Blog Archives

Understanding dyslexia and inclusive practice

Introduction to Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice badge

Introduction to Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice badge

Our latest open online course ‘Introduction to Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice’ is now live. The course has been developed by the Dyslexia Toolkit Working Group, led by Frances Ranaldi of Education Scotland, and developed in partnership with the Opening Educational Practices in Scotland project.

‘Dyslexia and inclusive practice’ is the first of three linked courses supporting the Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit. The toolkit and the courses will increase support for educators to deliver inclusive education across Scotland.

The course is aimed at teachers, community educators and anyone with an interest in inclusive practice and supports the recommendations of the 2014 Education Scotland Review: ‘Making Sense: Education for Children and Young People with Dyslexia in Scotland’. It also links to the General Teaching Council of Scotland’s professional standards.

We are delighted to launch the course during Open Education Week as it is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the impact of open education on teaching and learning. This course is an example of how free and openly licensed courses are a cost-effective and easily accessible means of disseminating nationwide training on key issues in education. From South Lanarkshire to Shetland, West Lothian to the Western Isles educators will be able to access this course at a time, pace and place that suits them. This substantially increases the opportunities for educators to develop their inclusive practice in education.

As with all our courses if you use, reuse, remix, revise or redistribute it then please let us know as we’d love to know how it’s being used.

For further information about dyslexia see the Dyslexia Scotland website.

#OEPSforum4 story

We have created the #OEPSforum4 story on Storify – see

Women in OER

On International Women’s Day 2016 OEPS wanted to celebrate the contribution of a few of the women with whom we have been lucky to work since the project began. Whilst this isn’t a comprehensive list and it would be remiss if we didn’t also note that there are substantial contributions from other genders too, these women are all making a mark on Open Educational Practice.

Laura Czerniewicz gave a fascinating and thought provoking keynote at #OEPSforum2 in March 2015 in which she challenged people to think about open educational resources in the global south and the contested environment in which open education sits. This is due to financial barriers to knowledge set against earlier cultural traditions of sharing. So much of the open educational resources and open educational practice world has been focussed on openness in the context of the global north – in other words those with ready access to the internet and higher educational opportunities. In contrast the ’global south’ often lack the facilities which make it easy to access online open educational resources or exchange open practices and the cost of educational materials often makes education beyond the reach of the poorest in society.

Laura is the Director of the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at the University of Cape Town. She has been involved in the OpenUCT Initiative supporting local scholars utilize innovative scholarly communication approaches and encourage them to publish more about their work and share their practice.

Also at #OEPSforum2 Lorna Campbell presented a workshop on the future directions of the ‘Scottish Open Educational Declaration’ in which she discussed the formation and development of the declaration and the aspirations for developing it further so that spirit of the declaration could be more widely adopted. It has already been used to raise awareness of open education within individual Scottish institutions and policy.

Lorna is the EDINA Digital Education Manager and OER Liaison for Open Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. She has many years’ experience of educational technology and interoperability standards, focussing on open education. She leads the Open Scotland initiative and is co-chairing the OER16 Conference in Edinburgh with Melissa Highton.

Allison Littlejohn is a key voice in shaping OER. Her keynote at #OEPSforum3 in November 2015 outlined the guidelines she developed with Nina Hood on ‘Learning open Educational Practice’. Allison reflected on how people come to know about and understand OER and then to embed open educational practice. Alison highlighted the challenges and opportunities which OER bring for educators and learners alike.

Allison is a Professor of Learning Technology at the Institute of Educational Technology and Academic Director of Learning and Teaching at the Open University. Allison’s vision is of cross-boundary learning which will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience across sectors and disciplines in order to transform the way people learn.

Josie Fraser is passionate about ensuring access to education for everyone and how open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) can help achieve this aim. She wants the OER world to find ways to make education more accessible to everyone. She is giving the keynote address at #OEPSforum4. on 9th March 20

Josie is a social and educational technologist and has worked with a wide range of institutions, promoting digital literacy and supporting staff to understand, use and create open educational resources.

These are just a few of the inspirational women who are leading the development of open educational resources and open educational practice. However there is a wider question of what open educational resources and practice can do to promote gender parity? Women and girls are often more disadvantaged in relation to access to, participation in and accruing benefit from education. However access to education has been shown to help in addressing issues such as early marriage and pregnancy, gender-based violence and in achieving social and economic outcomes not just for women and girls but society as a whole. Yet education is a basic human right, protected by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and a myriad of other international (and often domestic) laws.

Open education has the potential to widen access to education for women and girls, enabling them to access global thought leaders and subjects that might not be available to them locally. It also provides a platform by which women and girls can share their own knowledge and experiences. Open education isn’t just about the use of online open resources, it can equally be the women’s collective who self-organise to run education classes or to share knowledge with others in their area on an open basis, or the group of women senior managers who have an open action learning set or who use open educational resources to develop their leadership.

There is a role for open education to contribute to closing the gender gap now, to ensure that all genders are treated equally, to facilitate women and girls achieving their ambitions, to challenge discrimination and bias in all forms, to promote gender balanced leadership, to value contributions equally, and to create inclusive and flexible cultures. How will you #PledgeforParity to address the gender gap?

By Rosemarie McIlwhan and Anna Page


OEPS in Open Education Week 2016

Today marks the start of Open Education Week (7-11th March 2016), a celebration and sharing of all things ‘open education’ and an opportunity to “raise awareness about free and open educational opportunities that exist for everyone, everywhere, right now” (Attrib: There are a range of ways in which to engage in Open Education Week and OEPS has a few things planned.

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day (#IWD2016 and #PledgeForParity). OEPS is celebrating by reviewing some contributions that inspirational women, who are leaders in the field of open educational practice, have kindly contributed to the project.

#OEPSForum4 takes place on Wednesday 9th March at the Stirling Court Hotel. We are very excited to welcome Josie Fraser as our keynote speaker. If you haven’t booked your place yet it’s not too late – the event is free and you can register via Eventbrite. If you can’t make it then watch out for the tweets throughout the day using the hashtag #OEPSForum4 and for the blog posts, slideshares and videos posted on our website after the event.

Also this week OEPS is publishing another good practice case study on the OEPS hub. This case study showcases the work of Stephanie McKendry in widening participation at the University of Strathclyde.

If you’re doing something for Open Education Week why not tweet about it using the hashtag #OpenEducationWk or let us know @OEPScotland or comment below. We’d love to know what you’re doing.