Blog Archives

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.

 

 

 

 

Celebrating #YearOfOpen at the OU!

This blog is adapted from the blog originally published by Beck Pitt on the OER hubPhotos by Bea de los Arcos and licensed CC BY 2.0 .

YearOfOpen-at-The-Open-University-UK by Bea de los Arcos

‘A range of people participated either face-to-face, or online, in last week’s OER Hub hosted celebration of all things open at The Open University (UK)! Wednesday 20th June saw colleagues from across the University come together to share their ideas and experiences of openness as part of 2017’s #YearOfOpen international celebrations marking the anniversary of a number of important events in the development of open education. The afternoon kicked off with colleagues from across the university sharing what open means to them and their roles.

Beck Pitt introduces #YearOfOpen at the OU (Bea de los Arcos, CC BY)

Beck Pitt introduces #YearOfOpen at the OU (Bea de los Arcos, CC BY)

Lightening talks showcasing the diverse range of ways open makes a difference included personal reflections in From Theory to Practice: An Open Educational Journey (Tim Seal, TESS-India Technical Director), a look at why we might be more open in our practice in Ethics in Knowing: Rationales for Openness (Rick Holliman, Professor of Engaged Research) to exciting collaborative activity both within the University and beyond in Promoting and Supporting the Openness of Ideas related to Open and Online Learning (Laura Hills, Lecturer, Academic Professional Development) and Open Educational Practice Beyond the OU: Open Platform and Practices (Anna Page, Senior Producer: Open Education Projects). Review the full line-up here. Talks were followed by a productive group discussion on how we can shape open at the OU over the coming months. The event was livestreamed and you can catch up on the recording on YouTube or Periscope.’

Open Education Week 2017

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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

 

University of Glasgow

 

University of Highlands and Islands

 

University of Strathclyde

 

Open University in Scotland / Open University

 

Opening Educational Practices in Scotland

 

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!

 

Caring Counts in the Workplace launch, Glasgow: 8 June 2015

by Beck Pitt and Caroline Anderson (OEPS project)

Beck, Bea and Caroline were at Citizen M, Glasgow on Monday for the The Open University (OU) in Scotland’s symposium to launch Caring Counts in the Workplace, an exciting new open educational resource (OER) to enable managers to support carers in balancing their caring and work roles. Nicely timed at the beginning of Carers Week and also in the year that Carers Scotland celebrates its 50th anniversary, the day brought together carers, support workers and employers to learn about the new course, find out more about how it was developed, its benefit to both employer and employee, and its potential for transforming lives. This post aims to act as a snapshot overview of some of the rich and interesting discussion and events from the day.

Caring Counts in the Workplace builds on the success of, and accompanies Caring Counts: a reflection and planning course for carers, which launched in July 2014 and was created in conjunction with 20 carers (“developed with and for carers”). Caring Counts in the Workplace is created for managers and policy makers and developed in collaboration with the Equal Partners in Care (EPiC) project (Scottish Social Services Council and NHS Education for Scotland) and with Carers Scotland, the course is aimed at employers who recognise that fostering an environment where every member of staff feels supported in the workplace is good employment practice, and who understand the benefits of having carer-supportive policies. Both courses provide the opportunity to earn OEPS open badges which demonstrate that you have participated in the course.

James Miller (Director of the OU in Scotland) and Jamie Hepburn (MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health) kicked off proceedings. Jamie Hepburn reiterated the Scottish Government’s commitment to carers and young carers, to supporting them to ensure they have the same opportunities to fulfil their potential, balancing their life goals with caring, and creating carer-friendly communities. The Minister talked about the Carer Positive kite mark, a Scottish Government funded initiative operated by Carers Scotland which currently involves over 50 organisations across Scotland, before congratulating the OU on achieving the first ‘Engaged’ level of the kite mark. The OU is the first of Scotland’s universities to achieve the Carer Positive kite mark, and Tony O’Shea Poon accepted the award on behalf of the Open University. In his thanks Tony highlighted that the rights of the carer must be aligned with the responsibilities of the employer.

Next we heard from Professor Allison Littlejohn (OU) on research highlighting Ten things skilled professional learners do differently before a range of speakers officially launched Caring Counts in the Workplace. During this session we heard from carer Lesley Bryce who talked about her own experiences: from recognising herself as a ‘carer’ to the impact that Caring Counts: a reflection and planning course for carers had on her.  As Lesley has described it elsewhere:

“I think you definitely lose confidence if you have to give up a career, for whatever reason. Reflection helps you realise your potential, which can get lost in your caring role” (p8, Open Pathways to Education).

We also heard how Caring Counts in the Workplace is already having an impact: Seonad Hoy of social housing provider the Wheatley Group reported that 10 managers had already signed up to participate in a pilot of the course whilst ongoing support for carers at the organisation includes events during Carers’ week and flexible working practices. Wheatley Group are also actively working towards progressing to the next level of the Carer Positive Kitemark. The need for employers to support carers in varied ways was also highlighted by Gill Ryan who noted that the Scottish Courts Service provides services such as free Power of Attorney to its employees.

After lunch we heard about the amazing work of the Bridges Programmes which has been supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow since 2002. Maggie Lennon highlighted the importance of reflection for everyone they support and described the role and impact of the Reflecting on Transitions OER (also carrying OEPS badges) which was developed to enable their clients think about their current situation, previous experiences and think about next steps.

Prior to the plenary session, where we explored next steps and takeaway points, a number of parallel sessions enabled us to explore different initiatives in more depth.  Participants had the opportunity to hear more about the content and structure of the new Caring Counts course, find out more about Carer Positive and the Kitemark and the new Open Pathways to Higher Education which has been designed to help support learners explore OER available on the OU’s OpenLearn platform in a structured way. The session also introduced the idea of Open Learning Champions and supporting others use of OpenLearn materials.

Beck has produced a quick Storify to capture in more depth the speakers’ thoughts and participant contributions and the research team are looking forward to working with Lindsay Hewitt and the Caring Counts team to document the impact of Caring Counts over the coming months. Presentations, photos and more from the day will also be available via the Caring Counts blog shortly and we’ll be adding further resources, blog posts etc. on the event as they go live!

 

Innovating pedagogy report 3

Innovating Pedagogy 2014

Innovating Pedagogy 2014

The Open University has just issued its third annual ‘Innovating Pedagogy’ report in which it claims that education can be dramatically enhanced by social networks. The report identifies 10 methods of teaching, learning and assessment that are gaining influence but which have not yet had a major impact on education. One of these is massive open social learning which brings the benefits of social networks to people taking online courses by enabling them to recommend, like and follow the best content created by other learners.

The report has already generated debate on the Association for Learning Technology members’ discussion mailing list, with some members noting that the report is not a sales pitch or checklist for new ‘must-have’ technologies (which might be useful to education), instead that pedagogy is the central theme of the series and the extent to which new innovations can enhance and extend good pedagogy and practice is explored and discussed.

The Innovating Pedagogy reports are available for free at www.open.ac.uk/innovating

See also the Open University press release ‘Learning is embracing social networks