Currently viewing the tag: "Open Educational Resources (OERs)"

At the recent Sharing Higher Education Design (S.H.E.D.) roadshow week in Science and Technology, the Learning Design team were introduced to a number of examples of good practice, including the hugely successful open educational resources (OERs) that have been published by staff in the School. These resources – some of which have had hits in the thousands – are publicly available, benefiting not just our students but learners around the world who are looking to further their understanding.

To find about more about these resources, visit the Learning and Teaching blog from the School.

Watch this space for more case studies from the S.H.E.D!

Following our successful bid to the Leadership Foundation, under the Changing the Learning Landscape scheme, Professor Megan Quentin-Baxter from Newcastle University visited Northampton on 17 January, where she held meeting with a range of colleagues interested in the Open Northampton project.
Megan presenting picture She delivered an introductory session on open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP), attended by 25 representatives from our staff and students.

As a result of consultation with various groups during the session, Megan collated some of the collective thoughts around what are some of the key terms with reference to OERs and OEPs; Some of the dreams and nightmares; and some of the enablers and barriers.

Megan will compile a structured plan to develop and enhance staff and students’ digital literacies in relation to open educational resources and associated practices, both as users and contributors.


Megan’s next visits will be a one-day workshop on OER and OEP to be held in MY120 (Avenue Campus) on 28 January, and then another one on 12 February at Sunley . We invite colleagues to consider attending these sessions. Please let Professor A Armellini ( know if you are attending so adequate catering arrangements can be made.

We look forward to working with you on Open Northampton.

The Open Northampton project aims to put the university on the global map of open educational resources (OER) and develop appropriate open practices in curriculum design and delivery. Approval by UET was obtained and work has begun on a number of fronts. A bid was secured from the Leadership Foundation, which will provide the university with consultancy time led by Professor Megan Quentin-Baxter of Newcastle University. Megan is well known in the field of OER. She and Tim Seale of the Open University will be running sessions on various aspects of open practices at Northampton. Their contribution will be valuable to get the Open Northampton project off the ground, and to raise awareness of OER across the university.


Sessions will be held on 17 and 28 January, 12 and 20 February, 5 and 20 March. We would very much encourage colleagues to participate in these sessions. For further details, please contact or

eLearning in Health Conference

27 – 28 June 2011

Conference themes

The conference themes are:

  • Enhancing assessment and feedback through technology
  • Using technology to improve collaboration across the Education and Health Sectors; including mobile learning in practice
  • Innovative tools and technologies to support learning
  • Releasing, sharing, and using openly accessible online teaching materials (OER)
  • Using technology to enhance pedagogic quality whilst maintaining cost efficiencies
  • Using technology to enhance digital inclusion and promote widening participation
  • Using technology to support those with learning difficulties
  • The role of technology in education for sustainable development

Open Educational Resources 2011 (OER11)
Manchester Conference Centre
11 – 13 May 2011

* * * Early bird bookings close Friday 25 March 2011* * *

OER11 takes place at the Manchester Conference Centre, in central
Manchester. Building on the success of OER10, the programme will consist
of a stimulating and engaging mix of over 70 refereed papers, workshops,
symposiums and demos all exploring and reflecting on the impact of OER on
HE within the conference themes.

Confirmed keynote speakers are: Martin Hall, Vice-Chancellor, University
of Salford; Diana Laurillard, Professor of Learning, London Knowledge Lab,
Institute of Education; and Bob Strunz, Chief Technical Architect, Irish
National Digital Learning Resources service.

The TIGER project (Transforming Interprofessional Groups through Educational Resources) will innovate by collecting, developing and sharing reusable, customisable Open Educational Resources (OERs) designed for Interprofessional Education (IPE) in Health and Social Care between the three institutions, academics, their existing communities of practice, employers and the wider community in line with expressed sector requirements.

Keep up to date with TIGER by following the blog at :

On 11th March, 2011, Rob Howe attended Institutional Strategies for OERs hosted by SCORE. [A video review of the day should be available in a few weeks]. The notes below represent some of the key ideas I picked up from presenters during the day.

Tom Browne (Exeter) suggested that re-engineering material for OERs was not scalable and that designing for openness should be integral to design and delivery. Development of OERs at present are focused on the supply side (i.e. releasing what we have available) – this is understandable. He contrasts this with OER Africa which is being demand driven (i.e. producing material which is needed). Mention was made of the Open Exeter repository and of the tension between developing OERs for marketing and those which are produced for use on the course. (It was noted the amount of material which was used from the web without permission).

Melissa Highton (Oxford)indicated that successful development of OERs should build on existing workflows and not take significant extra staff time. She mentioned that the recording of lectures (video or audio) was very popular and assisted the adoption of iTunesU. It was noted that audio downloads were 3 times more popular than video. Building of capacity should be achieved through staff development, understanding and cultural change. Melissa questioned whether the Non commercial side of Creative Commons was too restrictive and prevented some academic staff from contributing material. Understanding of Creative Commons was seen as an essential part of OER education and development.

Stephen Stapleton (Nottingham) was involved in the setting up of U-Now in 2007, the Berlin project and the current Open Nottingham project. He mentioned the value of podcasts from senior management to encourage the take up of the service. Various reasons were given for OER release:

  • Social responsibility
  • Excellence in education
  • Promotional opportunities
  • Internationalisation
  • Cost effectiveness

He stated the success of encouraging the release of module handbooks and of flash lectures (e.g. Politics in 60 seconds).

Particular mention was made of Xpert which is an OER search tool.

Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams (Cape Town) reported on the development of the Cape Town OpenContent initiative. There was a discussion of the need for quality / reputation and the fact that tutors were given permission to upload directly to the repository.

Willem van Valkenburg (Delft University) discussed their repository and the development of flash lectures. He suggested that iTuneU was more marketing focused. He stated similar values of OER development as heard previously (eg quality, new students, reputation).

Various sites were mentioned during the day which may be useful resources:



MIT Opencourseware


OER Commons

Creative Commons

Opencourseware initiative

Virtual University of the smaller commonwealth states