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.
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 course, will 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.
Guest blog by Linda Lapere, Lecturer in Education at the University of Dundee.
As someone who has worked in education for 19 years I am familiar with many different forms of online learning and web-based materials but had never heard of Open Education. When I saw the hashtag #OpenEd I was keen to find out more.
In education, we are traditionally extraordinarily good at reinventing the wheel which thankfully, is slightly reducing in the digital age we are now living thanks to a multitude of educational websites. However, many of these operate as businesses, charging educators either for downloading their resources or accessing their website. I see Open Education as a means of embracing equality in education. Firstly, we are all professionals and can surely evaluate the usefulness and quality of resources independently as not everything which is online will necessarily be correct or appropriate for your learners. Secondly, not all educators can afford the subscriptions some websites are charging (some are more than your average gym membership) so again this levels out the playing field. I always find it interesting that education is one of the few professions where teachers spend their own money on resources – do doctors buy their patients drugs? Thought not.
Open Education means that all educators have access to free resources which can be edited and reused as you see fit. This can save us all time both in researching concepts and what the current research is saying as well as the time it takes to create these resources. Often laptops and pcs provided by educational establishments have restricted access to either certain websites or software sometimes making it difficult to create the kind of resource which would benefit your learners. It also requires a certain amount of skill to produce some of these resources such as video editing, enhancing graphics or creating interactive presentations and unfortunately we do not always have these precise skills. However, if this kind of material, particularly videos or interactive resources are already available through Open Education it can only benefit those in education.
I feel the challenges with Open Education are encouraging this sense of community amongst those in education, both current teachers and our students as well as the huge range of possibilities for its use. Let’s stop reinventing the wheel and sharing our free expertise instead to help others in the profession!
This guest post from Linda Lapere 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
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 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.
OUiS operates a network of Open Learning Champions, working in partnership with a range of voluntary sector organisations, community learning groups, libraries and others. The aim is to provide open learning in familiar spaces using open educational resources (OER) on OpenLearn and OpenLearn Works, as well as massive online open courses (MOOCs) on FutureLearn. The project has managed to successfully engage with people who may not otherwise consider themselves ‘learners’, and who may face significant barriers to accessing more traditional widening participation programmes.
Lane (2012) suggests that ‘inexperienced and unconfident learners’ may not gain much benefit from open educational resources without the support of a tutor. Open Learning Champions address this absence of support, through offering light touch facilitation and in some cases the possibility of peer support, within an existing and trusted relationship. This can be seen in the context of what Cannell (2016) describes as ‘a movement’ towards developing partnerships which target widening participation groups, and provide contextualised use of OER as well as support. For example, a group of carers may be supported by a carer support worker to undertake a relevant open educational resource, such as Caring Counts – a self-reflection course for carers available on OpenLearn Create.
The OUiS has run a series of workshops for champions to introduce them to open educational resources, develop their confidence in navigating the platforms and supporting learners, and explore different pathways from open educational resources into higher education and other positive destinations. Since June 2015, 17 workshops have taken place and there are now 127 champions from 60 organisations. Initial evaluation of the pilot (Ryan & Hewitt 2015) suggested that each champion may reach eight learners. My presentation at OER17 will present the findings of follow-up evaluation on the impact of the first year, which suggests that each champion is reaching 10 or more learners and that the learners they engage come from more difficult to engage groups, making this an effective widening participation model.
“The Porous University – A critical exploration of openness, space and place in Higher Education
Time and venue: Two day symposium in late April/early May 2017 (dates tbc), Inverness Campus, University of the Highlands and Islands
Contacts: Ronald Macintyre (Open Educational Practices Scotland, Open University) and Keith Smyth (UHI)
The idea for this symposium arose out of a series of conversations and reflections on the nature of openness within Higher Education. It started with the observation that openness is increasingly seen as a technical question, whose solution lies in employing the low transaction costs associated with digital technologies with open licences to open up academic content to new groups of learners. Where critical voices have engaged this partial reading they have often rightly critiqued the degree to which this is truly open, for example, drawing on older traditions of open to question the freedoms free content allows for those already distanced from education. However, other questions also arise, what does it mean beyond releasing content? What is the role of open academics in dealing with problems “in the world”, how should staff and students become learners within community contexts, developing and negotiating curriculum based on those contexts? What would it mean for openness as a way to allow new voices into the academy, to acknowledge knowing and ways of knowing outside the academy, and where can and should our open spaces – both digital and physical – intersect? If we are to advocate allowing learners experience and organisations to inform the academy how open should academics be to the influence of private capital? These are the kinds of questions we want to explore in this symposium.
Further details and a call for contributions and participation is forthcoming in December 2016. Attendance at this event is free.
A vision for Open Educational Resources at University of EdinburghAt the fourth OEPS Forum on 9 March 2016 in Stirling, we will display a range of posters covering the following themes:
- Using OER – what does good practice look like?
- Changing culture, changing practice
- Open education and digital engagement through a widening participation lens
We have already received a number of posters listed below:
Open design patterns for assessment as change agents – John Casey, The CIT-eA Project, City of Glasgow College
Promoting transformational change in OEP at OUSL – Shironica P. Karunanayaka and Som Naidu, The Open University of Sri Lanka; Monash University, Australia
Educational Audio and the Home of Radio #EDUtalk – John Johnston, David Noble, Edutalk
25 years of embracing and fostering openness in education – Ildiko Mazar, European Distance and E-learning Network, UK
Opening up spaces to support Rural Business in Scotland – Ronald Macintyre, OEPS Project
OEPS poster – OEPS project team
Open learning champions – Lindsay Hewitt and Gill Ryan, The Open University in Scotland
A vision for Open Educational Resources at University of Edinburgh – Stephanie Farley, University of Edinburgh