OER1106 Oral Presentation ppt

Wednesday 11 May 15.45 Breakout Room 6

Promoting effective engagement with UK PSF for STEM

Tom Browne, Marge Clarke & Barrie Cooper, Education Enhancement, University of Exeter

Conference Theme: Academic practice and digital scholarship

Abstract: In 2009/10 the University of Exeter obtained HEFCE funds for a JISC-managed Phase-1 project called Open Exeter to develop an institutional infrastructure for OER [1]. It concluded that for OER to become sustainable institutionally "all the elements of OER must be seen as an integral part of scholarly endeavour" and that "the OER agenda should be formally incorporated in accredited staff development programmes" [2]. This theme has subsequently been developed by the authors in their capacity as academic developers and their experiences are the focus of this paper.
Tom Browne managed Open Exeter and has subsequently obtained an Open University SCORE Fellowship to promote 'OER as a scholarly activity within staff development accredited courses' [3]. This Fellowship is aligned with a Phase-2 HEFCE funded and HEA managed project called OpenSTEM, which focus on the design and delivery of an over-arching pedagogical package of OER that can be used in the teaching of early career academics. The focus is on just two STEM subjects, namely Maths and Biosciences. We recognise that in order to encourage engagement with the UK PSF 'Core knowledge' criteria effectively, we must relate the pedagogy to subject-specific teaching experiences.
OpenSTEM is embedded within Exeter's UK PSF programmes for the current academic year and Marge Clarke is Director of the programme that leads to Associate Fellow status of the HEA. This paper will report on three modes of narrative evaluative evidence. Firstly, a focus group of course participants meets weekly to discuss how effective they regard the resources and activities they have directly experienced. Secondly, some of the resources will be 'trialed' within equivalent courses at other UK institutions. Finally, some of the activities are currently being 'played out' in our Maths undergraduate curriculum by Barrie Cooper who both contributes to our accreditation programme and is also a Maths Teaching Fellow. Feedback from all three sources will enable us to refine our resources from our Autumn 2010 cohort of participants to the Spring 2011 cohort and thus enable them to be of maximum benefit to the wider UK staff development community to use and repurpose. Our preliminary and iteratively more mature findings are discussed in our blog, available at: http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/openstem/blog/category/intro/

Keywords: OER; UK PSF; STEM; professional development; digital scholarship


[1] Browne, T.J.& Newcombe, M. (2009). Open educational resources: A new creative space.
In Same places, different spaces. Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009.

[2] Browne, T., Holding, R., Howell A. and Rodway-Dyer, S (2010) The challenges of OER to Academic Practice. JIME (accepted for publication, Autumn 2010)

[3] SCORE Fellowship : http://www8.open.ac.uk/score/fellows/tom-browne