here are a million ways to surf, and as long as you’re smiling you’re doing it right. Author Unknown
This paper details the experience of bringing together all the universities across Wales to collaborate on a Higher Education Wales project to embed open educational resources (OER’s) and open educational practice (OEP) across the Welsh Higher Education Sector. The results show that we can ride the large waves in Wales but you cannot surf the wave without getting wet and you also need to paddle out away from the safety of the shore if you want to catch the good waves.
The Wales Open Education Declaration of Intent (2013) http://www.hew.ac.uk/wales-signs-declaration-of-intent-to-lead-the-way-on-the-use-of-online-education-resources/ signalled a positive step in the commitment to embed the use of online resources by staff and students at Welsh Universities. The report of the Online Digital Learning Working Group (2014) http://wales.gov.uk/docs/dcells/publications/140402-online-digital-learning-working-group-en.pdf also recommended that the Welsh government should exploit opportunities to produce and use resources and encourage the ‘systematic adoption of open licensing for open educational resources produced by HEI’s in Wales’.
To enable the project to meet the aspirations of the declaration of intent and recommendations of the Online Digital Learning Working group, the project team worked in collaboration with JISC and the HEA to build on previously successful projects. The project has developed a website/portal to showcase the best OER’s in Wales, and aims to strengthen OEP within every part of university life through promoting the creation, use and re-purposing of OER’s. The project has also developed a short massive open online course (sMOOC) working in partnership with all Welsh universities and the National Union of Students (NUS Wales) as co-creators of education. The sMOOC is aimed at a global audience and provides a ‘Student Survival Guide’ to help with settling into university life in the first few weeks. Modules include ‘Staying Alive’, ‘Learning to Float’ and ‘Getting Stuck in’thus demonstrating an uncanny resemblance to the ALT-C conference themes! The paper will provide a brief snapshot of the sMOOC curriculum together with useful learner profile analytics.
The paper outlines how barriers to collaboration were overcome and the importance of maintaining effective communication channels. It concludes by outlining the key aspects of this collaborative approach with a focus on knowledge exchange and highlights the successes of the project and benefits to Higher Education. Finally the paper presents an outline collaborative road map or ‘beginners surf guide’ for other nations that seek to develop an Open Nation.
Higher Education Wales The Wales Open Education Declaration of Intent (2013) Available athttp://www.hew.ac.uk/wales-signs-declaration-of-intent-to-lead-the-way-on-the-use-of-online-education-resources/ (Accessed 7 April 2014)
Welsh Government (Online Digital Learning Working Group) Open & online: Wales, higher education and emerging modes of learning (2014) Available at: http://wales.gov.uk/docs/dcells/publications/140402-online-digital-learning-working-group-en.pdf (Accessed 7 April 2014)
|Affiliation||Associate Member – University of South Wales|