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Thursday, October 18 • 1:30pm - 2:15pm
The OER Hub

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The Open University (OU) is the leading distance education provider in the UK and in addition to serving over 250,000 students at any one time, makes available content from over 600 of its courses as OER. Combined with a dedicated research base in educational technology and the leadership of various OER projects, we are learning from a unique opportunity to bring our expertise and networks together as a coordinated presence to colleagues in the OER community.

Bridge to Success (B2S) is a Next Generation Learning Challenges project whose aim is to prepare adults to successfully and confidently transition to a college environment, to pursue advanced qualifications, or to assist them in gaining employment via the use of OER. Bridging with open content gives the method and tools to address the challenge of transition: from developmental courses to mainstream, from registration to starting study, and from disadvantaged to back on track. We have helped those who have repeatedly struggled with passing courses over years and learners failing to meet entry requirements, who are now starting to understand concepts for the first time. Our starting point was The OU’s ‘Openings’ courses that have been shown to increase learner capability and confidence, encourage participation, result in student registration on accredited courses and contribute to greater progression and completion. B2S set out to take Openings content to a US context, helping students bridge between their experience and the requirements that they face completing the early stages of study and in workforce improvement programmes.

The OER Hub concept was key to bringing together the elements of planning, delivery and research for the Bridge to Success project. The essence of the hub concept is to be a coordinating presence, to provide OER project infrastructure and to be a collaborating mechanism for potential partners and colleagues in the following areas:
•OER practices – the indirect support of learning through expertise in website impact evaluation, usability and accessibility.
•Learning Product and Systems design – OU Learning Design expertise to ensure conversion to OER keeps content pedagogically sound.
•Outreach – extension of curriculum-focused OER beyond formal educational institutions.
•The Evidence Hub – a web-fronted academic database for claims about OER.
•Research – methods for analysing OER.
•Networks – collaboration with Fellows, cross-pollination with global OER projects around research, scalability of content and influencing policy.
•Soft assessment – OER links with badging initiatives and soft accreditation.
•Systems – use of Moodle to host OER content as real courses and the production of multiple formats for learners.

It is these key areas that may be of interest to others working in OER projects as we learn to amplify the good lessons learnt and would like to share practice.

avatar for Gary Elliott-Cirigottis

Gary Elliott-Cirigottis

I am the Business Improvement & Programme Manager in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University. I have been involved in two OER projects in the Institute -- OLNET and Bridge to Success -- and oversee the work within the Institutes' programmes. I am particularly... Read More →

Patrina Law

Senior Manager for Strategic Projects, The Open University
My role is to coordinate strategic projects for the Institute of Educational Technology with a particular emphasis on Open Educational Resources (OER) and within this, I currently manage the Gates Foundation 'Bridge to Success' project (b2s.aacc.edu) and am Programme Manager for the... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2012 1:30pm - 2:15pm PDT
C680 - HSBC Hall

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