OER Synthesis and Evaluation / Release Development and Release
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Release Development and Release

Page history last edited by Lou McGill 12 years, 5 months ago

This page is part of Phase2 Release strand synthesis


This section draws together what projects have said and is in mainly in their own words. These findings have been synthesised across into the main report findings pages. Coloured excerpts are from project final reports - bold emphasis is mine (LM) to highlight key points   Learning from WOeRK (Learning from WOeRK final report) | SWAP (SWAP Final report) |  TIGER (TIGER Final Report) | DHOER (DHOER Final report) | SCOOTER (SCOOTER Final Project Report)  DeSTRESS (DeSTRESS Final Project Report) | SPACE SPACE final report | LEARNING LEGACIES (Learning Legacies Final Report) ALTO (ALTO Final Report)  | OSIER (OSIER Final Report) | ORBEE (ORBEE Final Report)    | PORSCHE (PORSCHE Final Report)



Jump to specific sections on this page...




How far does the subject discipline/theme impact on the release of existing resources compared with the release of new resources? 

Many projects released a mixture of existing and newly created resources. All projects released existing resources but none only released new materials. It is difficult to tease out if the subject area was the cause apart from projects with an obvious focus on legacy material. Some subject areas present so many challenges in releasing existing materials for a range of reasons (such as healthcare) that it may be worth focussing on new content.

  • As previously stated, copyright remains a substantial impediment to the success of OER projects. Retrofitting resources to ensure copyright and accessibility compliance is a time consuming and expensive undertaking. If academics were to consider OER best practice at the point of resource creation then this step would be bypassed, meaning more time could be spent in obtaining resources, making them more interactive and raising awareness of their availability.  LEARNING LEGACIES
  • In practice, the main reasons for revising resources were related to copyright and the requirements of licensing, but there were also issues around data protection (especially where resources included images of children), and usability and accessibility. OSIER

  • There is a strong compliance culture, with fewer resources for innovative development. However, developing a sharing culture was seen as being possible, thanks to initiatives such as ‘content clubs’ and the national repository (NeLR) and PORSCHE itself. This move is still tentative, with a worry that transition to Foundation Trusts might result in a further monetising of content and the commissioning of more materials from commercial suppliers. PORSCHE Evaluation report


What kind of OERs are appropriate for the subject discipline/theme?

As expected projects produced a wide range of formats ranging from individual assets to whole modules. Several projects felt that OERs needed alot of accompanying information providing metadata, licencing information and pedagocial context. Some formats presented significant challenges (newspaper =articles, photographs, patient data. What has been significant for this, and the OMAC strand, is the number of projects who felt the need to present the resources with alot of surrounding context to cater for different audience needs (other teachers cf learners). This resulted in them depositing them in repositories to facilitate storage and management aspects and web based mechanisms to ensure accessibility for various audiences. Several projects noted that the process of developing and releasing OERs had an impact on learning design practice. see also Release Practice Change. Sectoral differences and contraints have proved to be very interesting, particularly in relation to NHS, workplace and publishers.


  • Case studies and discussion starters - Issue around photos of athletes – ownership (newspapers, commercial  pulishers)  LEARNING LEGACIES

It was argued that many agree to the publishing of images captured during their sporting performance, but where there was some doubt, a general image, where the athlete could not be recognised, would be used. 58 have been uploaded, with another two held up because of difficulties in identifying original ownership (one was subject to the Guardian and Reuters deferring to each other).

Reviewing all images, finding replacements and obtaining permission for their inclusion in OER is a major job, even if CC images are sourced. The replacement images need to be located in the first instance and then approved by the academic for relevance before they can be inserted and attributed in the resource. The 58 case studies and discussion starters needed to be edited to comply with CC and OER best practices. This was not a minor undertaking as most, if not all, resources contained images that needed IP clearance.

  • Planning documents and reports - Licensing and procedural issues LEARNING LEGACIES 
  • Papers published by commercial publisher - Challenges identifying resources and clearing copyright – retained original copyright not clear if this means they were still open? LEARNING LEGACIES

Engaging with large organisations such as Routledge and LOCOG was always going to be challenging. International publishers and sporting institutions are renowned for rigorous enforcement of intellectual property (IP) laws and this project was set up to try to convince them to release their resources under open licences which facilitated ‘free’ reuse by the academic community (although the general public would also have access).” Alex Fenton 

A total of 25 journal articles was identified by Routledge and released as ‘open access’ resources for this project. Unfortunately it was not possible for Routledge to agree to the release of their resources under even the most restrictive Creative Commons licences, despite their insistence throughout the project that this would be achieved. In June the Routledge funders decided that they prefer ‘bespoke licences’ to ‘protect their investment in developing their [sic] Olympic studies portal’. Whilst this was a major disappointment to the project at the eleventh hour, a number of articles were linked to by the project and Routledge are committed to releasing further resources as ‘open access’, albeit not CC, which will benefit the HLST community.”   

  • Multidisciplinary resources LEARNING LEGACIES
  • International resources LEARNING LEGACIES
  • Multidisciplinary – across UG – statistics in soc sciences - wiki   DeSTRESS
  • A wiki has been created and each discipline has a subject lead. The subject leads have gathered a selection of resources from their peers across their related discipline (economics, politics, geography and sociology) in order to start populating the wiki. External links have also been added. Communication with subject leads has been very effective and they were also very helpful in contextualising the data driven graphical resources prior to these being included on the individual wiki sites.”

  • Assessment bank of questions DeSTRESS
  • Video units, online demonstrators (International input and relevance)  DeSTRESS
  • one apparent outcome of the project is that with three authors collaborating to create different types of learning resources on the same subject is that the authors have worked to align the content of their own material with the content of the other strands. For example having seen the new video material, the author of the assessment questions planned new questions that would provide further practice in the specific issues covered by the video. In addition the question materials contains links back to the videos related to the topic covered by the question.  DeSTRESS evaluation report

  • The only type of material that inherently realises the aim of making statistics more appealing and more accessible for social science students is the videos, by very graphically showing how statistics can enhance understanding of real-world phenomena (although this is also true to some extent of the interactive graphs containing worked examples). The other types of material follow on from it by supporting the student in their developing their statistical understanding and skills.  For this reason it seems that the material will be most effective when it is used in an integrated way. DeSTRESS evaluation report

  • With economies being as they are, these materials could almost be seen as a taster, or bridge into employers.  Because there are some real generic OERs that we are developing that would be of huge value to organisations that can’t afford training departments”. (Member of Project OER development team) Learning from WOeRK
  • We also argued that OERs do not have to have high production values to be useful and used, unrealistic expectations in this area can be (along with IPR fears) one of the main stumbling blocks to sustainability. One of our biggest aids in this respect was to show UAL staff the MIT OCW site (and other OER projects) to demonstrate that ‘ordinary’ resources (word documents, PDFs, reading lists etc.) can be highly effective OERs. ALTO
  • In many ways this is a classic example of the problems of dealing with tacit knowledge; how can we represent and share such knowledge and share it, and share it? It is, arguably, this situated, embedded, tacit and ‘craft’ nature of teaching in mainstream art and design that needs to be comprehended in order to both understand and improve it. By engaging with OER creation and sharing, especially with a combination of rich media and practice based accounts as exemplified in Process.Arts we effectively open a door into this hitherto secret garden of art and design educational practice. ALTO
  • Its structuring of the content facilitates more sophisticated searching and indexing and the system is extensible with new document types and other types of content objects, of particular importance as we also aimed to look at formats suitable for mobile learning and handheld devices (ePub, Kindle, iBooks etc.). DHOER
  • In terms of formats individual objects are released in PDF-format, in line with widespread practice of other OER projects, as PDF is so ubiquitous and user-friendly a format that can be handled by almost every platform and end user, including those not too comfortable with technology. Importantly, as PDF is not open at all and, strictly speaking, contravenes the idea of Openness and repurposability inherent in OER, each collection of PDFs comes bundled by module with the original source files in Open Document Format (ODT, ODS, ODP etc.) to facilitate the reuse, editing and extending of the original material. DHOER

Generic vs subject specific resources

  • The similarities in the statistics that are taught across the social sciences is much stronger than we originally thought which has enabled us to create a broader package of resources than originally anticipated. DeSTRESS
  • Creating materials that are not too context specific yet not too sterile TIGER
  • Creating materials for both specialists and non-specialists TIGER

NHS context

  • Sharing content beyond the NHS was difficult to discuss, with ‘content clubs’ and the national repository the only current avenue. PORSCHE Evaluation report
  • If resources are reusable, customisable and not duplicated, then value for money can be provided by moving towards a more localised approach to training and education. There is currently a lack of coordination at a national level around developing such an approachPORSCHE Evaluation report

Context/structure in way OERs are presented or seen as useful to different audiences(related to Granularity issues)

  • The Destress team has focussed their efforts on collecting the kinds of material that were identified by lecturers during the evaluation of the TRUE project as most suitable for sharing. These were mainly materials that are easiest to adapt, namely assessment questions, worksheets,  and problem sheets.  Lecture slides were seen as less suitable for direct reuse, but felt to be helpful in giving ideas. DeSTRESS

  • There are outstanding questions about how much ancillary support needs to be provided to potential lecturers or students about how to use the material. DeSTRESS evaluation report
  •  The materials in their present form could be placed on a continuum between on one hand being discrete learning objects for which all the contextual material is provided by the lecturer, and on the other an off-the-shelf course which can be used on its own with no additional material required.  DeSTRESS evaluation report
  • TIGER produced many pedagogical wrap-around materials to support use of the OERs. These materials were developed to support different aspects of IPE teaching and will help other people to unpack our resources in a meaningful way. TIGER

  • Developing materials for IPE is different from developing materials for other subjects. In IPE, we expect that the students come to the face-to-face events, having had lectures and acquired the professional knowledge that made them doctors and social workers, and we put them together to unpack the issue of how to work with one another in practice. Materials for IPE are important as they enable our students to interact and learn how to work together effectively as an interprofessional group. TIGER

  • The website resource supporting the Work-Based Learning module offers an example of an OER produced for more direct use by learners, seeking to address some of the pedagogic challenges of supporting learning in the workplace.” In designing materials for open release, the content developers had many lessons to pass on: Learning from WOeRK - most of these were in fact appropriate for any learning resource and did not relate specifically to OERs Learning from WOeRK

  • The need to adopt a different teaching approach to content development, from that used for full-time traditional students, particularly because of the focus on work-based learners. Such an approach involves ‘wrap-around’ support so that OER contain not just presentations, but also explanatory texts and audio/video files. Learning from WOeRK

  • The need to resolve tensions between producing materials which are primarily tutor-led (i.e. requiring face to face teaching) or student-led (i.e. distance learning materials) Learning from WOeRK
  • OER released were a range of granularities with the thinking this would facilitate reuse of assets, and this also reflected the diverse range of materials already available from staff within our faculty. A wide variety of materials were released from raw asset files, photographs, to more comprehensive learning objects. Hence the SCOOTER remit for “online topics plus educational resources”. SCOOTER

  • Some partners have found the metadata burden acceptable, whereas others clearly find them over-complex. OSIER

  • ...the importance of a contextually rich presentation layer, like MIT Open CourseWare, with the addition of a social layer (like Process.Arts) that can also accommodate more granular resources. One of the key findings of the project is that, while important, it is not enough to provide a repository mechanism of storage or retrieval.  The presentation and social layers enable the important human factors of communication, collaboration, and participation that are needed for sustainable resource creation and sharing within community networks. ALTO
  • As a result of the collaborative learning design exercises that the project undertook, a template was created to allow course designers to express arts practice-based subjects in a consistent way. This should be useful in providing a framework for capturing and preserving practice based knowledge in endangered subjects. ALTO
  • For creating OERs in Art and Design practice based subjects, we realised that what we ideally needed was a mixture of ‘old school’ OERs as exemplified by the earlier work of MIT Open Courseware in the USA and smaller ‘chunks’ of learning resources that gave insight into practice. The mix of both large OERs (to give context) and small OERs to aid reuse and adaption seemed to answer the concerns in the e-learning technology community about granularity
  • Extra efforts have been required to ensure accessibility of materials for those accessing then through the website recognising that these learners may not be able to seek clarification from a colleague or tutor. Much of this work has focused on providing an introduction to materials and ensuring that different element of the packages are consistently presented and referenced to learning outcomes  ORBEE
  • What I’m doing with the health professionals is so specific to a set of problem-based learning triggers that we use, that I don’t know it will be that useful unless someone was going to take the whole package of triggers. PORSCHE Evaluation report 
  • Breaking down larger resources into meaningful individual learning objects, in a way that they could easily be redistributed and repurposed via channels like Jorum and other repositories, became necessary and the process of finding the optimal granularity and striking the balance  between granularity and integrity has been one of the challenges encountered in the project. DHOER 
  • originally planned to release content as one large oer within Moodle but we decided, partly out of practical considerations but also with a view to allowing easier access to the OERs to build the site using the institutional Content Management System Silva DHOER
  • In terms of platforms, file formats and standards this has lead us to look at the growing use of mobile, e-book reader and tablet devices among the intended primary and secondary learner audiences of the project outcomes, and release OERs in various ePUB formats. This may also
    help addressing the more general granularity vs. integrity question. DHOER
  • The resources have been broken down into learning objects (self-contained element of learning and teaching on a topic, ~one idea/concept ~10–15minutes) and arranged on the website in units and in suggested, but by no means prescriptive, order of use. Licencing information
    is written into the cover page of resources where possible and included in associated metadata which follows Dublin Core and includes the required UKOER programme tag as well as information on level, learning context and original intended audience. DHOER


  • There has to be sufficient guidance for staff to pick them up and run with them. They are not primarily stand-alone materials (for learners). They are going to need some mediation.  (http://cpdoer.net/resources/development-faqs/ ) Learning from WOeRK
  • There is a significant tension between designing materials that are well supported with guidance and documentation – assuming teachers will be mediating the content - and designing materials that can be studied by independent learners. The focus of this project has been firmly on the former, but the desire to cater for a wider range of learners has led to a realisation of the fundamental tensions and contradictions in the 'open' enterprise, particularly when applied to materials that are inherently concerned with processes rather than content.  There were different views amongst the team:

“Nothing can take away the role of the tutor, making things meaningful, providing formative feedback that can be a huge issue as well. We can't just cast people adrift without any support.”

“I believe the responsibility for learning lies with the learner, and my job is to facilitate that as best I can. Whether they engage with the material or not is down to them really.” Learning from WOeRK OER developers) Learning from WOeRK

  • A project such as OSIER that is based extensively on the repurposing of existing resources as OERs will experience difficulties where the resources need extensive modification to meet OER requirements relating to IPR and licensing, and to usability and accessibility.  As is also the case with accessibility standards, OER guidelines commonly result in improved resources whatever their intended use. OSIER

Technical aspects (including metadata, tracking)

Technical aspects have been synthesised by the JISC CETIS support team. For a full understanding of these go to http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/UKOER_synthesis

  • As part of the project several UAL web sites were prepared for licensing with Creative Commons licences after being audited for IPR issues. Each site was linked to a unique metadata record in the repository via an ALTO logo on the front page of each site. The metadata record for each site in turn has a ‘back link’. This approach allowed existing online resources to be converted into OERs with the minimum of work, helping sustainability by lowering the threshold to OER engagement and should lead to more UAL sites becoming ALTO OER Affiliates. ALTO
  • In HE, 'everything is rightly curriculum driven', with issues such as curriculum coverage, authentication, tracking and feedback essential. The use of the PORSCHE Risk-kit in Case Study 2 highlighted the issue of loss of tracking/feedback metadata when a resource is shared and re-used. PORSCHE Evaluation report
  • There was an assumption by those attending project events that content would be authored in closed systems, with the (perception of) control over resources and access being seen as critical in terms of risk management and compliance. PORSCHE Evaluation report
  • The situation is even starker within the NHS, with access to content fraught with technical and pedagogical constraints. NHS firewalls hinder access to open content and reusability in teaching. PORSCHE Evaluation report
  • It is still quite technical, so… I find subject matter experts, unless they are early adopters or highly technical, find it very difficult to engage in creating resources. PORSCHE Evaluation report 

Quality Assurance

  • Both during the development of the guidance, and once resources were being processed, it became clear that partners found the standards exacting, and anticipated that they represented a significant overhead in preparation before resources were fit to be uploaded to the site.  Alongside this, some resources were being submitted for consideration that fell short of even the least exacting standards.  The most common issue was the use of copyright images in PowerPoint slide sets, several of which also raised usability and accessibility issues   OSIER
  • Issues around resource quality and resource description are likely to be more important when existing resources need to released as OERs, than when OERs are designed from scratch.  OSIER
  • The approach to quality and standards also influenced the choice of resources in some cases.  One interviewee noted that in selecting resources for inclusion in the repository they “rejected quite a bit of stuff” because they were focussed on quality. OSIER
  • There also issues around the perception of both local and subject specialism, which, when added to the nature of the NHS ‘core curriculum’ and mandatory training materials create further perceptual barriers to open release. There were also fears that locally-produced content could not achieve a professional-enough finish   PORSCHE Evaluation report

  • Those who have engaged with the project (interviewees, event attendees, online survey analysis) are also more aware of quality and design issues around sharing and reuse. PORSCHE Evaluation report 


  • Niche repositories are valuable but there should be clear links to them from areas such as JORUM Open. TIGER
  • perhaps because there was a lack of understanding of the ways in which the repository would be used, partners barely engaged with the initial repository design consultation.  However, partners engaged with testing the site once the pilot version was made available, and were careful to discover issues. OSIER

  • it became apparent that standard repository software, operating on a library paradigm optimised for storage and management of resources, fell short of the institutional need to present and publish information in ways that communicate visually as well as textually. The Art and Design academic community understandably place a high importance on 'look and feel' i.e. affective and usability issues and these issues needed to be considered carefully when designing the repository infrastructure and interface.  ALTO
  • To address this challenge the team developed the concept of ALTO as a system of connected and related tools. This was also necessitated by the existence of a number of well-used information resources created in house by staff that typically sat outside the UAL infrastructure and often used Web 2.0 tools and services.  The repository filled the institutional need to store resources safely and reliably in the long-term but ALTO needed to fit into this existing wider and dynamic 'ecosystem' of online resources and associated communities. It became apparent that that resources in the repository would need to be easily 'surfaced' in other contexts through a variety of social media to aid dissemination and impact and that these other information resources could usefully use the repository to deposit outputs and ensure a stable and reliable platform for storage in the long term. ALTO

  • Technical issues also arise, both in terms of staff capacity and platform/repository variations. However, interview participants were more concerned with basic functionality of Jorum or the NeLR, with few having used both and having varying degrees of success.   I've tried a few times to put our content onto the NHS e-learning repository but I've struggled a bit. I'm not a big fan.    It's hard to find items on there because there's no advanced search options.   PORSCHE Evaluation report 

Audience/users - re-use potential

  • Also, it became apparent during the development of the resource that one of its most valuable aspects would be the ability for users to develop their own models at a local level – and also to share and exchange these to build a larger library of models in later versions of the resource. We therefore realised that it would be useful for us to consider how (beyond the ‘official’ life of the project) we could initiate light touch ways of encouraging exchange – and perhaps even collation – of this particular element of the resource, if its potential was to be fully realised. It is essential to give due consideration to whether there are any elements of an OER that might need to be ‘maintained’ after its initial creation, if the value of the resource is to be truly leveraged
  • SPACE (simulation – 3d environment)

  • We can also see that there is a real potential to develop the resource to further meet the needs of disabled students working in the performing arts, and to raise awareness of accessibility issues amongst a wider cohort of students. It was outside the scope of this particular project to consider these issues in depth, but the resource could be adapted and re-purposed to this end if sufficient time and resource was dedicated.

“It would be good to use it to look at accessibility of the stage, auditorium, wing space etc. – use it as a planning tool. It would also be good for non- disabled people to use it to think about disabled people, their sightlines etc. (Arts organisation)

“It would be good to have a pre-built template of accessible space.” (Arts organisation) SPACE (simulation – 3d environment)   

  • There is an appetite to explore the re-use of the resource in the context of the performing arts industry; from links with lighting companies to national institutions who may wish to develop and share visualisations of their performance spaces and sets. SPACE (simulation – 3d environment)
  • Also, there is likely to be interest in re-purposing this particular resource in a range of contexts in which exploring and designing spaces form part of the curriculum. For example, when designing fashion shows, exhibition spaces and final shows. SPACE (simulation – 3d environment)
  • A pedagogical challenge was designing for an unknown audience, both for work-based learners themselves and for the professionals who would be mediating their experience of the materials. Learning from WOeRK

“Not fully knowing where your learners have come from, what their influences are, what they are hoping for from the module. So trying to distil as much information as possible to meet those different needs has been a challenge.”

“I wasn't totally clear at the beginning about the audience to which I was aiming this. Things got a lot easier once I sussed that out.” (Learning from WOeRK OER developers) Learning from WOeRK

  • In choosing the content for release, developers almost uniformly appeared to consider the suitability of the subject matter for work-based learners, rather than the suitability of the content for open release. This may well have reflected their motives for involvement in the project, i.e. a passion for their subject area and a desire to see it more widely available to those able to benefit; it may also have been because they were less familiar with issues relating to open release. Learning from WOeRK 
  • Material was chosen that would work in a variety of workplace settings. Some looked for materials that they had previously found to be valuable and/or to address issues that work-based learners might find challenging. Materials also needed to be accessible to tutors and mediators of learning as well as to learners themselves, so the potential to explain content in accessible language was considered. In addition, content needed to be in a form that could be disaggregated, so that learners could complete as much or as little as suited them in a particular period of learning. Learning from WOeRK
  • SCOOTER produced resources for schools, the wider community and healthcare professionals. SCOOTER

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO) enhances the discoverability and therefore use and reuse of OER, and there is a relationship between time / money invested and the chances of success. We optimised the SCOOTER project website for some highly competitive keywords, and achieved a page 1 Google ranking with SCOOTER being categorised as a highly authoritative website that will continue to grow in stature and therefore number of visitors. SCOOTER

  • When re-purposing learning material that has been used face to face for use on the web, it is essential that authors view their material from the point of view of the learner who has no-one to ask if they are confused or need support. This may mean creating additional material that clarifies structure and pre-empts confusion ORBEE
  • Authors needed particular support in techniques designed to help build a relationship with learners through their material. In response to advice authors have used several effective means to do this ranging from including podcasts to simply using a friendly and direct tone in their writing. ORBEE 

Student generated OERs

SCOOTER and SPACE both included student generated content

  • What we didn’t anticipate was that students themselves would become involved in production, and a student from the Faculty of Technology produced a diagnostic game and a student from the Faculty of Arts, so inspired by the human body, wished to produce a series of original acrylic artwork SCOOTER

IPR issues

  • We had anticipated some delays through the process in checking and clearing resources for IPR, but were eventually disappointed at either the lack of understanding for much of the time on the part of some key stakeholders, or the unwillingness to clear, and build on, copyright with authors of existing resources. The philosophy of OER and the requirements of the digital age are not fully understood by many stakeholders in the HE sector and we, perhaps, underestimated the challenges facing us in this respect. We thought that we had made clear the nature of OER and Creative Commons licences but, perhaps, should have given even more time and attention to this aspect through the early stages.  LEARNING LEGACIES
  • Other resources, however, proved more challenging to clear. One discussion starter focused on history and politics surrounding the Games, specifically the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games and the use of propaganda by Hitler, and contained extracts from publications released before the Games. In contrast to the approach taken above, a more cautious method was deployed for this resource as the ownership and attribution were not clear, especially given the added racial sensitivities. At the time of writing this resource has not yet been released by the project as further review is ongoing and legal advice is sought.LEARNING LEGACIES
  • A second discussion starter included the reproduction of two newspaper articles and some questions and points for students to discuss. The newspapers responsible for the articles were contacted and permission for one article was obtained. At the time of writing, the second article is still awaiting clearance and this resource has therefore been omitted from the project until permission is received.LEARNING LEGACIES 
  • A space for legal notices is absolutely necessary for displaying information about the project, the resource and its usability. Having a space on every resource to display its provenance was an idea adopted from the OERP and UKOER Phase 1 projects. There is also a need to display metadata and author details, following the example of a GEES Phase 1 project which developed a template for all parties to include provenance, project background and authorship information in a neat and logical manner. However, the need for such space still proves a problem for resources. In some cases the notices on the back page are longer than the resource itself, but at present no other approach can satisfy the requirements for all of this vital information to be retained within the resource itself rather than on the hosting site.LEARNING LEGACIES
  • Some higher level resources which drew on academic models, tables, diagrams or used contemporary newspaper articles to increase their relevance posed a challenge during the IPR management stages of resource development. Where parts of a resource could not be cleared for use under an open licence they were removed or substituted resulting in the production of open, but perhaps less effective or blander, resources for the learner.

     “I use these [business] models all the time, but then for this material you can't use that because you'd need permission from the author. I personally find that the way I teach doesn't necessarily translate easily to that open format.” Learning from WOeRK

  • The main challenges faced by individual developers were around: IPR, especially for images; making content interactive and well-designed for online study; making content accessible; and licensing content.

    “I did feel a bit restricted by IPR because I'd like to have put lots of photos and all sorts of things in there, and I would have liked to have added in some demos, demonstration of the coaching skills that were in there. I think that would have helped a lot.”

    “There have obviously been a few challenges in terms of IPR and often it's easier just to avoid them and go for something simpler.”Learning from WOeRK

  • Partners have engaged with the technical requirements for OER preparation.  They have found that current standards for resource preparation are often incompatible with the demands of OERs.  In particular, issues relating to IPR have been exposed as partners worked with resource files, especially PowerPoint presentations that contain third-party materials. OSIER

  • Many of the issues mentioned against practice change in the section above also relate to specific issues in release/sharing, such as fear of the consequences of mistakes. The checking of copyright and consent clearance on legacy content was also seen as resource intensive in both academic and clinical contexts, as mentioned previously. PORSCHE Evaluation report
  • The project’s Policy Analysis found that although policies such as the DH Technology Enhanced Learning Framework due in 2011 are starting to reflect a shift towards multidisciplinary training, collaboration and the use of innovative technologies in education (including open access materials), this has yet to be reflected or supported in the management of IP and IP policy in terms of educational resource development. PORSCHE Evaluation report
  • Legal and Quality Assurance Guidance Resources for staff and students. A range of short clear guidance materials were created and made available under the ‘Help’ link in the ALTO system, together with links to sources of further advice and licensed under Creative Commons licences (ALTO)
  • UAL Commons Licence - This was modelled on earlier work in Canada in the province of British Columbia (https://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/26963) this licence was based on the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence with additional restrictions to restrict use to within the UAL. This was meant to address the issue of building trust between the staff from the six highly autonomous individual colleges that constitute the UAL to support inter-college sharing. This was also seen as an important first step in engaging staff with the idea of releasing their educational resources more openly. see Blog post on licensing (ALTO)


Are the OERs accessible to all intended user groups? (technically, legally and pedagogically)

see also section on audience above

  • improving accessibility for students with some physical disabilities although, as one respondent identified, this needs to be positioned with caution:

“I think that there is an assumption that a disabled person can’t get into a theatre space so you need to be careful to position this as something that complements their ordinary interactions with theatre spaces rather than something that they have to use instead of.” SPACE

“I can see where, for students who find it difficult to access theatres, it will give them a much more rounded experience. It will allow them a degree of participation in a programme that they were not able to have before.” (HE stakeholder) SPACE

  • In addition to the legal requirements of OER preparation, best practice also provides for compliance with accessibility standards. All resources provided by this project underwent a thorough editing and formatting process to ensure that they were as accessible as possible (e.g. proper formatting of headings, sub-headings, body text and hyperlinks and the provision of alternative text for images). Document properties were also completed to ensure that provenance was embedded within the core of the resources themselves. Again, this represents a significant undertaking which could be ameliorated by the inclusion of the practices at the point of resource creation. navigating has been pretty straightforward”  “the information provided is concise and clear and helps the visitor find what they are looking for”    “The record information given about the authors and the keywords is very helpful.   LEARNING LEGACIES
  • Technical issues also arise, both in terms of staff capacity and platform/repository variations. However, interview participants were more concerned with basic functionality of Jorum or the NeLR, with few having used both and having varying degrees of success.   I've tried a few times to put our content onto the NHS e-learning repository but I've struggled a bit. I'm not a big fan. It's hard to find items on there because there's no advanced search options.
  • When working with such a wide range of stakeholders, with such diverse curriculum needs and operational contexts, it was always going to be a challenge to develop a resource that met the particular needs of every individual user. However, most respondents felt that the resource was accessible and adaptable enough for them to re-use within their own contexts of practice. SPACE
  • EPUB files can be easily uploaded into various e-reader and portable devices, including Android-based ones, Apple iBooks (iPod/iPad), Amazon Kindle, and include page/section navigation. DHOER
  • The DAISYReader formatted files allow the visually impaired to listen to the textual content
    of a publication via Daisy 3 compliant applications. DHOER

 Are the OERs adaptable for re-use and re-purposing?

  • Reuse and adaptability  Comments included "With ease no need to adapt great discussion starter” “Very easily but updating is necessary” “ Very easily” “With complete reworking” “perhaps we should have made the link between the research papers and the case studies more explicit” LEARNING LEGACIES 

  • The extent to which there has been a focus on shareability and flexibility of the resources has varied somewhat between the different authors, as have the solutions used. DeSTRESS
  • There are some questions about interoperability and ease of access of the existing material types, although particularly with the assessment questions these are mostly in the process of being addressed. DeSTRESS
  • TIGER created the resources not only for local users, but also for users all around the country, Europe and the world. TIGER needed to make the resources as generic, open and transferable as possible. The team needed to think about the use, but also reuse and repurposing, making resources that people can easily translate into their own context.
  • OER released are of high-quality (student evaluations), and are well used on a global basis. Level of reusability is difficult to ascertain: 30% of SCOOTER visitors are people returning, so this could be interpreted as reuse. The use of online Surveys is harvesting user information, and comments provided by email do indicate that people want to reuse. SCOOTER
  •  Those who have created the OER intend to use them in their own teaching, and to re-use them in different contexts, including support of and engagement with work-based learners. (Learning from WOeRK 
  • Content is expected to be reused by other modules within the professional development framework, particularly as the content is more generic in nature, and by other staff co-teaching with the originating staff... (Learning from WOeRK 
  • Management and leadership resources are being investigated by the Human Resources Directorate as a means of supporting internal staff development activity, for instance in coaching, leadership and management.   “I've been looking at some of the staff development modules [for the University] and they're very glossy but actually they're very low on content. What we have here is a real repository of knowledge in the wider sense.”  (Learning from WOeRK OER Developer) Learning from WOeRK 
  • In terms of usability within the context of healthcare resources, these latter are inherently more reusable if consent has been cleared as part of the development process PORSCHE Evaluation Report 

They’ve achieved a lot, even just with their patient consent form, and making everyone aware that you do need the consent of everyone involved in video and audio, and just keep those records and giving yourself the reassurance that everything you are doing is in the best practice. PORSCHE Evaluation Report

  • As previously noted, videos and images are seen as being particularly valuable for reuse within healthcare education, and the PORSCHE workshops provided opportunities to raise awareness of available resources and what can be done in terms of development. PORSCHE  Evaluation Report  
  • Re-usability of NHS-originated resources was considered an issue, both in terms of access (with NHS repositories tending to have some control over access) and granularity of content. This latter issue raised the problem of the technical expertise required to separate complex resources out to their constituent assets. PORSCHE  Evaluation Report
  • The individual OERs can be used separately, in any order (they do not follow a fixed sequence) or put together as a complete module DHOER
  • the introductory nature of most of the DHOER resources lends itself to consider developing them further into an OpenTextbook, without losing the possibility to access its individual smaller resources as standalone OERs. OpenTextbooks were identified in the New Media Consortium’s 2010 Horizon Report as a component of the rapidly progressing adoption of open content in Higher Education, and are increasingly seen as a potential solution to some of the challenges with the traditional textbook publishing model DHOER


CORRE Framework

The University of Leicester OTTER project from the pilot phase developed the  CORRE framework. Three Release strand projects utilised and adapted the framework.

  • 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 DigHUMS

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

























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