Rose, Tina, Giselle and Teresa,

October 31, 2007

Rose, Tina, Giselle and Teresa,
Originally uploaded by openlearn2007 Teresa Connolly, Giselle Ferreira, Rose Webb & Tina Wilson

Repurposing for an open education repository: quantity, quality and processes

I’ve moved to G29/G30 sustainability strand. Anesa was finding it frustrating that her tablet PC wouldn’t connect to the wifi in this room. The room chair is Matthey Steven Carlos and he appears to be using an Ipod Touch to hold his notes for his introductory speech. Or he could just be holding it in his hand to show it off. If I had one, I’d be showing it off!

Theresa starts with an organizational plan of the people who work on the openlearn project to explain who they, the speakers, are. But there are no names, just titles like Strategic planning and partnership Academic Director…Operational planning and management Programme Manager etc. It might be quite fun to get the names of the people on the project and try to map them onto the organizational plan. A bit like pinning the tail on the donkey.

The OpenLearn site, by April next year, will represent only 5% of the Open University’s catalogue. Gosh, the overall repository must be HUGE. Labspace is the associated sense-making site where people can experiment with material. That’s interesting. I think the distinction between the Learnspace and Labspace in OpenLearn can sometimes be a bit opaque for new users.

Giselle is now talking about books, CDs and DVDs. She is describing the content of a normal OU distance courseand saying that all this material is put together by a team in the OU along with websites and other associated course assets. Now she’s displayed a slide listing all the course materials provided with a course and is saying that they then assess how best to adapt these materials to present through OpenLearn.

Then she talks about the additional assets that OpenLearn offers to complement these materials. Interactive quizzes, Flashmeeting – lots of others but we’ve gone past that slide already. She’s showing a web page which I think is an adaptation of the course book she is holding and explaining how they adapt the material for presentation.

Rose Webb is now presenting. She is talking about some of the constraints – rights, technical, resources needed,  moodle-related – on converting and publishing material. So making content available through OpenLearn is nowhere near as straightforward as one might think. She is going through a lot of the steps and considerations that they went through when making content available.

Teresa is now speaking again and has put up the most complex slide of steps and processes involved in making content available. It’s entitled Production Flow chart and has three stages. I’m not even going to attempt to take a picture of it as the presentation will be available on the web. Nevertheless, I think I may go look at it as it looks really interesting.
However Teresa is describing each step they go through in a certain amount of detail which is not quite so interesting. She is emphasising that she has simplified the steps – but they still look pretty complex so I’m glad she’s simplified it. I think that this information is relevant to anybody considering making content freely available online. I expect that they’re going to write up the process that they’ve developed and publish it in some way.

She’s now showing the same information as a compendium map. That’s nice and really relevant to the talk I went to earlier today about compendium. I’m beginning to think that it’s much more versatile than I had previously imagined.

Giselle is now summing up with three questions:

Efficacy: how can we make it work?
Efficiency: how can we make it work well?
Context: community engagement?

She’s mentioning how people remain linked to the content they have produced even though the copyright is with the OU – I guess this can cause problems if OpenLearn want to revise the content?

Question: How much have they spend on converting the content how long do they have the rights for? and what are the implications of creating a course based entirely on OpenLearn content.

Answer: Rights held for 4 years. Will negotiate further at that point.

Questionner So some materials will disappear after 4 years.

Giselle – Quality of OU materials linked to peer review so final materials is the result of a lot of discussion not only with academics but programmers etc so that is one aspect of quality. Model of OU is toward the support of open learning so the format of these materials is thought through very carefully before they are released.

Questionner asked why we don’t create all OU content with a view to it being open content rather than go tothe expense of converting it.

Giselle: There is a lot of intersection between OU material and reusable material, but this is not consistent across disciplines.

Another audience member who has produced lots of materials for OpenLearn points out that the OpenLearn moodle is not the same as the course team moodle and so it is difficult to produce materials that are ready for OpenLearn. It should get easier as time goes by as they are producing more compatible materials in the faculties.


2 Responses to “Rose, Tina, Giselle and Teresa,”

  1. Rose Webb Says:

    After speaking at the conference I double-checked with our Rights Department regarding the length of time on the 3rd party content clearances.

    They only specify a minimum period of 4 years if Rights Holders request a time period, if not it is left open-ended.

  2. Giselle Ferreira Says:

    The flowcharts discussed in this session are available at (under ‘Supporting documents’)

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