Category Archives: Conferences
We’re looking forward to welcoming you all to ‘The Promise of Open Education’ conference at Dynamic Earth on 11th September where our fantastic line up of speakers include Dr Maha Bali, Michael Cross, Professor Keith Smyth, Frances Ranaldi, Claire Hewitt, Lorna Campbell and Professor Frank Rennie as well as OEPS co-director Dr Pete Cannell.
For those unable to attend the free conference in person we invite you to follow online and join the online discussion with hashtag #BeOpen.
The event will be livestreamed via Periscope https://www.pscp.tv/oepscotland. Look for @OEPScotland or search hashtag #BeOpen on twitter at the time of each session starting (see the full programme for more details.)
There will also be a live Twitter chat engaging conference speakers, audience and the virtual audience at 2.55pm-3.25pm (UK time). The chat will be using the hashtag #BeOpen. Find out how to join the Twitter chat.
The OEPScotland reports and briefings are a valuable source of information and can be accessed via our collection on Open Learn Create. Enjoy our guest blogs and get involved! Tweet us your #BeOpen selfies, opinions and experiences before during and after the conference.
Guest post by David Porter, CEO, eCampusOntario.ca.
This blog is a remix of a remix. A good thing in my view.
Since 2013, I’ve built upon a presentation that Clint Lalonde of BCcampus created and titled Beyond Free. The original was licensed CC BY-SA, and I’ve since added to it and updated and localized its message to suit different audiences. It remains a winner that consistently inspires instructors to rethink their practices and take a leap into the open realm.
The great thing about Clint’s original presentation was that it stated five great reasons to use OER, beyond the simple, “because it’s free” mantra. What he did in Beyond Free was to build upon the five freedoms (permissions) expressed by David Wiley in his now famous baseline definition of open content. Clint added context to those theoretical freedoms in a way that demonstrated real practice and conveyed a message of possibility to even the most reluctant open educator. The five reasons to move beyond free remain a great explanation for the open education community, and the original presentation remains a reusable and remixable template for anyone to use. Thanks, Clint.
I’m going to reprise those five great reasons in a shortened prose format. The graphic presentation version has many benefits and far more illustrations than appear here. Here are five benefits (reasons) to use open resources and open practices.
There is no better way make resources your own than to develop them yourself. But a close second is to exercise the provisions of Creative Commons licenses by clicking on the license logo and reading the plain language provisions of the human readable deed. No letters to authors needed, just acknowledgement of the creator with a straightforward citation. A simple, practical, generous starting point to customize an existing learning resource.
Benefit #2: Access to customized resources improves learning
Studies, journal articles, and research papers are pointing out what might seem obvious: when you have access to free and open learning resources at the start of your course or program, you’ll likely be successful in your studies. No financial pressures, no workarounds. You are able to concentrate on your course and give it your full effort from day one. More detailed studies are beginning to investigate the effects of localized and customized resources versus the generic textbook approaches aimed at a broadly defined population of learners. I expect localized versions of case studies, illustrations that reflect your culture, and images that engage students because they are relevant to their experience will all contribute to better open resources.
Benefit #3: Open provides opportunities for co-creation and more authentic resources
Terry Greene at Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario has been engaged in a co-creation project with peers over the past year, soliciting exemplars and advice from seasoned veteran educators to provide a sourcebook for new faculty and instructors who will need support and guidance as they take on their teaching responsibilities.
The Open Faculty Patchbook: Patching Pedagogy Together, for Each Other is a contribution space by faculty for faculty, and carries on open invitation to educators to contribute their authentic experiences and advice for a new generation of higher education instructors. A printed copy of the current “patchbook” was given to new faculty at their orientation session in August 2017. It is a work in progress. Help build it.
Benefit #4: Collegial collaboration helps build the commons
My colleagues at BCcampus are pioneers in the use of “sprints” and professional networking among institutions to quickly and purposefully build team capacity and open resources for learners through collegial collaboration. They’ve done it all:
- How to turn a great idea into an open textbook in just four days
- The Great Psychology Testbank Sprint offers new OER for instructors
- Four ways librarians are essential to the future of open textbooks and OER
Research, teaching and service are three key principles that guide higher education institutions. Many institutions have experimented with freely available courses in the form of MOOCs. But few have actually done so with freely available open resources and a mechanism for gaining credit through a challenge exam or prior learning assessment and recognition.
OERu.org is a consortium of 30+ higher education institutions from around the globe who have come together to prototype alternative pathways to recognized credentials for learners. The OERU.org partners are working together to provide courses from their own institution as contributions to a first-year program of study that will invite learners to participate in university level courses and also apply for assessment leading to credit towards a certificate, diploma or degree.
Every piece of content, software, and infrastructure supporting the OERu is open source or openly licensed. OERu.org is a demonstration of openness in support of the service mission of its institutional partners. OERu partners walk the open talk.
Open education is more than freely available, openly licensed content resources. It is also about people, like-minded educators who see the benefits of rethinking the status-quo, and who are willing to see what will happen when we bring teaching and learning into the open.
David Porter, CEO
This guest post from David Porter 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’.
The Opening Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS) project has been shortlisted for a Global Game Changers Award in the category of ‘Collaboration for change’. This category recognises
‘a new or completed project developed through a Triple Helix approach. Where a university or college has joined forces with representatives from industry and government on an initiative that offers a solution to a societal problem at a local, national or international level.’
The award nomination is for OEPS partnership with Dyslexia Scotland and Education Scotland developing a suite of courses on dyslexia and inclusive practice.
The first online course, ‘Introduction to Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice’, was co-designed and developed in March 2017 and can be undertaken at a learners own pace in around 3 hours of study. To date 801 people have enrolled, with 149 badges earned for the first module so far.
Aimed at practitioners and educators the free online course enables participants to understand and identify dyslexia and requires no financial outlay for employers or users. The course has been developed specifically with the Scottish context in mind as explained in this case study from Frances Ranaldi, Development Officer at Education Scotland.
The badged course uses a reflective log to help learners develop their understanding of dyslexia and inclusive practice, covering topics such as current legislation and how to support those with dyslexia.
Dr. Pete Cannell, Director of OEPS said ‘We are delighted to be shortlisted for the Global Game Changers Award for our collaborative work with Dyslexia Scotland and Education Scotland in creating and developing this suite of open educational courses. Any resource is only as good as those who know about it so hopefully the #GlobalGameChangers awards will raise awareness and encourage more participants to develop their skills, with an end goal of providing even better support for learners with dyslexia.’
Two further open courses (Supporting Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice and Dyslexia: Identification and Support) which build on the skills acquired in the Introduction to Dyslexia and inclusive practice course, will be available in September 2017 and January 2018, respectively. The courses form part of the Dyslexia Scotland / Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit collection of courses, which are linked to the OEPS Collection of free resources on open educational practices in Scotland.
Both Frances Ranaldi and Pete Cannell will talk more about this partnership at our free conference ‘The Promise of Open Education‘ – come along to hear more about this innovative collaboration or join the conversation online before, during and after the free conference with hashtag #BeOpen.
Guest blog by Linda Lapere, Lecturer in Education at the University of Dundee.
As someone who has worked in education for 19 years I am familiar with many different forms of online learning and web-based materials but had never heard of Open Education. When I saw the hashtag #OpenEd I was keen to find out more.
In education, we are traditionally extraordinarily good at reinventing the wheel which thankfully, is slightly reducing in the digital age we are now living thanks to a multitude of educational websites. However, many of these operate as businesses, charging educators either for downloading their resources or accessing their website. I see Open Education as a means of embracing equality in education. Firstly, we are all professionals and can surely evaluate the usefulness and quality of resources independently as not everything which is online will necessarily be correct or appropriate for your learners. Secondly, not all educators can afford the subscriptions some websites are charging (some are more than your average gym membership) so again this levels out the playing field. I always find it interesting that education is one of the few professions where teachers spend their own money on resources – do doctors buy their patients drugs? Thought not.
Open Education means that all educators have access to free resources which can be edited and reused as you see fit. This can save us all time both in researching concepts and what the current research is saying as well as the time it takes to create these resources. Often laptops and pcs provided by educational establishments have restricted access to either certain websites or software sometimes making it difficult to create the kind of resource which would benefit your learners. It also requires a certain amount of skill to produce some of these resources such as video editing, enhancing graphics or creating interactive presentations and unfortunately we do not always have these precise skills. However, if this kind of material, particularly videos or interactive resources are already available through Open Education it can only benefit those in education.
I feel the challenges with Open Education are encouraging this sense of community amongst those in education, both current teachers and our students as well as the huge range of possibilities for its use. Let’s stop reinventing the wheel and sharing our free expertise instead to help others in the profession!
This guest post from Linda Lapere 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
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’.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you.
Book your place via Eventbrite or contact OEPScotland@gmail.com with any queries
‘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.
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!’.
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.
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:
- Sheila MacNeil (@Sheilmcn): Initial thoughts from the Porous Uni and More leaking from the Porous Uni
- Keith Smyth (@Smythkrs): Situating digital space and place within the Porous Uni
- Fred Garnett (@fredgarnett): Some ideas about making universities open to communities
- Jennifer Jones (@jennifermjones): And a wee film about the event and a Storify of the tweet
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?