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3. Panel: Communities of practice in OER

This session highlights how drawing on the Higher Education Academy subject centre model has...

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Giota Alevizou
23 July 2010

This session highlights how drawing on the Higher Education Academy subject centre model has supported the development of OER-engaged communities, and how OER can support a subject in danger of disappearing from the UK entirely.

Speakers: Paul Chin (UK Physical Sciences Centre), Ulrich Tiedau (University College London)

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Communities of practice

Paul Chin (UK Physical Sciences Centre)


Challenges with OER

-       Willingness to contribute?

-       Working with larger consortium?

-       IPR (and working to finding a common understanding)

-       Meta tagging resources


Community support

All those that are involved in the subject centre and the discipline

Further involvement: to fit with existing priorities and routines and interests


Case studies: Skills for scientists projects

Consortium of 19 partners from 17 institutions plus an independent partner

Required to cover 360 credits of content

Covers wide range of resources across chemistry, etc

 STEM project wiki (

As in intro to OER; collective experience in OER (physical science based)

Impact of culture of sharing; people more willing to share

People now creating their own OER; trickling down and positive reinforcement with colleagues in member institutions

Broader institutional willingness

 Teachers’ quotes: challenges and tensions: time commitments yet enthusiasm:  ‘I estimate that I have been working form less than the minimum wage’;  

Ownership, responsibility & sustainability key to Communities of Practice with OER.

Giota Alevizou
13:02 on 23 July 2010

VirtualDutch: OER and distance learning in a lesser taught language

Ulrich Tiedau UCL Dutch

 23 m speakers as a native language

Dutch provision in UK HE: 4 universities with four degrees

 Aims and Objectives

Inter-institutional collaborative teaching and learning

Creating shared T&L resources

Based on existing cross-cultural collaboration (beyond open education)



Both pedagogical and cultural (i.e. declined use of Dutch)


Multimedia materials and study packs

Community portal

Integrated mainstream media together with teaching and learning resources

Collaborative teaching projects (students leading)

      Writer in residence

      Video conferencing

Early modern low countries history (OER Dutch history)

Combination of the residential UCL course with Virtual Dutch

Timeline of cross-channel interactions

 Next steps

Distance learning programme

Institutional virtual learning environment

Tutor supported

Giota Alevizou
13:21 on 23 July 2010 (Edited 13:23 on 23 July 2010)

Embedded Content


Giota Alevizou
1:06pm 23 July 2010

Further comments: Anxiety and lack of confidenct evident among participants; peer review in research causing less anxiety than open reviews in teaching practices

Voices from the audience and questions: Sharing practices occur, but less willingness to share open, eases off as people start behaving as member of professional communities.

Responses to questions: although little opportunities for pedagogical discussions where evident, issues about accessibility and good shared practice were there.

Q. Motivations and incentives? A; it depends of culture in specific instituions; more promotions now occur, based on record of resources and teaching awards....but not so widespread yet!

Giota Alevizou
1:38pm 23 July 2010

Q: where do students exist, as part of this communities of practices?

A: there’s a feedback loop and certain involvment

Communities of practice in the meta level and sectoral level: There is also collaboration the Dutch virtual with HEA’s HumBox; Further collaboration with SOAS and the minority langauges unit

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