The broad aim of the ALTO UK project is the creation of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in art and design subjects for staff, students and lifelong learners in the UK and elsewhere. Engaging with OER creation and sharing presents challenges to the Art and Design community where there is a strong tradition of studio-based practice and learning. Traditional didactic resources such as lecture notes and project briefs can be scarce in these subject areas, with the result that there can be ‘gaps’ when trying to create OERs along the lines pioneered by OpenCourseware at MIT and OpenLearn at the OU . Video, image and audio documentation has been found to be the preferred media for capturing and sharing practice based art and design tutorials and resources.

ALTO UK

The broad aim of the ALTO UK project is the creation of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in art and design subjects for staff, students and lifelong learners in the UK and elsewhere. Engaging with OER creation and sharing presents challenges to the Art and Design community where there is a strong tradition of studio-based practice and learning. Traditional didactic resources such as lecture notes and project briefs can be scarce in these subject areas, with the result that there can be ‘gaps’ when trying to create OERs along the lines pioneered by OpenCourseware at MIT[1] and OpenLearn at the OU[2]. Video, image and audio documentation has been found to be the preferred media for capturing and sharing practice based art and design tutorials and resources.

As part of a small pilot exercise the project will provide each partner with an institutionally branded open space in a social media platform to share these kinds of media rich OERs. The platform is based on the popular open source web content management system Drupal (http://drupal.org/) and provides a user-friendly interface, rich media tools and easy integration with the rest of the Web 2.0 infrastructure such as Twitter, Facebook and Google etc.

An innovative aspect of the project is the proposal to link the ALTO UK Drupal software platform to Jorum[3], the national UK learning resource repository (digital library) service. The idea is very simple; the Jorum repository becomes the officially branded ‘library’ part of ALTO UK while the institutional social media sites and communities associated with the Drupal platform become the ‘workshop’ or ‘studio’ areas where knowledge and resources are co-created and shared. A longer-term vision of the project partners is that of developing a service to support a sustainable Art and Design OER community in the UK and internationally that engages in the co-design, development and shared use of OERs to extend open educational practices[4] in these subject areas.

A feature of the project will be the support of an international expert advisory group who will work with the project partners to identify future development opportunities.

Objectives

  1. Create and release a significant amount of OERs for art and design subjects and negotiate of release of content from commercial publishing partners
  2. Address sector challenges of (1) sustainability by preserving knowledge and teaching methods (2) engaging academics in art and design in the exploration of alternative teaching techniques
  3. Design and create a prototype social media platform for sharing OERs
  4. Explore how creation and use of OERs can contribute to digital literacy
  5. Support the transition of students into HE art and design
  6. Develop a roadmap for future developments for international use

Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes

  • Release and collect a significant amount of appealing OERs.
  • Development of Innovative OER publishing models
  • Increased staff confidence in Web 2.0 tools
  • Appropriate use of tagging and metadata capture/creation
  • Project reports and conference presentations
  • Greater awareness of the potential and actual benefits of OER engagement
  • Drupal software code and OER platform prototype
  • Making the links between OER engagement and digital literacy
  • Raise the profile of teaching and learning practice in general
  • Guidance and support materials for staff and institutions


[4] We have found the definition of open educational practices from the EU OPAL project (http://www.oer-quality.org/publications/project-deliverables/ really helpful)

Project Staff

Project Manager

  • John Casey, University of the Arts London, 272 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EY Phone:  020 7514 8056  j.casey@arts.ac.uk

Project Team 

Summary
Start date
17 October 2011
End date
19 October 2012
Funding programme
Academy/JISC Open Educational Resources Programme Phase 3
Project website
Lead institutions

University of the Arts London

Partner institutions

HEA ADM Subject Centre

Herriot Watt University, The School of Textiles and Design

Jorum Service, MIMAS, University of Manchester

Kirklees College, Creative Industries, Ceramics

University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts, Broadcast Media

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

Bright Lemon Ltd., London

Topic