OER Synthesis and Evaluation / Evidence-Sustainability
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Page history last edited by Lou McGill 10 years, 9 months ago

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Back to Evidence - main page

See also

Evidence - Institutional processes

Evidence - Legal Issues



Processes for sustainability



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)


How have you, and your partners/collaborators, integrated OER sustainably into curriculum processes?

  • The combination of fieldworkers attached to a central educational development  department like CLTAD to promote OER creation and publishing could provide a model for an economically sustainable means of enhancing both digital literacy and educational development in HE in a time of austerity.
  • The idea of using community facilities to deliver a low-residency practical course is by no means a new one. The Northern College  in Thurso at the northern tip of Scotland offers a part time HNC in equine management that makes use of access to stables across Scotland arranged through contacts with the practitioner community.
    Although at first site this proposal might seem radical, it might prove a powerful way of strengthening links between colleges and practitioner communities in a way that can be mutually beneficial and preserve these subjects into the future.
    ALTO UK Final Report
  • Another useful outcome from the interim programme meeting and online evaluation group discussions has been the growing realisation that OER/P can be a powerful way of improving research impact ratings – an important factor in the new funding regime. By incorporating research outputs into OERs researchers can reach much wider potential audiences and have their work picked up by other media networks (such as print and broadcast), which in turn multiplies the impact factor. ALTO UK Final Report
  • Interim feedback from Peter Robinson of Oxford in our online evaluation group meetings indicates that their OERs that contain research are indeed generating traffic and data that will count towards the next research assessment exercise. Another way of improving impact is to incorporate research outputs into Open Textbooks and assign ISBN numbers to such publications. This has the rather exciting potential to break down the barriers between the management and curation of research and learning resources both in the digital realm and in the academy – something that was the subject of discussion at the 2012 OER/OCWC conference in Cambridge. ALTO UK Final Report
  • The outputs are all openly licensed and placed in our 2 institutional OER services (Filestore and Process.Arts), which have been adopted as permanent core university services.
    The university (UAL) is developing a commitment to OER engagement in its policy and is going to join the OCWC
    A strategy is being developed to develop long-term core funding for OER/P activities at the UAL ALTO UK Final Report
  • Engaging with practitioners through existing systems and structures has worked extremely well for the project in many ways, offering considerable gains in terms of efficiency and sustainability, for example, by saving money by providing training as part of existing events and incorporating project evaluation activities alongside regular course evaluation. However, there have been times when working with existing systems and processes has meant less control and the need to compromise with the optimal timing of some project activities, something which needed to be carefully managed to ensure the best outcome for both the project and the on-going sustainability. (SESAME Final Report)
  •  Introducing and scaling OER requires investment and/or policy change. Being able to set up an OER project at the University of Cambridge required an initial investment. We are confident that the ORBIT project will continue to grow from here on, but it is difficult to see how such a project could have been established without this initial investment. In this content we note the RCUK announcement (July 2012, http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/2012news/Pages/120716.aspx) regarding its new Open Access policy, which was informed by the work of the National Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings. (ORBIT Final report)
  •  Significant value for money can be obtained by using widely-used standard platforms, which already have significant momentum behind them. Further investment should focus on such platforms, rather than creating bespoke platforms, especially in times of limited funding. The Mediawiki platform has a good capability to create, publish and share bespoke collections of teaching resources for teacher education, and through the book creator offers collections to be easily edited, updated and added to. Other proposed platforms would need to be measured against this existing functionality. (ORBIT Final report)
  • The process by which the new OER modules were created was a joint effort between academic authors, technical support staff, external organisations and the JISC support services. The resources were set out to contain original works from the authors, including written material developed specifically for the resources, and where appropriate, references to published work by the authors. The authors were encouraged to use third party content from the open arena in order to enhance the resources and to promote a collaborative effort to produce effective learning materials for the open domain. Each author was required to write the content of their resource in a simple text-based format including the images, charts, statistics, quotes, presentations, audio and videos that they wished to include. These drafts were supplied to Open Nottingham technical support staff who developed them into online resources using an open source XHTML editor called eXe Elearning editor. (PARiS 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)
  • We have recognised that there is a gap between institutional auditing and time/resource allocation and how to deliver OER successfully  -  e.g. Early in the project the Picbod team time-managed their approach with reference to the JISC funding, making the mistake of treating the open classes as normal  classes by giving one full day over to “open” the class on top of the F2F class. But open classes don’t run like that, they need constant (multi-timezone) low-level attention (you can’t bank a week’s worth with an eight hour day). Most prominent in the external differences was the WIRED article, which pushed thousands of people to the class, a sudden increase in the level of engagement that we could not capitalise on.  (COMC Final Report)
  • Time and content proliferation: Open Classes produced under a CC BY SA  license and in pulling in large networks and diverse resources need ‘feeding’ – all the time. They become  “real-time” beasts. Effective Actively Open classes are social interactions, which do not respect the schedule/costing models of conventional classes within HE. (COMC Final Report)
  • The latter could be both a challenge and an opportunity in that the classes are time hungry compared to traditional face-to-face classes; but the Open classes are simultaneously teaching, networking, collaborative practice/research, marketing and recruitment. From the perspective of this extended function the cost of Open seems more viable, BUT, this requires a very different HE costing model.    (COMC Final Report)
  • There has been significant spin-out from this project – the Media Dept. has established an Open/Innovative Pedagogies working group with one COMC project member as one of its leaders, but it also incorporates three other staff, new to the approach. (COMC Final Report)
  •  Initiatives adopting the Open Approach are now being developed in the BA Media and Communications course, the MA CCM and the BA Journalism and Media.  (COMC Final Report)


How have your institution and collaborating organisations ensured embedding and sustainability of open practices?

  • One of the key contributions from us concerns how our experience, as an organization not previously heavily involved in OER practice, can be used to promote the wider engagement with and sustainability of an Open Learning/OER approach for staff/organisations not already very involved in this agenda/practice. For example, having an identified ‘buddy’ for day to day advice on practical issues would help. (Teeside Open Learning Units Interim Report)
  • Some teachers have indicated that they have support from senior management to engage in projects building on their involvement with DeFT - for instance, Michael Payton-Greene in Wales High School will be rolling out the OER-based blog across the school from September onwards; Rob Hobson at Halfway Junior School is planning to undertake QR-based treasure hunts with pupils in the new school year and Jim Hildyard from Winterhill High School will continue collaboration with Magna to produce further resources for the centre. (DeFT Final Report)
  • The online version of Digital Bloom was released at the beginning of October and will remain open so that teachers and learners can share their stories and understandings of digital literacy. We will monitor the website and use Sheffield Hallam University networks to encourage schools and youth groups to populate the platform with content and use it to support their work in both formal and informal contexts (DeFT Final Report)
  • We will pilot resources developed in the context of the project through our involvement with HEA-OER internationalisation project (taking place between September 2012-January 2013) where we are working with partners from Poland (University of Science and Technology in Krakow); Hungary (Central European University, Budapest) and Belgium (KHLim) to explore issues related to OER re-use and repurposing across a number of disciplines and where the open textbook will be the key resource being re-used and re-purposed (DeFT Final Report)
  • Discussions with the Faculty are continuing as this report is being written with the objective of securing a longer-term future for the active maintenance and development of Great Writers Inspire. Great Writers inspire Final Report)
  • The ORBIT project and wiki are firmly embedded in the Faculty, already containing open resources donated by other projects, and providing a venue for future open resources to be stored and accessed through a single portal. ORBIT outputs will be naturally promoted as part of Faculty activities, for instance through the PGCE courses, as well as other seminars, and we expect that in due course ORBIT outputs will be fully embedded in the life of the Faculty. Conversations about open access publishing of research outputs are already informally gaining momentum. (ORBIT Final report)
  • Approximately 50 members of university academic and support staff have been involved in UKOER projects, and open practices are embedded within academic programmes and staff training. In a repeat of our 2009 staff awareness survey, our 2012 survey shows that there has been a big increase in awareness of the term OER and open practices (data due to be released as an update to the HEA Policy Case study). (HALSOER Final report)
  •  Open educational resources are now embedded into the university Academic and Professional Development Unit (APDU) programme of activities, and workshop sessions have been run as part of the PGCert for all new lecturers in 2011 and 2012. Involvement from library services, technology and the intellectual property office has enabled the smooth running of projects (listed in Appendix 1), but now activity needs to be scaled-up. The question is how? (HALSOER Final report)
  • To increase momentum now there probably needs to be senior executive involvement in terms of buy-in and proactive support. The institution needs to understand how open education sits within the core values of the institution, and how it fits commercially. A route forward for OER would be to align it with existing strategies for International Recruitment, Widening Participation and Retention. (HALSOER Final report)
  • One fundamental question is how to financially support open practices in to the medium and longer-term? The more open practice becomes part of day to day learning and teaching, the fewer requirements there will be for large-scale funding, but there will be some institutional investment required to support technology and training. One idea to maintain the momentum of open education is to form a Centre for Open Education within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and the HALS team will continue to meet to discuss this further beyond this project.

“The recognition of what happens thru a centre is useful but need to convince management you are going to grow. It needs people who have got time and effort to evangelise. Ultimately people stick with what they know”.
“Need to push the message in the long run that it is more efficient. In the short run there is a lot of effort and it is only when the things have run from a number of years you reap the benefit”. (HALSOER Final report)

  • Open Nottingham has senior sponsorship, and long-term sustainability is a key consideration in all future developments. It is an integral part of the University of Nottingham’s Five Year Strategy, supporting a number of the institution’s published objectives. For example, the expansion of OER provision is listed as a goal under the Social Responsibility objective, and providing access to a rich supply of resources has a direct impact on student satisfaction through the Excellence in Education objective. (PARiS Final report) 
  • Long term sustainability of the outputs will be ensured in two ways. The online resources will be maintained as part of the Open Nottingham programme. The further embedding of OER in the University’s sustainability agenda will be maintained by the Sustainability Grand Challenge. To this end, the University’s Teaching and Learning Board is considering (Autumn 2012) a pilot project to use the PARiS modules to develop a model of supported undergraduate online learning. This is part of Nottingham’s three-pronged approach to the integration of sustainability into teaching and learning, the core business of higher education:
    1. Using Sustainable learning technology
    2. Developing discipline-related content about Sustainability
    3. Developing and supporting Sustainable methods of teaching and learning to develop sustainability literacy (PARiS Final report) 
  • The Ear Foundation chose to employ the skills of a third party developer to build bespoke interactive learning objects, rather than using Xerte Online Toolkits. The decision to use the contractor aligned with Ear Foundation strategy to outsource work in this area and following this bespoke approach was their preferred option for achieving a consistent look and feel matching their brand style. The Ear Foundation had budgeted for this development time as part of the project proposal process; however the focus of that development time shifted from using Xerte online toolkits to bespoke development.
    This model is different to the one adopted by the University of Nottingham when creating interactive e-learning content, as working with staff to up-skill them in the use Xerte Online toolkits is the preferred option. However, the model does align with the Ear Foundation strategy of outsourcing development of this kind, to ensure that staff members, such as speech therapists and education coordinators can concentrate on their core roles. (PARiS Final report) 
  • The University-wide Open Nottingham programme is centrally funded and has senior sponsorship, and long-term sustainability is a key consideration in all developments. It is an established part of the University’s Five Year Strategy and supports a number of the institution’s published objectives. The outputs from the PARiS project will be managed by the existing Open Nottingham team, ensuring continued dissemination of PARiS goals and continued work in the area of OER for sustainability. The Open Nottingham team will also remain in contact with the Ear Foundation and provide support, if required, for the on-going OER work that the Ear Foundation has committed to. (PARiS Final Report) 
  • There has been significant spin-out from this project – the Media Dept. has established an Open/Innovative Pedagogies working group with one COMC project member as one of its leaders, but it also incorporates three other staff, new to the approach. (COMC Final Report)
  •  Initiatives adopting the Open Approach are now being developed in the BA Media and Communications course, the MA CCM and the BA Journalism and Media.  (COMC Final Report)


What has been the effect on sustainability of involving students in the OER development, release and re-use lifecycle?


What issues have you found over curation of OER collections when working across institutional or sector boundaries and how have you addressed these?


Commercial Publishers

  • A business case outlining the economic and sustainability benefits of the findings of this work will be developed for JISC based on this report (PublishOER Final Report)
  • Communication with the JISC PALS group and HEFCE and JISC with a view to forward work on embedding third party published materials in OER. (PublishOER Final Report)
  • The partners will also continue working with colleagues in Elsevier to promote a potential paradigm shift towards viewing digital editions of books as the primary format from which print is derived. This would enable more granular subsections of licensed content to be incorporated into OER and promote a more cyclical process of publishing. (PublishOER Final Report)

How have you have identified and attempted to meet the priorities of your sector?

  • Due to the widely criticised government stance on primary and secondary education (including the respective national curricula, see:  http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/downloads_/news/2012/06/2012_06_12The_Plot_Thickens.pdf), there is a significant scope for supporting schools in adapting to the new policy frameworks, for instance through the provision of much larger sets of appropriate professional development materials, building on what is already available through the ORBIT project. There also is significant demand for providing coherent sets of materials, which could form longer professional learning programmes at schools (for instance programmes that would combine interaction with a number of ORBIT resources into project days, or sequences of project days, as well as other professional learning activities). (ORBIT Final report)















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