OER1029 Oral Presentation ppt

OER: Simulation Learning

Professor Paul Maharg, University of Strathclyde Patricia McKellar, University of Warwick

Conference Theme: Open Educational Content

Abstract: There is a developing literature (e.g. Koohang & Harman 2007 and Hodgkinson-Williams & Gray 2007) and a developing strategic literature (Downes 2007) around high profile OER projects (e.g. MIT’s Opencourseware Initiative and the Open University’s OpenLearn projects). But it could be argued that while major initiatives such as these are necessary to show the possibility, the use of and the ongoing viability of OER projects, there needs to be more of a ground up approach between staff in various institutions, and for specific pedagogic and disciplinary purposes. This is already happening in some areas of the world (e.g. the Japan OCW Collaboration Group) but much more is needed. Our project, funded by JISC and HEA and led by UKCLE, focuses on providing OER to facilitate the use of simulation and related approaches to learning. Simulation is a powerful and innovative form of teaching and learning. The benefits include situated learning, active learning, the embedding of professional work patterns and practices in academic programmes, the enhancement of professional programmes, and the creation of more authentic tasks and deeper student understanding of symbolic thinking as well as of professional practice. A number of simulation techniques and engines exist that can be used in HE (largely commercial, though there are open-source versions). However the full-scale development of a body of widely shareable and re-purposable educational content amongst simulation designers and users has been to date almost non-existent. This has had serious consequences for the uptake of simulation as a form of situated learning; for whilst the power of simulation as a heuristic is widely recognised, so too is the effort required by staff to create and resource simulations. Building on the success of the recently-completed SIMPLE project, and going beyond it, this project aims to show how an HEA subject centre can help its community to develop and share the resources required for the creation and use of simulations. The project aims to create a community of practice to form around simulative approaches to learning by helping staff and users to create, use, evaluate and re-purpose simulations much more effectively than would have otherwise been the case. Our session will examine the background, some of the highly complex issues surrounding the concept of OER, and will present the case for the development of open educational simulation resources within our own and other disciplines.

Keywords: OER, Simulation, Resources

Downes, S.  (2007) Models for sustainable open educational resources, Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, 3, 29-44
Hodgkinson-Williams, C., Gray, E. (2007) Degrees of openness: the emergence of open educational resources at the University of Cape Town, http://emerge2008.net/access/content/group/emerge2008/PresentationFiles/Hodgkinson-Williams/DegreesOfOpeness.pdf
Koohang, A., Harman, K. (2007) Advancing sustainability of open educational resources,  Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 4, 2007, http://proceedings.informingscience.org/InSITE2007/IISITv4p535-544Kooh275.pdf
OECD. (2007) Giving knowledge for free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources.
Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development (OECD), Paris, France. [online]