OER1102 Oral Presentation YouTube

Thursday 12 May 15.15 Breakout Room 6

The importance of OERs in delivering a flexible continuing professional development (CPD) degree framework

Stephen Gomez, Mel Parker, Mel Joyner & Hilary Duckett, University of Plymouth

Conference Theme: Academic practice and digital scholarship

Abstract: Continuing professional development (CPD) short courses play a vital role in workforce development. CPD short courses, as their name implies, involve bite-sized, often free-standing, learning opportunities which are preferential for learners in the workplace with limited time to study. The University of Plymouth has recently approved a flexible CPD degree framework whereby short courses become accredited CPD modules which can be aggregated into a Bachelor's or Master's degree or intermediate stages. Because of the difficulty of non-traditional learners accessing lectures for traditional full-time students. Alternative teaching methods must be sought. OERs play a central role in our strategy for delivering learning opportunities on-demand and at point-of-demand for demand-led topics. Through an extensive market research survey of employers and employees in the SW region, we have determined that we would produce OERs that covered three main areas: leadership and management, research methods and work-based learning. These are also areas which are likely to be of importance to employers in other regions of the UK who wish to increase the professionalism of their workforce. In each of these areas we are producing 120 credits of OERs covering levels 4-7. These materials will be available to the HE community through the JorumOpen repository. In our own contexts, we will use these OERs as the main vehicle for delivering distance learning for learners in the workplace. The presentation will outline the structure of the CPD framework at Bachelors and Masters levels and their component modules. It will provide examples of OERs for professional development, how they have been produced and how they will be deployed to offer employers and employees access to higher level learning. We will also discuss the challenges and benefits of working across an institution to produce and deliver OERs.

Keywords: Continuing professional development; OER; non-traditional learners; JorumOpen; CPD degrees