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OER10 Opening keynote (Malcolm Read)

Malcolm Read from JISC gave the opening talk at OER10 on 22 March 2010....

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Patrick McAndrew
22 March 2010

Malcolm Read from JISC gave the opening talk at OER10 on 22 March 2010.

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Malcolm Read gave the first keynote. He had promoted the OER area for at least two years before HEFCE came behind it. Open contexts


  • Open Source
  • Open Standards
  • Open Access
  • Open Data
  • Open Educational Resource
  • Open Science and open innovation]

Reasons for individual academic interest:

  • Collegiality
  • Communities of scholars
  • Building on the work of others
  • Reputation

Marketing argument was the strongest for persuading funders. Recognition of the value of online presence.

UKOER programme – constructive and positive experience in the pilot: indicates that impact may require less funding than envisaged. Five year target for having impact for change: actually practically all universities in UK now paying attention to this, some sceptics remain and fewer have policies. “Those academics who worry about being replaced by a set of powerpoint slides should be replaced by a set of powerpoint slides”.

Programme split between institutional, subject, and individual. So far subject-level have been most successful: reflecting readier existence of community and identity within the subject strands. Rights – predictably an issue. Problem areas: performing arts and foreign held rights.

New challenges:

  • Discovery and use
  • Benefit to the learning processes
  • OER to support needs of sector
  • Learn from the pilot experiences
  • Plus Fill in some subject gaps (e.g. education)

Aggregation of materials across the world. “Open Text Books” provides an image – a collection of material built on OER that supports particular pedagogic process.

£4m for year two to:

  • Cascade model of project support
  • Projects around sector priorities
  • Aggregation of OER
  • Effect of OER on pedagogy


  • Prospective learners (Can school leavers use in advance?)
  • Formal and informal learners (is there evidence of support for informal learning?)
  • Institutions
  • Academics (Change in course production models – does it save time?)


  • The library way - directories
  • The web way – free text search

Pilot took a third way:

  • Minimal metadata
  • Multiple places
  • Multiple metos
  • Recommendations
  • Aggregations
  • OER as an component

OER is a “layer” of openness for academics alongside – research outputs, research data, on-line text books. OCWC needs to place OER in context of research and other resources.


  • Part of wider movement
  • Not just one way to organise and discover
  • Under-researched (OLnet)
  • Need low-cost, sustainable models of release.

Patrick McAndrew
11:33 on 22 March 2010

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Patrick McAndrew
11:34am 22 March 2010


Q: is it rewarded?

A: policy would say it is – practice not clear.

Q: OER has opened up from internal content – can be daunting and induce “agrophobia”

A: Do need to be brave, but pressure does imply self censorship. Not everyone needs to take part – if 10-20% take part that should enough. Closed used.

Q: Is high quality really required? Need to be more flexible to engage staff and cross-over with use of the cloud in education.

A: True – not polished products but expectations of pedgagogic. Lord Puttnam is looking at the school sector to see if there is scope for marketable content from university sector. There are no direct measures of quality – reputation and self-pressure enough.

Q: Need cultural shift away from personal production of content. Need to promote building on the work of others.

A: Need to get to position where people do not spend a long time on producing “humdrum” content.

Q: Value in a good learning design – can then search for content rather than building.

A: Example of college lecturer who will find illustrative resource on youtube, and also student generated content.

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