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Active engagement: a case study of the development and impact of OER on inclusive teaching and academic engagement at the University of Wolverhampton

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This case study describes the journey and adventures of a relatively new team of Open Educational Resources (OER) creators as they embarked on a project to build a corpus of OER videos and an OER online module for the development of inclusive and engaging learning and teaching in HE at the University of Wolverhampton. The case study details what they were trying to create and why they felt it necessary to produce OER themselves. How and why these OER video resources of classroom sessions were created is detailed as is the rationale behind the development of the online modules of which the video resources were to be a part. The case study also reviews the implementation of both these initiatives, evaluates the data gathered in that process and explores what lessons can be learned from the project. This case study was part of the HEA/JISC Open Educational Resources case study: pedagogical development from OER practice project.

This case study describes the journey and adventures of a relatively new team of Open Educational Resources (OER) creators as we embarked on a project to build a corpus of OER videos and an OER online module for the development of inclusive and engaging learning and teaching in HE. I begin by outlining what it was we were trying to create and why we felt it necessary to produce OER ourselves. In doing so, I refer to the principles of inclusive learning and teaching, derived from earlier studies, that influenced not only the content of the module but also our design and production (e.g. the decision to use open and accessible platforms Labspace, Xerte and Open Jorum and to subtitle all videos).

Our approach to producing the video resources of classroom sessions was both collaborative and formative, based on trusting relationships with both staff and students, and in line with our overall ethos of inclusive practice. I explore this approach highlighting methodological, ethical, logistical, technical and pedagogical issues that can arise when observing and filming ordinary people (students and teachers) in their real and natural settings and when making these videos available to the wider world.

Running parallel to the production of video resources was the development of the online module itself, into which the video clips would be embedded. I describe and reflect on our somewhat organic approach to developing the first of three OER units using Xerte. I highlight lessons from this process that informed our more structured (and speedier) development of the remaining two units. I look back at what we learnt and what we would change with reference to the evaluation data gathered throughout the project and since its completion. In the final leg of this particular journey, I review the impact of these OER so far, within and beyond the University. I conclude by illustrating one of the ways in which the OER have been repurposed and tailored to meet the specific CPD requirements of one school within our institution whose entire teaching staff is currently engaging with these materials through a blend of face-to-face workshops and action research to improve and enhance the learning and engagement of their particular groups of students.

This extract is from a case study by Prof. Christine Hockings, published online at https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/oer_cs_christine_hockings_active_engagement.pdf under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licence.

Prof. Christine Hockings, Active engagement: a case study of the development and impact of OER on inclusive teaching and academic engagement at the University of Wolverhampton, Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licence.


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