Employers' Curricular Collaboration in HE through OERs
Antonio Martinez-Arboleda, University of Leeds and SCORE, The Open University, UK
Conference Theme: Collaboration
Summary: Review and endorsement of OERs by graduate-recruiting employers in the HumBox: the educational case in HE Arts and Humanities
Abstract: Whilst OERs users and researchers will have the opportunity to reflect upon the challenges and opportunities of a more open education, other members of the educational community who may not be too familiar with OERs will be able to discover new ways in which OERs can contribute to enhancing learning and teaching in HE. Therefore, the presentation will also be aimed at learning and teaching practitioners in the areas of Arts and Humanities and employers and other non-educational stakeholders interested in further engagement in FE and HE, as well as practitioners and educationalist working on employability. Following recent research carried out on attitudes towards employer involvement in the review of OERs in the area of Arts and Humanities in HE amongst users of the HumBox repository, as part of a SCORE-funded fellowship, this presentation will explore the educational case, from the perspective of HE education practitioners and institutions, for promoting such engagement. The evolving notion of openness in education will be discussed in the context of our current educational scenario in HE, as a greater focus on employability and employer involvement is being demanded. In connexion with this, the role that OERs can play in the delivery of employability through different and sometimes competing channels as well the role that employers play in the employability agenda of HE institutions will be considered in this discussion. This presentation will then look at the potential for employer engagement of several review and endorsement mechanisms currently used in different OERs repositories. The advantages of the reviewing and endorsing activities being carried out in the repository, as opposed to them taking place outside the repositories will be explored critically. Crucially, this presentation will anticipate and deal with some of the challenges resulting from the potential involvement of employers whose reviews may be perceived as extremely valuable by HE institutions. Issues such as the “commoditisation of reviews” and the “fossilisation of OERs” resulting from the “lack of transportability of reviews”, which had not been identified by research until now, will be discussed. The costs and benefits of employer involvement for the OERs movement will be considered at this point. Finally, this paper will propose to the audience a feasible and educationally enriching model of employer engagement through review and endorsement of OERs. Forthcoming research will look at this same question from the perspective of the employer and will explore the outcome of any review and endorsement of OERs that may result from this ongoing project.