.

One of the modules chosen had many guest speakers, who had all previously made their presentations (suitably adapted by removing any copyrighted material they did not own the rights to) available for the module students, via the institutional intranet. Without exception, all the speakers that were invited agreed to have their material included, after a check to make sure that they did in fact ‘own’ the content and, again, provided they would be credited under an appropriate licence. More than one had already attached a Creative Commons licence before giving access to our students. An interesting comment from one guest speaker was that they were quite happy to have their presentation included, provided that if it was re-edited, they should be acknowledged, but also that it should be made clear who was making those changes and that it was not the original author. Here, perhaps, the anxiety was that errors might be introduced at a later stage and that they would incorrectly be attributed to the original author of the resource.

As well as authorship and acknowledgement, the issue of copyright can be particularly problematic and needs a little comment here on how it relates to DHOER. Being aware of some of the issues from the experience of VirtualDutch and the JISC start-up briefing, the project hosted a Before You Start: OER, IPR and Licensing Workshop to address any potential problems from the outset. The workshop was led by two members of the OER IPR Support Project, specifically to help identify and manage intellectual property rights issues and to advise about the appropriate Creative Commons licences. It appears, from this, that the largest single problem, regarding copyright for OERs (and online teaching in general), occurs when dealing with legacy material with no clear provenance attached. With the exception of the presentations from guest speakers, all the DHOER source materials were created in-house. The text had been authored and edited by the module tutors and included in the project with their agreement. As part of the project workflow, all personal data and details were removed, and the images were checked for possible copyright infringement. Any images where the rights’ ownership could not be confirmed were removed and, where possible, replaced with a free usable one from Wikimedia Commons. All guest speakers were asked to confirm that they held the rights to materials in their presentation and confirm that they agreed to our release plan. Very few images had to be removed; again, this generally occurred because the speakers were unsure of the source.

Individual objects were released in the PDF-format that is usual for OER projects, as, simply opening in a browser, it can be handled by almost every platform and end-user, including those not comfortable with technology. However, as PDF is not open at all and, strictly speaking, contravenes the idea of openness and repurposability inherent in OER, each collection of resources comes bundled by module, with the original source files in Open Document Format to facilitate the reuse, editing and the extending of the original material (see above on sustaining OERs). Instructions, including how to download Open Source office suites, are provided in the information and directions for use that come with each resource.

Similarly, each resource comes with EPUB and DAISYReader formatted versions, all generated from the original Open Documents. The EPUB files can be easily uploaded into various e-reader and portable devices, including Android based ones, Apple iBooks (iPod/iPad), Amazon Kindle, etc., with the added benefit of including page and section navigation. The DAISYReader formatted files allow the visually impaired to listen to the textual content of a resource via Daisy 3 compliant applications, which also allow for voice enabled navigation.

The individual OERs can be used separately, in any order (they do not necessarily follow a fixed sequence), or put together as a complete module. They can be accessed individually, in any of the above formats, or downloaded as a compressed archive (using, for example, the Open Source 7-Zip application, www.7-zip.org), with a link to the Open Source 7-Zip tool, along with instructions for use and extraction of the zipped files, which is also included.

All the resources have been deposited into HumBox and, from there, the metadata and URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) links to the objects are automatically harvested into the ‘national’ OER repository Jorum, as well as being listed in OER directories, such as Xpert and OER Commons. The collections are linked via the HumBox URIs, so that a single version exists, but is accessible in several different ways (again, to aid accessibility and discovery).

Continuing the ground work set down by its predecessor, VirtualDutch, DHOER also continues to promote the idea of Open Educational Resources on a national and institutional level and advocates the introduction of a faculty- or institution-wide policy on OERs, which would complement UCL’s advanced Open Access policy for research outputs.12 In a first step, a new top-level website OER@UCL has been created, in collaboration with the CPD4HE project, at the UCL Centre for Advancement of Learning and Teaching, in a first step at pulling together information from all four OER projects, with UCL involvement.

The MA/MSc programme in digital humanities has just accepted its first cohort of students in the teaching session of 2011/12, where the project outputs are being tested with a user group of these students, tutors and practitioners. It is also hoped that by allowing students to access high-quality teaching and learning resources prior to applying for a degree programme, the project will benefit not only the home institution, in terms of (home and overseas) recruitment and academic reputation, but will also be instrumental in consolidating UCL’s, and, indeed, the UK’s, role as one of the leading research centres of culture in this field. The inherent paradox, here, is, of course, why students should pay fees to attend courses when they can get the basic materials online. However, the university experience is far more than just a collection of assembled teaching materials. There is the wider package of being part of an enlightened and enquiring community, engaging in thought-provoking discussion, the sharing of ideas, being challenged by new ones thrown into the mix by the tutor and, importantly, the accreditation. The evidence of the increased enrolment numbers at the Open University (see above) clearly points to this, without considering the added bonus of the increased social interaction enjoyed on a campus-based programme. In addition, the US government’s funding of OERs is specifically aimed at increasing the number of college graduates.

Apart from digital humanities, information studies and computing departments in the UK and other English-speaking countries, the OERs released by DHOER will be relevant for students of any arts and humanities subject, both in the UK and abroad. In terms of platforms, file formats and standards, this lead us to look at the growing use of mobile, e-Book reader and tablet devices among the intended primary and secondary learner audiences for these resources and to release OERs in various EPUB formats.13 An important issue when considering usability is that designers of teaching materials should be aware that they are producing materials that should be optimized for the lowest reasonably employable technology, rather than the highest, and should not assume that their users will necessarily have access to the same resources that they do. For example, the mobile phone is widely used for mobile education in Southern Africa and, there, considered to be the ‘Southern African computer’ (Foko, 2009, p.2537), as well as in rural India and China.14 In reality, it is not necessary to look that far, as they are many areas of the UK that lack adequate broadband connectivity and infrastructure. Here, also, even those from low socio-economic background, with no access to the internet, still have access to mobile phones: ‘It is not technologies with inherent pedagogical qualities that triumph in distance education but technologies which are generally available to citizens’ (Keegan, 2008 , p.4).

Putting together these resources will support teaching and the development of the teaching curricula more widely than the digital humanities community. On the whole, DHOER, moving beyond its original aims and purposes, has contributed considerably to the advancement of the OER idea and helped to start a movement to bring about the cultural change that the UKOER programme envisages. UCL adopted a very progressive Open Access policy for research outputs back in 2009 (see: www.ucl.ac.uk/media/library/OpenAccess), and this move to Open Access for research outputs has created a dynamic that, over time, can be expected to be extended to Open Educational Resources as the next logical and, hopefully, obvious step.

Figure, Case Study 2, Chapter 8

Digital Humanities Open Educational Resources (DHOER) logo


• Foko, T. (2009). The use of mobile technologies in enhancing learning in South Africa and the challenges of increasing digital divide. In G. Siemens & C. Fulford (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2009 (pp. 2535-2540)

• Keegan, D. (2008), How Successful Is Mobile Learning?, http://www.ericsson.com/ericsson/corpinfo/programs/resource_documents/eclo_ericsson_keegan.pdf

• Rossum, M. van (2004) Resources for a Virtual Department of Dutch: an evaluation of online study packs, Dutch Crossing: journal of low countries studies, 28 (1/2), 163–83

• Worton, M. (2009) Review of Modern Foreign Languages provision in higher education in England, Higher Education Funding Council for England, 41(2009), http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/329251/2/hereview-worton.pdf

Further Reading

• Andrade, A. et al. (2011) Beyond OER: shifting focus to open educational practices OPAL Report 2011, Open Educational Quality Initiative.

• Attwood, R. (2009) Times Higher Education – get it out in the open, Times Higher Education, www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=408300.

• Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) Open Educational Resources (2010) Universities’ Collaboration in eLearning (UCEL), www.ucel.ac.uk/oer10.

• Curtis+Cartwright Consulting (2011) Evaluation of HEFCE’s Programme of Support for Strategically Important and Vulnerable Subjects, .

• DCMI Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1. (2011) Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, http://dublincore.org/documents/dces

• Exploring Open Access in Higher Education, Guardian Higher Education Network, www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2011/oct/25/open-access-higher-education.

• Hammond, Liselotte, Hermann, Christine and Mahmody, Susan (2009) Virtual Dutch: kroniek nederlandse literatuur en cultuur op ‘t web, Internationale Vereniging van Neerlandici, 4 (July), 6–9, www.ivnnl.com/library/2IVN_krant_juli_def_zwaar.pdf.

• HEA/JISC OER Phase 2 (2011), Open Educational Resources Programme – phase two, www.jisc.ac.uk/oer

• HEA/JISC OER Phase 3 Call for Projects (2011) HEA/JISC Grant Funding 10/11 – HEA/JISC Open Educational Resources (OER) phase three programme: embedding and sustaining change – call for projects

• Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (2003) Realising a Vision for Higher Education, www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2003/annrev

• Hermans, Theo (2002) Up and Running: the virtual department of Dutch, ALCS Newsletter, 6 (1), 2–3.

• JISC Phase1 (2010) Open Educational Resources Programme – phase one: JISC, http://cms.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/oer.aspx

• Keegan, Desmond (2008) How Successful Is Mobile Learning?, www.ericsson.com/ericsson/corpinfo/programs/resource_documents/eclo_ericsson_keegan.pdf.

• Kraan, Wilbert (2010) Meshing up a JISC e-Learning Project Timeline, or: it’s linked data on the web, stupid, Wilbert’s Work Blog, http://blogs.cetis.ac.uk/wilbert/2010/03/12/meshing-up-a-jisc-e-learning-project-timeline-or-its-linked-data-on-the-web-stupid.

• McAndrew, Patrick et al. (2009) OpenLearn Research Report 2006–2008, .

• McAndrew, P., Santos, A., Lane, A., Godwin, S., Okada, A., Wilson, T., Connolly, T., Ferreira,
G., Shum, B., Bretts, J. and others (2009) OpenLearn Research Report 2006-2008, http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/getfile.cfm?documentfileid=15729.

• McLoughlin, Catherine (1999) The Implications of the Research Literature on Learning Styles for the Design of Instructional Material, Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 15 (3), 222–41.

• MIT OCW – Dashboard (2009) MITOPENCOURSWARE Dashboard Report: January 2009, http://ocw.mit.edu/about/site-statistics/monthly-reports/MITOCW_DB_2009_01.pdf.

• MIT OCW – History (2011), Our History, MIT OpenCourseWare, http://ocw.mit.edu/about/our-history

• MIT OCW – Site Statistics (2011) Site Statistics, http://ocw.mit.edu/about/site-statistics

• National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (1997) Report of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education, www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/ncihe.

• OCW Consortium About (2011) OCW Consortium – about the OCW consortium, www.ocwconsortium.org/en/aboutus/abouttheocwc

• OKell, E., Ljubojevic, D. and MacMahon, C. (2010) Creating a Generative Learning Object: working in an ill-structured environment and teaching students to think. In Bodard, G. and Mahony, S. (eds), Digital Research in the Study of Classical Antiquity, Ashgate.

• Open Educational Resources Infokit (2010) Open Educational Resources, http://openeducationalresources.pbworks.com.

• Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development: Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (2007) Giving Knowledge for Free : the emergence of epen educational resources, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Publications.

• OTTER Team (2010), CORRE: quality matters in OERS, www2.le.ac.uk/departments/beyond-distance-research-alliance/projects/otter/about-oers/Corre-web.pdf.

• Parsons, David, Willis, Dick and Holland, Jane (2011) Benefits to the Private Sector of Open Access to Higher Education and Scholarly Research: a research report to JISC from HOST policy research, http://open-access.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/OAIG_Benefits_OA_PrivateSector.pdf.

• Rossum, M. van (2004) Resources for a Virtual Department of Dutch: an evaluation of online study packs, Dutch Crossing: journal of low countries studies, 28 (1/2), 163–83.

• Smith and Casserly, The Promise of Open Educational Resources, 10. Support Centre for Open Resources in Education (SCORE) Open Educational Resources (2011) Universities’ Collaboration in eLearning (UCEL), www.ucel.ac.uk/oer11/

• Terras, M. (2010) Disciplinary Focus and Interdisciplinary Vision. In Bodard, G. and Mahony, S. (eds), Digital Research in the Study of Classical Antiquity, Ashgate.

• U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (2011) Notice of Availability of Funds and Solicitation for Grant Applications for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program, .

• UCL Media Relations (2009) UCL to Implement Open Access Policy to All Research, Press Releases, www.ucl.ac.uk/media/library/OpenAccess.

• UCL Embraces Open Access with Institution-Wide Mandate (2011), Times Higher Education, www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=406832.

• University of London International Programmes Centre for Distance Education, http://cdelondon.wordpress.com.

• Worton, Michael (2009) Review of Modern Foreign Languages Provision in Higher Education in England, HEFCE Issues Paper, 41, www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2009/09_41


1. As opposed to large parts of central and Eastern Europe, where Dutch is a major subject in higher education.
2. One could argue that Frisian, spoken in the Dutch province of Friesland, would be even closer to English than Dutch.
3. Initially called Virtual Department of Dutch. From 2001–2004, the University of Hull also took part; Nottingham joined the initiative in 2007.
4. Although Intute closed in July 2011, the resource is still accessible, www.intute.ac.uk.
5. See, for example, HEFCE Annual Review (2002/2003) Realising a Vision of Higher Education, www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2003/annrev/default.htm.
6. Lorna Campbell (JISC CETIS) on her blog on 26 February 2010.
7. Xtimelines: a website that allow you to create and explore timelines, www.xtimeline.com.
8. The DHOER resources are all released under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported licence (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
9. Not least, the Open University’s OpenLearn materials, which are presented via a heavily customized version of Moodle: http://openlearn.open.ac.uk.
10. An international standard for metadata to describe education-related resources.
11. The Dublin Core refers to a set of terms or elements defined by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative and used to describe resources, in order to categorize them in various ways and, particularly, to aid their discovery, http://dublincore.org.
12. UCL, in June 2009, adopted a far-reaching and progressive Open Access policy, mandating the deposit of all research outputs into its institutional OA repository, Discovery. It did so as one of the first and most prestigious universities in the UK and, according to the Times Higher, only the 35th university in the world: UCL Embraces Open Access with Institution-Wide Mandate, www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=406832.
13. With the announcement of its iBooks2/Author platform for the iPad, Apple, in January 2012, is likely to also become a major player in the open educational scene, www.apple.com/pr/library/2012/01/19Apple-Reinvents-Textbooks-with-iBooks-2-for-iPad.html.
14. For more discussion on the use of mobile learning, see the University of London Centre for Distance Education, http://cdelondon.wordpress.com.