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Lindsay Jordan: Designing a MA/PGCert unit on Open Educational Practice (proposal)

Developing an MA/PGCert unit in Open Educational Practice

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Lindsay Jordan
11 January 2013

Situation (context)

I'm developing and delivering a new unit within our MA in CPD (Academic Practice) framework. Most participants will be University of the Arts London teaching staff who are taking the unit as an elective for their PG Cert.

We have a small but passionate and motivated team contributing to the unit, with a considerable amount of expertise in Open Practice and OER use/production. My own expertise is more on the Open Reflective Practice side; I've dabbled in the production & use of OERs but I'm definitely not an expert in them. The teaching team - and their very approximate specialisms (oh, I really need to find out more about what they do... curses) will be:

Myself (Open Practice in Teaching)
John Casey (OER management)
Chris Follows (OER use & production: logistics & standards)
John Jackson (OER production: tools)

We have around 10 participants signed up to take the unit in February. We have the benefit of our own fantastic OER database for arts education (Process Arts), and a management team that supports innovation and gives us the autonomy we need to experiment with different approaches and environments. Our main challenge is - as always - finding enough time to do these things well...!


I'm developing and delivering a new unit within our MA in CPD (Academic Practice) framework. Most participants will be members of teaching staff from UAL who are taking the unit as an elective for their PG Cert.
We have a small but passionate and motivated team contributing to the unit, with a considerable amount of expertise in Open Practice and OER use/production. My

The change I would like to see (challenge)


In the next few weeks (ok, lets be realistic - the next two weeks - I need to have developed my plans for this course beyond the handbook and assignment briefs, and to have fleshed out the details of the learning activities that participants will complete, the environments in which they do them, and the content we will ask them to engage with. If I don't do this in a timely manner, the course won't be very good. I need participants to feel confident that we (ok, I) know what we're talking about and can advise and support them effectively in their projects.

How I might go about realising that change

In terms of the development of the OEP unit in the context of this course, I'm going to start by presenting the current handbook, scheme of work and assignment briefs, and the feedback given to me so far by the other three members of the team. They have given some great suggestions for tweaks that might be needed, additions to the reading lists and topics that might need to be included in the face-to-face sessions. I think bringing all of this into one place will be a good start... and I'll take it from there!

In terms of the pedagogic approach itself... It's going to be quite problem-based; as with this course, participants will be asked to identify a project of their own quite early on, and base their assignments on this. The pre-course research activity and the first workshop day will be focused on getting participants engaged with some key issues and tools associated with Open Practice and the production of OERs.

Extra content

Comments and additions from the teaching team (January 2013):

Re: 'Content' - resources, readings etc
Hilaire Graham (our Senior Educational Developer) recommended this online teaching manifesto (from the MSc eLearning at the University of Edinburgh) as a useful resource for participants: In rediscovering this I then found a link to Jesse Stommel's manifesto for online learning, which also raises some fantastic points about openness in education generally. Jesse (@Jessifer on twitter) is currently leading #moocmooc (a mooc about moocs). (at this point I am wondering about the distinction between Open Education and Online Education...whether there *is* a distinction, and whether one needs to be made...)

Chris suggested the following book: Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy -And all these -  

John Casey suggested the following: A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER) by Asha Kanwar (COL) (Editor), Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić (UNESCO) (Editor), Neil Butcher (Author) Publishers: COL, UNESCO (July 2011)
And Creative Commons Licences – are they right for you? By John Casey, Published in the Arts Libraries Journal vol.37 No.22012 

Re: Activities
Both John Jackson and Chris highlighted the need for an introduction to 'basic tools and processes' at the start of the course. I'm in agreement... but having cut my teeth on 'technical inductions' for PG Cert cohorts in the past I know how important it is to pitch this right, and - most importantly - make it interactive. Maybe I should get on the case and book a computer room for a couple of hours for February 25th...

Re: Environments
Chris recommended the creation of a specific project group within Process Arts for the OEP projects, as we did for last year's Teaching Development Projects.

Chris also raised the question of an open platform space for the course; I presume he means *instead* of Moodle.. although as I understand it we can enable guest access to Moodle courses. This wouldn't allow guests the same degree of interaction, but they could follow links out to participants' blogs and to our Process Arts area for sure. I think the long-term plan (perhaps for 2014) is to move towards more open delivery of the course itself, although too much 'meta' ness can make things more complex than they need to be...

Re: Assessment tasks
Chris (gold star for Chris btw) writes the following about AE1:
The first two AE1 tasks (see below) will be good/crucial for laying down the foundation and settling nerves. The thing that we may think about including is to find out how they operate at this stage online, where they like to work/live online, google docs, blogs, workflow, web platforms, social media .... and once we have found this out they could they opt to use their online spaces to develop their Journal (we would explore the pros and cons (group work/exposure/passwords/communication/unfamiliar environments etc) of this and maybe suggest or sell the idea of using Workflow but essentially let them decide).
Instead of restricting them to 'Your project journal should be displayed on your Workflow page' this would reflect a more realistic environment and would allow open experimentation and will be their decision? Part of this process could include an intro to some UAL tools e.g myblog.arts/ workflow and process.arts so they have the option of trying these or using their own familiar tools and maybe some external tools, facebook or We could aggregate all the Journals in Moodle or somewhere like this -         
25 February: AE1a – Preparation for group activity on Open Education practices and paradigms 
2 April: AE1b - Analysis of own practice; opportunities for and challenges of open practice 
I think by going through this process of them finding/trying out a suitable digital space to work/live online at the beginning would help support AE2 and AE3?

I *did* consider this approach (I did, honest)... I've tried it before and it's been very difficult. Many participants just want you to tell them what to use and how to use it, and then they'll still complain about not liking it :) In my experience it would take a whole unit's worth of study hours to achieve the kind of learning Chris is talking about. But I'm sure we can find a compromise... 


John Casey raised the following point about AE3, which I will definitely take on board - and may actually put in the opening paragraph of the handbook!

If people are expected to upload a final report to Process.arts it would be good to highlight this in the course introduction I.e. Something like 'As part of the course you will be expected to share your final report openly with the world as an OER under a Creative Commons Licence'  This alerts them to the fact early on and might also give us something to discuss with them.

Lindsay Jordan
16:56 on 11 January 2013 (Edited 17:02 on 11 January 2013)

Embedded Content

OEP Unit Handbook

OEP Unit Handbook

added by Lindsay Jordan

Assessment Element 1 (brief)

Assessment Element 1 (brief)

added by Lindsay Jordan

Assessment Element 2 (brief)

Assessment Element 2 (brief)

added by Lindsay Jordan

Assessment Element 3 (brief)

Assessment Element 3 (brief)

added by Lindsay Jordan


Juliana Elisa Raffaghelli
7:34pm 13 January 2013

Hi Lindsay, 

I'm really interested at your project, which I will follow in order to reflect about my own "dream" (if you want to know about:

I'm not ahead as you are, and my LD will be surely much simpler, but perhaps we could share ideas at a certain point.

You might be interested on these resources:

Project TestOER: thinking about assessement in pedagogical practices that include Open Educational Resources:

OPAL guide/ OPAL practice: generated in the context of the LLP project Open Educational Practices - The propose frameworks to understand the level of development of an Open Educational Practice which I found interesting...  


John Casey
9:36pm 14 January 2013

Hi Lindsay and Julianna

I am working on the course with Lindsay and think it makes sense to form a team in order to reflect and speculate on the design of our course. In addition I have my own 'mini me; learning design task tha I shall be following in the context of our work together at the UAL - it is on my Clouscape at this address .

John's mini Learning Design Task

I am working with Learning Design novices and need a place to start with them that is lo-tech and easy (for all of us!). So these are my targets for my teaching aims and  learning outcomes

Teaching Aims: The abilty to represent to an 'outsider' what happens in a course that you are teaching or are intending to teach. To use the IMD LD terminology in a hopefully clear way and the questions of Journalistic Enquiry to  to descibe who is doing  what, when, where, with whom and with what resources in relation to teaching topics and outcomes etc. We need to coolaborate  on a beginners course to find a lo-tech way of describing these things (Learning Outcomes):

  •  the roles of teacher and student are represented, in relation to a timeline
  • as are the learning outcomes, and the resources needed / used / consumed
  • the type of environments and  services used,
  • the parts of the knowledge domain involved, and relations to assessment activities.

This type of representation could also be used at different levels of granularity from an entire programme through to a module and down to an individual lesson, thus giving a common lo-tech ‘vocabulary’ and expressive framework to a team. This approach also fits well with the type of basic design visualisation tools advocated by Sloep, Hummel, & Manderveld (2005). And Basic is really what we need when working with LD novices (i.e most people). We also need some simple graphical representations as well. We absolutely need to be able to provide a bridge from what we can call the 'vernacular' descriptions used by teachers to a more abstract and shareable version of these designs that currently only exist in teachers heads and to some limited degree in course handbooks. I personally would be very happy to get some simple representational tools and methods together to help people articulate their implicit designs. That shall be my mini learning design dream / challenge.

Reference: Jochems, W., van Merriënboer, J., & Koper, R., (2004). Integrated E-Learning: implications for pedagogy, technology and organisation. Abingdon: Routledge and Falmer.

Juliana Elisa Raffaghelli
6:07pm 17 January 2013

Hi John, 

Just a very quick comment on-the-go

Your comment was very useful to me. I will start producing my design this week (tools for LD for academic staff that are, more than novice, reluctant to "open" their make, as Conole says, visible the invisible.

I will implement some of your suggestions. I don't know to which extent what I will do will be helpful for you (your context look years ahead of my context!!!!), but probably my feed-back on what is useful and on what instead, is confusing, could be of some value to you.




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