From Africa through Germany to the UK and back again: the potential of open educational resources.

October 30, 2007

Notes on a talk by Tina Wilson. (co-author Patrick McAndrew) 

Tina started by giving some background information on OpenLearn including the two zones or spaces

The Learning Space.  Text based units 4 – 20 hours stand alone units without assessment.

For World Wide use – at graduate and post-graduate levels

Units are derived from Open University courses


One Aim:  How can educators use OER with learning? 

A broad range of educators (11) were sampled from all over the world (although there were several (5) that were UK based)

Learners and educators – how can educators use OpenLearn?  Issues of Accreditation were also asked about.

 Research Methods 

Online Interviews – epistolary interview

3 – 6 months after launch – diverse geography

7 participants (have had some association with the OU) aware and 5 not aware of OpenLearn in the UK (marketing issue?).

Out of all the subject areas Study Skills were most interesting to all participants.  This was followed by Maths and Statistics.  These were preparative study skill subjects necessary for further study.


Ways in which the material was used:  The most popular use was for supplementary materials but other reasons were also given.

Some universities said they would focus students on certain parts of the materials but would not change them because of time limitations.  Some would be prepared to adapt.  Seven institutions said they would be prepared to adapt the materials.

Assessment issues….. 

Would OpenLearn material be better for non-accredited course?

Yes – 4 institutions

For both accreditation and non-accreditation  – 4 institutions

3 possibly

Summary – all participants keen to use.  Particularly study skills, and maths/stats.

Used as presented in several cases.

Could be used for non-accredited courses and accredited but some decisions would have to be taken at a different level.

Increase range, pilot projects.  More participants.

Issues of different cultures – if you wish to change things there may be a process that one needs to go through.

Question:  Were there any questions around quality assurance?

They were ‘convinced’ of the quality in relation to Open University materials.


Q.  But what about re-working [sic.where the quality may change]….in my use I use the material as they are – not complementary or supplementary.


‘we look at creative ways….one of these is to support study’


Patrick said it was potentially possible to create a whole course using OpenLearn materials.  He also talked of the movement that needs to be centralised.


Question of granularity – how big should the units be?  For who – universities or users.


Sizes varies for different perspectives – random users? 

P.  Good learning – we like a bit of connectiveness between things.


One Response to “From Africa through Germany to the UK and back again: the potential of open educational resources.”

  1. […] can read the full story here This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 at 11:04 am and is filed under africa. You […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: