We'll always have PARiS…. (Promoting Academic Resources in Society) – extending OER into non-traditional areas
Steve Stapleton, Andy Beggan, Sarah Speight & Julian Tenney, University of Nottingham, UK Lyndsey Allen, The Ear Foundation, UK
Conference Theme: Collaboration
Abstract: Building on the success of previous open learning initiatives at the University of Nottingham, the JISC/HEA funded PARiS project aims to move OER into non-traditional areas for the University and the HE sector as a whole. The project addresses 2 themes.
The first extends OER into new communities by working in partnership with the Ear foundation, a 3rd sector organisation, on the collection and release of OER. This supports an identified organisational need to expand access to training for The Foundations target audience of teachers, parents and care providers of children with cochlear implants. Public and private sector funding has been directed to the development of cochlear implant technology and surgical/scientific activity but little to the community – at home and school – the Foundation addresses this.
The Foundation provides a series of face-to-face workshops to support teachers and care givers of deaf students nationally, as well as the wider mainstream teacher community as appropriate. However, with over 80,000 deaf students with cochlear implants worldwide demand inevitably outstrips the available resources.
The second PARiS theme centres on the creation, collection and release of OER in the area of sustainability. The University of Nottingham is strongly committed to the achievement of sustainability in its varied aspects and states this in its Strategic Plan. Nottingham is ranked second in the 2011 UI Green Metric World University rankings of the world’s most environmentally-friendly Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and is currently part of the Higher Education Academy’s (HEA) Green Academy: Curriculum for Tomorrow pilot change programme, along with 7 other HEI’s forming an informal network of ‘critical friends’.
The modules being developed for this theme will be embedded within the Nottingham Advantage Award (NAA), an initiative focusing upon the development of graduate attributes. It aims to develop the kind of competencies that employers are looking for in talented new graduates. Some modules being released are existing modules which will be enhanced through the inclusion of third party OER. Some modules will be newly created modules. This will empower the academics involved to create learning materials with openness in mind at the outset of the design process. This is something that was recommended by many JISC/HEA UKOER Programme phase one projects as a way of embedding sustainability around OER processes. It will also provide data back to the community on the benefits and barriers of creating new OER, assessed against the current Nottingham model of openly publishing existing materials.
This presentation provides an overview of the project and discusses the pitfalls and benefits of moving Open Educational Resources into non-traditional areas. It discusses the collaborative processes established between the University of Nottingham and The Ear Foundation to work on open content. It provides an overview of how the sustainability theme is influencing the practice of teachers, the benefits and challenges associated with re-using third party OER and how the resources are embedded within the taught curriculum. It will also discuss how this OER project helps explore and enhance understanding of sustainable practices/values in differing cultural contexts.