OER Synthesis and Evaluation / phase3Evidence-stakeholder engagement
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phase3Evidence-stakeholder engagement

Page history last edited by Lou McGill 8 years, 2 months ago

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See also 

Evidence - Adoption of Open Practices

Evidence - Enablers and Barriers

Evidence - Open partnerships


Culture and practice

 Evidence - Practices of different stakeholders

how practice is changing among OER stakeholders (teachers, learners, support staff, other sectors), and how practice change is being enabled and supported


Themes strand

CORE-SET (CORE-SET final report) | ReACTOR (ReACTOR Final report) |  Opening up a future in business (Future in business Final Report)COMC (COMC Final report) | PARIS (PARIS Final Project Report)  HALS OER (HALS OER Final Project Report)PublishOER (PublishOER final report) | Great Writers (Great Writers Final Report)|  ALTO UK (ALTO UK Final Report)  | ORBIT (ORBIT Final Report) | DEFT (DEFT Final Report)    | FAVOR (FAVOR Final Report) | SESAME (SESAME Final Report) |


OMAC strand

BLOCKeD (BLOCKeD Final Report) |   Digital Literacy and Creativity (Digital Literacy and Creativity Final Report | Academic Practice in Context (Academic Practice in Context Final report) | Teeside Open Learning Units (Teeside Open Learning Units Final Report)



What means have you used to engage your stakeholders, and in what ways have these been effective?




  • Our consortia comprises a number of world-leading private enterprises, internationally-acclaimed charities, and nationally-recognised public sector agencies; all having a discipline-specific focus. As such, an initial challenge was presented in gaining their ‘buy-in’ to the CORE-SET project, and in them agreeing to contribute relevant electronic resources for open release. This was overcome with three upfront investments by the project team in the early stages of this reporting period. Firstly, in organising a visit at each partner site, to meet with a team of staff to be involved in the project. Secondly, to document each organisation’s perceptions and protocols relating to technical, legal and organisational issues associated with OERs; along with their links with the HE sector. Thirdly, to agree on themed collections to be assembled and released by each partner in collaboration with the project team, the latter having provided advice, support and training to partners, where necessary. (CORE-SET interim report)
  • Stakeholder engagement was a crucial aspect of our activities and we were very encouraged by the responses we encountered and the value added by engaging with these groups. We held regular face-to-face partner meetings and utilised online technologies to ensure that as many people as possible could attend.  These were important for encouraging cross partner conversations but we also had more focussed meetings with partners to ensure they had an opportunity to discuss their own needs and potential connections with project activities. Both were essential aspects of our stakeholder engagement. (ReACTOR Final Report) 
  • Engagement with the wider community was undertaken as follows:
    • Engage workshop – a 2-day workshop in Oxford attended by 10 school teachers and university lecturers, two Oxford students and seven Oxford academics and friends of the project. This workshop allowed us to gather feedback on an early version of the site, to increase the awareness of OER and to provide the project team and participants with the opportunity to discuss teaching approaches in literature
    • Interviews – follow-up interviews with two workshop participants as part of evaluation activities.
    • School engagement workshop – a short workshop run by a Student Ambassador at a local school
    • Survey – a short survey emailed via various subject-specific lists to gather feedback for evaluation purposes.
    • Use of social media – the Wordpress blog, project blog, Twitter feed and Facebook page all enabled the project team to communicate with the wider community. Whilst this was mainly through ‘broadcast’ rather than ‘conversation’, the community was invited to provide comment whenever possible (Great Writers Final Report) 
  • This was the first time that most participants had encountered OER or Creative Commons and, in the workshop evaluation, 80% indicated that they had mostly or entirely had their awareness increased. Three participants indicated that the session on copyright was a particular highlight for them.
    (Great Writers Final Report)
  • stakeholders’ views was sought and taken on board at every stage, including participation in research and evaluation activities, and wide dissemination of the outputs was underway (ORBIT Final report)
  • Communities of practice, professional bodies and societies all need to advocate OER, but essential is dialogue between these groups to ensure that even larger scale activities and projects are linked and not in isolation. There often are several national initiatives within similar areas – virtual analytical laboratories, open STEM – and these initiatives need to join up. (HALSOER final report)
  • We created a set of interview questions, with central themes to try and map a common pattern across interviews with entrepreneurs, business colleagues and students. Interestingly within this open framework, each person pitched their story, their insights and advice in slightly different ways so that the project illustrates how each person has found their place in business. (Future in business Final Report)
  • We have undertaken a small number of short F-2-F meetings and other in/formal events and are about to put together an online symposium. These are to enable debate, peer-evaluation, dissemination and promulgation of the concept of open classes, these activities will extend beyond the lifespan of the project.  A number of dissemination activities have been undertaken already – these range from small-scale focused briefings  - to institutional presentations – to international conferences. (COMC Final Report)

HE institutions and staff

  • Community-building through face-to-face meetings is challenging for part-time tutors, who are rarely all available at the same time. When such meetings take place, they are much valued for the opportunity to share practice – but in many cases, have been impossible for project partners to facilitate. (FAVOR Interim Report)
  • Getting resources online (even if not necessarily licensed) early has proved very valuable for the project, allowing us to show pilot tutors and wider stakeholders what the project is hoping to achieve in the longer term.  As the online resources generated moved from theoretical idea to concrete reality, they helped make a case for the project.  We managed this by offering full support to the part-time tutors participating in our initial pilot, which allowed the project team to tackle the teething troubles inherent in any new initiative, and find solutions to them, before they became a barrier for contributors.  As a result, initial pilot contributors had a largely positive experience, with all but one committing to continue to produce OER.  We would very much recommend the approach of running very well supported small initial pilot projects to others seeking to begin similar initiatives. (SESAME Interim Report)
  • In many ways engaging and supporting our part-time tutors was the largest single activity undertaken by the project as overall success or failure was dependent on working successfully with this key stakeholder group. As much as possible we worked within the available framework provided by the Weekly Classes programme, which already had a well-developed structure in place for providing staff development for its part-time tutors, something that greatly facilitated our project. Communication with the part-time weekly class tutors was also helped by a pre-existing VLE site for tutors, acting as an established route both to contact all tutors and to share information.
    A key factor in the success of the project was establishing good interpersonal relationships with the tutors who volunteered to take part in the early pilots. By providing a positive experience, much individual support and plenty of opportunities for tutors to provide their feedback, we were able to learn and build on earlier work for the later phases of the project. The insights our pilot tutors provided into the motivations, opportunities and barriers for participation (see section 3.3) enabled us to target our message to a wider group of part-time tutors as the project progressed.
    (SESAME Final Report)
  • Throughout the project we have made a concerted effort to understand the experience of being a Departmental part-time tutor of adult students. The part-time tutors who engaged with the Sesame project represented a broad range of practitioners. They ranged in age from 24 to over 65 (41% were aged 55 and over); had varying amounts of teaching experience (26% has less than five years teaching experience and 23% had more than 20 years’ experience); and taught more than 25 different subjects ranging from geology to philosophy. (SESAME Final Report)
  • Where conclusions about our tutors could be drawn we used these to inform our training, using examples that resonated with current practice and that respected tutors’ expertise. We also used feedback provided by tutors who participated in our initial pilots to make the case to encourage more tutors to engage.
    “It increases your skills; it inspires you to present your material in a new and exciting way; it means that you and your work reach a wider audience; it is something that you can put on your CV and refer people to.” (Tutor participating in pilot) (SESAME Final Report)
  • As part of project dissemination strategy, the team was actively involved with Collaboration Sheffield (partnership between University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University), thus tapping into well-established regional education sector networks (DEFT Final Report)
  • Engaging the academic development community in the project early on was a good strategy - already promoted the project, rather than going into a post hoc ‘dissemination phase’.developing workshop style materials - to get ed devs thinking about discipline based practice - building all from scratch -  keeping simple and easy to use - keeping together in different categories but thinking how they might all connect together not packing as online module but easy to strip apart - thinking of producing a single document linking them eg a prezi (Academic Practice in Context Interim Report) 
  •  The project was ambitious given the range and scale of the different activities in the short timescale as well as the differences in teaching that exist in the practice based disciplines of art and design in contrast to more ‘academic’ subjects.  Much of the teaching is studio and workshop based and involves a mentoring relationship between teacher and student rather than more traditional didactic methods which, arguably, lend themselves more easily to the standard model of OER content creation (as exemplified by MIT OCW). What we envisage developing through our work in ALTO UK is a rich model for the co-design and publishing of OERs in practice-based arts subjects that, we hope to take forwards in further institutional and collaborative research and development projects. ALTO UK Final Report
  •  One of the striking experiences in our workshops, that involved developing Open CourseBooks, was the way that they worked as a very effective means of ‘surfacing’ personal digital literacy needs. This could be put to good use by incorporating OER creation into both staff and student training and project work to act as a diagnostic tool. Based on our experiences in these workshops and the previous Phase 2 UAL OER project we think that the need and demand for this type of up-skilling is too large to be met by traditional central training units – who are already under great pressure. Instead, we think that developing a cadre of ‘fieldworkers’ (staff and students) who are trained up to hold informal workshops to create OERs and encourage OEP is likely to be more effective. ALTO UK Final Report
  •  Senior Management at Kirklees College Heriot Watt University, School of Textiles and Design are now aware of the OER agenda and community together with the potential benefits (ALTO Final Report)
  •  The availability of cheap high quality digital video cameras that can produce HD outputs together with free distribution platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo have made it possible to capture and share studio and workshop processes and techniques that students and teachers can refer to in a flexible manner (at a time and place of their choosing). The work done by Herriot Watt University School of Textiles and Design is a good example of how effective this can be; link. These techniques are now being used increasingly at UAL, Heriot Watt University and at Kirklees College to document and share processes and support flexible learning by students. The practical demonstrations and training sessions with students still happen, but these videos are a way of supporting student revision and learning where technical support staffs are now in shorter supply due to the cutbacks. (ALTO Final Report)
  • The practical and informal nature of such workshops allows for just-in-time learning taking place in a low-stress environment and, we have found, it also provides a useful venue for significant amounts of peer-to-peer learning and confidence improvement. The fact that the outputs of the workshops are published online is also a significant factor for motivation and allows participants to refer to them as their own published work in the future. (ALTO Final Report)
  • Great Writers Inspire gained the support of the Faculty of English whilst compiling the project proposal, and the principal academic lead was also committed to the project at this stage. Gaining this early support was a considerable advantage and allowed the project team to move forward quickly as soon as funding was confirmed. The principal academic lead, who had previously produced OER through the OpenSpires project, co-opted two colleagues to join her to assist with academic input to the project direction, to steer content choices and to encourage other academics to take part. The drivers for the academic leads included
    • Wanting to be involved in another OER project because they believed that this was something that the University ought to be doing
    • Wanting to prepare materials that teachers beyond Oxford can use
    • Knitting together university and secondary education
    • Being involved in the change of education materials to online provision
    • Becoming more involved in podcasting as an important way to disseminate their work. (Great Writers Final Report) 
  • From previous project experience the project team knew that due to research and teaching commitments academic time would be limited. For this reason the project plan included the recruitment of Student Ambassadors, a model used in the Triton OER project3 (Great Writers Final Report) 
  • After a successful recruitment process seven Oxford graduate students were appointed on a temporary basis; this gave the project a broad skill base to call on and also breadth of coverage in terms of specialism in periods of literature. The project team deliberately targeted graduate students for these posts, to ensure an appropriate academic/research level was maintained throughout the site. As a collective group their duties included: Preparing contextual essays which established context and set the scene for the materials presented within a ‘collection’. Writing additional contextual or reflective pieces for the blog which could be used to enhance collections and content episodes. Assessing the quality and relevance of OERs sourced for the project, and assisting with sourcing suitably licensed materials if required (including ebooks, images, other teaching materials etc.). Researching Exam Boards or otherwise sourcing information on current trends in teaching to ensure the content on the site appealed to schools. Supporting the project’s engagement with schools. Supporting the project’s social media campaign. Supporting the recording and editing of audio podcasts. (Great Writers Final Report)
  • As previously indicated, contact was also made with colleagues in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge via a variety of methods (e.g. ORBIT presentation to STEM group in Faculty, meetings with individual colleagues) with a view of them asking them to participate in the creation of interactive teaching resources for ORBIT. Again, it is reasonable to report that this too was met with a variety of responses ranging from quite positive to rather negative. Most colleagues were time-constrained, over-committed elsewhere and therefore reluctant to participate themselves. However, a compromise was negotiated with some of them, whereby the Research Associate was able to acquire teaching materials from various STEM ITE teacher educator colleagues, enabling her to assess initially  their contents as suitable for ORBIT and then arrange for their development and adaptation as interactive teaching OER materials (ORBIT Final report)


FE institutions and staff

  • External collaborators outside HE, with little or no experience of OER have been extremely difficult to engage with. We have made bridgeheads with a small number of Phoenix Partner Colleges, but this has required high-levels of F2F commitment and (almost) ‘bribery’! (COMC Interim Report)
  • We were keen to ensure that final resources linked firmly to the challenges learners currently face, and to their needs. This was carried out through demonstrations of the technology and small group interviews where the groups considered the potential uses and applications of the resources.  (ReACTOR Final Report)
  • When we considered future dissemination it made us consider the different links we could use to reach out to the FE/6th form colleges as opposed to other universities.  On a local basis we are looking to University taster days and JISC Regional Support Centre events to make contact with students and their tutors in 6th form/FE.  On a national basis working with our community liaison officers to reach out through their community to other universities with strong community links and producing a showreel has become part of the dissemination strategy. (Future in business Final Report)
  • This area has resource issues and it is productive for universities to share relevant resources with partner colleges.  The project shows that more work may be needed to contextualise any materials for use with this age group. (Future in business Final Report)
  • External collaborators outside HE, with little or no experience of OER have been extremely difficult to engage with. The least successful aspect of the project has been our attempt to engage with local colleges.  We have made bridgeheads with a small number of Phoenix Partner Colleges – especially Finham Park School and Calunden Castle School,  but this has required high-levels of F2F commitment and (almost) ‘bribery’!  Beyond accessing the individual class contents – which after the meeting to set the contact up is almost impossible to identify – there has been almost no active participation in the classes. Team members visited the Colleges, walked-through the class sites discussed potential uses, emphasised the open and free nature of the content, resources and networks. The only ‘cost’ to these participant for enhanced access to the classes  and additional support was that they put some comments on the classes and especially the core COMC  project pages. In the event none did so.  This experience highlights the barrier that exists on our part on the transition from ‘broadcasting’ modes and on the part of potential external  participants if the arrive at the class after its development (COMC Final Report)


  • Once the resources were available in the U-Now site, an evaluation process was implemented involving the target audience of students from the Nottingham Advantage Award where the resources will be embedded. Students and recent graduates from other areas of the University were also invited to join the evaluation process, to ensure a cross section of views were included in the process. (PARiS Final Report)
  • Students were generally aware of content available on the internet and that some of it was probably of dubious origin. They were satisfied with learning from reliable sources no matter where they found them (e.g. print, eBooks, internet) although individual students had different preferences. They gave the impression that convenience was important but that, at the end of the day, learning was paramount and if they had to pay to facilitate that then they would. (PublishOER Final Report)
  • The project has been informed by all the students and interns who have worked on it. Their interest in the filmed material, their ideas for interview strategies and their interaction with the interviewees have given the project a strong student focus.  In the usability testing we found a significant difference in how the 16-19 age group engaged with the material. (Future in business Final Report)
  • The students have been very engaged with each of these classes – it is difficult to quantify precisely, because numerous factors inform students perception of the value of any one class (most are subjective and all are experiential factors, which are necessarily affected by complex and multiple factors. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that these classes enjoyed some of the best module evaluations of the year and also produced some of the most interesting and exciting student work. For many students and more so in specific classes, there was little sense they were participating in an “Open Class”. Students were informed, but this ethos had relatively little value to them, what mattered was the quality and richness of the experience our approach enabled. In one case there was some anxiety over / resistance to the Open Class approach. (COMC Final Report)


Schools sector

  • The team have gained access to rich accounts of pedagogical practice with digital literacies in schools as well as a deeper insight into OER-related issues within that context. Our work with teachers brings into sharp focus issues which may not have been as prominent in the HEI context but are of key relevance to the school context, such as for instance issues related to e-safety, e-security; the ethical and pedagogical aspects of student-produced resources as well as a number of technological barriers in terms of access to web-based resources. Overall, we have found that both teachers and trainee teachers react very positively when introduced to the concept of OERs, and a number have argued that there is a widespread culture of sharing resources within the school sector and that it is seen as an essential part of teachers' professional identity. Both groups have expressed an interest in OERs for the purposes of CPD and sharing good practice both within the school and across the region. At the same time, awareness of OER-related issues such as copyright, formatting or accessibility seems very low among the sample we are working with and presumably this is the case elsewhere in the sector. While the teachers widely reuse existing materials deposited in repositories such as teachernet or similar banks teaching resources, they seemed to be quite reluctant to contemplate the possibility of releasing their own resources, for fear of having their practice judged as not being “polished enough”. (DEFT Interim Report)
  • While few educators are aware of the concept of OERs, they are very keen to re-use materials from sources such online teaching resource banks and accordingly, websites such as Times Education Supplement or teachernet would be best placed to raise awareness about OERs and model best practices with regard to copyright and IPR (DEFT Final Report)
  • developing case studies, teachers in participating schools involved learners and support personnel (predominantly media technicians and teaching assistants). (DEFT Final Report)
  •  Each of the schools organised a dissemination event (for more information see appendix E) which offered opportunities for reaching out to parents and staff members within the participating schools (DEFT Final Report)
  • Across the case studies, it is possible to see ways in which the pupils engage with parents and the community using digital technologies. For example, the children at Mundella Primary School produced innovative artwork using iPads. Following this, the teacher, Kate Cosgrove, organised a number of open days during which the children taught their parents, grandparents and siblings how to use the iPads.  (DEFT Final Report)
  • The project blog was a powerful tool for engaging with stakeholders with an interest in teacher education and digital literacy, with almost 6,000 overall views
  •  In order to create the index of OER providers alongside identifying current interactive lesson ideas, contact was also made with a wide variety of local Cambridgeshire school teachers through existing Faculty of Education contacts and using other connections to national school networks, e.g. STEM Centre East, Norwich. This mixed approach generated a cohort of teachers who were willing to create interactive lesson ideas for ORBIT. (ORBIT Final report)
  • The widening participation team who work with schools and colleges ran a series of events and workshops in which pupils / students were involved in generating OER. The majority of schools and colleges however could not provide permissions for students to be filmed and recorded, but one college (St Jonathon North Community College) produced videos of students working through a crime scene investigation. (The HALS team member was however stopped by security thinking that they were carrying a dead body into the college!). (HALSOER Final report)
  • From the school and college perspective, OERs could be the perfect vehicle for widening participation, and online university taster materials would truly widen access if made nationally available:

“I just see it as being exponential in terms of accessing students at the moment is local but if it was National that would be fantastic”. (College Tutor 2012). (HALSOER Final report)

  • The more that open education awareness and activities grow, the greater the benefits that emerge. Talking about OER with schools, colleges, staff and collaborators catalyses broader discussions around education and technology. (HALS OER Final Project Report)
  • Using university-level OER in schools benefits teachers and provides prospective students with an insight into higher education courses and subjects. OER are a useful tool for widening participation initiatives and are not restricted by geographical location or funding to hold workshops and activities. (HALS OER Final Project Report)



Public sector


  • The project case studies have demonstrated examples of successful engagement with the public sector and community organisations. In particular, collaboration with Sheffield Children's Festival which led to the development of the Digital Bloom installation was a very successful example of public engagement where the project team reached out to over 400 members of general public who would not otherwise be interested in finding out about issues raised by the project. We believe it would be useful to continue exploring the intersections between creativity and digital literacy/openness. (DEFT Final Report)


Private sector

  • The project contact at Oxford University Press (OUP) held initial discussions with directors and intellectual property managers to gain approval for the collaboration. It was intended that a number of OER be released to support a textbook series “Fundamentals of Biomedical Science”, in particular, interviews with biomedical scientists and laboratory technique videos. Our OER and website details supported a number of books: (HALSOER Final report) 
  • It was intended to use both existing OER and new OER from the HALS project. OUP conducted research and drew up a list of existing biomedical-related content, although almost without exception, none of this was released under a Creative Commons license. All our OER was released under CC BY SA so not restricting the use for commercial purposes. (HALSOER Final report) 
  • Discussions were also held to explore whether any of OUP existing content could be released as OER but this was very much limited and depended on the type of contract in place with the author.
    • Releasing textbook content as OER retrospectively would not be possible due to the restrictions within the author’s original contracts.
    • Releasing content as OER in the future would require new contracts to be drawn up but would be possible.
    • Under an Exclusive Licence. Most of the published content is under the terms of this license. The author retains copyright but grants OUP an exclusive licence to publish their work in any form. Occasionally the agreement might be terminated, and all rights would revert to the author. This would conflict with a CC license which would sub-licensing the content in perpetuity to any number of people.
    • Assignment License. In this type of license, the author gives full ownership of a work to OUP, so a CC licence could be used here.
    • The level of CC license would have to include no derivatives. It would not make sense to be able to edit or manipulate the content of a published work. (HALSOER Final report)
  • A small working group was established involving representatives from the two veterinary schools and Elsevier. This group met on a regular monthly basis throughout WP4 to set project priorities, review progress on case study development and discuss results. The value that all parties derived from these discussions was significant with most meetings extending to at least three hours. (PublishOER Final Report)
  • Rightscom found that some publishers were willing to engage but that others would not even reply to invitations to discuss OER. This was considered linked to the development, locally, of OER strategies and a general lack of awareness of OER. This affected the potential of the project to represent the sector(s) involved, however the team worked hard to access the widest range of stakeholders. (PublishOER Final Report)
  • Smaller or not-for-profit publishers seemed more able to respond to the needs of and opportunities afforded by OER. This is perhaps not surprising when some had already been funded to share published works (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, 2012), and by being smaller there were fewer layers of management who needed to be consulted at every stage. Staff at Elsevier (UK) have been endlessly patient with the project’s requests for content, and have given their time very generously to consider the policy issues and questions raised with them. At many stages however they have had to consult with the US or other offices, or with authors, some of whom still owned images embedded in published works, and it introduces delays that the smaller publishers were able to avoid (PublishOER Final Report)
  • The University has good contacts with business and this together with the contacts of our researcher and other team members helped us to gather a group of entrepreneurs ready to participate in the project. It is has been very encouraging to see how many business people  were willing to become involved and aid young people in making a positive decision about a business future. (Future in business Final Report)
  • That so many business people gave their time to this project also shows the business community wants to encourage young people to consider working in SMEs, either as a career or as a basis to later work for themselves on their own business idea. Several of those who became involved wanted to encourage graduate applications into roles in smaller businesses which are often seen, incorrectly, by students as being less stable than larger businesses.  All of these people understand the importance of SMEs to the economy and the need to increase commercial awareness in young people to help them plan their career effectively and grow the businesses of tomorrow. (Future in business Final Report)
  • This project illustrates the willingness of the business community to involve itself in the educational process and how this interaction can also be used to build resources for use on the VLE’s of FE & 6th form colleges. (Future in business Final Report)



  • “At first, as CEO of The Ear Foundation, I was cautious about putting our materials on open access, and free of charge – it felt like giving away our “family silver!” However, with the opportunity provided by JISC to work with the team at the University of Nottingham, I am convinced! It’s given us the opportunity to share our information and educational services to those who really need them and to use the chance to introduce them to other services we have which may be useful to them. The materials we have been able to develop in this way have had great feedback and will I am sure improve the support our deaf children get in schools” Sue Archbold, CEO The Ear Foundation (PARIS Final Report)
  • The Ear Foundation is a charity helping deaf people and their families make the best use of technology to improve hearing and communication. The Foundation is experienced in releasing online resources through their website, such as popular lecture series, but was new to the concept of OER. The initial parts of the project were focussed on helping several Ear Foundation staff members understand OER and provide them with the information needed to collect and use existing OER, as well as understand how to license and present OER in reusable formats. An abridged version of the ‘Open for Learning’ workshop, which is the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE) OER module, was delivered for Ear Foundation staff members involved in the project. (PARiS Final report) 


General public  

  • Thanks to the Digital Bloom event, the team reached out to over 400 members of general public who visited the installation; furthermore, as the event was part of Sheffield Children's Festival (attracting an audience of over 30,000), information about the installation and the DeFT project was disseminated through festival materials. This interaction with the public was be captured in a mini-case study report (available from project website) outlining what people said about the project and their own stories about digital literacy (DEFT Final Report) 



What has been the impact of OER development, release and reuse on the practices of your stakeholders?

  • The breadth of the project consortia has provided opportunities to explore varied attitudes to OER release, within a subject community, across a diverse range of partners that operate outside of the HE sector. A set of case studies will now be developed in the next stage of the project, highlighting different understandings and approaches across organisations / stakeholder groups. (CORE-SET interim report) 
  • CORE-SET is seen by the majority of our partners as being a timely project, since they have either only recently started using file share and social media sites, or instead have intended to do so; but, generally, with limited success. In addition, partners were keen to strengthen their links with higher education, which has hitherto rarely been devoted to issues of electronic resource and/or curriculum development. (CORE-SET interim report)
  • Our work with private companies has been exciting and revealed an interesting openness to working with us in resource development. They have seen the benefits of this and been very generous in sharing some of their content and information to input into the resources.

The industry sector in which we work is dominated by ancient practices and associated forms of advertising. I was immediately drawn to what you are doing by the relative simplicity but also the way in which allowed non-engineers to understand processes. The fact that your project enables a much greater level of understanding can only be a benefit to bringing this industry sector up to date. (Private company) (ReACTOR Final Report) 

  • It is evident that those partners have also seen a real benefit of working with us in scoping, developing and disseminating these resources within the wider sectors,  and the long term impact this has on improving resources to support the curriculum in a very fast moving industry. Not least this involvement with some very influential partners in the sector will have a very important impact on the use of the OER, their sustainability and on-going relevance, as their endorsement is highly valued. (ReACTOR Final Report)
  • Tutors have reported that participation in the project has resulted in practice change: the incorporation of new ideas, approaches and methods; reflection on and alteration of practice, and consideration of how students can be involved in the creation of teaching materials. (FAVOR Final Report)
  •  The ORBIT resource bank hosts resources from within the Faculty. This relationship has raised the profile of OER and Open Access within the Faculty community. OER are still a new departure for the University of Cambridge and, understandably, there were some reservations at the beginning of the project from members of the Faculty. However, while this is an ongoing project, the Faculty staff are now generally appreciative of the project and keen to see how it can develop to further support their work. In particular, the coursebook has been highlighted as having potential as a resource on ITE courses. (ORBIT Final report)
  • Starting from a sceptical position about the ORBIT project's use of intellectual property, I have become convinced about the project's central aim of providing readily accessible online materials for teachers and teacher trainers. Their value for those countries that have little or no similar resource now seems evident, and as a result I have offered the project materials that I have used in my teaching of postgraduate teacher trainees. They clearly need to be mediated for use in different regional contexts but they nevertheless provide a starting point, that would not otherwise exist, [especially] for teacher trainers with little access to material resources. Faculty member (ORBIT Final report)
  •  It was interesting that teachers welcomed the OER and were already integrating OERs in their teaching. However, awareness of OER needs to be increased in schools for both teachers and pupils. There were some enthusiastic and evangelical teachers who were using and promoting OERs, but what about pupils who don’t have such role models, or who have poor educational facilities available? These are the very students that would benefit most from OER so the question arose how to reach them without OER becoming elitist.
    “It is always the role model, or the good person that is the gatekeeper to that person (the student). If someone has poor educational facilities available, or if there are supply teachers, poor continuity, nobody accesses this stuff for the students”. (HALS Team Member 2012). (HALSOER Final report)
  • The pupils clearly benefitted from the activities providing them with an insight into university, and producing the videos was perceived as being a welcome skill that students might not otherwise learn in college. Students were informed about courses and then in teams had to investigate a crime scene. (HALSOER Final report)
  • There were differing levels of staff engagement with the Open Classes. All were engaged, but this ranged from a profound and sophisticated engagement, to a tentative and testing approach. This was mostly evident in terms of their attachment to different mixes of media /platforms and therefore, how, and how intensely, they were ‘Open, and ‘Actively Open’ (our  distinction between simply making resources available online and making it possible to engage with the class through activities and/or dialogue or interaction). Further, staff engagement was predictably affected by the depth of experience they had with this approach.
    (COMC Final Report)


In what ways are the cultures of your stakeholders being challenged, strengthened or changed by the release and use of OER?

  • Through this CORE-SET project, we have successfully raised awareness amongst the partner organisations of issues surrounding Creative Commons licensing and of the available range of Web2.0 file sharing sites. We found that many staff, including those in technology-related roles, tended to be unaware of these issues and of the mechanisms available for promoting their electronic resources / collections; this we have benchmarked within the project. It is also important to highlight the dynamic nature of OERs; within only the first six months of this project the perceptions and attitudes towards issues of open content have changed, and positively, throughout the diverse partner consortia. (CORE-SET interim report)
  • issues around engagement of students around the open platform approach in terms of their digital literacy skills (fluency) - when digital literacy was not the focus of the class’ activities (COMC Interim Report)
  • Senior management at the UAL and Brighton are now much more engaged with the OER agenda and are putting it into their strategic planning activities (ALTO Final Report)
  •  There has definitely been impact on my teaching practice due to the project. I am currently doing a Masters in education and because of this project I chose to do my current module enhancing learning and teaching across educational contexts based around use of digital technologies in the early years and whether they can help extend speaking and listening. I was able to implement the use of iPads and digital cameras within nursery and saw the benefits of these on the children's learning and created a blog that works in partnership with parents. I found the children were highly motivated and engaged when using these technologies as were other practitioners within our setting. […] as a result of this fantastic project we will be purchasing iPads and digital cameras for the children to use. We hope the use of these can soon be embedded within our practice. (DeFT Final Report)
  • Participation in the project has made me increasingly aware of the importance of developing students' and teachers' digital literacy, but probably more significantly,  the responsibility educators have to enhance students' digital literacy skills and to encourage responsible digital citizenship. It also have given me the opportunity to work with a range wide of colleagues, both in and out of school, and enabled me to have a reflective and professional dialogue that I would not ordinarily have had. The opportunity to use a range of resources and participate in various INSET and teaching & learning conversations has also encouraged me to think more carefully about learning processes and thus had an impact on my teaching (DeFT Final Report)
  • My headteacher saw the value of our use of iPads from the project and has recently allocated resources to buy a set of 10 iPads.  New technologies have been written into the school improvement plan.  So through performance management it's expected that all teachers and students engage in use of new technologies including  iPads, Twitter, blogs, CLC, netbooks, actibooks, visualisers and various other things. We're just a little primary school in Sheffield and we're engaging quite heavily in new technology and new teaching opportunities thought through at a reflective academic level.  Our headteacher sees us as digital leaders, experts in this field. The findings from the MA enquiry I'm now going to undertake will be disseminated into the school population. We have got our own sustainability from the initial project that we were given but all this came from the project.  There is no other way we could have done that - if we hadn't been given 3 days of [Project leader's] time and loaned 12 iPads from the CLC and Sheffield Hallam we wouldn't have been able to move in this direction.  The project has had an impact and the impact will be ongoing and changing as well.  (DeFT Final Report)
  • Engaging with open practice and the publication/creation of OERs can lead to quality enhancement of teaching
  • Tutor feedback has been overwhelming on how much they have learnt through taking part in the project. Tutors have repeatedly impressed the management team by their enthusiasm to put their new knowledge immediately into practice with students and to reflect, evaluate and improve on the teaching resources that they are creating, using and sharing. This activity, driven by the focus of the project, seems to have made a real and lasting impact on the way they work: in preparing resources, seeking out new methods of working, involving students in preparing resources and in delivering content. These activities have taken place alongside discussions about teaching work with peers, which have fed into the cycle of reflection and reworking (see ‘impact’ section for more details and final reports). (FAVOR Final Report)
  •  External partners wholeheartedly buy-into open education, and the exploration of mutual benefits in the form of shared learning and training resources is an obvious connection across sectors. Our comments on the processes and motivations to establishing collaborations have already been reported (Fowler and Rolfe12). Some of the more notable benefits that arose included:
    • Shared efforts in producing good quality materials – utilising case studies, assets and examples from the work place that can be packaged into useful learning materials. 
    • Professional bodies and societies seemed to take on a quality control role.
    • Mutual benefits of shared education and training resources.
    • A catalyst for exploring wider opportunities for research and collaboration. (HALSOER Final report)
  • What was most significant was that creating dialogue and discussion about OER catalysed a whole range of other activities. These have included joint applications for research funding, establishing research collaborations (e.g. a master’s degree student is due to start in 2012), and involvement of hospital contacts in other open education projects (e.g. OU Digital Microscope Project led by David Male). (HALSOER Final report)
  • Open education catalysed dialogue in areas where perhaps staff might not have felt confident approaching these departments just on the basis of research (HALSOER Final report)
  • The project gave OUP an insight into which electronic materials are useful to readers, and how to best disseminate content, e.g. through a website or YouTube. Ultimately (not obtained yet), there will be data on visitor statistics and whether OER enhances the user experience and translates into new business and book sales. (HALSOER Final report)
  •  Involving publisher with OER project enabled valuable discussions to take place regarding open education and licensing, and OUP have explored means within the licensing constraints and constraints of author’s contracts that might permit the open release of textbook content in the future.(HALSOER Final report)
  •  Data is not yet available regarding the impact that the HALS biomedical science OER had on their business and both visitor hits and potential sales of their “Fundamentals of Biomedical Science” text book series. The web links and resources from the HALS project placed ON the OUP site certainly provided traffic to our HALS website (http://www.biologycourses.co.uk). (HALSOER Final report)
  • The location of each ‘Open Class’ class within course curricula had its own effects. The BA Open photography classes are a key feature of the course pedagogy and its overall ethos - it is therefore not only well integrated, but exemplary of the course ethos. The Creative Activism class sits within a BA media Production core module, the course is organised around ideas of new forms of sustainable professional practice; one form of this is the Open Media agenda;  so the class is a case study in how to extend the ethos. The Open media research project class resulting in Digital Formations site, exists within the level three module “Living in a Digital World”, hitherto, this had been a ‘conventional’ theory and research project module inside a largely theoretical analytical course; hence its tentative exploratory feel.   (COMC Final Report)
  • There were differing levels of staff engagement with the Open Classes. All were engaged, but this ranged from a profound and sophisticated engagement, to a tentative and testing approach. This was mostly evident in terms of their attachment to different mixes of media /platforms and therefore, how, and how intensely, they were ‘Open, and ‘Actively Open’ (our distinction between simply making resources available online and making it possible to engage with the class through activities and/or dialogue or interaction). Further, staff engagement was predictably affected by the depth of experience they had with this approach. (COMC Final Report)
  • The Open ethos has been fully embraced and the team have linked the class to external OER-type sites and projects – e.g. peer-to-peer university – and made use of external platforms which extend and enhance our scope and impact -.e.g placing the course material in an i-tunes collection. Whilst Pete has been involved in our Open teaching from the outset, this is the first dedicated teaching space in which he has been able to explore the approach. He had actively engaged with the exploration of the various networks and peer-to-peer communities around video and film-making     (COMC Final Report)
  • The generative experience is not just important for the users but also the producers. Simply put, it has proved harder to generate classes in the abstract and in advance of classes running – this is of course to be expected but the experiential reality of this has been instructive (COMC Final Report)
  • It is possibly an issue which confronts subject/discipline specialists (i.e. non-educational development specialists) and those from educational development backgrounds differently  there is a question of what of what drives the quality of experience forward – ie commitment to finding innovative ways of teaching subject X  is more important than finding teaching and learning innovations per se – this affects the importance/centrality of the generative experience and what it needs to be. (COMC Final Report)


By what means have you supported practice change among your stakeholders, and in what ways were these effective?


  • A ‘blended’ approach to open practice is effective in encouraging engagement - The model that the FAVOR project employed seems to have been effective in building communities of practice around OER and also in maximising the impact and benefits of open practice. The model consisted of a local champion coordinating a local group of peers who shared training, ideas and good practice offline, and then shared their work online in LanguageBox, under their institutional profile. This made contact with the wider community. The effectiveness of this finding in community-building came out strongly in the external evaluation report which termed the FAVOR partners as ‘blended OER communities.’ (FAVOR Final Report)










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