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OERS in the curriculum: OER-Enhanced Curriculum Design and Delivery -- 196 -- Short (oral) Paper

14:45 - 15:45 on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 in 4.205

This paper reports on the key findings from a research project called EVOL-OER, funded by SCORE. EVOL-OER aims to develop a deeper understanding of the reuse of open educational resources (OERs) by academics in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

UK funding has largely been allocated to projects that focused on the creation of OER repositories and promotion of a sharing culture among academics in HEIs to release their resources as OERs. There is a lack of understanding of how the OERs accumulated in the repositories are being modified and reused over time.

The JISC OER Impact study looked into reuse of both OER and non-OER by staff and students in higher education. It uses the image of an iceberg to illustrate reuse that takes place at an institutional level and suggests that the majority of reuse takes place below the surface, in contexts that are not publicly visible. The study categorises the patterns of reuse by staff and students into four quadrants: Independent, Appropriated, Strategic and Ratified. Only in the Ratified quadrant do staff embed properly licensed OERs into curriculum. In the other three quadrants, staff and students discover and use mainly non-OER resources individually, or link or embed these resources to the institution's VLE to support teaching (White and Manton, 2011).

EVOL-OER expands on the OER Impact study by exploring the iceberg above the surface and expanding on the Ratified quadrant of its landscape of reuse framework. EVOL-OER puts forward a new four-quadrant framework called OER-Enhanced Curriculum to map curriculum design against OER design. This framework shows four types of enhancement that can be achieved during the design and delivery stages: Rapid, Planned, Low-cost and Strategic enhancement. The top-right quadrant (Strategic enhancement) requires significant effort in embedding repurposed OER into curriculum design in a structured way for long-term enhancement, while the bottom-left quadrant (Rapid enhancement) constitutes reusing OER ‘as is’ at minimal cost for quick enhancement at the curriculum delivery stage in the short-term.

EVOL-OER uses qualitative methods. So far, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with 12 HEI academics who have had extensive experience in reusing OERs. In addition to the interviews, analysis of examples and case studies from the OER Africa website was conducted as part of the research.

In the presentation, we will demonstrate the new framework and provide examples to illustrate how academics use different approaches to embed OERs into curriculum. We discuss pertinent issues in reuse, such as the need for sharing back reused resources and development of digital literacy of staff. We also discuss drivers and barriers and their impact on the strategies adopted by academics for reuse. EVOL-OER is ongoing and this new framework will be updated and informed by new findings throughout the project lifespan.


The presentation slides are available here.

Friday, 7 September 2012, 16:31