Category Archives: Event

OEPS Final Report launched!

The core message of the final report from the OEPS project is that innovative practice that puts students first can ensure that open education breaks down barriers to participation in education.  The report is published today (Monday 11th September) to coincide with the ‘Promise of Open Education’ Conference at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth.

The report provides evidence and case studies from across the Scottish sector.  It highlights the potential of working across boundaries, an approach that enabled the OEPS project to co-create fifteen new free, open online courses with organisations like Dyslexia Scotland and Parkinson’s UK.  OEPS found a high level of interest in the use of these online courses in the informal education sector with almost half of the organisations involved coming from the third sector, trade unions or employers.

The OEPS project was concerned with developing good open educational practice that supports widening participation and social justice.  Working with organisations that support non-traditional students provided the team with valuable insights into the barriers that online learning can present.  The report links to a range of reports and guidance material designed to help educators, course designers and widening participation practitioners enable the barriers to be overcome.

The report highlights innovative practice from across the Scottish sector but suggests that more needs to be done to provide a policy framework that can embed this practice in the mainstream.  It suggests that wherever possible educational materials should be released as open by default.

The report stresses the value of institutional collaboration in the use of open educational resources and recommends that the Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council consider systems, support mechanisms and policies that can facilitate and sustain such partnerships.

The report is essential reading whether you’ve never heard of open education before or whether you are a seasoned open educator. We encourage everyone to read the OEPS Final Report.

 

Pete Cannell

OEPS Co-Director

 

This post 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. Join the conversation before, during and after the event with the hashtag#BeOpen’. We are livestreaming on the day via Periscope and there will be a Twitter chat in the afternoon using #BeOpen and @OEPScotland.

Join The Promise of Open Education conference online #BeOpen

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.

#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.

OEPS shortlisted for Global Game Changers Award

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 coursewill 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.

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

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.

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.

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

 

Is open and online reconfiguring learner journeys?

Tuesday 6th June marked the first day of the 3rd International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference held in Glasgow. The conference coincides with the final year of QAA Scotland’s ‘Transitions’ enhancement theme. At the Enhancement Themes Conference in 2016 the OEPS team explored the relevance of OER and OEP to educational transitions. This year in our presentation we focussed on the question ‘Is open and online reconfiguring learner journeys?’

We noted that learner journeys may involve transitions from informal or self-directed to formal learning, between sectors and between education and employment. These transitions are negotiated in environments where digital technology is becoming ubiquitous. Organisations that support transitions now believe that supporting the development of digital skills is essential and some are making use of open resources.   Almost all students, young and mature, now arrive in HE with some digital skills – some may have new forms of credential (open badges). These provide a platform for developing digital literacy and the skills appropriate to learning in higher education.

We raised the possibility that as a result it may be necessary to rethink the pedagogy that underpins transitions and concluded with two questions for reflection:

  • Is there a disconnect between pedagogy, practice, student needs and student experience?
  • And if there is what does this imply for supporting widening participation transitions?

et 2017ET Themes by Pete Cannell, CC BY SA 4.0

The slides for the OEPS presentation can be accessed on slideshare.net

All the presentation slides from the Enhancement Themes conference (keynote and parallel), conference papers and poster presentations are available on the Enhancement Themes website.

Pete Cannell