Types of OER?

What type of teaching resources are we going to produce?

SCOOTER will release onto the website a significant volume of teaching resources in the form of open educational resources (OERs) to meet the needs of the science and healthcare communities, as illustrated in Figure 1.

SCOOTER Teaching Resources

These teaching resources might be in the form of learning objects – that is a bite-sized chunk of learning material that might include an animation with voice over to explain a scientific concept. There might be a short quiz to test the user’s understanding. OER will also include video, photographs and drawings, not just of benefit to education but research and more specialist requirements of the healthcare professions.

Sickle Cell and Thalassemia are a fascinating medical area and will serve as focus from which to release materials mainly in biomedical science and health, and also reaching arts, humanities, law and technology.

Who is producing these resources?

Much of this material already exists with academic staff in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at De Montfort University. Staff in other Faculties including Business and Law, Art and Design and Humanities are also contributing material relevant from their area. In the Faculty of Technology we have a final year “Gaming Technology” project student developing a diagnostic game on anaemia. Students also from Art and Design are producing paintings of the human body in relation to the subject, helping us see science through the eyes of an artist.

Discussions are underway with commercial organisations such as 3M and Novartis who have expressed an interest in contributing resources. The UK Sickle Cell Society have kindly offered us the opportunity to search their archives for suitable material. The NHS Screening Service have offered resources. Two Midlands Hospitals – Birmingham and Leicester Royal Infirmary have offered laboratory data, histological images and even a book chapter.

Why do we need these resources?

The Government is keen to support STEM subject education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and the SCOOTER resources will provide high quality educational materials to support universities in achieving this goal. In addition, the Government also is keen to promote genetics education within the healthcare sector – to “incorporate genetics education into professional education at all levels” (1) , so, SCOOTER will involve relevant healthcare sector stakeholders and use specialist staff contributors including genetics, midwifery and nursing.

The final need that SCOOTER addresses is the requirement for more educational materials in the social aspects of healthcare in response to the changing global scene(2). SCOOTER will meet these needs and release OERs on social aspects of health. SCOOTER will link arts to sciences as a means of reaching new audiences, an approach used by the Wellcome Trust. SCOOTER also bridges technology and law, providing even wider potential interest.

Join the SCOOTER community!

Please subscribe to our Forum and follow us through Twitter and Facebook. We are looking to build a community of users, not just resource contributors but people who wish to use the resources, and those of you perhaps interested in more formally evaluating and reviewing them.

References

  • Department of Health 2008. “Our Inheritance, Our Future”.
  • World Health Organisation 2006. Sickle Cell Report.

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