The ‘Schools Guide‘ was the result of research by Professor Simon Dyson and colleagues, and assists teachers and policy makers in supporting children with sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia in schools. The guide is one of this projects most popular open educational resources (OER), and through Simon’s hard work has been translated into several Nigerian languages, with others planned.
This is a lovely video outlining the work, and the bundle of resources contains downloadable slides and documents to support further understanding of this area.
This resource is an in depth and pragmatic guide to search engine optimisation (SEO). These are behind-the-scenes online marketing techniques that ensure that a website ranks highly in Google for its chosen keywords. So – when someone searches for your site using Google, it comes near the top of the first page! SEO requires technical and analytical insight, and the use of social networking tools. The following report documents our approach to optimising the SCOOTER project website and the OERs on it based on our own experiences.
Of course commercially this would all be done on a grand scale using teams of outsourcers and our approach was more pragmatic to achieve something that could be achieved within 10 – 15 minutes per day.
Update in November 2017 – the web-searching algorithms have changed many times since this guide has been published. However many of the basic principles remain the same, and can be extended to optimising other searches for example on YouTube. Good luck! (Viv, Nov 2017).
There are many solutions for producing teaching resources and placing them on the internet. Here are a series of instructional videos produced by Julie Lowe a learning technologist (now at the University of Surrey) that take you through how to use some popular software for producing open educational resources. Here we look at screen capture / screen grab software, podcasting and how to add audio narrations to PowerPoint presentations.
Camtasia screen capture software allows you to display the contents of your PC screen and to record a narration. The end files produce really effective teaching resources very quickly. There are alternative free solutions available for example Jing and Screenr.
Podcasting involves releasing audio files in episodes or over time. There are many free software solutions for editing audio and online services to allow you to distribute your podcasts. This tutorial is a good step-through guide for academics and non-technical developers of open educational resources on how to podcast.
Articulate Presenter is software that works with Microsoft PowerPoint to allow you to record a narration over slides and publish them as a “swf” file with interactive video controls, thus forming a more complete usable learning resource.
You can simply record a narration in PowerPoint directly and publish it as a PPT file, but this won’t give the user any video controls to stop and start for example. Articulate can also just publish your work as an MP3 for use as a podcast. The downside is that the “swf” files are not viewable in the iPAD and other Apple Products.
These are a series of OERs on how to produce good quality learning resources for release as open content, and they include a flow diagram of everything that you need to consider from start to finish.
The flow diagram helps you consider copyright and technical aspects of working with new and existing content, and how to work with material that may belong to external parties and third parties.
The resources include a number of JISC forms that you will need to complete to gain copyright and recording permission and also very useful resource creation checklists from the RLO CETL (Nottingham, Cambridge and London Metropolitan University).
As part of the UK Jisc and HEA Open Education Programme there are many introductory and self-help resources available. Here are a couple we have produced for our staff and students at De Montfort University. These resources are licensed under Creative Commons BY SA – which means you can use / edit and do what you wish with the materials as long as you BY (fully acknowledge us on the resource) and SA (share alike by placing the materials you produce back on the internet).
In our Introduction to Open educational resources (OERs) we describe the emergence of open education in the 2000’s and this narrated presentation talks about some of the questions that individuals and institutions need to consider to not just use OER produced by other people but to release their own materials onto the web.
In our resource on Finding OERs we provide a guide to retrieving resources on the internet, and what to look for in terms of licensing, and also what other questions you must ask. Our OER Fact Sheet is useful to give to staff and individuals who are just starting to find out what OER are. It addresses the question: “What is an Open Educational Resource OER?” It talks what an OER is – from a photograph to the content of an entire university module.