Share your views on Open Education with a #BeOpen selfie

Join the online conversation with your thoughts on open education using hashtag #BeOpen. Experienced practitioners, policy makers and those who are new to using or creating open educational resources are all encouraged to get involved and share questions, knowledge, challenges and ideas. We welcome contributions from those in all sectors from education, charities and private business as open education is accessible and beneficial to all.

 

 

Simply download a #BeOpen selfie board, tweet your thoughts on open education, and tag @OEPScotland in your #BeOpen photo.

How I became involved in Open Education, or how I was doing it all along and didn’t know……

Guest blog by Marion Kelt , librarian at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Like most things in Marion world, my involvement in Open Education kind of grew on me like a fungus! It turned out that I had been developing, building and sharing resources for years, without realising that this was Open Education in practice!

It all started when I was working as a Subject Librarian and I was fairly new to the wonderful world of web page building. I found myself all alone one Summer with 500 nurses to train in CINAHL searching! I didn’t have time to get a video together, and resources like Camtasia were not commonly available. For ages we had been using the usual worksheets with screenshots for small scale practical training. This was fine but I needed something to take care of the (I nearly said Dothraki hordes) larger groups of students.

So, I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could somehow use the worksheets as the basis for an online training session. I started to play around on my PC, and before I knew it, I had a split screen tutorial using frames. It was pretty primitive compared with what we can produce now, but I was very proud of it! Funnily enough, at the same time, the inHale project came up with the “guide at the side” set of tutorials! I found myself at eLit presenting my system at the same time as them! Small world…..

Anyway, roll forward a few years and we were still using what we now called the 24-7 database tutor as a backup for our practical sessions. We found that our students preferred the human touch, but were happy to have the online resource as a fall back option.

I started becoming aware of the world of OERs, which were then called RLOs (Reusable learning objects). However, even though I had built one, I somehow didn’t make the connection. I somehow thought that RLOs had to be on a larger scale and part of a formal project, it took me a while to understand that our wee online tutor was actually one of these mysterious objects! In the words of the immortal Homer Simpson, D’oh!

So, I was happily playing away with my tutorials, updating them and adapting them for use with a few different databases, when we got a new Librarian. Debbi Boden brought with her a resource called SMILE. This was an information literacy and communication skills training course. Guess who got the project to adapt it for use at GCU! I used a variety of OERs to add to the content and folded in our group of database tutorials.

As part of that project, I fell in with the copILot group, which aimed to promote the use of OERs in information Literacy training. This was a lot of fun and we ran several training courses round the UK – one of our key aims was to take training out from London, so we held events in Cardiff, Guildford and Glasgow. This group ended up being subsumed into the larger Information Literacy Group of CILIP.

I was still updating and adding to SMILE when we decided to share it, the Dreamweaver files are available on edShare at http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/id/document/6056 but we have since updated it and made it mobile friendly, you can see it as part of our main library web site at http://www.gcu.ac.uk/library/smile/

SMILE had a “big brother” package known as PILOT which was aimed at postgraduates and post-doctoral researchers, so I got another project to update these files and tailor them to GCU use. We originally made this available as Dreamweaver files (available at http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/id/document/6059) or you can view the newest, mobile friendly version on our website at http://www.gcu.ac.uk/library/pilot/

Along with the development work on these OERs, I got interested in how institutions were going about sharing and licensing them. When I talked to our staff, they said that they were not sure where they stood with regard to official policy, as this seemed to vary by school or department. It became clear that we needed an institutional policy. The need for this was underscored by our edShare@GCU project. This aimed to implement a new multimedia educational resource repository to take over from the hardware and software developed as part of the Spoken Word Project. This involved scoping requirements and an audit of the files already developed and used at GCU. The policy and multimedia repository were developed in tandem, and we now have the GCU institutional OER policy (free to download and repurpose from http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/id/document/11345 ) and a fully functional edShare system https://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/ which is in turn indexed by Google.

We were so proud of this project, that we attended meetings and talked about it quite a bit! Toby Hanning and I have appeared in some OEPS case studies and have presented at a variety of conferences. However, there has been no time to sit back and relax! Now the real work of training and advocacy has begun in earnest. We have added impetus due to our various remote campuses and the need to develop and deliver high quality multimedia teaching resources.

Along with providing our users with the means to store and share resources, we also need to back this up with clear advice on copyright (not everyone’s favourite topic!) and Creative Commons licensing. This got us thinking further about a way to provide online copyright guidance. We got together a working group and have produced a prototype version of the GCU copyright advisor. You can try it out yourself here http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/2707/2/index.html This is not a finished version, as we still have snagging to do, but we have had to put it on the back burner while we implemented a new library system over the Summer!

We have also shared our “working out” with flowcharts and scripts available here http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2706 . Not content with that we created a short movie about the project which you can view at https://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/cgi/embed_player?docid=20349

So, it turns out that OERs are a bit of an octopus thing, tentacles spread everywhere, and once you start seeing connections and possibilities, you can get quite carried away with it all! That is what has happened to me, I have evolved from a Subject Librarian to my new (ish) post as Open Access and Research Librarian. I am now officially tasked with promoting OERs across GCU (and beyond!)

I have many presentations and articles on our OER projects at GCU. Listing them out here may not make thrilling reading, but you can find them all listed under my name on edShare. Enjoy!

 

This guest post from Marian Kelt is published as one of many celebrating Open Education in the run up to the OEPS final event, The Promise of Open Education at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on Monday 11th September. Sign up for the event or join the conversation before, during and after the event with the hashtag#BeOpen’.

 

Pic attribution: ‘Brigham Young University faculty survey seeks to advance open education through academic libraries‘ by OpenSource.Com, CC BY SA 2.0

#101 Open stories – Sheila’s story

Guest blog by Sheila MacNeill, Senior Lecturer (Digital Learning), Glasgow Caledonian University. Originally published on 29th March on her blog HowSheilaseesIT.

‘I’ve been thinking about my OER story or stories. Where to begin? I wish I had the time and the ability to weave a tale worthy of Scheherazade. One full of poetry, wishes, fantastic voyages and the odd djinn.  One that would keep Vice Chancellors awake till just after the midnight hour (aka TEF/REF/NSS results publications).  One that would entice them to fully embrace open education. However,  if I want to get something done this week  all I can do is share my experiences and some reflections my open journey so far.

My involvement in the open education world has been quite long and varied.  It started during my time at Cetis. We were supporting open standards and open source, had been part of the whole learning object thang,  so OERs and wider open educational practice were a natural addition to our remit. I was involved in our first OER briefing paper, was one of the first OLNet fellows back in 2009 when I went to Mexico to the OCWC conference to find out more about that community.  I probably should do a time line of open stuff I’ve been involved in . . .

I think my open story is very much an evolving, personal one.  Open practice has become an increasingly important part of my working life. I’ve never been “hard core” open, in the sense that it’s never taken up 100% of my time. Even back when I worked with Cetis I wasn’t involved directly in the support of the Jisc/HE OER programmes, I was of course influenced by them and did try to filter the open element to other Jisc programmes I was involved in at the time.

Sharing has always been at the heart of my professional practice. When we were made to blog at Cetis it actually opened a whole new level of professional interaction and personal reflection for me.  At the time I didn’t really consider this as open practice, but now I really do.  Openly sharing and reflecting has connected me to so many colleagues across the globe.  That has been equally rewarding and enriching. It has lead to conversations and sharing of practice and ideas.  This open story of mine probably hasn’t  changed that much in the last two years.

I think that my experiences of open learning has been, to use a phrase I don’t really like, “game changing” for me. Back in 2011/12 in the heady days of MOOCs I probably signed up for a few too many of them but I really wanted to understand this aspect of open from a learners point of view. I still am a recovering Mooc-aholic. I still slip off the wagon now and again, but it’s not the same as it was back in the old days . . .

My experience as an open learner really helped me to focus and reflect on my own approaches to learning, my own practice in terms of my approaches to learning design, to learner engagement, to peer support, to assessment. In fact all the things I do now as part of my job.  It also introduced me to another set of fantastically diverse, open learners and educators. People like Penny who is one of the organisers of the 101 stories project.

Open-ness is now a habit for me. It’s part of my practice, but it has natural (and at time imposed) peaks and troughs. Not everything can or should be open. I often find it a struggle to keep open on my agenda. I’m still working out my own praxis with open-ness.  I’m doing this through the work of many open education researchers, people like Catherine Cronin whose work provokes and inspires me, and leads me to many others who are working in this field.

Open education isn’t a fairy tale, but it does confront some vary salient, moral and ethical issues around education.  Including but not limited to: who can access education and publicly funded resources/data/research findings.  What rights do staff have over materials they produce whilst working for institutions?  Open-ness doesn’t automatically lead to a happy ending.  It has many twists and turns, just like the stories of the Arabian Nights. It might be a bit like The Force in Star Wars, surrounding us and binding us. . . but that’s a story for another day.

Today as the UK takes a leap into the unknown and to closing of borders and creation of barriers, we need open stories more than ever. We need these stories to permeate, to keep open on the wider political agenda. To keep people talking about open, in the open.’

 

This guest post is published as the first of many celebrating Open Education in the run up to the OEPS final event, The Promise of Open Education at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on Monday 11th September. Sign up for the event or join the conversation before, during and after the event with the hashtag#BeOpen’.

 

This post was originally published as part of the #101 open stories series. It was published on HowSheilaseesIT under Creative Commons License . It is republished under the same CC BY NC SA licence.

New course – Global Trends in Death and Dying

The latest addition to the OEPS portfolio of courses is now available. ‘Global Trends in Death and Dying’ was written with the University of Glasgow’s End of Life Studies group. It draws on cutting edge research to ask questions about death in a global context, looking critically at the different ways that death is experienced around the world, at the causes of death and the causes of these causes.

Global Trends is the ninth course to be launched by the OEPS project with a further six scheduled for release over the coming months. It joins a number of other courses including My Seaweed Looks Weird and the Parkinson’s UK and Dyslexia Scotland collections that have a focus on knowledge exchange.

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.’