OER1121 Oral Presentation pptx

Friday 13 May 10.30 Breakout Room 4/4a

Achieving sustainable orbit for Open Educational Resources through the OeRBITAL project (work in progress)

Terence McAndrew and Chris Taylor, UK Centre for Bioscience, University of Leeds

Conference Theme: OER strategy and sustainability

Abstract: There is a clear and distinct parallel with the launch of a vehicle for space exploration and the launch of a resource for an educational journey. Presently, most educational resources have narrow aims and fail to escape the purpose of a local academic destination. Each academic year they may be re-launched and perhaps cloned for similar educational journeys in new institutions but, after a limited number of flights, they become unfit for purpose as they were not maintained and their environment took its toll. Funding and credit only appears to be available for building more of the same, with similar results; the original design teams have to move on to build new but similar resources. It would appear that each project is only supported to exist in its own local academic landscape; 'inter-continental' is an ideal which project teams would prefer to work on but, in the absence of reward and co-ordination, they must limit their ambition and resource is wasted.
The rise of the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement and the new academic landscape (linked by web2.0 and repositories) offer a host of solutions which can empower the resource providers to build educational resources which are open for 'inter-continental' development but there is a gap which needs to be bridged by a focused strategy to secure engagement: OeRBITAL (Open educational Resources for Bioscientists Involved in Teaching and Learning) seeks to build this bridge between the traditional academic networks and online communities to create a sustainable credit-rewarding network by identifying and raising for enhancement the best of breed solutions (and considerably improve their service lifetime). The OeRBITAL project has established a network of 'Discipline Consultants' (DC) who can identify key resources in their field which are not only meeting real academic demands, but are also suitable of becoming 'core' OERs capable of further application and development beyond their original aims. We will show how our DCs are using the basis of discipline expertise (and learned society networks) to develop a cultural change by promoting best of breed solutions through professional networks in conjunction with web 2.0, while working alongside learning technologists to create a sustainable 'orbit' for the best open education resources, giving them the boost they need to be adopted and adapted.

Keywords: oers; sustainability; blogs; wikis; web2.0; repositories; academic communities; learned societies; culture change


OeRBITAL project – www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/oer

McAndrew and Taylor (2010). The Interactive Laboratory and Fieldwork Manual for the Biosciences – Final Report. UK Centre for Bioscience Higher Education Academy Subject Centre. Available at http://tinyurl.com/biooerrep