Blog Archives

Parkinson’s palliative and end of life care

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.

 

Sign up for the new ‘Parkinson’s palliative and end of life care’ course

View the Parkinson’s UK collection of courses.

 

Pic credit: By AlexandreDulaunoy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

How I became involved in Open Education, or how I was doing it all along and didn’t know……

Guest blog by Marion Kelt , librarian at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Like most things in Marion world, my involvement in Open Education kind of grew on me like a fungus! It turned out that I had been developing, building and sharing resources for years, without realising that this was Open Education in practice!

It all started when I was working as a Subject Librarian and I was fairly new to the wonderful world of web page building. I found myself all alone one Summer with 500 nurses to train in CINAHL searching! I didn’t have time to get a video together, and resources like Camtasia were not commonly available. For ages we had been using the usual worksheets with screenshots for small scale practical training. This was fine but I needed something to take care of the (I nearly said Dothraki hordes) larger groups of students.

So, I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could somehow use the worksheets as the basis for an online training session. I started to play around on my PC, and before I knew it, I had a split screen tutorial using frames. It was pretty primitive compared with what we can produce now, but I was very proud of it! Funnily enough, at the same time, the inHale project came up with the “guide at the side” set of tutorials! I found myself at eLit presenting my system at the same time as them! Small world…..

Anyway, roll forward a few years and we were still using what we now called the 24-7 database tutor as a backup for our practical sessions. We found that our students preferred the human touch, but were happy to have the online resource as a fall back option.

I started becoming aware of the world of OERs, which were then called RLOs (Reusable learning objects). However, even though I had built one, I somehow didn’t make the connection. I somehow thought that RLOs had to be on a larger scale and part of a formal project, it took me a while to understand that our wee online tutor was actually one of these mysterious objects! In the words of the immortal Homer Simpson, D’oh!

So, I was happily playing away with my tutorials, updating them and adapting them for use with a few different databases, when we got a new Librarian. Debbi Boden brought with her a resource called SMILE. This was an information literacy and communication skills training course. Guess who got the project to adapt it for use at GCU! I used a variety of OERs to add to the content and folded in our group of database tutorials.

As part of that project, I fell in with the copILot group, which aimed to promote the use of OERs in information Literacy training. This was a lot of fun and we ran several training courses round the UK – one of our key aims was to take training out from London, so we held events in Cardiff, Guildford and Glasgow. This group ended up being subsumed into the larger Information Literacy Group of CILIP.

I was still updating and adding to SMILE when we decided to share it, the Dreamweaver files are available on edShare at http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/id/document/6056 but we have since updated it and made it mobile friendly, you can see it as part of our main library web site at http://www.gcu.ac.uk/library/smile/

SMILE had a “big brother” package known as PILOT which was aimed at postgraduates and post-doctoral researchers, so I got another project to update these files and tailor them to GCU use. We originally made this available as Dreamweaver files (available at http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/id/document/6059) or you can view the newest, mobile friendly version on our website at http://www.gcu.ac.uk/library/pilot/

Along with the development work on these OERs, I got interested in how institutions were going about sharing and licensing them. When I talked to our staff, they said that they were not sure where they stood with regard to official policy, as this seemed to vary by school or department. It became clear that we needed an institutional policy. The need for this was underscored by our edShare@GCU project. This aimed to implement a new multimedia educational resource repository to take over from the hardware and software developed as part of the Spoken Word Project. This involved scoping requirements and an audit of the files already developed and used at GCU. The policy and multimedia repository were developed in tandem, and we now have the GCU institutional OER policy (free to download and repurpose from http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/id/document/11345 ) and a fully functional edShare system https://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/ which is in turn indexed by Google.

We were so proud of this project, that we attended meetings and talked about it quite a bit! Toby Hanning and I have appeared in some OEPS case studies and have presented at a variety of conferences. However, there has been no time to sit back and relax! Now the real work of training and advocacy has begun in earnest. We have added impetus due to our various remote campuses and the need to develop and deliver high quality multimedia teaching resources.

Along with providing our users with the means to store and share resources, we also need to back this up with clear advice on copyright (not everyone’s favourite topic!) and Creative Commons licensing. This got us thinking further about a way to provide online copyright guidance. We got together a working group and have produced a prototype version of the GCU copyright advisor. You can try it out yourself here http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/2707/2/index.html This is not a finished version, as we still have snagging to do, but we have had to put it on the back burner while we implemented a new library system over the Summer!

We have also shared our “working out” with flowcharts and scripts available here http://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2706 . Not content with that we created a short movie about the project which you can view at https://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/cgi/embed_player?docid=20349

So, it turns out that OERs are a bit of an octopus thing, tentacles spread everywhere, and once you start seeing connections and possibilities, you can get quite carried away with it all! That is what has happened to me, I have evolved from a Subject Librarian to my new (ish) post as Open Access and Research Librarian. I am now officially tasked with promoting OERs across GCU (and beyond!)

I have many presentations and articles on our OER projects at GCU. Listing them out here may not make thrilling reading, but you can find them all listed under my name on edShare. Enjoy!

 

This guest post from Marian Kelt 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 or join the conversation before, during and after the event with the hashtag#BeOpen’.

 

Pic attribution: ‘Brigham Young University faculty survey seeks to advance open education through academic libraries‘ by OpenSource.Com, CC BY SA 2.0

New course – Global Trends in Death and Dying

The latest addition to the OEPS portfolio of courses is now available. ‘Global Trends in Death and Dying’ was written with the University of Glasgow’s End of Life Studies group. It draws on cutting edge research to ask questions about death in a global context, looking critically at the different ways that death is experienced around the world, at the causes of death and the causes of these causes.

Global Trends is the ninth course to be launched by the OEPS project with a further six scheduled for release over the coming months. It joins a number of other courses including My Seaweed Looks Weird and the Parkinson’s UK and Dyslexia Scotland collections that have a focus on knowledge exchange.

Developing business models for open, online education

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.’

You can download the report here. It will be added to the OEPS Legacy Collection.

Workshop Gamestorming with Sunni Brown on June 6th 2013 in Amsterdam organized by Business Models Inc.

Workshop Gamestorming by Sebastiaan ter Burg licensed as CC BY 2.0

Our collection of open resources and practices

As the OEPS project draws to a close, there is much to celebrate.  We are pleased to share the growing collection of open courses, resources, case studies and open practice guidance which the project has helped produce and showcase the online platform, OpenLearn Create, which the project has helped further develop for hosting open materials and practices and where the OEPS collection is hosted.

In the OEPS collection:

Resources for OEP includes case studies on how other people and institutions have used open educational resources and practices; guidance on ways of finding, using, creating and sharing high quality open educational resources (OER) and how to use open educational practices and research on open education.  These are worth exploring to find something which might be similar to your own experience and give you encouragement to continue investigating the fascinating world of open learning and what it enables for so many people.

The OEPS team have written two courses about open educational practices, Becoming an open educator and Supporting Collective learning in workplace and community settings and have also been involved in co-authoring a course about creating courses – How to make an open online course.

OEPS also worked with the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) to create a short course called My seaweed looks weird for post graduate learners about seaweed aquaculture to explore best practice in seaweed cultivation.

We have produced two short resources introducing secondary school children to using the Open Science Lab tools to enhance their learning of Analysing pesticides or testing for genetic variations using quantitative PCR analysis (polymerase chain reaction).  Early in the OEPS project these were piloted with two schools in Scotland and have been revised slightly as a result of the pilot.

Courses developed with OEPS or inspired by it:

Early in the project The Open University in Scotland produced 3 badged open courses for carers which carry the OEPS badge design – see the OU in Scotland collection for Caring Counts: a self-reflection and planning course for carers, Caring Counts in the Workplace and Reflecting on Transitions.

We are working with Parkinson’s UK on their collection of courses and Dyslexia Scotland and Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit on a collection of courses.  So far Understanding Parkinson’s and Introduction to Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice have been published and each organisation has worked with OEPS to develop more courses which are coming soon.

More recently we’re pleased to see that the OEPS project has encouraged independent course creation – see the free resource for teachers Grow your own loaf created by the Royal Highland Education Trust, inspired by the OEPS project and hosted online as the result of the availability of the free open platform which the OEPS project has helped improve.

Using the OEPS collection

We hope that you will find the OEPS collection useful, not only as a legacy of the project but also as a place to find and share information on open educational practice. The collection can be updated so please contact the OLC team if you would like to contribute to it.

 

 

 

 

Open Science Lab experiments – open resources launched

OSL header collection page 850x398

Two new OpenScience Lab experiments (part of the OpenScience Lab project) are now available as open educational resources (OERs). These experiments give examples to secondary school pupils of the type of experiment that is carried out in university science courses. One experiment focuses on genetic testing to identify individuals with different numbers of functional genes, whilst the other focuses on gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). The experiments can be used by individuals or by teachers in the classroom.

The experiments can be accessed in the OpenScience Lab Collection on OpenLearn Create. They were created by OEPS based on material from the Open University Course S288 Practical Science. The OERs have been piloted with Scottish pupils in two different secondary schools.

Commenting on the launch, Pete Cannell Co-Director of OEPS stated: “Making these experiments open educational resources online demonstrates the usefulness of OERs in making expertise in a particular subject more widely available. They not only enable school students to get a taste of university science but also support teachers in delivering the science curriculum and may help them encourage more students to engage in STEM subjects than might previously have considered them.”

Each course has a short supplementary guide for teachers who may choose to use these in their classrooms.

Scottish Charity Awards – what a fabulous night

This article was originally posted on the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network website. It is reposted with permission.

Peter Canell and Claire Hewitt

Pete Cannell (OEPS) and Claire Hewitt (Parkinson’s UK) with Scottish Charity Awards Finalist Certificate. Image: All rights reserved.

We were delighted to be shortlisted as finalists in the Demonstrating Digital category of the Scottish Charity Awards 2017 on 22 June for our free online course Understanding Parkinson’s for health and social care staff from the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network.

Although we were pipped to the post, the judges revealed that they had the largest ever number of applications and competition within the categories was very stiff.

What’s so great about our course?

It ensures all professionals have access to training informed by the experiences of people affected by Parkinson’s.

Endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing, Understanding Parkinson’s for health and social care staff is an online course that helps health and social care professionals understand Parkinson’s better, influencing changes in practice by encouraging reflection.

  • It is free, easy to access and simple to use.
  • As an open educational resource, it can be reused, revised and shared by anyone.
  • It’s sustainable and cost effective, ensuring the best use of charity money.
  • It ensures all professionals have access to training informed by the experiences of people affected by Parkinson’s.

90% of course graduates who took our survey told us they plan to improve their practice and influence change in their organisations. This in turn will improve the lives of the 127,000 people in the UK with Parkinson’s.

We would like to thank everyone who has taken this course and made changes to their practice and that of their organisations as a result.

We’d also like to thank the Opening Educational Practices in Scotland project (Open University, Scotland) and the J Macdonald Menzies Trust for funding the course.

Parkinson’s UK is thrilled that the judges have recognised our trailblazing ‘Understanding Parkinson’s’ course.

Katherine Crawford, Scotland Director at Parkinson’s UK

Katherine Crawford, Scotland Director at Parkinson’s UK, says:

“Parkinson’s UK is thrilled that the judges have recognised our trailblazing ‘Understanding Parkinson’s’ course.

Developed in Scotland, the programme harnesses the power of digital learning to help health and social care professionals provide even better services for people with Parkinson’s in Scotland and throughout the UK.”

Sign up

Have you taken the course yet? You can sign up today.

You may also be interested in our 2 new courses: Parkinson’s: managing palliative and end of life care and Parkinson’s: managing bone health and fracture risk.

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.

UALL Conference – York 2017

UALLPic1

UALL Conference programme

The Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) annual conference was held in York on the 6th and 7th of April.  The conference themes highlighted the local, regional and international dimensions of lifelong learning. The introductory plenary by Professor Karen Stanton, Vice Chancellor of York St Johns University, highlighted the challenges that adult education faces. In England, mature HE enrolments have fallen by nearly a third since the introduction of the high fee regime. In Scotland, although the policy environment is different, there has been a steep decline in part-time provision through the college sector and major reductions in the opportunities offered through Community Learning Development.  However, Karen noted emerging themes in policy agendas in which lifelong learning is critically important.

The presentations at the conference reflected the conference themes and were clustered into four main areas: Pedagogy, partnership, work based-learning / professional development and outreach.  Contributions from Scandinavia on innovative, work-based approaches to professional education were particularly interesting. The OEPS contribution was entitled ‘Creating openly licensed courses for use in workplace and community settings’. In it we looked at the pressures on third-sector organisations with an interest in education and training as a result of the decline in mainstream adult education provision.

In the UK organisations that are not part of the formal education sector play an important role in supporting lifelong learning. Third sector organisations and trade unions are prominent in this activity although public and private employers also play a part.  For the third sector the last decade has been a time of significant change, with reductions in funding, changes in role and a need to adapt to new educational demands driven by the rapid increase in the availability and use of digital technology. The OEPS presentation drew on evidence from a large-scale project in Scotland that aimed to increase the use of free and openly licensed online courses by non-traditional learners.   It explored the ways in which the third sector is responding to new challenges and looked at the advantages that online learning and openly licensed educational resources have for organisations engaged in promoting online learning. We examined the advantages that online learning and openly licensed educational resources have for such organisations and reflected on the nature and value of educational partnerships that work across the informal/formal boundary and explored examples of where such partnerships extend to the coproduction of new educational materials and educational practice. We then outlined the challenges that such partnerships present and outlined how we had incorporated approaches drawn from participatory design in the Learning Design workshops we have facilitated with partners. We noted that as a result, partners develop insight into the learner context at the same time as challenging deep-seated perceptions and assumptions about appropriate practice and pedagogy.

The UALL 2017 awards winner was also announced at the conference and went to the Brighton based community project ‘The Bevy‘. We were pleased that the OEPS project was runner up and highly commended.  This is recognition for all those individuals and organisations which have participated in the multiple strands of the OEPS project and shared practice, ideas and creativity.

Pete Cannell

Reflections on OE Global and OER17 – part 1

by Anna Page (OEPS project)

Cape Town Convention Centre

Cape Town Convention Centre

Attending a Higher Education conference is always unique to each person.  There is always a lot going on and with presentations scheduled in parallel sessions it is impossible to attend everything or talk to everyone.  This year OEPS had a poster and a presentation at OE Global which for the first time was held in Cape Town and then a few weeks later had several presentations at OER17 in London.  These are my reflections of attending both conferences.

I was fortunate enough to present a poster and presentation for OEPS at the 3 day OE Global conference, hosted by the University of Cape Town and chaired by Dr Glenda Cox, in the mother city of South Africa.  The conference was held in the city based international conference centre, rather than on campus which sits on the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak.  OE Global is organised by the Open Education Consortium and has always been in the ‘global north’ so it was good that the open education researchers in the ‘global south’ were given the opportunity to host it and challenge ‘global north’ perspectives about open educational resources (OER) and open educational practice.  I had not attended OE Global before so it was an enormous privilege to travel such a great distance to present on behalf of OEPS in the city of my birth.  Everyone I spoke with at the conference was very engaged in open education and how it might be used to improve the educational opportunities of a wider group of learners.

View of Table Mountain and Lions Head

View of Table Mountain and Lions Head

There was significant representation at OE Global by two overlapping groups – the ROER4D project, convened by UCT and the GO-GN researchers, convened by the OERHub based at The Open University.  I attended several presentations by people from these groups, including a discussion about making use of MOOCs at UCT and another about understanding lecturer’s adoption of OER at three South African universities, postgraduate students as OER capacitators and exploring open educational practices of first year students at a SA university.  I was interested in collaborative practices, so attended a presentation on teacher collaboration and practice (by Melissa King of BRIDGE, an NGO) which also explored the thorny question of measuring impact of OERs and one about teacher professional learning communities in India (this was a ROER4D sub project).

OE Global Gala Dinner

OE Global Gala Dinner

I was fascinated by the experience of an OER creation novice, Professor Jasmine Roberts from the USA, who discussed the impact of authoring OER on student engagement, learning and retention when she authored an open textbook for her students because the existing textbooks didn’t cover what they needed for their class. Early in her presentation she identified key reasons why more teachers are not using or creating OER: This is the same issue that Josie Fraser and others discussed at the OEPS forum 4 last year and is a challenge common to both ‘global north’ and ‘global south’ educators. Some of us in the session were able to point Jasmine to online resources which offer such advice and support, such as OEPS Becoming an open educator and How to make an open online course OERs on OpenLearn Create.  However it was also clear from her experience that supportive open educational practice networks to help with answering specific questions about OER creation can help give OER creation novices the confidence to make a good start or to avoid some of the pitfalls along the way.  It was encouraging to learn that the open textbook she offered her learners for free was well received, proved accessible to the learners and had a positive impact on their learning and enjoyment of the class.

Anna by the OEPS Poster

Anna by the OEPS Poster

The issues about making the work of researchers in the global south more visible and discoverable was explored by a presentation about the ROER4D curation and dissemination strategy.  This strategy aims to make content open by default when it is legally and ethically possible to do so, especially if this increases its value to learning.  I liked the fact that in the reasons why it was necessary to have such a strategy, all the arguments for good academic practice were cited as also good open educational practice.  This was approached in a way to make it attractive to an academic to implement.

The poster sessions were in the coffee breaks and I was able to discuss the poster with several people as well as hand out OEPS leaflets, stickers and OpenLearn pens!

My presentation was on the last day in the final session before the closing plenary.  It was encouraging to have an interested audience and some good questions about what OEPS has been doing with opening up practice on participatory course production.  Beck Pitt, OEPS Researcher, live broadcast the presentation via Twitter Periscope.

After the closing plenary panel it was time for goodbyes as everyone dispersed back around the globe after taking in some of the sights of Cape Town.

Part 2 covers OER17 in London and my reflections on comparing the themes of the two conferences.

Image credits: Cape Town Convention Centre, OE Global Gala Dinner, View of Table Mountain and Lions Head and Anna by the OEPS Poster by Beck Pitt and licensed CC BY 2.0.