Today June 24, 2009 the Higher Education Academy and Jisc officially launch its Open Educational Resources programme, helping to drive open innovation across the UK.
This week’s announcement by David Lammy (Minister for Higher Education and IPR) to create an online innovation fund and the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP’s celebration of the Open University show the importance of accessing and opening up digital education resources.
Open Educational Resources (OER), funded by HEFCE and run by the Academy and Jisc, aims to make a wide range of learning resources created by academics freely available, easily discovered and routinely re-used by both educators and learners.
OER could include full courses, course materials, complete modules, notes, videos, assessments, tests, simulations, worked examples, software, and any other tools or materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge. These resources will be released under an intellectual property license that permits open use and adaptation.
Dr John Selby, Director of Education and Participation at HEFCE, said, “Significant investment has already been made in making educational resources widely available by digitising collections of materials and enabling people to reuse and adapt existing content to support teaching and learning.
”This new initiative will test whether this can be done much more generally across higher education. It will give further evidence of the high quality of UK education and make it more widely accessible.”
There are three separate strands of projects. The subject area and individual strands of the programme will be overseen by the Academy. David Sadler, Higher Education Academy Director of Networks said, “A positive student experience depends on having access to resources. Students and academics will benefit from this move to make more content available.”
Jisc is managing the institutional strand, and have overall responsibility for the management of the programme. Dr Malcolm Read, Executive Secretary at Jisc said, “Jisc believes in open access and opening up the UK’s resources. This is the first time that a project of this nature will have been undertaken on this scale, collaboratively across an entire national educational sector. Its success will enable researchers, academics and learners to benefit from world class learning resources.”
Projects will be supported by advice and materials from a range of Jisc services, including Jorum, Jisc Legal, CETIS and infoNet, and by the Open University Score project. Programme findings will be evaluated and brought together to inform further work.
The programme will make the equivalent of 5,000 undergraduate modules of existing learning resources freely available online. Projects will be working towards being able to sustainably release a much larger pool of resources over a longer period.
The funded projects will run for 12 months and will end on 30 April 2010.