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Activity: 30 mins: Introduction to OERs

Find and share an OER

Cloud created by:

Rebecca Galley
20 October 2009

What are OERs (Open Educational Resources)?                                                                              

Activity. As the definitions linked to above suggests, an OER could be a text or PDF file, a photograph, a slideshow, a video or audio file, a second life artifact or an online assessment activity. Using the links below as a starting point:

  1. Find an OER which you may be able to use in your design. 
  2. Create a link to it here ('add link')
  3. Introduce yourself, your role and design and describe the OER you have chosen.

Useful links:


Extra content

Embedded Content

A Vision of Students Today

A Vision of Students Today

added by Chris Evans


Sally Trevor
11:31am 27 October 2009

I'm Sally Trevor from Brunel International and have chosen this link for our training day as these MIT lectures can be very useful in teaching and testing listening skills.  I chose the Brain and Cognitive Sciences lecture series because it is extremely interesting and the lecturer provides excellent PDF accompanying activities and he is highly entertaining.  These lectures would be aimed at advanced level international students.

Rebecca Galley
11:52am 28 October 2009

Great Sally, thanks for the introduction and link! An excellent start to the discussion - have you used these lectures before?

Sally Trevor
1:32pm 28 October 2009

Thanks Rebecca, no I haven't used these ones before.  But they seem to be very good.  However, I've decided to look for something a bit easier for our training session as we are new to the software.

Rebecca Galley
8:53pm 28 October 2009 (Edited 9:59am 30 October 2009)

I know what you mean :) The aim is for teams to get to just a broad visual overview of the new or reworked module by the end of the session, with ideas and examples of resources and technologies (aligned to pedagogic intent). Given that it is just a one day workshop, and there are some new tools to use too, I guess it is about getting the balance right between something that is not too complicated and yet still interesting enough to launch on students! We hope that Cloudworks will be used after the event too for discussing and developing designs further post f2f workshop.

Deborah Stevenson
1:03pm 29 October 2009

Hi, I'm part of the Brunel International group. We're thinking about developing materials to support our students in their listening and note-taking skills. It can be difficult to find a good range of subjects / topics to keep students motivated so they keep returning to a particualr website / activity, but I think the Guardian has an excellent range of academic related topics eg Business, Technology, Media, and longer listening actifivites which replicate the demands of more extensive lecture listening.

This website doesn't give full transcripts, but by cross-referencing with the articles written on the topic, students can review vocabulary and context. Because it's such a current and authentic source of listening, I think it will be a highly motivating resource to exploit in and out of the classroom. What do others think?

Anu Sharma
4:41pm 29 October 2009


I am Anu Sharma, a Senior e-Learning Technologist from the Academic Practice Development Unit at Brunel. Our team is considering developing a 'PebblePad' e-portfolio workshop for staff. The aim of the workshop would be to introduce staff to tools and features of the system, whilst considering how these could be used to complement the student learning process.

I have included a link to the PeblePad site which provides examples of previously constructed portfolios.

This is a great resource because it encourages scaffolded or independent learning to some extent. By providing examples of previously constructed portfolios, it gives staff the opportunity to consider how they could use the tools at their disposal in the content of their teaching.

Rather than giving staff a prescribed template, they are encouraged to independently  consider how they would structure/ promote use of this facility for use with their students.

Sweta Rajan-Rankin
5:26pm 1 November 2009

My name is Sweta Rajan-Rankin and I am a new lecturer in social policy with the social work division of the School of Health Scienes and Social Work, Brunel University. The link I have added was to my most recent lecture on 'theories and ideologies of welfare' which I taught to BA level 1 students in social work. This is an important foundational course for social work students, however theories can often be quite daunting to students who may come from Access course routes and are unfamiliar with academic learning at a graduate level. By using this example I hope that our group can look at ways in which we can make theory more fun and interesting for students and get them engaged in discussing ideological positions towards welfare and link them to current political debates. This is just one idea- does the group have any suggestions?

Giota Alevizou
4:47pm 5 November 2009

Hi Sweta,

I am Giota, Rebecca's colleugue and will be the 'OER advisor' for the workshop. I see your point and sometimes finding relevant resources for a particular level can be daunting. I had a look at the OER Commons website and a research on 'welfare' took me to a unit from Open University's Open Learn  that you may find useful. Have a look at the content and relevant visualisation and deliberation tools, and feel free to post ratings, or try to use it in class. You can also post ratings and a comment on relevance or the context you reused it (if so) on OER Commons here

On the idea of making argumentation and links to theory more fun. There are several open tools for deliberation and argumentation. Here's a page from MIT's Deliberatorium  It also contains links to other sense making and argumentation tools.

that may be useful.

Monique Ritchie
1:18pm 6 November 2009 (Edited 1:21pm 6 November 2009)

Hi - I'm Monique. I'm Brunel University's Copyright and Digital Resources Officer, based in the Academic Support team, Brunel Library.

I picked a few links -  mostly from existing Brunel pages -  to add to the OERs, which represent the a small part of the wide range of areas covered by the Academic Support team, which directly support teaching and learning activities.  Copyright is a key issue for e-learning due to the legal /licensing restrictions and can limit our activities somewhat, but there is also a lot that can be done. BURA, Brunel's open access repository of research output, which is a rich resource of quality materials. The Internet Grammar of English is a great tool for improving language skills from UCL, suggested by our Senior Academic Skills Adviser. FInally, I've included a detailed guide to Citing references from Brunel Library's website (another important academic skill) that tries to make referencing easier to understand.

Rebecca Galley
1:22pm 6 November 2009

Excellent - and thanks too for the introduction Monique! See you on Monday :)


lindsey nicholls
7:40pm 8 November 2009

Hi I am Lindsey Nicholls, I am from the MSBgrouop.

There are some things about me are ;

Lindsey Nicholls has worked in clinical and academic posts in South Africa and London, UK. Her MA was at the Tavistock-Portman Clinic in psychoanalytic work with organisations.  Her PhD research involves a psychoanalytically informed ethnographic study of the social defence mechanisms used by occupational therapists in their professional work. She has published articles and chapters on psychoanalytic thinking in occupational therapy and her current interests are in dreaming as a research method and the symbolic understanding of occupations in clinical work and social life.


Rebecca Galley
8:24pm 8 November 2009

Hi Lindsey, thanks for the intro. See you tomorrow!


Chris Evans
6:49am 9 November 2009

Hi, I am Chris Evans, a Senior Lecturer in eLearning in the Brunel Business School.

I have added a link to the eLearning 2.0 community Ning site which I established in July. It is for anyone interested in the application of Web 2.0 to eLearning. There are some very interesting video resources there.

Gráinne Conole
9:19am 9 November 2009 (Edited 10:52am 9 November 2009)

Hi everyone, my name is Gráinne (pronounced gronya) Conole and I work with Rebecca and the others from the OU as part of the OU Learning Design Initiative ( I'm sorry that I wasn't able to be at the workshop today but I hope to be able to contribute remotely. In addition to the openlearn repository of OER that Giota mentioned, it's worth flagging up a new initiative we have funded for from the Hewlett foundation, Olnet ( This is from the website:

The aim of OLnet is to tackle gathering evidence and methods about how we can research and understand ways to learn in a more open world, particularly linked to Open Educational Resources (OER) but also looking at other influences. We want to gather evidence together but also spot the ideas that people see emerging from the opportunities.

Rebecca Galley
9:59am 9 November 2009

Hey - quick work Chris! Welcome to Cloudworks and thanks for the link!

Gráinne Conole
10:01am 9 November 2009

Hi Chris thanks for the link - this is a very powerful video. I like all of the short videos Michael Wetsch does, they are always thought provoking... He gave a great keynote this year at ALT-C.

Giota Alevizou
10:50am 9 November 2009

Hi Chris and everyone,

Chris the video is indeed thought provoking. It's great to see all the activities develop this morning. I am looking to meeting you all later on today at the OER Stall.

Chris Evans
11:24am 9 November 2009

Thanks Gráinne and Giota. I always find it very moving and inspiring at the same time.

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