OER1151 Oral Presentation pptx

Thursday 12 May 10.55 Breakout Room 4/4a

Are students OER aware?

Debora Barnes, University of Central Lancashire

Conference Theme: Academic practice and digital scholarship

Abstract: Open Educational Resources (OERs) have been proven in some cases to offer savings of time and money in curriculum development and they have also been shown that they can benefit the student's experience in education (EVOLUTION evaluation report 2010:10).  An advantage of using OERs which was highlighted in the Unicycle OER report is as follows:
There are 'efficiency benefits by sharing OER resources so academic staff spend less time "making" materials'. (UNICYCLE 2010). 
The Open University claim that they gained an extra 7000 students as a result of their OER project and UNESCO have been sharing for years that releasing OERs via the internet increases the student experience and therefore course take up (Stannard 2010).  However the wealth of tangible resources and the evidence that highlights the benefits of OERs is too slowly reaching the people that matter – the 'learning' student.  Rich repositories like Jorum and MIT are widely used by academics and learning facilitators but as independent learners, students need the skills to search the thousands of good quality resources available in OER repositories.  This paper will propose that the student end-user needs to be informed about and shown this vast ocean of good quality, specific and supportive educational materials.  This could be achieved by embedding it into a study skills module in the first year of study and additionally OERs should also be embedded into module design. This paper will propose that this new skill and uptake of OERs in module construction will help increase the student experience and satisfaction; and could contribute to the rationalising of higher student fees to potential students.  Students at three or more different Universities will be surveyed about their awareness and opinions of OERs and the results will be published. 

Keywords: oer; students; awareness; sustainability; academic practice; student experience; learning


EVOLUTION Project (2010) EVOLUTION Evaluation Report, JISC, last accessed 29/11/2010 at hlst.ltsn.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/ourwork/oer/UCLAN_final_rep.doc

Stannard, R (2010) A Wide Open Web of Potential, The Times Higher Education, last accessed 29/11/2010 at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=411353

UNICYCLE (2010) Final Report, JISC, last accessed 29/11/2010 at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/oer/unicycle.aspx