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.
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.
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!
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’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
We are delighted to announce that #OEPSForum4 (our fourth OEPS forum) will be held at 9:30am on Wednesday 9th March 2016 at Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling, FK9 4LA
The themes for this forum are:
- Using OER – what does good practice look like?
- Changing culture, changing practice
- Open education and digital engagement through a widening participation lens
Further details of the programme and how to register will follow soon, however in the meantime please put the date and venue in your diary.
Get involved in #OEPSForum4 now
- Tell us now what you’d like to see or what questions you’d like addressed at the forum by Twitter using the hashtag #OEPSForum4, alternatively email us at email@example.com
- Express your interest in speaking at #OEPSforum4. To share your experience and ideas on the themes in our world café or other session, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org by 22 January 2016.
- Submit a poster on any of the themes. Please express your interest by 29 January 2016 to email@example.com. Further details to follow on poster guideline and final submission deadline.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you on 9th March 2016.