Posts Tagged ‘JorumOpen’

Links or files: further

13 August 2009

Nick at Unicycle raises an interesting point about whether to upload to JorumOpen only links if the resources already exist online.

I remember this was also raised at the startup meeting in June.

Here at OTTER we’re going to upload both links and resources. One of our OER partners  at Leicester is the Virtual Genetics Education Centre in the Department of Genetics. VGEC already have a superb collection of OERs hosted by themselves.

OTTER will be taking a selection of these OERs and running them through Sahm’s workflow process. Some of them will change as a result. For example, OTTER will make some of the VGEC videos available as downloadable mp4 chunks to be viewed on an iPod/iPhone.   

As an example, watch the video on Using a micropipette. Being able to refer to this video, or parts of it, on a handheld device in the lab would seem to make it a very useful resource.

So we intend to upload both the VGEC link to the full video plus the various files we produce (which will also include the full video). Visitors to JorumOpen can decide which resource best fits their needs. (Of course, we’ll also replicate this on our Plone site.)

VGEC, who are already producing some excellent OERs, came on board for a number of reasons. However, two important ones were accessing JorumOpen and having other pairs of eyes run over the existing material.

It’s considerably more work to upload files as well as links, but the benefits to the user are considerable, especially in terms of untethering and re-purposing. 

It may not always be feasible and worthwhile for all OERs (i.e. a link may be the best option), but setting out with the idea of  providing both the files and the link  to JorumOpen seems the best starting point, and our experience thus far is bearing this out.

I’d be interested to hear what others think.


Learning Technologist


JISC’s OER start-up meeting

16 June 2009

Both Gabi and I found the JISC Open Educational Resources Programme start-up meeting last Tuesday to be very useful.

It was great to meet both our JISC colleagues and representatives from the other OER projects. The JISC presentations were instructive and well coordinated, and all the speakers were happy to answer queries from the floor. (For links to descriptions of the sessions, see the oerstartup cloud in the Open University’s cloudworks site.)

As OTTER‘s learning technologist, I was particularly pleased to see Nicola’s faultless demonstration of the new OER Deposit Tool. I hope to add our first completed OERs very shortly, but in the meantime I’ve been familiarising myself with the tool’s 4-stage interface and uploading a few test files. Its simplicity wasn’t quite what I had been expecting, so it has been a very nice surprise.

We also found very useful the institutional strand session in the afternoon hosted by Heather. I had no idea that so many of our partner HEIs had existing OER experience. It’s a shame that we didn’t have enough time to chat to each other after the seven introductions. Fortunately, though, Nottingham’s BERLiN project is only a few miles up the M1. I think there is much OTTER could learn from Andy and the others on U-Now.

I’m in the process of setting up my JISC OER aggregator, on which I will include all project RSS blog feeds and websites. I also look forward to chatting with my OER colleagues on Jorum Community.

So thanks to Heather, David and everyone else at JISC for a successful start-up meeting.

Simon Kear