OER1064d Short Paper (Part of Symposium OER1064)

Pedagogical characteristics of open educational resources

Richard J Windle, University of Nottingham
Heather Wharrad, University of Nottingham
Dawn Leeder, University of Cambridge
Patricia Bluteau, Coventry University
Elinor Clarke, Coventry University
Francis Gordon, Sheffield Hallam University

Conference Theme:  Open Educational Content 

Abstract: The rapid increase in Open Educational Resources (OER) in health science education has led to the availability of a diverse range of materials.  Despite metadata standards, there is still little way for tutors to assess and select materials against the attributes that are meaningful for them, such as their pedagogical characteristics or their interprofessional potential.  This led us to develop a tool known as the learning object attribute metric (LOAM) to address this need.  The tool, developed as part of the JISC Design for Learning programme, builds on IMS Learning Design (1) and also Patterns Language, that seeks to discover patterns within multiple solutions to a given problem (2).
The tool is web-based and adaptable.  It allows tutors to select from a range of validated attributes or to contribute new attributes for peer validation, thus adding to the pool of quality assured material.  Each attribute has an associated Likert scale for measurement.  After selection of attributes a bespoke tool that meets the tutor’s requirement is created, allowing analysis of their selected e-learning resources and identification of those that best meet the needs of their learners.  Analysis can be carried out on-line and the results are represented graphically so that a visual “footprint” of the learning resources’ characteristics can be seen.
The first set containing 12 attributes was designed to evaluate the reuse potential such resources. This includes attributes such as the degree of contextualisation and focus of the learning goal.  A second set of 6 characteristics has been developed to assess the suitability of resources for interprofessional teaching and learning.  This includes attributes such as authenticity and person-centeredness.
The tool can be used in a number of ways including; selection of materials for course-inclusion, review of materials during development, or to research how particular attributes affect the use and effectiveness of given learning resources.    
Our initial results confirm the degree of variability in the pedagogical attributes of collections of learning objects used in health professional education, show that the tool is able to discriminate between these and identify the relationships between them. 

Keywords: Pedagogy, IMS learning design, Reusable Learning Objects, Evaluation, Interprofessional learning, Reuse


1) IMS Global Learning Consortium. (2003), IMS Learning Design information model version 1.0 final specification.[on-line],  Available at  http://www.imsglobal.org/learningdesign/1dv1p0/imsld_infov1p0.html (accessed 3.11.09)

2)  Alexander, C. (1977).  A pattern language: towns, buildings, construction. New York: Oxford University Press.

3) The LOAM tool.  Available at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/nmp/sonet/projects/loam/ (accessed 3.11.09)