University of Nottingham (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 360-361
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
BERLiN was a twelve-month project funded by JISC and the Higher Education Academy as part of phase 1 of the UK Open Educational Resource (OER) programme. BERLiN ended in April 2010 successfully meeting its objectives to publish 360 credits of the University of Nottingham’s teaching material as OER and to investigate the issues faced by higher education institutions when doing so.

BERLiN evolved into the Open Nottingham Programme. In implementing Open Nottingham, the University of Nottingham has strategically embraced the Open Resource agenda. With benefits such as efficiency savings, promotional opportunities, informal learning and the student experience, Open Nottingham is designed to foster increased use, reuse and publication of open educational resources (OER) by staff and students across the university and beyond. It aims to deepen understanding of the impact of OER on teaching and learning and to measure the effectiveness of OER as a promotional tool.

Open Nottingham is centrally funded, has senior sponsorship, and long-term sustainability is a key consideration in all developments. It is an established part of the University’s Five Year Strategy, supporting a number of the institution’s published objectives. For example, the expansion of the institutional repository ‘U-Now’ is listed as a goal under the Social Responsibility objective and providing access to a rich supply of resources has direct impact on student satisfaction through the Excellence in Education objective. Open Nottingham also feeds directly into the ‘knowledge without borders’ Internationalisation strategy.

During the BERLiN project much of the published content was provided by individual academics. One of the first activities implemented under the Open Nottingham banner was the establishment of a more systematic school based approach to OER.

The school based approach is designed to tap into a comprehensive and regenerative source of content to embed long term sustainable practices in the publication of OER. It involves engaging with schools to publish a significant amount of their content in the form of module handbooks. This allows a view of a school’s activities to be made available to the world and provides a framework by which more detailed resource offerings can be added later.

Module handbooks provide information useful to both learners and academics and because of that cross-over make for powerful open resources. They support informal learners and for other academics they provide the core information needed to understand how a module is delivered.

Openly published handbooks are available for inclusion in the undergraduate on-line prospectus. This is helping to integrate OER with emerging strategies and desires to better inform prospective students about the Nottingham teaching and learning experience at a time when it is becoming more important to do so. It is also allowing for opportunities to measure the impact of OER as a promotional tool.

This presentation provides an overview of the school based approach to OER and outlines how the strategy resulted in the wide spread involvement by schools across the university. It also examines the module handbook approach to OER and outlines how the approach has laid the foundations for sustainable OER publication at the University of Nottingham.
Ukoer, oer, oer publication, Open Nottingham, BERLiN, open educational resources, module handbooks, promotional tools.