Chris Pegler & Grainne Conole

October 30, 2007

OK these were two separate presentations in the first morning of the conference, but they are very interrelated, hence why I’m writing about them both together here.

Chris discussed some of the difficulties in selecting and reusing OERs, from the perspective of learners and teachers, and how different users have different objectives and quality standards. She also described how different repositories can be – from very informal personal collections (wikis etc) to formal national/international collections (eg Jorum) .

She demonstrated why reusing and selecting content can be and usually not sufficient to rely on the meta-data to decide if content is appropriate for your you – you need to actually to look at the content – and invest a fair bit time in doing this. Chris argues that we need to move from the very strict model of highly organised repositories/tools to much more informal, less organised repositories and tools.

Grainne discussed how difficult it is to capture the process of designing learning activities. She is part of the OU team looking at using learning design (lower case – not IMS LD!) can be used as a framework for supporting the design and reuse of OERs (OK that’s basically the title of her presentation!).

Grainne shared the team’s experiences in using Compendium (one of the KMi tools in OpenLearn) to capture and scaffold the process of designing learning activities – it’s the capturing of the actual process that most users seem to have found most useful/enlightening, making them really think about how they go about creating their teaching materials.

Some of the issues Grainne flagged up were :

  • adopting a learning design mindset
  • integration of help at the right time and level
  • control between tool and user
  • forms of representation and levels of granularity
  • sustainable user-generated activities, making use of web 2.0
  • roll-out and support, research v practice

All very interesting to me, especially looking back at some of the work I did with IMS LD when I was in IET and tying this up with the OpenLearn.

In the Q&A afterwards, Jonathon D’Arby flagged up how this might fit in with (or change?) the existing OU course production process and associated procedures. Sheila MacNeil asked how this could be applied in more traditional non-OU context.

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