I attended the JISC /Academy Open Educational Resources Programme start-up Meeting at the Congress Centre in London last Tuesday. The meeting brought together all funded projects from three programme strands (Individual, Subject and Institutional), JISC/Academy programme managers and JISC programme support services to share and discuss various aspects and issues of the OER pilot programme.
To me, the day was very interesting and useful. Firstly, it was to develop a shared understanding of the purpose of the pilot programme and clarify some “myths” about the OERs projects. Following an introduction to the event by David Kernohan, Tish Roberts gave an overview of the programme. In her presentation, Tish emphasised that successful projects need to be sustainable beyond their funded life, and they also need to explore changing process and policies so that the release of materials becomes an important part of academic practice in institutions. Secondly, the meeting provided guidance on programme management, support and dissemination. Heather Williamson talked about budget, staffing, programme meetings and project reporting. She also pointed out that the projects need to share “when things go wrong”. A range of existing JISC services, including JISC Legal, Jorum, CETIS and InfoNet demonstrated a variety of support functions provided for the projects which cover technical, legal, strategic advice, toolkit and support for the deposit and aggregation of materials. Patrick McAndrew from the OU “SCORE” project shared the lessons learned from OpenLearn and how to support OER projects through OLnet and the community of practice. The evaluation and synthesis for the OER programme intends to develop a common framework tool to look at individual, subject and institutional aspects. Helen Beetham explained that this approach is to encourage shared evaluation. Finally, the event gave delegates an opportunity to get to know one another. The strand meetings provided a small and relaxing environment for successful bidders to talk about their projects and discuss some common issues.