OER1001 Oral Presentation ppt

Faculty sharing of scientific educational materials: drivers and barriers

Dr V Rolfe, De Montfort University

Conference Theme: Open Educational Content

Abstract: The philosophy of the HEFCE/JISC Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative is to promote the open release and sharing of high quality learning materials worldwide (1). The UK Centre for Bioscience is part of the pilot project comprising of a number of consortium partners to develop “An Interactive Laboratory and Fieldwork Manual for the Biosciences”(2), and includes the “Virtual Analytical Laboratory” or “VAL”(3) from the School of Allied Health Sciences at De Montfort University. VAL is an on-line laboratory skills resource consisting of video, animation, audio and screen-capture materials, and is freely available on the internet under the Creative Commons License 2.0. The resource is used widely across two science programmes – Biomedical Science (BSc Honours) and Medical Science (BMedSci Honours). Interestingly in the year since its launch, VAL has had over 3000 visits from 80 countries around the world, but it is not widely used across the faculty. The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences includes education in social sciences, laboratory sciences and health care professions, with around 400 members of academic staff and 5000 students. VAL would be relevant to a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. This paper explores staff perceptions and attitudes at a faculty level in relation to using VAL to assist with laboratory skills teaching, and more widely in relation to sharing educational materials in general. The paper evaluates staff needs and requirements regarding the acquisition, use and sharing of educational materials. Questionnaires were circulated to staff both on-line and in a paper form. Questions were based on a 5-point Likert scale or were open ended. Results from the questionnaire are being used to improve strategies, infrastructure and resources to facilitate the sharing of resources at faculty level, and have wider relevance across university communities and in supporting the OER philosophy.

Keywords: Open Educational Resources; Virtual Analytical Laboratory; Reusability; Staff Perceptions

(1) Open educational resources programme (2009). Available at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/oer [Accessed 14th October 2009].
(2) UK Centre for Bioscience OER Project (2009). Available at: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/projects/detail/OER_SUB_Bioscience [Accessed 14th October 2009].
(3) Virtual Analytical Laboratory (2009). Available at: http://hlsweb.dmu.ac.uk/ahs/elearning/RITA/Index.html [Accessed 14th October 2009].