Thursday, 5 April 2012

JISC OER Networking Day - 26th March 2012

An enrolled trilobite, genus Calymene
On Monday 26th March, some 70 or so delegates made their way to Dexter House, just opposite the Tower of London, for an Open Educational Resorces (OER) networking day. The participants came from a range of JISC funded projects, but all were involved in developing OERs.

The morning sessions, run by David Mossley of JISC, used two techniques new to me: "Open Space Activity" and "World Cafe Activity". The first involved splitting into groups of three, with the members in turn acting as interviewer, interviewee and notetaker, with the latter tasked with recording identified challenges to the development of OERs on individual "post-it" notes. Adjacent groups then attempted to classify the identified "post-it" challenges into categories, and derive questions representative of the challenges.

The World Cafe activity then had groups listing their main questions on flip charts, and everyone then voted on which of the questions they considered the most important.The  popular questions were then allocated to individual tables and delegates migrated to their table of choice for a discussion.

After lunch, delegates broke into three groups according to their type of project. My own group (JISC Content) then split into three - I followed the discussions on Collaboration and partership around OERs. There were some really helpful discussions, but probably the most important outcomes of the day were the contacts that I had made.

On the way home I reflected on the educational opportunities that the web is providing. From its earliest days, the British Geological Survey and its sister organisations have been involved involved in public education, but the OERs of today are far removed from the public lectures of 150 years ago.....

Professor Owen lecturing at the Museum of Practical Geology, 1857