One of the benefits of participating in this week’s OER Programme Meeting in London was to see a lively and growing community in the UK – projects were represented from OER3 Themes (CORE-SET being one of those), from JISC Content (where there is a focus on OER digitisation), from the Higher Education Academy, and from the JISC Rapid Innovation initiative. Through the use of techniques, such as ‘Open Space’ and ‘World Café’, there were numerous opportunities during the day for projects to discuss issues and to share ideas relating to their OER developments.
From the morning discussions, we were able to relate to the many common challenges being faced by project teams – e.g. How to increase the visibility of OERs within communities of practice and in HEI policies / strategies? What technology and legal constraints to address in releasing open resources? We appreciated sharing solutions – e.g. How to involve learners, practitioners and managers in projects; and from the start? What to learn from past OER project experiences, and from expertise available on the day provided by a range of JISC-related services? Beneficial ideas emerged, in particular for CORE-SET relating to project evaluation – e.g. the importance of: (1) establishing a project baseline; (2) of gaining evidence beyond quantitative measures of resource ‘hits’; (3) of making effective use of evaluation buddies; etc.
The afternoon discussions centred on: (1) Student engagement with OERs; (2) Embedding OERs: the senior management perspective and institutional policy / practice; and (3) Collaboration and partnerships around OERs: opportunities. Again, relevant ideas emerged for CORE-SET – specifically from the former group, on how to actively involve students in projects, and on how to make use of OERs in enhancing learning and teaching. It was also great to have a number of students contribute to the discussions, and to share their opinions as both learners and project members.
All in all, a useful day to focus in detail on the development of CORE-SET, and our connections with associated OER projects and JISC-related services nationally.