Richard’s publc health OER talk

October 31, 2007

Richard’s publc health website

Originally uploaded by openlearn2007

Trying to develop an education context around OER. His area of interest is public health – not sure which of the authors here is presenting … I think it might be Richard (only because he has a Western accent – sounds a bit British but not quite sure – ahh he also lived in Australia so that might be the strange mix in the accent).

He is saying they’re at a much earlier stage than TESSA.

He is saying that UK universities charge higher overseas students fees (agreed :)) which limits their ability to contribute to capacity building in low-middle income families in their own homes.

The traditional university system is struggling to keep up with the developments in the OER system.

The inspirations comes from free and open source software (FOSS), the OER (supposedly there is strong support from UNESCO – always good to know) and personal experience.

Public health problems in the developing countries are a problem as the capacity is limited. So, now he is looking at the public health OER including from the OU, John Hopkins, Tufts and ASPJ and also, MERLOT, Health Sciences Online, Public Health etc.

What they need: Education materials, delivery mechanism ICT) accreditation.

People who would do the teaching: UK/US universities who will donate their courses and volunteers such as retired academic (the programme run by UNDP might be useful in this thing for retired senior volunteers).

Right, they want to do this through a Moodle set-up for now – so back to a VLE system for disseminating their information – wonder what Stuart would say about that he was talking about this yesterday – and he is sitting right next to me – I’ll see if he raises a question (oops – just realised it is the wrong Stuart – people really should have more unique names – of course nothing is ever my fault :)).

He’s now unto the quality of the materials, process required as well as adapted the web 2.0 policy etc. Hhmmm … whose his is audience – he said developing countries – but what kind? Hopefully, not the ones with unreliable internet!! Unless there are being trained in a particular place which has internet then that might work but where it is on-site that might be a bit more difficult.

He is saying must take account of local resources and competencies as well. (My fingers are hurting – must be pre-mature arthritis setting in … or is this a new health risk … bloggeritis) …

He is saying whilst there is a large number of OER resources, little of them are being embedded into educational content (I guess he means in a course? – but what makes a course an educational content material – isn’t the OER itself an educational resource – I think he is only thinking of the formal learner rather the informal learner).

He is saying the organisation structure is that of volunteer-sourcing (must mean that it based only on volunteers?).

He is saying on their website they have two draft course modules on maternal mortality.

Stuart: Do you have any funding for this? (well this Stuart still asked a question but not about the VLE!)
Richard: No – as sustainability is a major issue and needs to build this bottom up.

Q: How long have you started and what is the timeline for success

Been in operation (or rather a domain name) for about a year and in the process of applying to the charity commission to be a charity. They’re running a pilot this year and hoping by Oct next year they would have run more pilots … he doesn’t think it will ever be over – he will like to over a course module next year.

The guy who asked the question continues think it is better to have some clear plan and since he is thinking about something that is digital he should have a very clear point when he wants to launch this, as this can be a business model in which he can bid for funding as piloting is not the way to gain funding.

UNICEF guy: Have you been talking to all the other UN agents (UNDP, UNICEF etc) or World Vision as they’re huge in this area and there would be less concern for accreditation that level just staff development.

He hasn’t contacted those as yet but has contacted UNICEF to help through with one model.

Vijay: He’s thinking about this along the work he is doing in India … he wants to clarify his thinking on whether it is a platform from which people can use information?

Richard: The course modules are being used for learning about improving mortality care and also to develop a communities of practice.

Vijay: Saying that the approach can also generalise to another domain and that might be of more interest – that is the general model would be of great interest.

Ahh … I thought his thing was quite formal … he just says he is running it from the point of view of a university masters course – thought it sounded very structured and university like …. Anyway, I think we should have lunch – oh great no more questions! Got to go upload these.


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