Category Archives: free course
We are delighted to launch the next course created in partnership with Parkinson’s UK. ‘Parkinson’s palliative and end of life care’ is aimed at health professionals working with people with Parkinson’s. The course aims to encourage early conversations about advance care planning, and the need to make decisions about treatments which people may or may not wish at the end of their life. The course explores the role of the multi-disciplinary team which may be involved at this stage in a person’s life and looks at each member’s role in supporting and managing the person’s physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs (and those of their carers) throughout this journey.
The course highlights the importance of people with Parkinson’s understanding the condition’s trajectory and the possible impact in the advanced stage so that they can make informed decisions in advance about what they would like to happen towards the end of their life and to consider any involvement of their relatives/carers.
This course is part of a suite of courses by Parkinson’s UK which address key issues for people with Parkinson’s, their carers and the health and social care professionals working with them. We are delighted to be able to support Parkinson’s UK to create this course as an open course which means it can be reused or adapted by others or embedded in other courses provided that the original authors are attributed. This ability for others to reuse and adapt the content was a key attraction for Parkinson’s UK, and they hope that health and social care lecturers will integrate the materials into their courses. This would substantially increase the support for health and social care professionals and therefore for people with Parkinson’s.
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.
The latest OEPS open educational resource (OER) Supporting collective learning in workplace and community settings is now live. The course will support anyone involved in organising informal learning in the workplace or in community settings, for example Union Learning Representatives, support workers, volunteers with third sector organisations or people with similar roles in their workplace or community. The course explores how groups of learners can use free online courses. The course draws on the experiences of the OEPS project in working with a wide range of informal educators in using open educational practices and resources.
Commenting on the launch of the course, OEPS Co-Director Pete Cannell, said: “We’re delighted to launch this course which pulls together the good practice of many informal educators across Scotland. Open courses like this one enable individuals who can’t access college/university to engage in learning at a time, place and pace that suits them, this in turn widens access to education and if they want, can be a stepping stone to formal education. We’ve openly licensed this course so it can be shared, adapted and rebranded by other organisations such as unions and charities to use in their own ways without copyright restriction which we hope will widen its reach even further.”
Our latest open online course ‘Introduction to Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice’ is now live. The course has been developed by the Dyslexia Toolkit Working Group, led by Frances Ranaldi of Education Scotland, and developed in partnership with the Opening Educational Practices in Scotland project.
‘Dyslexia and inclusive practice’ is the first of three linked courses supporting the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit. The toolkit and the courses will increase support for educators to deliver inclusive education across Scotland.
The course is aimed at teachers, community educators and anyone with an interest in inclusive practice and supports the recommendations of the 2014 Education Scotland Review: ‘Making Sense: Education for Children and Young People with Dyslexia in Scotland’. It also links to the General Teaching Council of Scotland’s professional standards.
We are delighted to launch the course during Open Education Week as it is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the impact of open education on teaching and learning. This course is an example of how free and openly licensed courses are a cost-effective and easily accessible means of disseminating nationwide training on key issues in education. From South Lanarkshire to Shetland, West Lothian to the Western Isles educators will be able to access this course at a time, pace and place that suits them. This substantially increases the opportunities for educators to develop their inclusive practice in education.
As with all our courses if you use, reuse, remix, revise or redistribute it then please let us know as we’d love to know how it’s being used.
For further information about dyslexia see the Dyslexia Scotland website.
Open Education Week 2017 runs from 27th-31st March and is a celebration of the global open education movement. Featuring inspiring initiatives, organisations and people around the world that further open education, OE week offers a myriad of activities, webinars and information to help you connect with and find out more about the impact and benefits of openness in education.
As it happens, the OEPS steering group meeting will take place on 28th March, mid-way through Open Education Week. The OEPS steering group includes five higher education institutions dedicated to furthering open education in Scotland. To celebrate and showcase their work, and that of other organisations they partner with, we thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the exciting open education activities happening across the Group.
University of Edinburgh
- The University of Edinburgh are hosting a number of events as part of OE week. Find out more about the use of open educational resources (OER) at their three pop-up events.
- Head on over to the Open.Ed website for a range of guides, resources and information on OER at Edinburgh.
- Read some of the OEPS case studies about the University of Edinburgh’s open practices. These include a look at how they are embedding open practices in Creating a culture of open and a closer look at the benefits of Wikipedia for learning and teaching in Collaborating to build “a city of information literacy, a city of Wikipedia”.
University of Glasgow
- OEPS have developed a number of case studies with University of Glasgow colleagues including Openness at the University of Glasgow which looks at the promise, impact and process of developing MOOC and Open access and flipped learning at Glasgow University focused on educator created open access videos and their role in a flipped learning context.
- And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the forthcoming OER Global Determinants of death and dying.
University of Highlands and Islands
- Does your seaweed look weird? If so, you need the open course My seaweed looks weird which was joint produced by UHI, OEPS and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).
- Read Steering Group member Frank Rennie’s paper OER (open educational resources): e-tips which reports on the impact of two e-textbooks and associated OER produced by educators at UHI.
- Come and explore “openness, space and place” in HE at UHI on 8 and 9 May 2017. The Porous University is now open for submissions and bookings … don’t forget to mark the date and get involved!
University of Strathclyde
- See how OER and MOOC can contribute to widening participation in HE in the case study Joining the dots: Widening participation at the University of Strathclyde.
Open University in Scotland / Open University
- Access the OU’s open educational resources and courses on OpenLearn or learn how to use open courses via the Open Pathways to Higher Education.
- You can also create and host your own open educational resources for free on OpenLearn Create and you can access other organisations’ resources there too, for example NESTA and the Rockefeller Foundation; World Vision Ethiopia and UNICEF; The Social Partnerships Network; TESS-India and TESSA.
- If you want to read more about some of The Open University in Scotland’s open education initiatives read Building confidence: The impact of open course Caring Counts.
- Find out more about the OU in Scotland’s Open Learning Champions event and Open Learning Champions network or even get involved.
Opening Educational Practices in Scotland
- OEPS has co-developed a range of open badged courses including Understanding Parkinson’s with Parkinsons UK and the forthcoming Introduction to Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice with Dyslexia Scotland in partnership with Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit.
- We’ve also produced a number of badged open courses, from Becoming an open educator which looks at how openness could enhance your teaching to How to make an open online course (in conjunction with the OU Free Learning Unit) which guides you through the process of creating this type of OER.
Want to get involved? You can browse the wide range of activities that individuals and organisations are hosting around the globe on the Open Education Week website, and don’t forget if you do participate, host your own event, want to share a resource or idea and join in the conversation use the hashtag #openeducationwk. If you tweet any of our activities or resources, please include @OEPScotland and let us know what you think!
Today, 10 March, is the OEPS project presentation at the Open Education Global Conference in Cape Town. Anna Page is presenting for the OEPS project.
The presentation is all about our experiences of working with partners in producing open online courses and resources as we aim to open practice on participatory course production and share what we have learned.
The abstract for the presentation is as follows:
How can open educational practices be used to enable more learners to benefit from specialist knowledge online in accessible, engaging ways? Opening Educational Practices Project (OEPS) is collaborating with external partners to develop course creation skills they need to deliver their first free, open online courses.
OEPS explores how OER can support people distanced from education by applying ‘what works’ in widening participation to OER (Cannell et al 2015). Courses are co-created through a participative learning design process focusing on learner needs and context. By contributing their practice-based knowledge partners develop confidence and skills for future initiatives (Macintyre 2015). Existing OER may not suit their context as they create online courses for workforce development and lifelong learning. This became a two way learning process for both partners and OEPS. Moving from focussing purely on learning design to learning through and for doing (Kemmis 2010) we reconceptualise what creating content in partnership means for OER production and practice. In parallel we collaborated to create OER about open educational practices and OER.
While learning through doing we have questioned roles and responsibilities, what existing production processes at The Open University needed amendment and how technologies for OER hosting can support partner and learner needs.
This presentation will share experiences of partnership collaboration and models for OER production emerging from this collaborative process which may be adapted by others. It will also show impact evaluation of OER created including the OEPS course and how methods of OER creation have evolved as a result.
The abstract and extended narrative can be downloaded at Opening practice on participatory course production extended narrative
The slides can be viewed below
Last year on International Women’s Day we brought you a roundup of some of the wonderful women in OER. This year we thought we’d keep things a bit closer to home and tell you what OEPS is doing to #BeBoldforChange on gender equality.
In the last year we’ve had the privilege to work with more wonderful women. For example our first OER on Understanding Parkinson’s was led by the Claire Hewitt from Parkinson’s UK. She is now a champion for open education in her organisation and the wider third sector. How to make an open online course was written by the OU Free Learning team lead by Patrina Law with contributions from Anna Page and OEPS; and Becoming an open educator was developed by the OEPS team, lead by Beck Pitt (not to brag but we were pretty pleased when this course received an honourable mention at the recent Open Education Global awards).
We’re proud that three of our team (Anna, Bea and Beck) are at the Open Education Global conference in Cape Town, South Africa on International Women’s Day. The programme there has host of keynote speeches from women. Anna will be presenting a paper on participatory course production in open practice (here’s a sneak peek)
and also has a poster on the OEPS Hub (www.oeps.ac.uk) and good practice case studies. Beck and Bea will also be participating in a number of ways. Follow us on twitter (@OEPScotland) to hear their reflections on open education and gender issues at the conference. They will also be at OER17 conference in early April. This is also showcasing some fantastic keynotes and plenaries with women. Indeed the conference theme ‘The politics of open’ is a rallying cry for gender equality and social justice. Beck, Bea and colleague Martin Weller, will be presenting a paper on the international context of open educational practice as it relates to Scotland; and Anna will be presenting a paper on the development of OpenLearn Create, drawing on the experiences of OEPS co-production of courses hosted on it.
So what will OEPS do to #BeBoldForChange?
- We will encourage more girls into STEM education and careers. We are working with the Equality Challenge Unit to produce an open educational resource (OER) that will support the development of STEM capital in education. This course is particularly focused on gender equality and how to address conscious and unconscious gender bias. We hope that this will support teachers to challenge gender bias and also to develop STEM capital.
- We will continue to promote open education as a means to break down barriers to education, widen participation and to facilitate women’s access to education. For example open educational resources cover a wide range of subjects, and can be accessed at a time and place that suits the learner.
What will you do to #BeBoldForChange?
We are delighted to announce that How to make an open online course is now live. It is a new badged open course which explains how to design, structure and produce your own open online course. It was written by the Free Learning Team at The Open University and includes sections by the OEPS project team. How to make an open online course complements the OEPS course Becoming an Open Educator which was released in September 2016 to focus on how to find open resources, how open licences work, the benefits of using and remixing OER and how they might influence the course you create.
How to make an open online course guides you through the practical steps to take in building a course including planning the course, how it might be hosted online, the use and reuse of free content, what sort of assessment activities you might want to include, social learning and the important steps you need to take before you publish your course. It prompts you to think about what consider to as you compile content, it also discusses the writing and editing process.
When the OEPS project began, these two courses were proposed as key tools to help those discovering the benefits of using OER for widening participation in higher and further education. As the project has progressed and we work with partners to help them create their own OER for their particular contexts we have reflected on processes of course creation. We have focussed especially on how a course can be created in collaboration between universities and organisations or those unfamiliar with how to produce meaningful online learning materials and this experience has been incorporated into these courses.
The Open University has plenty of expertise in creating good quality distance educational materials to support students, more recently in online settings both for formal courses and for the informal courses and resources hosted on OpenLearn. The OU Free Learning team, who commission all the free open courses hosted on OpenLearn, including the highly successful OU Badged Open Courses, have compiled How to make an open online course to share this knowledge in an accessible way to anyone who wants to try building their own course.
The OEPS project team welcome your thoughts, comments and suggestions on how this new badged open course or Becoming an Open Educator makes a different to your open educational practice. Please contact us at (oepscotland [at] gmail.com) or tweet using the hashtag #openeducator about your experience of using these two courses to guide your course building activities.
New report published on the use of a free, online course in workplace and community settings
Evidence from a small number of free, openly licensed courses, developed by staff at the Open University in Scotland prior to the launch of the OEPS project in 2014, has played a part in how the project team has understood open educational practice in the context of life long learning. One such course is ‘KG097 Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland’. The course was commissioned by the Scottish Government, and launched in April 2013, to support the dissemination of knowledge and understanding of self-directed support (SDS) in Scotland. An in depth evaluation of the way in which the course was used and the ways in which a small project team engaged with learners and potential learners has now been published.
In the OEPS project we have tried to understand the barriers to the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and to develop good practice to overcome these. Across the Scottish sector there is significant interest in the use of openly licensed courses for professional development. However, potential learners often assume that learning online will be individualised, isolated and ‘tick box’. The evidence collated in this report provides valuable insights into how such fears can be overcome.
The use of SDS ‘ambassadors’ builds on practice from widening participation that shows the importance of ‘trusted intermediaries’ in encouraging individuals in workplace and community settings to begin studying. The evidence also suggests that combined with this support, and once on course, designing the course material to support reflection in and on practice was crucial. The report shows how workplace settings afford opportunities for social interaction. This was encouraged by the project and by the ambassadors, and was effective in keeping learners engaged. Importantly there is also evidence that the online course was effective in increasing knowledge and understanding and effecting changes in practice. There is also some evidence of transfer of knowledge into the wider workplace setting.
If you are interested in effective practice in the design and use of open, online courses or in learning in workplace and community settings then this report is a valuable and timely resource.