Category Archives: free course

OUT NOW! Becoming an Open Educator open course

We are pleased and excited to announce that our open badged online course Becoming an Open Educator is now live on OpenLearn Works! Focussing on how free and open might change your approach to teaching and learning, the course is aimed at educators, facilitators and administrators across all sectors. The OEPS team collaboratively developed the course and the lead author was Beck Pitt. An earlier version of the course was openly peer reviewed.

During Becoming an Open Educator you will discover how to find open resources and their benefits and consider whether they change the relationship to the content you create. You’ll also reflect on your own practice and what ‘open’ might mean for your own context. Who might use any open educational resources you create and what do you need to consider to ensure your resource is visible and re-useable?

The course also explains how ‘open’ licences work in supporting open sharing and reuse and is full of lots of best practice examples of open practice and suggestions. The course includes a series of quizzes which count towards a digital badge. If you read through all the material in the course you will receive a Statement of Participation.

Head over and check out the course! If you like what you see then please don’t forget to tell your colleagues and spread the word.

If you are interested in exploring different ways you could reuse the course content with your peers, colleagues or/and students, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would also welcome any thoughts, comments and suggestions you have and would love to hear from you if the course has made a difference to your practice. Drop us a line (oepscotland [at] gmail.com) or tweet us and use the hashtag #openeducator when tweeting about the course.

 

Image credits: “Life is Sharing” by Alan Levine is licensed CC BY 2.0 

Preliminary findings – evaluation of a pilot cohort studying Understanding Parkinson’s

Figure 1: Screenshot of a reflective exercise relating to a case study featuring video ofSteve Peat

Figure 1: Screenshot of a reflective exercise relating to a case study featuring video of Steve Peat

Understanding Parkinson’s is a free openly licensed online course developed by OEPS in partnership with Parkinson’s UK.  The course is aimed at front line health and social care staff, many of whom will be working in the residential care sector.  We are currently analysing data from an evaluation of the experience of a pilot group based in the Western Isles and distributed across a number of workplaces and community settings.

In an extended discussion of some of the preliminary findings of the evaluation, Ronald Macintyre from the OEPS team notes how combining qualitative evidence from personal experience with analytic data provides for a richer picture of the learner journey and sheds light on issues which are not accessible through analytics alone.

You can download Ronald’s discussion of the preliminary findings at:

Using Open Online Learning to Support Practice

Figure 2: Grouping and Ranking Learning Experiences: medication, the individual and family were most salient issues. Learning online receded into the background

Figure 2: Grouping and Ranking Learning Experiences: medication, the individual and family were most salient issues. Learning online receded into the background

A short case study about how Understanding Parkinson’s was created can be found on the OEPS hub at Building an OER in partnership – Understanding Parkinson’s.

You can view the video featured in figure 1 at What is the impact of Parkinson’s on people’s daily life?

Pete Cannell

New OER courses launched

One of the aims of OEPS project is to explore good practice through the co-development of exemplar OER courses. Two courses were launched in May. ‘Understanding Parkinson’s’ is a collaboration with Parkinson’s UK. It brings together the clinical and practical knowledge of the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network with that of people living with, and caring for, people with Parkinson’s to produce a practical and useful course for health and social care professionals. The second course, ‘My seaweed looks weird’, produced in partnership with the Scottish Association for Marine Science at the University of the Highlands and Islands, takes recent research on global seaweed and makes it freely accessible to students and industry across the globe.

Pete Cannell

OEPS project team

An invitation to feedback! Community review our course on open practice

Screenshot of OpenLearn Works (contains image: Alan Levine "Life is Sharing" CC-BY 2.0)

Screenshot of section 1.3 on OpenLearn Works (contains image: Alan Levine “Life is Sharing” CC-BY 2.0)

by Beck Pitt (OEPS project)

I am pleased to announce that a draft of the project’s course on open educational practices (OEP) is now available for review! In a nutshell the course aims to explore and foreground OEP in part through practical advice on the use of open educational practices (OER) whilst simultaneously highlighting examples of best practice and ideas for your own context. The course has been developed to cover the fundamentals but also provides additional material for further exploration in the Further Reading sections.

For the next three weeks (until 26 November 2015) you have the opportunity to feedback on the course and let us know whether it meets your needs, those of your institution and if not, what can be improved. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

The badged four-part course will be openly licensed, available on OpenLearn Works and will launch in January 2016.

Why community review? 

Quite simply in order to make the course better and more relevant for YOU and your colleagues. Previous experiences of this type of open peer review have been incredibly useful: receiving a certain amount of community feedback was essential for the first iteration of the OER Hub’s Open Research course to go ahead.  Being open about the course’s development (e.g. regularly blogging about the course’s development) was also important and reflected the Hub’s own open practices. We had excellent feedback from fellow facilitators and interested parties both via this channel and elsewhere which really helped to tighten up the course structure, content and delivery mechanisms.

What’s involved? 

Reviewing the course could just involve browsing the content quickly or a more detailed read… there’s no obligation to read everything! We’re interested in all types of feedback; from general impressions on what’s covered through to suggestions for additional content and corrections.

  • Does this course look useful and relevant to your and your colleagues?
  • Would you use the course material? If not, why not?
  • Is material covered in sufficient detail? Is there something missing you’d like the course to cover?

We welcome comments on this blog post, comments directly on the material (click on the header links below to go to the relevant Google doc) or even just a vote on our poll (although ideally we’d love to know why too!). I will be monitoring feedback and responding periodically during the three week review period.

So what’s in the course and how is it structured? 

Each section of the course has an accompanying reading list to enable a ‘deeper dive’ into material and each section also has an accompanying activity. These are still work in progress so haven’t been included; however, you can see a sample reading list at the end of the Course introduction and Part One document. We are also in the process of picking out good examples of best practice to include in the final version.

All the content is available below on Google docs and you can comment directly on the material. Or if you would prefer, please comment in response this blog post.

Course introduction and Part One

  • 1.1 What do we mean by “open”?
  • 1.2 Open Educational Resources?
  • 1.3 The Practice of Open Educational Resources
  • 1.4 Open Licensing

Part Two

  • 2.1 Why open educational resources (OER)?
  • 2.2 Where can I find OER?
  • 2.3 Attributing a resource
  • 2.4  The ‘open’ in open licensing

Part Three

  • 3.1 Exploring Open Practices
  • 3.2 Remixing OER
  • 3.3 Why openly license my own material?
  • 3.4 What do I need to consider when creating an OER?

Part Four

  • 4.1 What license should I choose?
  • 4.2 How can I share my resources with others?
  • 4.3 Measuring Impact
  • 4.4 What next?

What isn’t included in his draft of the course? 

As above, please note that best practice examples, some further reading sections and activities for each section are pending.

And last but not least, our course is currently lacking a punchy title! All suggestions welcome : )

Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for your anticipated input! 

Finding good resources for Work-based learning

By Anna Page (OEPS project)

OU Social Partnership Network logoUnion learning representatives (ULRs), Workers Education Association (WEA) tutors and other workplace learning facilitators may find a new free online guide useful to help them signpost learning opportunities in the workplace to colleagues. The OpenLearn Learner Guide for Social Partnerships Network helps facilitators develop skills to find relevant resources in OpenLearn which can be shared with work-based learners.

OpenLearn contains over 11,000 hours of materials including more than 800 courses, interactive resources, videos, academic blogs and podcasts in a range of subject areas. It has several useful features to support online learning. The new guide provides familiarisation with OpenLearn opportunities in a step-by-step format and offers a badge for anyone who completes all the activities.

The new OpenLearn learner guide has been developed by the Open University’s Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships (CICP) and is hosted on OpenLearn Works, which is a free Moodle platform where anyone can create Open Educational Resources to share openly.

You can find the OpenLearn Learner Guide for Social Partnerships Network at http://www.open.edu/openlearnworks/learnerguideSPN

Explore OpenLearn at http://www.open.edu/openlearn

Create and browse OER in OpenLearn Works http://www.open.edu/openlearnworks

Free online course ‘Foundations for self-directed support’

Interesting news item from the social care sector which explores how open education resources work in practice.

The OEPS project presents this news item for interest to the OER sector in Scotland – it has not come about as a result of OEPS activity:

The Open University in Scotland (OUiS) has produced a free online course focussing on the Scottish context of Social Care. ‘Foundations for self-directed support’ is presented on the University’s free online learning platform ‘OpenLearn’. It is described as “a lively and interactive course which examines the history, meaning, implementation and impact of The Social Care (Self Directed Support) Scotland Act 2013” in an article in The Scotsman (2 October 2014). The column is authored by Sue Dumbleton, staff tutor for the OUiS, who explains how the OU in Scotland has developed the course to support the changes in delivery of social care in Scotland, with development funds provided by the Scottish Government.

You can read the complete article at http://www.scotsman.com/news/online-learning-for-all-involved-in-care-1-3559967

Free online course for carers

Caring Counts is a self-reflection and planning course developed with and for carers. Working with carers and carer’s organisations, The Open University in Scotland has developed a badged free online course to support carers to reflect on their caring journey and identify the skills and abilities they have gained and continue to gain in their caring role.

The course features the stories and experiences of a range of carers from very diverse backgrounds and caring circumstances, who share their lives in text and on film. Users have the option of completing a series of quizzes to gain a digital badge marking their achievement in completing the course.

This course is for carers of any age and at any stage in their life or caring role, it is flexible and adaptable to fit into your training and support programmes.

As well as helping carers recognise and value their skills and experiences and suggest opportunities for learning and other ideas for personal development, the course includes detailed information about career planning for those thinking about employment, or those thinking about returning to work and/or study that they may have had to put on hold.

Learners can gain a Caring Counts digital badge which recognises their learning through completing online quizzes that lead to a digital badge that acknowledges successful course completion. Digital badges are a useful way of demonstrating participation and recognising informal learning.

The OU in Scotland are working with a range of partners at national and local levels to support carers and carers centre staff to make full use of the course as well as to develop professionals’ knowledge and understanding of carers’ experiences.

You are welcome to explore the course and share details about it with others, or talk to the course team about opportunities for training and development and how they might be able to support you to make the best use of this free online resource.

Caring Counts is available at www.open.edu/openlearnworks/course/view.php?id=1688

The Open University supports carers in a range of ways, which you can read about in this leaflet designed for carers http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/LearnDevDist/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/OU_Carers_2014.pdf – the OU in Scotland are sending copies of this leaflet to carers centres across Scotland.