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Educational Design and Engagement

Educational Design and Engagement

Enriching the student learning experience & supporting development of on campus and online courses.

OER23 Conference: Advancing open education practices

This year the OER Conference will be returning to Scotland for the first time since it was hosted by the University of Edinburgh in 2016.  The University of the Highlands and Islands will welcome OER23 to Inverness in April and colleagues from Learning, Teaching and Web Services will be contributing a number of papers and workshops.

Tempered radicals: how to bring change in open education without rocking the boat 

By Melissa Highton and Stuart Nicol ‘Tempered radicals’ are individuals who are committed to and identify with the organisations in which they work and yet are also committed to a cause or ideology which is fundamentally at odds with the dominant culture in that workplace. We have been working for 10 years to build institution-wide approaches to releasing learning materials as open education resources which fundamentally challenges ingrained practices of  copyright, fees, IP protection  and academic ‘side-hustles’(Rhoads, Berdan, & Toven‐Lindsey, 2013; Weller, 2014). Opening up some of the most ancient and elite institutions like never before. (Walsh, 2011). We work not through revolution or protest but by balancing a delicate set of incremental initiatives and partnerships which provoke thought, nuance and behaviour change.  In this presentation we’ll share our experience of being ‘tempered radicals’ working toward transformational change in organisations with historical structural traditions while still being digital disruptors.  Bringing a researchers critical eye to ones’ own organisation can be challenging for ‘insider researchers’ who walk a delicate line between being part of a community or outwith. But there are insights and understanding that only an insider can bring to a task and the advantages which flow from being situated within the organisation may ensure that the resulting changes are more sustainable. 

Open for Good – Transforming the Curriculum with OER at the University of Edinburgh

By Lorna M. Campbell, Stuart Nicol, Kay Douglas, Andy Cross and Ewan McAndrew Integrating OER and open knowledge creation assignments in the curriculum can help students to develop a wide range of core disciplinary competencies and transferable attributes including; digital, data and copyright literacy skills, understanding how knowledge and information is created, shared and contested online, collaborative working and collective knowledge creation, information synthesis, critical thinking and source evaluation, and writing as public outreach (Campbell 2022).     In this session we’ll share our experience of embedding OER creation projects and assignments across the curriculum, including co-creating an open textbook for music education by repurposing existing course materials, Wikipedia editing assignments (McEwan and Thomas 2020), OER creation assignments in undergraduate and postgraduate courses including Creating Edinburgh: The Interdisciplinary City, and Digital Futures for Learning, part of the MSc in Digital Education (Ross 2019).  These assignments enable students to share their scholarship in real-world contexts, creating re-usable resources with ongoing, tangible value that contribute to the global pool of open knowledge.    

You reap what you sow: How institutional commitment to open education brings demonstrable long-term and ongoing benefits

By Fiona Buckland and Lizzy Garner-Foy Discover how an institutional commitment to Open Education and OER at the University of Edinburgh has brought, and continues to bring, significant benefits both to the institution and the wider community. The return on investment in OER is often indirect and serendipitous, but we hope to demonstrate that, over the longer term, investment in open education yields real return.  Over 10 years, 100 short courses, 3 platforms and almost 5 million learners, we have developed workflows to ensure OER is now established and embedded in our end-to-end processes; courses in our portfolio are designed to be ‘open by default’.  Learn how these processes enabled us to rapidly respond to challenges of the pandemic and repurpose on-campus course content into a COVID-19 Critical Care MOOC, which was accessed by over 50,000 healthcare professionals worldwide. 

Getting the most out of Open Digital Badges – The story of a pilot

By Delia Georgescu, Tracey Madden and Ellen Groen Open Digital Badges have become a standard way of recognising skills and achievements outside of any formal qualification (Trepule, E. et al., 2021). Within the University of Edinburgh some departments have already been issuing digital badges for several years, which highlighted the need for a central service. This would allow for consistency, to share best practice among colleagues (including the use of OER), to support local issuers, and to allow more of the University to get involved. This session will cover our strategy for the pilot and our biggest challenge, which is to make the service scalable while focussing on quality and accessibility given the size of our institution. We will elaborate on our workflow for issuing badges, our standards and governance practices to create guidance on the appropriate use of badges, our local School Champions and their role within the process, as well as how we plan to offer local expertise and support to both students and staff.

Closing plenary: Open Education in Scotland

Open Scotland logoWith Lorna M. Campbell, Open Scotland and University of Edinburgh; Scott Connor, University of the Highlands and Islands; Maren Deepwell, ALT; Stuart Nicol, University of Edinburgh; Robert Schuwer, consultant and former UNESCO Chair on Open Educational Resources; and Joe Wilson, Open Scotland and City of Glasgow College. One of OER23’s key themes is Open Education in Scotland – celebrating 10 years of the Scottish Open Education Declaration. This panel discussion brings together voices from across our host nation’s Open Education landscape, together with colleagues from The Netherlands, to share insights into current practice and policy. We’ll discuss engagement with open education across Scotland, focusing on the benefits and affordances of open education and OER and how it can help to address local and global education challenges and priorities, while reflecting on the relevance of the original aim of Open Scotland: To raise awareness of open education, encourage the sharing of open educational resources, and explore the potential of open policy and practice to benefit all sectors of Scottish education.

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