OER1064c Short Paper (Part of Symposium OER1064)

Tales from the white-board:  Case-studies in RLO development and usage.

Damion McCormick, Joanne Lymn, Jennifer Dandrea, Fiona Bath-Hextall & Fred Riley, University of Nottingham

Conference Theme:  Open Educational Communities

Abstract: It is important to ensure that any deployment of Open Educational Resources (OER) addresses a defined pedagogical need and is not simply technology for technology’s sake.    Nurse education exemplifies the need for a personalised approach to learning in Higher Education. Student nurses tend to study in large cohorts of mixed ability, whilst the wide course entry gates and high proportion of mature students leads to a diverse range of educational background (1).  Coupled with this is the broad nature of the nursing curriculum and the need to ensure integration between theoretical and practical/vocational learning. 
Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) have been adopted as the open educational resources of choice in many areas of the pre and post registration programmes within the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy at Nottingham over a number of years to support personalisation. They are being deployed in a range of blended learning contexts, including class-based work, self-directed learning and as support materials for “just in time learning”. Many of these RLOs have been developed in-house, but they are combined with learning objects that have been developed at other institutions and also with other forms of OER such as podcasts and print material.    Areas where these approaches are being used to particular effect include non-medical prescribing, evidence-based practice, biosciences and clinical skills. 
Here, we will present case-studies of their use in some of these areas, and discuss their ability to impact on the learning experience and achievement of the student through the use of evaluative data and tutor feedback. Students evaluate the RLOs very highly and particularly value the visual, interactive and student-centred aspects of their pedagogical design.  Evidence suggests that the RLOs have a positive influence not only on students’ perceptions of their knowledge-base and ability, but also on their level of attainment (1).  One advantage of the OER nature of the RLOs is the evidence that students return to these resources once they have completed their courses and returned to practice.  Also, they recommend them to others, increasing their impact beyond the classroom.

Keywords: Case studies Reusable Learning Objects Evaluation Reuse Embedding


1) Lymn J., Bath-Hextall, F. and Wharrad, H.J. (2008)  Pharmacology education for nurse prescribing students – a lesson in reusable learning objects.  BMC Nursing 7(1), 2.