A. Mikroyannidis

The Open University (UNITED KINGDOM)
A major obstacle to increasing the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of education is the lack of widely available, accessible, multilingual, timely, engaging and high-quality educational material (i.e. OpenCourseWare). The creation of comprehensive OpenCourseWare (OCW) is often a tedious, time-consuming and expensive process, with the effect that courseware employed by educators and trainers can be incomplete and outdated, as well as inaccessible to those with disabilities.

With the open-source and open-access SlideWiki platform, the effort of creation, translation and evolution of highly-structured remixable OCW can be widely shared. Similarly to Wikipedia for encyclopaedic content, SlideWiki allows to collaboratively create comprehensive OCW (curricula, slide presentations, self-assessment tests, illustrations etc.) online in a crowdsourcing manner. SlideWiki has won the OpenCourseWare Consortium’s Excellence Award and is used by hundreds of educators and thousands of learners. Several hundred comprehensive course materials are available on SlideWiki in different languages.

The SlideWiki large-scale trial project is further maturing the SlideWiki platform by improving its usability and accessibility and by conducting four large-scale trials in:
• secondary education,
• vocational and professional training,
• higher education and
• community-driven open education.

Each of these large-scale trials is performed with hundreds of educators and thousands of learners in countries all over Europe. A particular focus of the technology development and testing in the trials is the suitability for academics, teachers and learners with disabilities.

The SlideWiki trial presented in this paper is focused on open education and relates to the use of, as well as outputs of the OpenLearn project. OpenLearn is a repository of Open Educational Resources (OERs) of the Open University (OU), offering in excess of 12,000 hours of self-study materials in a variety of formats. These include study materials repurposed as OERs from original OU courses, i.e. initially designed for formal delivery, as well as new bespoke OERs created by both OpenLearn academics and other non-OU educators.

In the context of this trial, OpenLearn is being used as the main delivery channel for OERs targeted primarily to informal learners. These OERs are focused on the topic of self-regulated learning and provide an introduction to the pedagogies and technologies that empower self-regulated learning and personal learning environments. A selection of tools that will help learners build their personal learning environment and become self-regulated are also demonstrated. Learners have an opportunity to try these tools through a set of interactive learning activities.

This paper will describe the use of SlideWiki for the production and delivery of OERs via OpenLearn, as well as the community feedback received so far in the context of this trial from engaging different open education audiences via a series of dedicated hands-on workshops.