Student-led, OpenEd, and wiping away the open wash

University of Edinburgh Digital Image Collections CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
University of Edinburgh Digital Image Collections CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

This week I’ll be at OER15 in Cardiff. It will be lovely to see so many OER colleagues again.

The conference theme is ‘Mainstreaming Open Education’ and I’ll be talking about the development of OER policy at University of Edinburgh, which has been student-led from the start.

As 2014 opened, the EUSA vice president for academic affairs challenged University senior managers to explore how learning materials could be made open, not only for students within the University, but across Scotland and to the wider world.

These were heady days, the University was riding the wave of global interest in MOOCs, an NUS report was published to champion OER, there was an upcoming independence referendum and many in Scotland saw a strategic opportunity to contribute to a fairer society via open educational practice. A high level task group was established, including key opinion shapers, from around the University of Edinburgh.

By the close of 2014 the referendum opportunity had passed, but the impetus to push forward with OER policy remained. The University now has a strategic lead on Open Education with a vision, policy, support framework, and task groups focused on delivering more. There remains a lot of work to be done.

In this presentation for OER15 Dash, Stuart and I will draw on best practise, describe the process of linking OER to institutional mission and aims and explore the challenges of multispeed approaches; working with student leadership, University senior management, educational developers and academic innovators to deliver sustainable OER in a research institution.

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