Monthly Archives: February 2013

Spotlight on Jorum

Jorum is the best-known UK repository of free and open educational resources (OER).  In the run-up to the OER13 conference, I had the chance to ask Jorum team members what they do over at Jorum, and why they are looking forward to the conference:

Paul Madley: I‘ve recently come on board at MIMAS where I’ll be principally developing the public-facing Jorum website, I look forward to working with colleagues from other institutions as we move forward, which is why I’m excited about meeting and talking with people at OER13.

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Joy Hooper, Jorum Business Development Officer: I’ve just joined the Jorum team so this is my first OER conference. I’m looking forward to meeting up with practitioners who are using OERs within the teaching and learning programmes. I’m keen to hear about the highlights and the challenges faced by users and institutions. All the key themes have relevance for me but the third theme, ‘Expectation’, has particular relevance, given my new role. This conference provides an ideal opportunity for me to talk about the new ‘Powered by Jorum’ offerings, which are designed to enable institutions to enhance their own branded, tailored views onto their content in Jorum: in other words, we can help you to create your own OER service.

I’m Jackie Carter, Jorum director and OER13 conference co-chair. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the bridges being built between open communities. The OER community is a vibrant and learned group and OER13 is a great opportunity for us all – including the Jorum team – to reflect on how far we have come, as well as helping us to think about the direction we want to take next.

I am Anja Le Blanc, one of the new additions to Jorum of the last year. I am working as a technical developer on the Jorum repository. Over the last ten years I went to a good number of conferences in a wide diversity of academic fields and I enjoyed the variety of ‘personalities’ each of the conferences provided. I am looking forward to getting to know the OER community at OER13 and to learn and be inspired by their enthusiasm for education.

Siobhán Burke -My role at Jorum is to work with educators and learning technologists who want to use OER content and also help facilitate sharing their own OERs with Jorum. As this is my first OER conference, I am looking forward to meeting face to face with members of the OER community.

I am Sarah Currier, Jorum Service Manager, so I’m responsible for the successful delivery of Jorum’s services. I’m really looking forward to OER13 this year, because we have so much exciting news to share with the OER community. We have a Beta of our fabulous new search and reporting features: you can find OERs more easily, and you can get data about the use of your OERs. And we have developed a range of added value options for institutions and communities that want their own branded, tailored views onto their con tent in Jorum: in other words, we can help create your own OER service to your users, with access to Jorum’s collections included. I would love to talk to folk at OER13 about Jorum’s future, and about what you would like from Jorum. I am also co-presenting a paper on the JLeRN project, so you can also talk to me about paradata: information about the social sharing and usage of OERs.

Ben Ryan:  I am the Jorum Technical Manager responsible for the infrastructure, development and support of the Jorum platform and proto-service.   I am looking forward to discussing the recent Jorum developments and the future direction of features and functionality development and discussing the recent work on user interface and experience.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist, University of Leicester

Keynote Diversity

Let me introduce you to our three keynote speakers for OER13. For full information about the conference, click here. To register, click here.

Christine   Christine Ennew is Pro Vice Chancellor of University of Nottingham, which is our conference venue. Christine manages the university’s ambitious international strategy, which has attracted students and academic staff from almost 150 nations to research and teaching campuses in both Britain and Asia. The Youtube clip from Christine’s address at Nottingham’s Open Learning Conference in 2009 gives an indication of her viewpoint afforded by her international role.

Rachel  Rachel Wenstone is the Vice President (Higher Education) of the National Union of Students. Rachel’s priorities in the union include defending higher education as a public good, supporting students’ unions to work on student retention and success, and championing excellent teaching. It will be great to have the student view of open education.

Doug   Doug Belshaw (@dajbelshaw on Twitter) is Badges & Skills Lead at the Mozilla Foundation. He’s a former teacher and senior leader and has also worked in the Further and Higher Education sectors with JISC, a UK national body that works on behalf of the government to promote educational technology. Here is Doug speaking on The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies for TEDxWarwick.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist & SCORE Research Fellow, University of Leicester

OER13 and the open-access landscape

Day 1 of Cambridge 2012 Conference

Day 1 of Cambridge 2012 Conference

Welcome to this first post of OER13: Evidence, Experience, Expectations, the official blog of the OER13 Conference. OER13, as the preceding conferences of this series, seeks to advance the impact of open educational resources and practice both globally and locally in the UK. OER13 will take place at University of Nottingham on 26 and 27th March 2013, and there is still time to book a place.

Looking about at the open-access landscape as OER13 looms before us, it is almost unbelievable to see where we are. Not many foresaw the mushrooming numbers of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) being launched, including some fairly-spectacular MOOC meltdowns. Here in the UK, the Open University along with other universities launched the new FutureLearn MOOC platform just last December. And Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts’ announcement last year that publicly-funded research publication should be openly accessible is seen by some as a threat to academic freedom as much as it likely threatens current publishing models. Against this backdrop, OER13 will seek to examine and discuss the evidence, experience, and expectations of open educational practice in a way that will both enlighten and enable.

If you would like to join in blogging this event — either before or during, even a single post would be great– please reply to this post or tweet @OER13.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist, University of Leicester