OER are Open Educational Resources that are licensed for reuse, repurposing and remixing. At Oxford, open resources must be used not- for-profit and for learning, teaching or research purposes, and our OER licences reflect this.
OpenSpires is the umbrella project for delivering, promoting and supporting the release of OER from Oxford University. Within OpenSpires there are many diverse projects as well as individual pockets of innovation.
Podcasts are also available on iTunesU: Oxford has had more than 18 million downloads from its iTunesU site in its first amount of time.
The blog uses 3 innovative new tools, Dynamic collections: A dynamic tool for building community-curated directories of OER material. Subject specialists can easily create new collections and these are automatically populated with online resources of different media types., Learning path creator: A new tool allowing registered users to bookmark in their browser any online resource and deposit this within the blog framework. This bookmark approach quickly builds structured lists or learning pathways around a thematic topic., Tools and support resources: Tools developed to improve the OER experience within the blogging environment including support for cataloguing, ingest of OER, image search and export to stand-alone documents. These tools have been openly released that other subject areas can employ them.
The portal uses Student Ambassadors as creators and curators of OER materials
This website is being developed by a range of experts in the field of First World War Studies. They provide articles, resources, and academic guidance to the project team in their development of the site. A team of student ambassadors have worked to curate and add existing resources on the World Wide Web.
The project is a collaboration between teams at the University of Oxford responsible for the First World War Poetry Digital Archive and the Great War Archive (funded under the JISC Content and Digitisation Programme), and the Oxford Open Spires, Triton, and Great Writers projects.
JISC Funding Phase One: Release - Start Up Focus (2009/10), Within the year of JISC funding, 2010, OpenSpires was successful in releasing 300 audio and video items, involving 140 academics in open content release. At the end of this year the university designed a licence agreement that made releasing OER with a CC licence very simple, and thus a very sustainable process., In the second year, there was a significant increase in the number of items and contributors. This increase there was evidence that the process is sustainable, that openness is embedded at Oxford and that there is use and re-use of OER. This was achieved without specific project funding and staffing, as in the second year the funding emphasis had shifted to another aspect of openness.
JISC Funding Phase Two: Reuse - Two Main Projects (2010/11), The Triton Project, designed to support the reuse of OER by specific subject community, This was the Politics in Spires blog, which uses students as primary OER content generators. The blog was a model of reuse. Much of it is reusable – plugins, code, content, and the model of content delivery – and it also collects subject-specific OER from elsewhere and brings this to the surface for a subject community to reuse. The site has been built to be entirely re-purposable, as a ‘site in a box’ concept., The Ripple Project, an initiative to support partner institutions in releasing their own OER., Ripple provided the opportunity for two partner institutions, Oxford Brookes University and Harper Adams University, to engage in various aspects of OER release, empowering participants to develop their own vision. Five workshops were delivered covering key aspects of OER release. As a result 15 collections were released as OER by our partner institutions., Unique reusable OER training resources from workshops released for the benefit of the wider community. There are 18 videos from key speakers; 19 audio recordings of presentations; 14 other workshop documents to support OER training; Five workshop reports on the project blog and Five workshop evaluation reports., Four instructional videos released in an OER Toolkit for reuse and remixing.
JISC Funding Phase Three: Discovery: - Releasing Collections of New and Existing OER (2011/12), Great Writers Inspire: A project that gathers literature resources into a new portal. These resources are collected by themes and writers and are primarily for undergraduates but have some schools level relevance. Collections include audio/video material, ebooks (Oxford text archives), images, external materials of value, and an essay to amalgamate the material. The project also has thousands of ebooks in its library., Student ambassadors were employed to create and source OERs and to embed the blog within the department. This was enormously successful at addressing the potential content generation problem., Great Writers Inspire provides varied resources for re-use that have had their licences thoroughly checked and displayed. There is flexibility and inspirational capacity in these OER collections but the project but is not designed to provide ready-made lesson plans., It is also a model that could be generalised to another department or discipline., Spindle: Automatic Speech Recognition software to automatically obtain keywords from podcasts in order to increase discoverability through organic search., WW1 Centenary Project: This resource is funded by the JISC World War One (WW1) Open Educational Resources (OER) Programme as part of the World War One Commemoration Programme. The project will surface the highest quality OER in the field of World War One studies and related disciplines. The project will innovatively revisualise a series of OER to showcase the full potential of using open material to seed academic debate.
Unique channel of dissemination: Often it would not otherwise be possible for an academic to reach this kind of audience.
Profile-raising: OER add considerable value to the academic, their department and their research by making them more discoverable and proving their engagement with the public.
Impact and outreach: Passing on subject knowledge and teaching expertise is a driver for cultural change. This advances institutional recognition and reputation and enhances the international public service reputation of the contributor.
Addressing learners’ specific needs: Teachers can provide supplementary learning, skills development and present content in multiple ways.
Benchmarking: Teachers can measure their own practice in terms of content, approach and general quality.
Effort-saving: Learning materials and TEL activities can be offered where teachers lack the skills or means to create these themselves e.g. rich media resources
Broadening teaching: OER enable teaching of topics that lie outside current expertise.
Stimulating networking and collaboration: Possibilities for new collaborations in researching fields of common interest are improved.
Transforming teaching practice: OER can help avoid duplicated effort, accommodating the new economic realities of HE and supporting non-traditional learners.
Will using OER in my course teaching damage my academic integrity (especially in light of the recent rise in University Fees), Intergrating OER materials into teaching practice/voice helps enhance the learning experience but does not replace the work of preparing lectures and classes. Engagement with open learning is also in line with new government directives for Higher Education.
Will students still come to my lectures if they're available online?, Evidence in Oxford so far has shown that students still attend lectures whether or not they are available online. Recorded lectures also have a listen-again function that is useful for revision of difficult topics.
Will the university still pay me for lectures that they now have available in recordings?, In Oxford there are too many lectures for a person to attend all of them in one year. Furthermore there is often not enough space for everyone to attend: students may be turned away from oversubscribed lectures and the lecture may have to be repeated twice in a term.
IT Services courses, Copyright in the digital world, Copyright for print, broadcast and multimedia
Latest Podcast Contribution Forms
Creative Commons website
Engage: "Social Media Michaelmas"
Learning and teaching: Using technology tools
LTG Seminar: Coursera From A Teacher's Perspective
Multimedia: An introduction to podcasting for education
Multimedia: Podcasting at Oxford FAQs
Multimedia: Screen and audio capture for teaching - one day workshop
Online Presence: Tools, skills and resources
Online Presence: Introductory workshop
Online Presence: Developing your presence
JISC Open Educational Resources InfoKit
Ripple OER Toolkit Video Podcasts, Copyright, Marketing, Why Make it Open?, Creative Commons Overview
Ripple OER Workshop Materials
Browne, T, Holding, R., Howell, A., & Rodway-Dyer, S., (2010). The Challenges of OER to Academic Practice. JIME.
Lucas, B., Masterman, L., Lee, S. D., & Gulc, E. (2006). Sharing and Reuse of Learning Designs for English Studies: A UK Higher Education Perspective. In R. Philip, A. Voerman, & J. Dalziel (Eds.), Proceedings of the First International LAMS Conference 2006: Designing the Future of Learning (pp. 55-64). Sydney: LAMS Foundation.
Meyer, E.T. (2011). Splashes and Ripples: Synthesizing the Evidence on the Impact of Digital Resources. Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute, and London: JISC.
Windle, R.J., Wharrad, H., McCormick, D., Laverty, H., & Taylor, M., (2010). Sharing and reuse in OER: experiences gained from open reusable learning objects in health. JIME.
OER Synthesis and Evaluation Project (2010a). Pilot Phase Approaches to OER Release. JISC/HE Academy OER Programme Synthesis and Evaluation Project Wiki.
OER Synthesis and Evaluation Project (2010b). Individual Strand Pedagogy and End Use Issues. JISC/HE Academy OER Programme Synthesis and Evaluation Project Wiki.
OER Synthesis and Evaluation Project (2010c). Subject Strand Pedagogy and End Use Issues. JISC/HE Academy OER Programme Synthesis and Evaluation Project Wiki.
OER Synthesis and Evaluation Project (2010d). UK OER Impact Model. JISC/HE Academy OER Programme Synthesis and Evaluation Project Wiki.