opened10: brief thoughts

Highlight thoughts

(all of these deserve posts in their own right):

  • what is the difference ‘open’ makes? (D Wiley)
  • when we meet – when are we going to do and not just talk? (unattributed)
  • how do you respond as an individual? (and why do you care about OpenEd/OER)? (Gourley; but equally could have been if i’d been in their sessions: Winn, Hall, Neary – though they’ve quite a different perspective)
  • if you have rubrics and marks as semantic data can you analyse for ‘soft skills’ across a programme of study?
  • how do i articulate what HE does that P2PU can’t, what can i learn from P2PU and what should i stop doing cause they do it better? (drumbeat)
  • why don’t HE courses create badges too? (drumbeat)

I’ll need to go back through the programme and remind myself of some of the sessions but as a first pass of some of the stuff that caught my attention emerging from opened10. not yet adequately linked or marked up and doubtless will grow a bit over time as different parts of my brain kick in.

All the conference papers are available in the UOC repository .

with apologies to those i know or have heard recently (Brian Lamb, Scott Leslie, Suzanne Hardy, Jane Williams, Simon Thomson, Jakki Sheridan-Ross, all the wonderful folk from the Open University, and  my colleague Li Yuan) – i’m too familiar with your work for it to make this first pass but i do think it’s great!

things to use now

some of the stuff that was presented is out there now to use: website website

fantastic opened site for art history – working towards being a viable alternative to OER – two art history teachers making stuff as they go to help students offset the massive cost of introductory art history textbooks for foundation courses.

Twhistory website

Twhistory website

historical recreations on twitter: Gettysburg, 1847 pioneer trek, the sinking of the Titanic, the American revolution, possibly about to start working with UK national archives to cabinet war room twitter account of world war 2. Tom Caswell’s presentation.


a feedreader for running open courses – a tutor sets up a blog-based course and edufeedr aggregates content from across blogging platforms designed to gather together student feedback based from wherever they blog it.

information and stats

we’re finally at get to the point were we can make or not make business cases and informed decisions. (links will follow)

OER use and attitudes surveys Joseph Hardin Mujo Research present survey results from instructors at University of Michigan and University of Valencia – surveying their willingness to use and to publish OER.

OER use and attitudes iNacol (online schools, K-12) surveyed their members about awareness around OER – the data and paper aren’t published yet unfortunately

Rory McGreal – examining differences Open Access makes for a university press comparing Amazon rank of Abathasca University’s press which is OA with three other Canadian university presses. results didn’t indicate any significant difference for bought physical copies but only one metric and doesn’t account for greater access provided by OA downloads.

David Wiley offered some figures around Brigham Young University Independent Study Unit looking at sustainabilty of making content open – if content made open – can costs be covered by sustained or increased enrollment. the short answer- yes -just.

under development

Open Rubrics and the semantic web – Megan Kohler (Penn State) and Brian Panulla – well i’d call them feedback or assessment criteria but wither way they’ve developed an OWL ontology and reference implementations for sharing and storing marking rubrics (and associated marks) – in terms of technical developments i think this is potentially the most important thing from the conference.

stuff to think about more

building courses with OER: Griff Richards presented about a project he’d worked on create course syllabi for a master’s course in instructional design. one to follow up after the final report and syllabi are out. [personally it brings me back to thinking about course syllabi around OER for librarians – but that’s another post in a month or so]. His metaphor of clothes shopping for looking for learning materials is also worth keeping around (Tailored: expensive, perfect , emperor’s new clothes; Off the Shelf: not quite fit, but do the job, reasonable price; Charity Shop: nearly free, hard to find what you want, might just find something perfect).

David Wiley the difference of Openness. the challenge is what does ‘open’ allow us to do pedagogically that we can’t otherwise do [open specifically not all the good stuff that often is triggered by open]? Identifying Concrete Pedagogical Benefits of OER

David Wiley: Why do we need 'open'?

David Wiley: Why do we need 'open'?

Dublin City University – took the OER as marketing angle and did some extensive work on how to best brand OERs using product placement and advertising methodology – this presentation made me profoundly uncomfortable but it is the logical extension of some of the advice and case for OER that many of us (including me) have made. i’m going to have to read their paper and think about this.

Erik Duval said a lot of things but there’s something fundamentally important about not being afraid to disrupt learning – oers probably have more quality assurance than the rest of course delivery.

Erik Duval you can afford to disrupt learning

Erik Duval you can afford to disrupt learning

I can’t help but finish with the work of those I presented in the same session as: Julià Minguillón (UOC), Pieter Kleymeer and Molly Kleinman from University of Michigan- we all raised questions, limits and possibilities around the role of libraries in OER. It was great to find other people asking similar questions.

Custom ‘repository’ developments in the UKOER programme

One interesting development in the UKOER programme has been how many projects have chosen to build their own repository/database to manage their content in some form. Normally the phrase ‘we’ve built our own repository’ makes me worry in the same that ‘we’re developing our own standard’ or ‘our own controlled vocabulary’ does. However, these projects have had a wide variety of good reasons for doing so – all of which bear closer examination. Their approach is a reminder that there are circumstances under which ‘build your own’ is both necessary and a good idea. Some projects also make a case for lightweight and disposable approaches.

All the custom developments have used MySQL and all of those taking this option have been subject strand projects.

  • CORE Materials
    • they have built a database for the central management of resources prior to uploading to web 2.0 sites; their own solution was required to support interaction with the APIs of web 2.0 tools.
  • Medev OOER
    • they have built a database as a staging ground for preparing OERs – JorumOpen is their primary deposit. They are also considering a local repository in the longer term.
    • MySQL was chosen to be able to interact with Subject Centre website.
    • They are also looking at web2.0 api interoperability
  • Open Educational Repository in Support of Computer Science
    • built a lightweight disposable solution as management and publishing tool and staging ground for Jorum deposit
    • Jorum as the primary repository and copy of record/ preservation copy.
  • Phorus
    • primary cataloguing of OERs is into Intute which is then harvested via OAI-PMH into their local database
    • they then aim to harvest resources into JORUM
    • they may also move resources to host institution’s (Fedora) repository
  • Simulation OER
    • developed local repository both as continuation of earlier work and as available repository options did not meet the key requirement of being able to preview simulations.

Use of repository software in the UKOER programme

In the UKOER programme a number of projects have chosen to use repository software to manage their educational materials. Such software may be commercial, open source, or hosted (often using open source). Alongside research information systems, repositories occupy an increasingly well established position in institutional infrastructure for managing and sharing research materials (including theses, preprints, and metadata about articles). Consequently for many institutions they offer a natural choice to manage and share OERs.

When I’m aware of a repository holding research content as well as OERs I’ve noted this: educational materials only or mixed materials.


  • Phorus
    • may harvest their MySQL based solution into their host institution’s repository (outwith project- presumably mixed materials).
  • Skills for Scientists
    • will move all resources into host institutional repository for preservation/ long term access.
    • not all content suitable for Jorum e.g. Scottish ~CC licensed stuff. (mixed materials)


  • Unicycle
    • mixed materials


  • Berlin
    • educational materials only
    • OpenCourseWare branded
  • OCEP
    • mixed materials

Harvest Road Hive

  • OpenStaffs
    • unknown  from context probably educational materials only


  • ADM OER partner
    • unknown collection composition
  • HumBox
    • educational  materials only
  • ChemistryFM
    • will be using institutional ePrints as preservation store
    • mixed materials


  • Open Exeter
    • developed support for Content Packages and a LOM mapping
    • educational materials
  • C-Change
    • local DSpace repository was considered but rejected in favour of Jorum only approach (counter-use)

I’ll be blogging shortly about the other approaches taken for managing and sharing OERs, I’ll comment on the patterns at that point – but feel free to add any suggestions or comments about repositories here.