Lessons learned on OTTER

Although I am now settled in my new role as Keeper of the Media Zoo, I started in Beyond Distance as a learning technologist on the OTTER project. And as my colleague Maddy pointed out recently, ‘Once an OTTER, always an OTTER!’

Gabi asked me whether there was anything I had learned as a member of OTTER. To be honest, it’s a more a question of where to start: working as part of a team, appreciating my colleagues’ abilities and experience, understanding the role of the project funders, and so.

But specifically regarding OERs and my job as a learning technologist, I think the biggest lessons I learned were right at the beginning when I gathered the first of our materials for transformation  into OERs.

Coming from an editing background, one thing that clearly stood out was that the material – regardless of the OER format ultimately selected for release – needed to be ‘polished’, i.e. proofread and if necessary edited. In fact, a continuous process of polishing by many eyes was factored into CORRE.

Another important part of this initial grab was ensuring all materials referred to were included in the handover from the provider, otherwise significant problems could arise further down the OER-transformation road when much work has already been carried out.

Both of these issues are now part of the first stage of CORRE (Content).

Simon Kear

Keeper of the Media Zoo

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