OER1023 Oral Presentation

The Open University on iTunes U: Developing an editorial framework and sustainable production workflows: An OER case study

Catherine Chambers & Ben Hawkridge, The Open University

Conference Theme: Open educational content

Abstract: Since launching in June 2008, The Open University on iTunes U has generated over 8 million downloads and currently averages around half a million downloads a week. With 1 million users accessing and downloading our content it’s clear that there is not only a hunger for OER but for mobile learning via portable devices such as the iPod or the iPhone. The OU on iTunes U is an example of a repository that is serving the 21st century mobile learner and how audience consumption of content is influencing editorial decision making such as how material is structured and stored within the repository; for example according to device as opposed to media type. As this paper will illustrate, the OU on iTunes U is a proven repository for global reach but it also offers opportunities for enhancing content and delivering it to audiences in a variety of formats. Content has been piloted using a variety of methods including incorporating learning objectives or augmenting additional audio to ensure contextualisation or topicality. This paper will also explore the structuring and potential re-use of material, it will document the editorial process and resources involved in the OU on iTunes U site, including the importance of brand design, compiling effective meta-data and an awareness of the OER audience. It will also address issues surrounding functionality, rights clearances and limitations on public re-use. Finally, it will discuss how Open Models such as this could potentially represent opportunities for new university work-flows where academics re-create themselves for new markets.

Keywords: Open University, podcasting, content, course materials