Engaging Quality Assurance: OERS and Teaching Quality TitaBeaven and Anna Comas-Quinn, The Open University Open Educational Resources in Languages HEA/University of Central Lancashire 1 June 2012
Outline • A brief introduction to LORO and the OU context • Why do our teachers use LORO? • Aspects of quality: qualitative feedback from a scholarship project • Quality? Two examples of OER from LORO
Languages at The Open University English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Welsh & Chinese (beginners to advanced) to 7000+ language students Blended approach: independent study using mixed media and support inc. face-to-face, synchronous and asynchronous online teaching Course materials produced centrally, teaching support provided locally Course developers and course directors: 50+ academics plus support staff Teaching staff: 320+ part-time teachers
What was the problem? • Storing and managing resources for teaching (servers, the VLE…) • Finding out what others are doing • Avoid reinventing the wheel…(30-40 teachers might be delivering the same course in parallel) • Sharing resources produced by all colleagues
Languages Open Resources Onlinehttp://loro.open.ac.uk LORO is about: ...making all teaching materials for all levels and languages available to all users, …making OU tutorial materials available to the wider languages community, …allowing users to share their own materials with the whole languages community, …starting a change in the way we work (OER, access, transparency, quality).
Quantitative data 1.5 million page views to date 20,000 downloads in the last 6 months over 1100 registered users over 2500 resources 900+ visitors a month from around the world (data from LORO inbuilt stats and Google analytics)
Teachers are using LORO… • To find resources for their teaching “I often also check what other teachers have done to teach the same topic or a similar structure” • To find inspiration and ideas “even if I don’t find anything I can use, it starts the ideas flowing in my head” • To standardise their practice and ensure comparability of the student experience “to make sure the contents covered in my own tutorial are similar to those used by the rest of the course team and tutors”
Benefits of using LORO • Increased confidence in one’s own practice “Seeing other work enables you to judge your own, and reassures you that you are doing the right thing” • Freedom to develop other aspects of one’s teaching practice “It gives us time and space to create some individual styles” “I can concentrate on how I will teach culture or how to teach through the asynchronous forum”
Benefits of using LORO • Value of feedback on one’s work “gives me an opportunity to gain useful feedback on the work I do” • … but there are constraints “peer comment should be extended, but the restraints of all our workloads make this a problem” • Increase quality of teaching materials “sharing the resources I have created with colleagues stimulates me to write very good materials, test them and improve them so that they can be used by someone else.LORO really pushes me to produce better materials”
From OER to OEP Make openness and OER part of other activities DoL Training workspace Performing Languageswww.performinglanguages.eu Collaborative Writing and Peer Review
Collaborative Writing and Peer Review Project • Give and receive feedback • Introduction to peer review • Generate ideas • Keep up to date with technology (e.g. Jing) • Maximise use of existing resources • Create and share resources adapted from a slide by Caroline Rowan-Olive
Working across languages – adapting resources from different languages slide by Caroline Rowan-Olive
Chris’sReusableCard Game By: Perpetualplumhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/perpetualplum/3729882822/ By Chad Davis http://www.flickr.com/photos/chadwho1ders/2420388824/ By Bludgeoner86 http://www.flickr.com/photos/bludgeoner86/262557229/ By Renata Alves dos Anjos http://www.flickr.com/photos/reanjos/3048554599/ MEET ORIOLE 24. REPURPOSEABLE 27. APPEARANCE 11. CONVENIENCE Phase 1 will explore reuse of resources via survey and a retreat. Chris Pegler: National Teaching Fellowship Repurposing a resource can just be about making the resource look how you want it to look. Is this facility important to you? Presentation can be part of the appeal. The resource looks better than ones we made. Overall, how important is appearance? Access to resources online is now so convenient it can replace using your own HEI’s resources. Is there a downside? Community Purpose Purpose Purpose Chris Pegler Concerns Practice Concerns Concerns Research Quality Quality Quality Sharing Technology Technology Technology Resources Resources Using Resources
I do a lot of searches for materials online, and if I see the name of a well-known university, I’m immediately interested. • It is important in terms of the level of trust a brand can bring • You need to know where it comes from, you need to know if it’s a source you can trust. • The brand can tell me something at the beginning, but then you need to try it yourself. • Sometimes I come across activities that look very promising, but then when you try them they are disappointing.
The style and tone has to fit your way of teaching. • You adapt the resources, and then students don’t even know where they came from. • You adapt them, but if you keep to your beliefs about how people learn, it shouldn’t confuse your students.
I think appearance is particularly important for language learning. A good resource, well designed, or particularly intriguing can stimulate students. It’s fun and effective… • Appearance is not just the looks, it’s also how clear the staging is, how well organised it is… • I always like to see the way that people present their materials, I learn a lot from that, because I usually go for the content and I don’t always present them in the best possible way…
It’s more important than brand… having resources from your community saves you time [arranged/graded according to courses/levels, etc] • It’s good to look at what we do in our community, but if we just look there, we are missing stuff.
Quality assurance means so many things… If you define quality as fitness for purpose, it is quality if it satisfies my students’ needs and my needs.
There’s an issue about persistence that’s about going out of date. What happens to “old” resources? Do they just sit there, or does someone take them down?
Ratings is how I choose where I go on holiday, so why not use it to choose a certain resource? • I don’t think we should use ratings. I think we are doing academic work; we shouldn’t treat it like a youtube clip. • It could be a good starting point when you are looking for something • It’s too personal, too subjective • Ratings can put people off uploading materials
Some aspects of quality relate to “legality, accessibility, technical interoperability, repurposability, metadata/discoverability, and accompanying information (including pedagogical)”, whilst others can be best explored through peer review and feedback. The conclusion of the evaluation, however, is that OER projects seem to trigger considerable reflection on the part of users, and that enhances educational quality. JISC OER synthesis and evaluation project (https://oersynth.pbworks.com)
Tita Beaven email@example.com Anna Comas-Quinn A.Comas-Quinn@open.ac.uk