OER1139 Oral Presentation ppt

Friday 13 May 10.00 Breakout Room 4/4a

Fostering collaboration and enhancement through community-building

Christopher Taylor & Terence McAndrew, UK Centre for Bioscience, University of Leeds

Conference Theme: Collaboration and communities

Abstract: The emergence of the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement and in particular Creative Commons licenses is causing a shift in how academics consider the production and use/reuse of learning and teaching resources. Efficient and effective production and enhancement of OER for further use is not likely to continue to happen in isolation. Recognising this, the Bioscience OER pilot project sought to promote and encourage collaboration amongst its ten geographically-disparate project partners through a combination of face-to-face and Web2.0 social tools, to create a community of practice based not around an institution but a common subject area. Additionally each partner was encouraged to extend the community through their own contacts to further promote take-up of OER. Associated learning technologists' central internal roles were also used to encourage further use of OERs department-wide.
The application of key Web2.0 applications including YahooPipes and Feed43 were important in underpinning the creation of a sense of community and context around sets of resources produced by each partner, by allowing us to automate a number of the project’s features. Aggregation of blog postings using an embedded YahooPipe and redisplay of JorumOpen resources on our own web pages (through manipulation of custom RSS feeds using Feed43), with contextual information about the creator and the environment in which the resources had been designed for, enabled the project to further promote a sense of community. These outputs have also been provided to the overall bioscience community as RSS feeds, to maximise further community involvement. These systems will update automatically with each new blog post or new resource uploaded, allowing them to continually evolve with minimal administration overhead.
In addition Skype Video proved to be an invaluable tool for establishing and maintaining a collaborative atmosphere between the project team and its project partners, and then vitally between the project partners themselves, without direct Centre involvement. Supplying each partner with a headset and webcam, and offering training was key to its success, and a number of the partners have maintained contact following the completion of the project, and are now beginning to use and enhance each others' OERs.

Keywords: oer; collaboration; blogs; wikis; web2.0; repositories; academic communities; YahooPipes; Feed43; JorumOpen


Bioscience OER Pilot project and OeRBITAL projectwww.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