Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy


Open Educational Resources (OER)

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Open Educational Resources for Bioscientists Involved in Teaching and Learning

UK Centre for Bioscience OER project - Phase 2

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 at: http://heabiowiki.leeds.ac.uk/oerbital/

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 content effectively.

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 Resources.

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 contributions.

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.

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How can I stay informed about this project?

You can keep up-to-date with the project's progress through the Bioscience OER Blog

How do I discover more about Open Educational Resources?

The concepts of OERs are described more extensively in the OER Commons, the Wikiversity and the JISC OER programme call. Further information is available from The Higher Education Academy Open Educational Resources

iIf you are considering adopting this approach you may also be interested in the OER handbook and OCW Toolkit

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Project Manager: Terry McAndrew, C&IT Manager, Centre for Bioscience. t.j.mcandrew@leeds.ac.uk

Project Officer: Chris Taylor, Centre for Bioscience. c.d.taylor@leeds.ac.uk

Project Tags: bioukoer | oerbital | #bioukoer | #oerbital