Developing business models for open, online education

In the latest addition to the OEPS collection of reports and briefings we reflect on the ways that institutions are engaging with open education.   The report considers emerging models under six broad and often interconnected categories:

  • Institutional Profile
  • Public Good
  • Knowledge Exchange
  • Curriculum Development
  • Educational Transitions and Widening Participation
  • Professional Development and Communities of Practice

The report discusses the opportunities and challenges for institutions and concludes that ‘genuinely sustainable business models will depend on combining policy and practice across a range of different areas of application.’

You can download the report here. It will be added to the OEPS Legacy Collection.

Workshop Gamestorming with Sunni Brown on June 6th 2013 in Amsterdam organized by Business Models Inc.

Workshop Gamestorming by Sebastiaan ter Burg licensed as CC BY 2.0

Our collection of open resources and practices

As the OEPS project draws to a close, there is much to celebrate.  We are pleased to share the growing collection of open courses, resources, case studies and open practice guidance which the project has helped produce and showcase the online platform, OpenLearn Create, which the project has helped further develop for hosting open materials and practices and where the OEPS collection is hosted.

In the OEPS collection:

Resources for OEP includes case studies on how other people and institutions have used open educational resources and practices; guidance on ways of finding, using, creating and sharing high quality open educational resources (OER) and how to use open educational practices and research on open education.  These are worth exploring to find something which might be similar to your own experience and give you encouragement to continue investigating the fascinating world of open learning and what it enables for so many people.

The OEPS team have written two courses about open educational practices, Becoming an open educator and Supporting Collective learning in workplace and community settings and have also been involved in co-authoring a course about creating courses – How to make an open online course.

OEPS also worked with the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) to create a short course called My seaweed looks weird for post graduate learners about seaweed aquaculture to explore best practice in seaweed cultivation.

We have produced two short resources introducing secondary school children to using the Open Science Lab tools to enhance their learning of Analysing pesticides or testing for genetic variations using quantitative PCR analysis (polymerase chain reaction).  Early in the OEPS project these were piloted with two schools in Scotland and have been revised slightly as a result of the pilot.

Courses developed with OEPS or inspired by it:

Early in the project The Open University in Scotland produced 3 badged open courses for carers which carry the OEPS badge design – see the OU in Scotland collection for Caring Counts: a self-reflection and planning course for carers, Caring Counts in the Workplace and Reflecting on Transitions.

We are working with Parkinson’s UK on their collection of courses and Dyslexia Scotland and Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit on a collection of courses.  So far Understanding Parkinson’s and Introduction to Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice have been published and each organisation has worked with OEPS to develop more courses which are coming soon.

More recently we’re pleased to see that the OEPS project has encouraged independent course creation – see the free resource for teachers Grow your own loaf created by the Royal Highland Education Trust, inspired by the OEPS project and hosted online as the result of the availability of the free open platform which the OEPS project has helped improve.

Using the OEPS collection

We hope that you will find the OEPS collection useful, not only as a legacy of the project but also as a place to find and share information on open educational practice. The collection can be updated so please contact the OLC team if you would like to contribute to it.

 

 

 

 

Open Science Lab experiments – open resources launched

OSL header collection page 850x398

Two new OpenScience Lab experiments (part of the OpenScience Lab project) are now available as open educational resources (OERs). These experiments give examples to secondary school pupils of the type of experiment that is carried out in university science courses. One experiment focuses on genetic testing to identify individuals with different numbers of functional genes, whilst the other focuses on gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). The experiments can be used by individuals or by teachers in the classroom.

The experiments can be accessed in the OpenScience Lab Collection on OpenLearn Create. They were created by OEPS based on material from the Open University Course S288 Practical Science. The OERs have been piloted with Scottish pupils in two different secondary schools.

Commenting on the launch, Pete Cannell Co-Director of OEPS stated: “Making these experiments open educational resources online demonstrates the usefulness of OERs in making expertise in a particular subject more widely available. They not only enable school students to get a taste of university science but also support teachers in delivering the science curriculum and may help them encourage more students to engage in STEM subjects than might previously have considered them.”

Each course has a short supplementary guide for teachers who may choose to use these in their classrooms.

Call for posters: ‘The promise of open education’ conference

‘The promise of open education’ conference on Monday 11th September, in Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.

Call for posters:

We are interested in poster submissions relating to the following topics:

  • the promise of open education,
  • any aspect of open education in Scotland
  • widening access/participation through open education

For more information and the submission guidance please see the full call for posters.

If you have an idea for poster and you’re not sure it fits the criteria please do send us a short resume to oepscotland@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

 

Book your place via Eventbrite or contact OEPScotland@gmail.com with any queries

 

 

Scottish Charity Awards – what a fabulous night

This article was originally posted on the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network website. It is reposted with permission.

Peter Canell and Claire Hewitt

Pete Cannell (OEPS) and Claire Hewitt (Parkinson’s UK) with Scottish Charity Awards Finalist Certificate. Image: All rights reserved.

We were delighted to be shortlisted as finalists in the Demonstrating Digital category of the Scottish Charity Awards 2017 on 22 June for our free online course Understanding Parkinson’s for health and social care staff from the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network.

Although we were pipped to the post, the judges revealed that they had the largest ever number of applications and competition within the categories was very stiff.

What’s so great about our course?

It ensures all professionals have access to training informed by the experiences of people affected by Parkinson’s.

Endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing, Understanding Parkinson’s for health and social care staff is an online course that helps health and social care professionals understand Parkinson’s better, influencing changes in practice by encouraging reflection.

  • It is free, easy to access and simple to use.
  • As an open educational resource, it can be reused, revised and shared by anyone.
  • It’s sustainable and cost effective, ensuring the best use of charity money.
  • It ensures all professionals have access to training informed by the experiences of people affected by Parkinson’s.

90% of course graduates who took our survey told us they plan to improve their practice and influence change in their organisations. This in turn will improve the lives of the 127,000 people in the UK with Parkinson’s.

We would like to thank everyone who has taken this course and made changes to their practice and that of their organisations as a result.

We’d also like to thank the Opening Educational Practices in Scotland project (Open University, Scotland) and the J Macdonald Menzies Trust for funding the course.

Parkinson’s UK is thrilled that the judges have recognised our trailblazing ‘Understanding Parkinson’s’ course.

Katherine Crawford, Scotland Director at Parkinson’s UK

Katherine Crawford, Scotland Director at Parkinson’s UK, says:

“Parkinson’s UK is thrilled that the judges have recognised our trailblazing ‘Understanding Parkinson’s’ course.

Developed in Scotland, the programme harnesses the power of digital learning to help health and social care professionals provide even better services for people with Parkinson’s in Scotland and throughout the UK.”

Sign up

Have you taken the course yet? You can sign up today.

You may also be interested in our 2 new courses: Parkinson’s: managing palliative and end of life care and Parkinson’s: managing bone health and fracture risk.

Celebrating #YearOfOpen at the OU!

This blog is adapted from the blog originally published by Beck Pitt on the OER hubPhotos by Bea de los Arcos and licensed CC BY 2.0 .

YearOfOpen-at-The-Open-University-UK by Bea de los Arcos

‘A range of people participated either face-to-face, or online, in last week’s OER Hub hosted celebration of all things open at The Open University (UK)! Wednesday 20th June saw colleagues from across the University come together to share their ideas and experiences of openness as part of 2017’s #YearOfOpen international celebrations marking the anniversary of a number of important events in the development of open education. The afternoon kicked off with colleagues from across the university sharing what open means to them and their roles.

Beck Pitt introduces #YearOfOpen at the OU (Bea de los Arcos, CC BY)

Beck Pitt introduces #YearOfOpen at the OU (Bea de los Arcos, CC BY)

Lightening talks showcasing the diverse range of ways open makes a difference included personal reflections in From Theory to Practice: An Open Educational Journey (Tim Seal, TESS-India Technical Director), a look at why we might be more open in our practice in Ethics in Knowing: Rationales for Openness (Rick Holliman, Professor of Engaged Research) to exciting collaborative activity both within the University and beyond in Promoting and Supporting the Openness of Ideas related to Open and Online Learning (Laura Hills, Lecturer, Academic Professional Development) and Open Educational Practice Beyond the OU: Open Platform and Practices (Anna Page, Senior Producer: Open Education Projects). Review the full line-up here. Talks were followed by a productive group discussion on how we can shape open at the OU over the coming months. The event was livestreamed and you can catch up on the recording on YouTube or Periscope.’

Save the date! OEPS final event

Save the date: 11th September OEPS final event at Dynamic Earth

OEPS final event save the date (by Anna Page, CC BY NC SA 4.0)

‘The promise of open education’ conference is the final event of the OEPS project. It will take place on Monday 11th September in Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. Further details about the event will be made available soon, however please save the date in your diaries.

Open badges – new developments

I attended the mini conference ‘Open Badges: what, why and how’ at the University of Dundee on 19th June.  Dundee is working with the Universities of Abertay and Aberdeen, under the aegis of the QAA Scotland Transitions Enhancement Theme, to explore the use of Open Badges.  The focus of the project is on transitions from university to employment and the use of badges to recognise employability skills through extra- and co-curricular activity.  The University of Abertay already has some really interesting experience of using this approach with their LLB students. The conference also included presentations from Grainne Hamilton on her work at Digital Me and Doug Belshaw who looked at the future of Open Badges in a talk titled ‘Open Badges in Higher Education: 2.0 infinity and beyond!’.

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Doug Belshaw speaking at Dundee Conference, image by Pete Cannell, CC0

Still on the theme of transitions the Open University’s suite of Badged Open Courses (BOCS) on OpenLearn.  There are now seventeen available.  The majority are concerned with supporting transitions from informal to formal learning.  However, the latest addition to the collection is ‘Succeeding in postgraduate study’ aimed at supporting the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study. Whilst this free, openly licensed course was written by the OU, it will be of interest to colleagues across Scottish higher education and applicable to any student making the transition to postgraduate study in Scotland. The selection of Badged Open Courses on OpenLearn Create also continues to grow, including the OEPS collection.

Pete Cannell

 

After the Porous University

The Porous University set out to reconceptualise university. Does it need to have boundaries, could those boundaries be porous or even non-existent? What would this look like? Why might this be desirable? Over two day these and many other questions were considered. There are many tweets, Periscopes and other social media from the event on #porousuni sharing emerging ideas.

After the event the discussion and thinking continued across many of the participants’ blogs including:

In addition to the The-Porous-University-Symposium—Provocations, for us some further provocations came to mind:

  • If the promises implicit in OER’s 5Rs are to be realised there needs to be a major shift of focus from technical standards for interoperability to simple practical methods of obtaining content  for use, development of simple tools for remixing and support for sound pedagogical frameworks.
  • Generally speaking HE is failing staff and students by not thinking through the digital literacy skills that are needed in a world or ubiquitous smart devices and openly licensed content.//
  • Open approaches could transform curriculum development but only if there is a rethinking of what kinds of academic labour is valued and what kinds of systems underpin collaboration and sharing.
  • There is a disconnect between the academy and the informal learning sector that requires new models of partnership and engagement.

 

What do you think?

Exploring barriers to participation in open, online learning

The 38th Annual CALRG conference started on 14th June 2017. During the afternoon session OEPS presented ‘Exploring barriers to participation in open, online learning’.  Across the three-years of the project our work with partner organisations has enabled us to develop a deeper understanding of barriers to participation and to consider how the literature on widening participation correlates with that on digital participation, access and literacy.

The presentation shared our learning on these issues including the key barriers to participation identified during our action research:

  • Online platforms that look / feel like a university
  • Vast quantity of information available
  • Perception that online learning means individual learning
  • Past negative experience of online learning
  • Limited digital literacy
  • Distinction formal learning v. everyday self-directed learning

We also explained our participatory design, co-creation process for developing in new open educational resources and presented two case study examples of how we have incorporated these practices and findings into free open courses hosted on OpenLearn Create.  We made suggestions as to why other institutions might find participatory design of open educational resources useful and how the barriers to widening participation in open, online learning might be addressed including through contextualised pedagogy, focusing on learners, using trusted gate keepers / facilitators to engage learners, providing opportunities to share social learning and make connections between existing skills /digital literacy and online learning.

 

The slides for the OEPS presentation can be accessed on Slideshare.

All the presentation slides from the CALRG conference, conference papers and poster presentations are available on the CALRG website.

 

Pic credits:

‘Promise of open education’, by Anna Page, CC BY NC SA 4.0

‘Tackling barriers’, by CALRGatOU