The University of Edinburgh is committed to supporting open and sustainable learning and teaching practices by encouraging engagement with Open Educational Resources (OERs) within the curriculum, and supporting the development of digital literacies for both staff and students in their use of OERs. In support of this vision an OER learning and teaching policy has recently been approved (University of Edinburgh 2016), underpinned by a central OER support service. The Open.Ed (www.ed.ac.uk) website has also been launched as a one-stop-shop about OERs at the University, which includes guidance, showcasing of best practice and blogs by prominent open practitioners.
This position has been developed over a number of years through discussion and collaboration with staff and students both inside the institution and from the wider educational community. Highton, Sekar and Nicol (2015) discussed how the driver for broader engagement with OERs came from the student body represented through Edinburgh University Student Association (EUSA). The OER policy itself is derived from openly licenced policies developed at Leeds and Glasgow Caledonian Universities and the OER position paper from Greenwich University.
Particular attention will be given to activities designed to develop new media literacies in the context of teaching and learning:
- OER workshops focussed on the reuse and sharing of resources in educational contexts giving participants the opportunity to discuss and develop literacies relating to the open sharing and reuse of digital resources for teaching and learning.
- Awareness of OERs as sustainable learning and teaching practice is a key element in the University’s Learning Design (LD) framework, which is being piloted with current and developing distance learning courses.
- Investment in Media Hopper, a media management platform enabling all staff and students to upload and share openly licenced audio and video resources.
Discussion will also touch on the University’s commitment to the broader open education community through:
- Sponsorship of a Wikimedian in residence, officially affiliated with Wikimedia UK, to deliver Wikipedia editathons on a number of topic areas across the University. Wikipedia is being advocated as a platform for the development of open knowledge within the curriculum.
- Support for Open Scotland (http://openscot.net/). Open Scotland supports open practices and policies in the wider educational community in Scotland.
Barton, D., Tusting, K., & Hamilton, M. (2005). Literacy, Reification and the Dynamics of Social Interaction. In D. Barton & K. Tusting (Eds.), Beyond Communities of Practice: Language Power and Social Context (pp. 14–35). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Highton, M., Nicol, S. & Sekhar, D. (2015). Student-led, OpenEd, and wiping away the open wash. https://oer15.oerconf.org/sessions/student-led-opened-and-wiping-away-the-open-wash-683/
University of Edinburgh (2016). Open Educational Resources Policy. http://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/openeducationalresourcespolicy.pdf