OER1166b Short Paper (Part of Symposium OER1166) pptx

Moving towards a culture of digital professionalism to encourage involvement in open educational resources

Suzanne Hardy, Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine, Newcastle University
Helen Blanchett, Netskills, Newcastle University
Megan Quentin-Baxter, Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine, Newcastle University

Conference Theme: Collaboration and communities

Abstract: Meaningful engagement with OER requires understanding of the digital landscape in which activity takes place, and the individual’s location within it. OER presents challenges to existing academic practice and highlights that learning literacies are essential in the digital age. (1)
There is guidance (2, 3, 4) for staff and students on how to act in the digital environment, and indeed human behaviour/good practice already exists in pockets, but requires dissemination to the mainstream, to all clinical education settings, as identified in the OOER phase 1 pilot UKOER project.
Professionalism and fitness to practice competencies form an integral part of the assessment of students across all clinical curricula. Extending the concept of digital professionalism to these established requirements, is a means to embed good practice – mainstreaming the issues to potentially make them relevant to every subject and every skill mix.
To be a digital professional, every member of staff who contributes to curriculum delivery, in both NHS and academic settings, should be able to identify, model and understand professional behavior in the digital environment. However, competence at the basic level is generally assumed, OER related skills are perceived as extra to the norm, and different to digital literacies, much discussed in library environments.
Encouraging uptake of digital professionalism concepts is a core part of both the ACTOR and PORSCHE projects, examining cultural differences in academic and clinical settings. By relating these concepts to current fitness to practice curriculum requirements, and digital/learning literacies (5, 6), the projects will encourage embedding of the necessary digital literacy skills in clinical curricula, as well as in practice settings, fostering good practice with staff and students. Consent Commons will enable easier attribution and validation of patient’s rights in learning resources containing their data. In turn, this will overcome perceived skills barriers in academic and work based settings enabling further OER engagement.
This session will introduce the concept of digital professionalism, relate it to fitness to practice requirements, and digital literacy skills, and suggest ways in which we can ensure responsibility in acting as professionally in the digital environment as we do in work based settings.

Keywords: ukoer; medicine; dentistry; veterinary medicine; eLearning; digital professionalism; digital literacy; information literacy; professional identity; training; development; good practice


1. Available from Beetham, H., L. McGill, et al. (2009). Thriving in the 21st century: Learning Literacies for the Digital Age. Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University/JISC. Available from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/projects/llidareportjune2009.pdf accessed 30 November 2010.

2. https://openeducationalresources.pbworks.com/w/page/27128655/Pilot-programme-outputs:-Guidance-and-support accessed 30 November 2010.

3. Available from http://www.oer-quality.org/w/page/11925719/FrontPage accessed 30 November 2010.

4. Available from http://www.netskills.ac.uk/content/themes/infoskills/ accessed 30 November 2010.

5. Available from http://www.bestlibrary.org/digital/files/bruce.pdf accessed 20 January 2011

6. Available from http://www.infoliteracy.scot.nhs.uk/information-literacy-framework.aspx access 20 January 2011