by Pete Cannell (OEPS project)
During the 2014/15 football season the OEPS project piloted the use of OER to support the education of football apprentices using a group-based workplace learning model. The basic model was well established but had previously made use of accredited modules.
‘Learning in the workplace – supporting football apprentices with the academic component of their apprenticeship’ is an evaluation report covering the running of the initiative from 2009 to 2015 produced by the OEPS team. The report includes a short evaluation of the OER pilot which reflects on the strengths, weaknesses and potential for development of open educational practice in this rather specific setting. The remainder of the report provides context and commentary on the wider issues of providing education in a workplace and professional setting to young adults.
This is the first of what we plan to be weekly updates on the project’s partnership and outreach activity. Normally we’ll cover the last five days but this time we thought we’d include the previous week too!
In the week beginning 23 February we had a number of discussions about using open educational materials to support democratic participation in Scottish society. We’ll be pursuing these in the coming months. Pete Cannell had an initial meeting with the Poverty Alliance and joined a discussion organised by Scottish Union Learning where we shared ideas about the development of Open Learning Champions with project workers from some of the main unions in Scotland. We also hosted the regular meeting of the OEPS Steering group where we reported on the progress of the project to date, including the plans for the OEPS hub website. A written report will be published on this blog shortly.
Ronald was putting the finishing touches to a report on the work we have been doing with rural schools in the Highlands using OER and OpenScienceLab, in part prompted by the upcoming deadline for OER15 http://oer15.oerconf.org/ where we are presenting on Wed the 15th of April, and partly so that we can assess what worked within the pilot and look at the next steps.
Ronald was also at the Scottish Union Learn Everyday Skills conference running a workshop to explore how we might encourage digital participation through and for education, it was a very insightful event and we learnt a great deal about how to support Union Learning organisers. It was a rich conversation and you can find more at the twitter hashtag #sules15
This week Pete met with the E-Learning Alliance and Pete and Ronald started discussions on how to produce an OER version of gender equality materials produced by the Teacher Education in Malawi project. Pete’s also developed a draft of a workshop and materials to support the development of Open Learning Champions which we will revise and refine following feedback from all those involved.
Looking ahead we have preparations to make around a series of workshops in Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, where we will be running a series of events in communities throughout the park using an enterprise OER Rural Entrepreneurship Scotland to structure a series of sessions exploring some of the complex problems facing remote and rural communities
Preparations for the OEPS Advisory forum on the 19th March are well in hand and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone who has signed up for this free event. We have space for a few more people to join us, so if you haven’t already booked your place, please register via Eventbrite. You can choose 2 of the 4 afternoon workshops to participate in as well as the project update and the keynote by Professor Laura Czerniewicz in the morning. For more information including workshop descriptions and the programme for the day, please read the Advisory Forum 2 blog post.
In the article, Pete explores the impact on adult education and lifelong learning of the internet and online courses. He discusses the huge potential for expanding access to education which online courses can provide as the digital revolution gains momentum, with more people having access to mobile devices and social media. He explains “open” education and the worldwide growth of free openly licenced resources which are available for people to use, share, reuse and modify.
In the article Pete also explores the inequalities of access to open materials and that the potential open educational resources have for widening participation have yet to be fulfilled. He explains how the OEPS project aims to work with others across the sector and beyond to support transitions from informal to formal learning and widen participation in higher education.