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Save the date! OEPS final event

Save the date: 11th September OEPS final event at Dynamic Earth

OEPS final event save the date (by Anna Page, CC BY NC SA 4.0)

‘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.

#OEPSForum3 Online Registration is now open!

We are holding the third OEPS Forum on Thursday 5th November 2015 (9:30 am – 4:00 pm) with lunch provided between 12:30-13:30 at 200 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5RQ. 

To register for this event and find out more about our plenary sessions and parallel workshops, please visit our event on EventBrite:

Eventbrite - OEPS Forum 3

The forum is open to everyone however it will be of particular interest if you want to find out more about Open Educational Resources (OER) and effective practice in the use, reuse and reversioning of OER, or if you are already working with OER and have experience and ideas to share. The third OEPS forum has a focus on the use of OER in widening participation in further and higher education and on the links between informal and formal learning. The morning keynotes from Patrina Law and Allison Littlejohn will address these issues and you can discuss and debate them in the interactive World Cafe session.

In the afternoon there will be a series of workshops which will be run twice (you can choose 2 of the 5 to attend):

  • Exploring openness
    By Pete Cannell and Ronald Macintyre (OEPS team) – this is an introductory workshop for anyone who wants to find out more about Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practice. We’ll look at some of the basic ideas and concepts that underpin open education and also explore some of the ways in which it opens up new possibilities in both the formal and informal education sectors. Audience: Open to everyone but those who are interested in finding out more about what open educational practices (OEP) and open educational resources (OER) may benefit from this most.
  • Research and Education Space
    By Richard Leeming (External Relationship Manager) and Mark Macey (Education Engagement Manager) from the BBC. This workshop provides an opportunity to find out how the Research and Education Space uses open digital technologies to deliver better digital learning experiences much more efficiently. The session will comprise presentations, discussion and some practical workshop elements to identify how the project could evolve to encourage greater use of resources being made available from museums, libraries, galleries and other organisations to schools, colleges and universities. More details can be found on the website: The workshop is open to everyone but those who are interested in finding out more how this project can help education at all levels and those interested in developing platforms may benefit from this most.
  • Harnessing technologies and open educational resources to widen access to Strathclyde
    By Stephanie Mckendry (Widening Access Manager) & Aidan Johnston (Learning Technology Adviser), University of Strathclyde. Having recently launched their third MOOC, ‘Caring for Vulnerable Children’, Strathclyde’s Education Enhancement Team have worked together with the institution’s Widening Access Team to explore ways of harnessing these courses to facilitate access to further and higher education for participants who may be new to learning. This workshop will report on that work in progress, discussing the opportunities and challenges that have emerged so far as well as the wider potential to utilise technologies and open educational resources in access. The workshop will be suitable for those involved in widening access/participation to FE/HE, schools or community outreach, learning technologies, admissions and recruitment, public engagement.
  • Students as producers of open learning
    By Natalie Lafferty, Head of Centre for Technology & Innovation in Learning, University of Dundee. This workshop will provide an overview of how students have been engaging as co-producers of open learning resources at the University of Dundee School of Medicine. There will be an opportunity for participants to consider how they can engage students in open educational practices in their own teaching programmes and explore some of the issues and ground work that needs to be covered to best support and get the most out this engagement. This workshop will be of interest to anyone wanting to engage learners in developing open online learning resources. It will also be more widely applicable to individuals wanting to engage colleagues in developing open educational resources.
  • Co-creating OER through widening participation partnerships
    By Lindsay Hewitt, The Open University in Scotland. This workshop explores the way in which widening participation partnerships between the university and third sector partners provided the basis for the co-creation of a series of OER courses designed to support transitions into work and into higher education. The workshop is open to everyone but it will be of particular interest if you are interested in the use, reuse and reversioning of OER.

We are looking forward to seeing you on 5th November 2015.

 9:30 – 10:00

Registration, Posters and Networking

10:00 – 12:30

Keynotes and Interactive World Cafe with OEPS Update

12:30 – 13:30

Lunch, Posters and Networking


13:30 – 14:30

Parallel workshops (session 1)

1a) Exploring Openness

1b) Research and Education Space

1c) Harnessing technologies and open educational resources to widen access to Strathclyde 

1d) Students as producers of open learning

1e) Co-creating OER through WP partnerships 

14:30 – 14:45



14:45 – 15:45


Parallel workshops (session 2)

2a) Exploring Openness

2b) Research and Education Space

2c) Harnessing technologies and open educational resources to widen access to Strathclyde 

2d) Students as producers of open learning

2e) Co-creating OER through WP partnerships 


Closing Plenary

Open Pathways to Higher Education

by Pete Cannell (OEPS project)

Open Pathways to success

Open Pathways to success

Online repositories hold a huge range of educational materials that encompass learning objects, video, audio and structured courses. The range of choice can be a deterrent for experienced learners and is even more so for those who are tentative and lack confidence.   Complexity and choice becomes a barrier to the effective use of open educational resources (OER) in widening participation. In this context a new initiative by the Open University in Scotland is really welcome.

Open Pathways builds on a similar scheme developed by OU colleagues in Wales to support journeys from informal to formal learning. The materials are available as a hard copy pack and online on OpenLearn and are aimed at non-traditional students interested in engaging with education. The approach is quite simply to show how informal learning opportunities can lead to more structured access study and then on to formal accredited higher education modules and qualifications.

There are three broad pathways identified:

  • Arts and Languages
  • People, Work and Society
  • Science, Technology and Maths

Each pathway contains carefully curated options for informal learning using free open courses through to access modules and then on to accredited modules at SCQF level 7.   The aim is to give learners confidence about where to start and a sense of structure to support progression.   Within the three broad pathways there is still considerable flexibility to choose options that are of interest and relevance. The materials include simple tools that encourage a reflective approach to study and to negotiating within, through and between pathways.

Many non-traditional learners make the transition into education with the encouragement and support of a trusted intermediary. The initiative also aims to support individuals who play this ‘trusted advisor’ role to develop skills as ‘open learning champions’ and the materials include a dedicated guide which explains how Pathways can support them to advise and encourage potential leaners in ways which make use of social context and peer support.