Last week, we from the OTTER team made a working visit to the BERLiN project in Nottingham. The purpose of our visit was to explore with the BERLiN team issues of common interest and concern around OERs.

We also wanted to use the opportunity to learn more about the U-Now, Xpert, and Xertes platforms and discuss our role in the forthcoming Open Learning conference being planned by the BERLiN team for November 2009. Another focus of our meeting was FAQs on OERs.

The meeting was very fruitful and we came away with a sense of reassurance about our individual projects. Whilst there were many similarities of approach we also found some differences.

Key issues OTTER BERLiN
Subject disciplines Nine subject disciplines across the University of Leicester Small representation of OERs from all 32 Schools of the University
Credit weighting Notional measurement of credit weighting Use of “module framework” to measure credits
Transformation of materials Use of the CORRE framework for gathering, enhancing and validating OERs An ongoing conversation approach between the academics and the BERLiN team.
Validation of OERs Internal validation of OERs with UoL partners, students followed by external validation with other educator and students outside of the university Validation of OER through an editorial board made up of a PVC, Director of teaching and learning, head of Elearning and other academics
Copyright Use of blanket CC license – Copy-distribute-share alike. Use of blanket CC license for U-Now OERs and variable licenses for materials on Xpert
Academic engagement Use of subject teams to sell and promote the OTTER project Use of academic to academic contact and email communication. Also the VC is doing a podcast to endorse the OER programme.
Reward and recognition Individual biographical information on all the OERs Individual biographical information and also promotion of the social responsibility angle of OERs
External links Links with SAIDE Partnership with OER Africa

We plan to make other working visits to other UK OER programmes in the next coming weeks. Stay tuned for more OER lessons learnt.

Samuel Nikoi

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