Category Archives: Research
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.’
Workshop Gamestorming by Sebastiaan ter Burg licensed as CC BY 2.0
‘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.
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.
‘Tackling barriers’, by CALRGatOU
We’ve published a number of interesting case studies and best practice examples over the past 6 weeks. To help keep you up-to-date, here’s a quick round up of the latest posts. Explore these and other case studies on oeps.ac.uk.
- Collaborating to build “a city of information literacy, a city of Wikipedia” features Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence at The University of Edinburgh. If you’re interested in finding out more about how Wikipedia ensures entries contain “fact checked information”, ideas for using Wikipedia in your teaching or are curious about what an edit-a-thon is you’ve come to the right place!
- Find out more about how the Social Innovation Academy led by Edinburgh’s People Know How use OER to enable community focused training in partnership with a range of organisations. How did the scheme benefit participants and what’s next for this exciting collaboration?
- Read more about how students are using Wikibooks to co-create open textbooks and critically engage with their own use of social media platforms as part of The University of Stirling’s Digital Media and Culture module led by lecturer Greg Singh in Using OER to Test Assumptions… If you’re thinking of using open knowledge platforms in your teaching, don’t miss reading Greg’s advice!
Have you got an idea for a case study or open educational practice you want to feature? Get in touch! We’d love to hear from you. Tweet @BeckPitt and @OEPScotland or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Group brainstorm photo (People Know How: Used with Permission); Greg Singh (used with permission) and Edinburgh Gothic – Wikipedia editathon for Robert Lewis Stevenson Day 09.jpg by Mihaela Bodlovic (http://www.aliceboreasphotography.com) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
As you might be aware, OEPS have conducted a large number of workshops on different facets of open practice with organisations and institutions across Scotland over the past two years. Perhaps the team has visited where you’re based or you caught taster sessions of workshops at an OEPS Forum?
As part of the OEPS commitment to openness, we’re proud to announce that the first set of reusable workshop content is now available. This content relates to the Thinking about Open workshops that myself and Bea developed and facilitated. The workshop content is CC BY licensed and we invite you to reuse it in any way you see fit! You could facilitate a similar workshop, reuse any of the activities and content or simply review it for ideas. The choice is yours!
So what is Thinking about Open?
Thinking About Open is a half-day workshop exploring what openness and open educational practices are. The workshop aims to help instigate discussion at your organisation on how openness could make a difference to your own practices whilst acting as a springboard for further discussion on the practicalities of open practice. The workshop utilises a range of case studies and examples of openness to help facilitate discussion.
This workshop is aimed at anyone with an interest in finding out more about openness and how it can make a difference to their own practice. [REF]
Various iterations of the workshop were delivered at 7 different college and higher education institutions across Scotland, as well as as taster sessions at various OEPS forums, over the past 18 months. We received positive feedback about the workshop from participants, for example:
“The ‘Thinking about Open’ session Beck and Bea facilitated for a range of UHI colleagues was both timely and excellent. It broadened and deepened the range of ways in which we could consider and approach open educational practice, and how an open ethos could be reflected in individual and collective practice within our own institutional context. We have already begun to further explore issues and ideas introduced during the workshop, and to identity practical and strategic next steps that we can take.”
Professor Keith Smyth, University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), Inverness (November 2016)
Thank you so much to everyone who hosted and participated in a workshop!
The CC BY licensed workshop pack is comprised of four parts:
- Instructions (a guide on how to facilitate the workshop, with activities and suggestions)
- Slide deck
- “What is Open” case studies (Activity)
- Challenges most frequently faced when using OER (Activity)
The Open Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS) Project conducted a survey to find out about the level of awareness of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) among college staff in Scotland. In total 236 valid responses were collected in a seven-week period from February 1st, 2016 to March 20th, 2016. The survey was distributed in 24 Colleges, and responses were obtained from 16 of them. However, most respondents came from 5 institutions, making unadvisable any conclusion that these results are necessarily representative of the sector as a whole.
- Awareness of open educational resources (OER) among educators in Scotland’s colleges is very low
- Awareness of CC licenses is lower than public domain or copyright (but awareness of all license types is higher than awareness of OER in general)
- Most educators share teaching materials via their institutions VLE but few share them openly online
- Quality and accuracy are the most important factors influencing educators’ choice of teaching material
- Lack of awareness and not knowing how to use OER are perceived as the highest barriers to adoption of OER
- Staff who attend CPD opportunities are more likely to engage with OER and OEP
- Efforts to raise awareness of OER and OEP among teaching staff in Scotland’s colleges need to be scaled up
- Opportunities for development around the use of OER in the curriculum (and especially the affordances and limitations of open licenses) should be provided
- Colleges should consider the possibility of ‘opening up’ their VLEs, and establish how to best support and encourage their teaching staff to share resources openly
The infographic below highlights some of the survey results.
The Open Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS) project conducted a survey to find out about the level of awareness of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) among Higher Education (HE) institutions in Scotland. The survey was distributed in 19 HE institutions, and responses were collected in a five-week period from 19th October 2015 to 23rd November 2015.
- Awareness of OER among Scottish HE educators is generally low
- Awareness of Creative Commons (CC) licenses is lower than public domain or copyright (but awareness of all license types is higher than awareness of OER in general)
- Most educators share teaching materials via their institution’s virtual learning environment (VLE) but few share them openly online
- Lack of awareness is perceived as the highest barrier to adoption of OER
- Scottish HE educators use OER to broaden the range of materials available to their students
- Staff who attend continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities are more likely to engage with OER and OEP
- Efforts to raise awareness of OER and OEP among HE teaching staff in Scotland need to be scaled up
- Opportunities for development around the use of OER in the curriculum, and especially the affordances and limitations of open licenses, should be provided
- Institutions should consider the possibility of ‘opening up’ their VLEs, and establish how to best support and encourage their teaching staff to share resources openly
The infographic below highlights some of the survey results.
If you’re interested in supporting and developing institutional open practice, the latest OEPS Hub case studies are for you!
Focused on the University of Edinburgh, we interviewed Melissa Highton and Stuart Nicol earlier in the year to find out more about the background to Edinburgh’s approach to open education. From taking a look at the meaning of open within the Edinburgh context to developing joined up services and policies to help staff and students become more open in their practice, these case studies are a great insight into driving forward institutional change.
Image credits: Photo of Melissa used with permission. Sketchnote of Melissa’s keynote “Open with Care…” at OER16 “Melissa.Highton.OER16” by Beck Pitt and licensed CC BY 2.0. Photo of Stuart and “Embracing Openness” image used with permission.
At the end of 2015 and early 2016 OEPS ran two surveys to find out about the level of awareness of OER and OEP in Scotland. 19 HE institutions and 16 colleges were invited to complete a questionnaire based on research conducted by OER Hub and Babson Survey Research Group. Beck and I presented the preliminary findings at OER16, with one major caveat: the results can only be considered indicative and not representative of the current state of OER/OEP awareness in Scotland, since the bulk of answers comes from only four HE institutions and five colleges –namely University of St Andrews, Scotland’s Rural College, Open University in Scotland, Glasgow University, Edinburgh College, Fife College, Glasgow Kelvin College, New College Lanarkshire and West College Scotland. Ahead of the interim report to be published in the summer, here’s a brief summary of what we discussed in our presentation, a couple of ponderable points:
Not surprisingly, awareness of OER is low in Scottish HE and even lower in the college sector (see slides below). However, when asked about their awareness of licensing mechanisms, the percentages of those who say they are aware of Creative Commons is actually higher that the percentage of those aware of OER (!). In very similar fashion, YouTube is the most popular repository of educational resources, well ahead of OER repositories such as OpenLearn or Jorum, but again use of open repositories does not equal awareness of OER/OEP. Finally, Scottish educators share mostly via their institution’s VLE but seldom openly online; can we encourage conversations to make VLEs more open?
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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?
- 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!