Open education update – Bristol University presentation

I’m very excited about talking to the Bristol University ‘pedagogy’ group about open education today. Here is a PDF of my slides:

SLIDES –> Open Education Update_VRolfe_5May15

The talk gave reference to a number of conference articles and papers, and the details of these are listed on my “talks and articles” page.

Links to the open education projects listed can be found under “open education“, including those I have participated in at Nottingham University and De Montfort.

Finally I made reference to the Open Education Conference (OER15) held in Cardiff this year. Videos of most of the presentations can be found via the conference web page.

Also I referred to Bronwyn Williams talking about ethics and the digital university at the SRHE event on 17th April 2015 (Methodology and Ethics for Researching the Digital University). You can find podcasts of Bronwyn’s talk which is absolutely a ‘must’ hear; just follow the links from this page.


Open education: sustainability versus vulnerability #oer15

Just returned from an outstanding two days at OER15 in Cardiff (Tues 14 – Wed 15th April 2015). The theme was ‘mainstreaming’ OER and one of my talks looked at the sustainability and impact of the open education projects I was involved in as part of the HEFCE-funded UKOER programme (2009 – 2012). Six years on, where are these projects?

OER Impact

My video shows the main points of the above image.

1) The impact of projects continues to grow and sustained some 6 years after the launch of the initial project (which was VAL in 2008/9. SCOOTER followed and then did BIOLOGY COURSES).

2) Staff practice has dramatically changed – for those originally involved, open is part of what they do, and open practices and use of resources has crept across the faculty and is adopted by new staff coming in.

3) The void is around institutional practices. Circumstances were such that two project champions (myself and another) left the university. Change in senior management and other reorganisation probably has resulted in some of the loss of traction of these initial conversations.

4) ‘Open’ was embedded within learning and teaching strategy, but the question is, how to make this real? How to turn words into action for institutions?

OER sustainability versus vulnerability.

I suppose this goes for any innovation or new practice, it takes time, investment, enthusiasm and effort to embed and sustain. However this can quickly become vulnerable for the reasons in the next image.

OER sustainability

What next?

I liked the ideas presented by Martin Weller in his keynote (see YouTube video). Martin was talking about mainstreaming OER, and that we are almost on the verge of victory. But progress is not about the big event and initial victory. History is made, or innovations embed and sustain only following a series of events and victories. That is what I see in our UKOER projects at De Montfort University. Yes, it was all about the big events – we had so much fun, students had fun, we made new collaborations – but the subsequent victories are contributing to what is becoming a changed faculty.

I’ve left the conference with growing concerns regarding the roles of ‘champions’ and will seek to explore this in a future blog.