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OEPS poster at OE Global Conference 2017

OEPS poster at OEGlobal CC BY

OEPS poster at OEGlobal CC BY

As explained in our post on International Women’s Day on 8 March, OEPS is presenting a poster and a presentation during this year’s Open Education Global Conference which is taking place in Cape Town from 8 – 10 March.

Today, 9 March, is the poster session with the OEPS poster covering the highlights of the Open Educational Practice case studies we’ve been gathering as part of this project.

The poster abstract is below:

The Opening Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS) project, funded by the Scottish Funding Council for 3 years, aims “to enhance Scotland’s reputation and capacity for developing publicly available and licenced online materials, supported by high quality pedagogy and learning technology” (https://oepscotland.org/).  This means increasing the capacity of the Scottish sector to develop and use free open online content.

On the OEPS hub website (www.oeps.ac.uk) the project has been compiling a growing repository of case studies illustrating open educational practice in different contexts.  The case studies are real life examples of open education as practiced by different individuals in education and in the third sector, they explore widening participation, learning in the workplace, OER in schools, OER as a tool for enabling cultural and policy change, student support and the process of building OER in partnership.  OEPS has been working with partners both within and outside the academy to create open educational resources.  Some partners are using the OER they create as routes for continuing professional development of workforce, others are using them as an additional tool for teaching post graduate students specific topics within their field while others are using them for lifelong learning.  Some of these OER creation partnerships have become case studies to illustrate to those new to OER and OEP how they might utilize OER for their context.

In this poster we plan to highlight the thematic links between the case studies, the OER which OEPS has helped create and what they enable for the partners with whom the project is working to create open educational resources.

The poster PDF can be downloaded at OEPS Poster for OE Global 2017

The presentation is taking place on Friday 10 March and details will be shared in the next post.

Newsletter January 2017

We are happy to announce our first newsletter of the New Year! Keep your eyes peeled for our new monthly newsletter, detailing all our latest activities.

oeps-january-2017-newsletter_blog

What are the politics of open going to be at “OER17: The Politics of Open”

The call for papers for OER17 on the 5th and 6th of April is open, and the data for abstracts is looming, midday on the 16th of November as this “goes to press”. It is interesting to see politics in the title, as openness is seen “as a good thing” and there is often something oddly apolitical about the narratives around openness.

Occasionally one sees a paper in the OER world that looks critically at issues of participation. They are rare, and can tend to look at simple causes like digital literacy, individualising exclusion, treating not knowing as a deficit, rather than exploring the causes of the causes, exploring; social capital, intergenerational aspiration, social and cultural barriers or underlying structural inequalities. These different readings of exclusion, from the individualised, through social to structural, stretch us, they insist we make hidden causes visible.

Likewise, narratives on free platforms talk about creative destruction, disruptive innovation, or casualisation of work, of outsourcing of risk, how much for your data, and business models built on shareholders expectations of future value. Sometimes these things seep into discussion on Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices, but not often enough. After all, the promise was equity, not just equity of access as that is a plain numbers game, but equitable participation. This means taking a critical perspective on the rhetoric and the reality, looking at what this means for policy, in practice, and crucially pedagogically.

I think this conference may be different, OEP is changing, maybe this is “when worlds (finally) collide”. However, it is only going to be that kind of conference if it attracts papers from the unusual suspects. From scholars working in widening participation, with “critical perspectives” on free and open, it is only through developing those creative tensions that OER and OEP can start to become political. So submit a paper.

OEP is changing, is it a changing external environment and Darwinian adaptation through natural selection, or Lamarckian, passing on characteristics acquired during its life, or a bit of both?

Ronald Macintyre

darwin_as_monkey_on_la_petite_lune

From Gill Andre, 2011, “Caricature of Charles Darwin as a monkey on the cover of La Petite Lune, a Parisian satirical magazine published by André Gill from 1878 to 1879”, Public Domain, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Darwin_as_monkey_on_La_Petite_Lune.jpg

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 

New! OEPS Flyer Hot off the Press

  • Want to help promote OEPS?
  • Need a succinct outline of what the project aims to achieve?
  • Looking for a printable summary of the project?

Look no further! We are pleased to announce the launch of new flyer which summarises the project, the OEPS take on open educational practices and gives an overview of some of our key outputs such as the OEPS Hub and the OER we have produced with organisations such as Parkinson’s UK and SAMS.

OEPS flyer p1
OEPS leaflet p2

The flyer is also now available via our About page.

 

Peer Reviewed Publications and Presentations

We have recently updated the links under the Resources Tab on this site. There are now up to date lists of peer-reviewed outputs from the project via two tabs, Publications and Presentations. Our intention from the beginning has been to ensure that project outputs are publicly available and all the listed papers link to either the full text or a Power Point presentation. Topics include discussions of Open Educational Practice and updates on the evolution of the project, widening access and OER, working in partnership to develop open practice, participatory design and educational transitions. The two must recent publications include a paper on barriers to engagement from a widening participation perspective:

Revisiting Barriers to Participation, which is available in HE: Transforming Lives through life-wide learning; and an overview of the first year of the OEPS project

Cannell, P., Page, A. and Macintyre, R. (2016) Opening Educational Practices in Scotland, Journal of Interactive Media Education

These lists will be updated on a regular basis.

Pete Cannell

 

Emporium of Inspiring Ideas

The OEPS team contributed to the finale of the College Development Network’s Emporium of Inspiring Ideas on 17 June. We spoke to college staff about the use of open resources in the curriculum. The OpenScience Laboratory is an initiative of The Open University and The Wolfson Foundation. The online laboratory makes interactive practical science accessible to students anywhere and anytime the Internet is available. The laboratory features more than a hundred investigations based on on-screen instruments, remote access experiments and virtual scenarios using real data. As a project we are particularly interested in how free open resources like Open Science Lab are used in practice in the classroom and in the pedagogy and support that teachers and students require to get the best out of these resources. In 2015 we have a report of a pilot project using the OpenScience Lab resources in Scottish schools.

We discussed the findings of the pilot project and what we’ve learnt more generally about good practice in the use of open resources in specific teaching contexts. The college staff we spoke to were unfamiliar with OpenScience Lab and the use of free openly licensed resources in the classroom. However, there was a lot of enthusiasm for thinking through how this kind of material can be used in college settings. We are looking forward to continuing this discussion at a workshop hosted by the College Development Network in the early autumn.

Pete Cannell – for the OEPS team

 

 

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

Moving the ‘open’ agenda forward

This is the third and final post on the discussion at the initial workshop at OEPSforum4 in March. The first post considered factors that are encouraging the adoption of OER and OEP, the second focused on challenges and barriers to adoption. In this post we look at what participants had to say on three linked issues: using the Open Scotland Declaration to encourage practical steps towards use of OER and OEP; the engagement of senior policy makers in institutions; and the potential for cross-sector collaboration.

We asked groups to take the Open Scotland Declaration as the starting point in their discussion. As a facilitator I noted the importance that members of my group attached to the declaration, however, only one of the groups made explicit reference to it in their feedback.   In this case the group felt that the declaration was not nuanced enough and as a result had had greater impact in the University sector than in the Colleges.

Across the groups there was strong feeling that, although there are some exceptions, in general there is still a lot of work to be done in order to involve senior management. There was a lot of discussion on how to address this. There was a view that compelling examples of practice in other institutions can be used to put the issue on policy agendas. Some participants qualified this by suggesting that it’s better to explain how OER can address a specific problem, rather than raise the whole open education agenda. Others talked about the questions that you need to be ready for. ‘It’s all about money! What are the financial gains for the University?’ Policy makers, and other staff too, may think that doing ‘open’ is about giving stuff away. So there is a need to develop understanding of the positive advantages of doing ‘open’ and the alternative business models that facilitate this.

Groups also looked at the positive examples that could be used to influence policy makers. It was noted that mandatory requirements for open research have had an important impact on policy and practice and, while this is not the case in learning and teaching, it can provide a good starting point for a discussion of alternative models. The government and the funding council could have a role here in recognising that ‘open’ approaches give value for money and by encouraging such approaches in learning and teaching. It was also felt that students might well start to shape the agenda. Many begin their studies with some prior knowledge of open resources and expectations about how knowledge is shared and disseminated in the open. A delegate commented that student expectations had driven significant change in practice at their institution.

There is a growing interest in open education outside the academy. Particularly in the NHS, unions and the third sector.   It’s not surprising therefore that, in many HEIs, it is staff that have close contacts with these organisations that are leading in the development of open practice.   There was a suggestion that Digital Badges could be part of move to a ‘more agile form of RPL [recognition for prior learning]’. In addition, thinking about the connections between the education sector and broader society, OER and OEP provide powerful new opportunities for knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer. Although these are not necessarily rewarded in the metrics that are currently in use.

The discussion groups had relatively little time to discuss cross-sector collaboration, however connections were made which may bear fruit in the future. The synergy between such an approach and the affordances of OER and OEP is obvious. However, there are cultural and practical barriers that need to be overcome. There is a need to connect resources up so that it’s easier to find and share good resources.   Rather than try to create new forums it was felt the most effective way to move forward was to put open education on the agenda of existing networks that already collaborate on a subject, discipline or specialism basis.

Pete Cannell (for the OEPS project team)

 

 

#OEPSForum4 Online Registration is now open!

The online registration for #OEPSforum4 on Wednesday 9 March 2016 at Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling is now open. The event is free of charge and lunch will be provided.

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

Eventbrite - OEPS Forum 3

#OEPSforum4 Programme

Wednesday 9th March 10:00am – 4:00pm, Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling University

Programme

Time Programme
10:00 – 10:30 Registration, Posters and Networking
10:30 – 11:15 Keynote

Keynote contributions from Josie Fraser (Social and Educational Technologist) www.josiefraser.com

11:15 – 11:30 Introduction of our workshop sessions
 11:30 – 12:30 Workshop A (for everyone to participate): Designing a strategic approach to increase the use of OER and OEP in Scotland
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch, Posters and Networking
13:30 – 14:30 Parallel workshops (session 1)
  1B) Using OER – what does good practice look like?
  1C) Changing culture, changing practice
  1D) Open education and digital engagement through a widening participation lens
14:30 – 14:45 Break
 14:45 – 15:45 Parallel workshops (session 2)
  2B) Using OER – what does good practice look like?
  2C) Changing culture, changing practice
  2D) Open education and digital engagement through a widening participation lens
15:45-16:00 Closing Plenary

Everyone takes part in Workshop A: Designing a strategic approach to increase the use of OER and OEP in Scotland

This workshop presents an opportunity to discuss the strategic drivers, barriers and challenges to the use of OER and OEP within the formal and informal learning sectors. It is an opportunity to share experiences of OER and OEP and to consider what more could be done strategically and practically to increase their use. The workshop will contribute to the development of a draft strategic framework for OER and OEP in Scotland.

You will have the option to choose two out of the other three workshops :

Workshop B: Using OER – what does good practice look like?

This will be a participative facilitated session that will provide the opportunity for open education practitioners from the formal and informal sectors to speak about their experiences of using OER and for everyone to ask questions, discuss and analyse the characteristics of good practice.

Workshop C: Changing culture, changing practice

#OEPSForum3 identified that one of the key challenges for OER and OEP is not just about changing practice but is also about changing institutional culture. This workshop will focus on how we can change institutional and organizational culture and will discuss some of the challenges in making use of Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices in your context.

Workshop D: Open education and digital engagement through a widening participation lens

Learning takes place in a world that is permeated by digital technology. How well do we support the development of the basic skills that are required for participation in this world? How well do we understand the relationship between the skills for participation and the literacy skills required for effective learning in further and higher education?