THE ORCA ECOSYSTEM - ADVANCING THE MISSION OF OER TOGETHER THROUGH COMPETENCES IN THE NETWORK
1 Westphalian University of Applied Sciences (GERMANY)
2 University of Münster (GERMANY)
3 Hochschule für Gesundheit University of Applied Sciences (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:In the present paper, we describe the state-funded project ORCA.NRW (Open Resources Campus NRW) and thereby focus on university-based local network points.
ORCA.NRW is an online portal that provides digital teaching and learning materials such as open education resources (OER), other target group-specific information as well as services for teachers and students throughtout North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).
So far various digitalisation projects in NRW have mostly been existing indepently of each other. In the past ther has neither been an instituinalised exchange nor joint governance, or an external presentation of the projects.
Establishing the state portal ORCA.nrw, the cross-university activities of the NRW universities in the area of digitalisation of study and teaching are now associated and make accessible. This is done with the help of a joint personnel and technical infrastructure that establish a coordinated service infrastructure for the digital transformation of 37 universities in NRW.
The office at the Ruhr University Bochum is responsible for the overall coordination. It provides the infrastructure for the individual services (such as the independent sub-projects Video Management and Legal Information Office) and for the repository portal. Furthermore, it supplies offers for the local network points that enable joint coordination of tasks. On the other hand, the local network points ensure that the higher education institutions participate in the digital transformation. Together, subprojects, service and local network points constitute the ORCA ecosystem.
Within this ecosystem, the local network points have special functions; they represent the interface between the office and the university members. At their respective universities they provide information about the services offered by the state portal and the service points. Also, they support teachers and students in the production of open educational materials (OER), their publication on ORCA.nrw, and help with curricular integration into teaching.
Due to the different professional backgrounds, each of the 45 local network points contributes its individual know-how and the associated diverse competences. The strong collaboration between the network units gives rise to the innovative approach of the ecosystem: formation of working groups (WG) with specific focal points. In keeping with the culture of sharing and reuse, the WGs focus not only on the exchange but also on the development of products that can be individually adapted. Through the common mission, the network units in the WGs empower each other and subsequently the universities.
Initial successes include the support and cross-university monitoring of state-funded projects. Furthermore, many universities have changed their governance to Open Science and adopted OER policies.
These activities have increase in the visibility of teaching, also through its appearance on the ORCA.nrw.
The project is constantly evaluated via the local network points and teaching staff, thus ensuring the continuous development of the ORCA ecosystem. Furthermore, the structural networking between the universities, advances successful digital transformation.
Keywords: Open Educational Resources, OER, network, portal, digital transformation, ecosystem, local network points, culture of sharing.