Introduction to OER and OEP workshop
Our first workshop introducing open educational practices to FE in Scotland was held at West College Scotland (Paisley campus) in August, just before the new academic year began. The workshop was targeted to the Health & Social Care department. It introduced OERs to participants and explored the possibilities for open educational practices in a college environment.
At the start we asked the participants to indicate what they already know about OER. As anticipated, most could think of examples of learners and their own use of free resources (Wikipedia! or YouTube) even if they did not register it was an OER. Familiarity with specific OER relevant to their area of teaching was lower, they did not know about them, where to find them, and thus didn’t use them. Nor had they been involved in writing new material in the form of open or online resources. The feeling in the room was they did not know about Creative Commons Licences and what they enable.
Ronald Macintyre gave a general introduction to OER, Creative Commons licencing and the sharing and reuse of resources.
Pete Cannell explained the background of how the Opening Educational Practices in Scotland project came about and what it aims to achieve.
Anna Page demonstrated three sites where OER can be found – OpenLearn (OU free resources), OpenLearn Works (a sister platform to OpenLearn for anyone to use for sharing OER) and Re:Source, an open repository service for the college sector in Scotland.
Derek Goldman showed the free OU course on OpenLearn ‘Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland’ which has recently been updated and could be useful for Health & Social Care departments at Scottish colleges. This included playing some of the video and audio extracts which illustrate real situations in health and social care in Scotland.
Once we had introduced the concept of OER and open educational practice along with some “real” OER sources, we explored with the group how they envisaged OER might support their work. Many of the issues they raised will be familiar to anyone engaged in Open Educational Practice. We can raise awareness but will that increase use, collaboration and engagement in producing and using OER? OER is great but who has the time, and how do we and students realise the benefits? Big questions, and not for us to answer, luckily several participants said they would examine the OER we had highlighted and will come to the OEPS project with more questions and maybe some answers.
Slides from the workshop can also be found in the OEPS Scotland Dropbox folder at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kvs603s0hd3w0b4/AADtpmPMDKrE9JAHLrofjit3a?dl=0
Anna Page and Ronald Macintyre