Learning to Work with Open Educational Resources
Sergio Martinez, University of Cantabria, Spain
Conference Theme: Impact
Summary: Professors of our University are learning to work with a new mentality, thanks to the support of OCWs in the High Education
Abstract: When the OCW Project started in the University of Cantabria, there were few professors who had knowledge about open educational resources or their possibilities. Step by step we were publishing different courses, but without using all the possibilities of new educational technologies. With much effort by the Area of Quality and Education Innovation it was possible to change the perception of Open Education in our University. Nowadays, our University has more than 120 courses published; some of them are only text materials, but others are real virtual courses, with many different resources (HTML, Flash, self-learning materials, etc.). Nevertheless, the quality of the materials is as important for us as the satisfaction of the professors who make them. There are a lot of professors yet who do not trust virtual education, but OCW can be a way to come to know this new world of possibilities. In our University we are working in two different ways: with the individual work of every professor; and with the common work of several faculties (Nursery, Economics, Mines, Energy Resources).
In the individual work, every year we issue a call for courses. Professors have the support of the OCW Department and we seldom have problems, because they are the most interested in the project. When we are working with the Faculties, it is possible to have more problems. We make a global arrangement with the Degree and all the teachers have the obligation to participate. Sometimes, there are professors that do not want to collaborate. Nevertheless, the work of our Department has gone well, because in the four degrees we only have four courses that have not been published. In both possibilities (full degrees or single courses) there are professors who see OCW as just a place to show their materials, while other professors have used it as a tool to improve their courses. In the University of Cantabria there are professors who are using OCW with their classes in the classroom, with different materials: lessons, exercises, videos, self-learning activities, exams, readings... The experience and the comments of these professors let us to improve our OCW website and to spread the best educational resources all over the world. Moreover, the facilities we give to the professors (ISBN, technical and didactic help, statistics...) are the necessary boost to improve their work day by day. So, OCW is a lively project in our university, with more repercussion in education innovation than we thought when we started five years ago. But it is necessary to keep improving: What do professors need? What do they expect from OCW? How can we improve OCW? We will try to provide answers to these questions.