UK Centre for Bioscience OER project - Phase
The UK Centre for Bioscience sucessfully bid for funding
to undertake a 'Collections Strand' Open Educational Resources
project over 2010-2011 following its success with the phase 1
(OER pilot projects) Interactive Laboratory and Fieldwork Manual
for the Biosciences project. Working with ten discipline consultants
from across the country we have produced a wiki for the benefit
of the bioscience community to explore the potential of OERs
across a range of disciplines. The intention is to guide staff
new to Open Educational Resources in the Biosciences towards
those which we believe are valuable examples, and the routes
to find them.
The OeRBITAL project wiki is available
The story behind finding, evaluating and enhancing OERs is
also captured here, so that we might share and develop a realistic
approach to assist other OER users (and developers) with JISC and
HEFCE funded projects.
Members of the bioscience community are encouraged to continue
to develop and update the collection. If you have a valid ac.uk
email address you can sign up for the wiki. We hope you find
this useful and we
welcome your feedback on this Oerbital wiki.
Further details - What the project is about
The Open Educational Resources approach has been gaining popularity
in many HEIs as a mechanism to promote their work, the work of
their staff and the disciplines themselves. It offers a flexible
approach to the use and re-use of content and potential for quality
gains through collaboration rather than re-inventing the wheel.
The rise of the web and the user-created content of Web 2.0 environments
offer many new ways to promote the adoption of existing resources
and further adaption of them (in whole or part), while still
maintaining proper attribution to the providers through associated
creative commons style licences. There are many available resource
repositories but it needs subject specialists to promote their
In this project we will select specialist Discipline Consultants who will be tasked to discover content for the bioscience disciplines
using the multiple repositories of OERs now available in addition
to their own personal networks. We intend to recruit members
of our Bioscience Community in the capacity of OER Discipline
Consultants to gather and promote collections of resources in
various bioscience disciplines using a web 2.0 solution based
on an OER bioscience wiki/blog combination which will act as
a curated introduction to the essential resources available in
their discipline. We specifically wish to build stronger links
through bioscience Subject Associations and the Learned Societies
to progress shared interests associated with using Open Educational
In addition to the Discipline Consultants we have appointed
three Learning Technologists to work with them to explore the
issues of creating more sustainable resources which can aggregate
OER Discipline Consultants will be responsible for
initiating, leading and developing a number of activities as
part of developing and establishing essential practices to optimise
the use and re-use of Open Educational Resources.
This OER phase 2 collections strand project will be working
with a number of academic staff and learning technologists to
discover and curate specific resources within a number of Bioscience
disciplines and foster support for their future enhancement.
For OER to be established we need a resources to achieve a sustainable “orbit” i.e.
to be maintained and enhanced continuously by its relevant community.
We wish to develop and establish the essential practices with
practitioners to optimise the discovery, use and re-use of such
resources. This project will recruit selected members of the
Bioscience community as ‘Discipline Consultants’ acting
as discovery agents and curators for collections in their discipline
interest across all undergraduate levels, and postgraduate where
possible. Using our community network to find the most appropriate
individuals in our 2200+ contacts, we hope to further develop
the use of OERs with Learned Societies and National Subject Associations.
The Centre is in an excellent position to bridge these communities
with the practice of OER and we would welcome your interest.
Our pilot project experience has been valuable for us to identify
the next key area where we believe the Centre and its network
can make a significant contribution. Further
details of the pilot phase project pages are available here.