OER Synthesis and Evaluation / Phase2 Programme Issues
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Phase2 Programme Issues

Page history last edited by Lou McGill 9 years ago

Short funding period issues

Many projects identified the short funding period as challenging or limiting in some way: -

OMAC Strand

Learning to Teach Inclusively

A key challenge for all year long projects whose focus is the development of OER materials is user engagement with products that are often still in the development stage.  Whilst we have been enterprising in our external dissemination, the actual take up of the product is still some way off.  We cannot expect academic developers to simply begin using them straight away.  They need to time to evaluate, select and repurpose them.  So we anticipate that we will only be able to evaluate the real impact of the OER module on academic practice and student engagement once it has been repurposed and fully embedded in institutional programmes.

Have submitted a proposal to ESRC to embed and sustain.



Our original project plan had intended to gather feedback from potential users of the materials at frequent intervals.  This was to be done through online surveys and interactive comment facilities on The Pool itself.  This plan was frustrated by the fact that it was only in the late stages of the Project that we felt resources were sufficiently ‘presentable’ to be opened to the wider public, by which stage it was too late to take feedback on board.  Opening them up earlier would simply have invited comment on gaps and inconsistencies of which we were already aware.  This is partly a problem of the short timescale of the project:  there was simply insufficient time to develop The Pool to an ‘almost ready’ state, invite feedback and then change and edit accordingly.  As it was, we had to make do with feedback from a small number of educational developers mid-way through the project which, although valuable in itself, was not as extensive as we would have wished.



Due to the short timescales of current OER projects, the project team recommends that a database be established to record project team members with specific expertise.  This is of particular importance for those employed on short-term contracts to avoid loss of capability within the sector.


A significant issue in relation to OER is the long timescale required to evaluate the impact of the resources developed.  Project timescales often require one academic year to develop and release resources and at least part of another to allow them to be adopted by others.  The project team recommends that projects should be longer than 1 year to ensure sufficient evaluation time.



Whilst the importance of formal collaboration agreements is stressed by the JISC project management guidelines. In terms of a small-scale project and a tight deadline, it was felt that a ‘light touch’ approach should be taken with regard to partnership agreement. We worked closely with colleagues at the HEA Engineering Subject Centre based at Loughborough University, drawing on their legal expertise under a mutually agreed memorandum of understanding



We have made progress with both of these as well as achieving our stated aims, although time and other

constraintshave meant that the evaluation process has been less comprehensive than we hoped.

Unforseen and beyond our control: the courses from which our OERs are drawn are to be outsourced, with consequent loss of posts. This has affected all four team members from the lead department throughout the project.



The short duration of the project has meant that it has not been possible to use the converted resources on a PGCert, although it is intended that this will take place after the project has formally finished. This was largely due to the timing of the project and the teaching timetable of the PGCert which at both institutions starts in October.


Open for Business

“All initial project ideas, while desirable, may not be feasible within the project timeline and a realistic assessment of what can be achieved should be agreed at an early stage. Similarly, emerging issues also require to be managed.

The aim of introducing an assessment element to one of the units had been an initial intention, however, it was subsequently agreed that this was beyond the scope of the twelve month project, although there is still value in pursuing this aspect to demonstrate the flexibility and adaptability of the OER.

Our internal evaluator for accessibility raised a small number of key issues which were addressed in the development of the resource but also flagged up a small number of other changes which could be made, although were not essential to the accessibility of the resource. Time restrictions meant that only required issues were addressed, however, future development of the OER could incorporate the other changes. “ (Dundee)


Issues raised by Cascade projects

It is imperative that funded projects receive senior management support, committed for the duration of the project and identified in the Letter of Agreement. (ADM)


Effective collaborative projects take time to start up... [We] believe that the bidding phase should be longer, or the development of committed project partnerships should be considered part of the implementation phase of the project. (ADM)


Issues raised by Support teams




Have pilot programme resources provided suitable models, guidance and resources?

The University of Leicester OTTER project from the pilot phase developed the  CORRE framework.

Two OMAC strand projects utilised and adapted the framework.

    • “We found the CORRE framework useful for setting out the process for turning teaching materials into OERs but, like our partner project, DELILA, we adapted it to suit our very small project.” (CPD4HE)

    • DELILA adapted the CORRE framework to provide a practical check-list for rating materials against OER criteria. The project team also made contact with OTTER/ CORRE project members, and welcome continued developments in this area. http://delilaopen.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/adapted-corre.xls (DELILA)

  • Three of the Release strand projects utilised and adpated the framework
    • TIGER Quality Framework

      A TIGER pedagogical model that will enable other IPE and health and social care professionals to benefit  -TIGER has developed a quality framework which allows professionals to clearly understand how the OERs have been developed. https://openeducationalresources.pbworks.com/w/page/24838164/Quality-considerations

      During the project, TIGER adapted the workflow originally produced by Alejandro Armellini for content and resource management with built-in quality criteria (TIGER)
    • We evolved a workflow based on the CORRE project at Leicester, and used RLO CETL “RLO” specification form as a basis for resource development, in the form of a “quick” specification check list for existing resources and a “full” specification for new resources. These forms served to be a useful tool for staff, and were an essential step in formulating the meta-data to accompany each resource (description, keywords). They were an essential checking point for the provenance of any assets embedded within existing resources. All of this was built up into an Interactive OER Development web page, with links through to relevant forms. (SCOOTER)

By and large we let ourselves be led by the tried and tested CORRE framework for transforming teaching materials into OER, developed by the OTTER project and consisting of the consecutive steps of Content, Openness, Re-use & Repurpose and Evidence (DHOER)

  • For the Cascade strand the Leicester CORRE framework proved directly transferable to one of the partner institutions, but in the second was revised to support more ab initio development, becoming the DORRE framework. In both cases, integrating OER development into the workflow of existing academic support teams proved highly successful as a change strategy. Evidence about the implementation of CORRE by projects beyond the Cascade strand is collated elsewhere on this wiki.

The depth of detail CORRE gives in the checklists and tracking sheets about the decisions that need to be taken during each stage of the conversion formed a useful starting point for informing and guiding participants in the project. (University of Bath, internal evaluation) 

The STEM Guidance wiki was also used (ACTOR)

Adapting OERP provenance display on every rersource idea and the GEES template for provenance, project background and authorship(O4B) 


Some projects indicated that they couldn't find pilot phase materials despite them being available from the OER infokit. Phase 3 projects will be given a treasure hunt at the start-up meeting to familiarise themselves with OER infokit and this wiki.














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