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Jorum and Open Educational Resources (OER) - why share?. Nicola Siminson, Jorum Community Enhancement Officer, Session overview: introduction to Jorum; Jorum, OER (Open Educational Resources) – and the UKOER Programme;

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jorum and open educational resources oer why share

Jorum and Open Educational Resources (OER) - why share?

Nicola Siminson,

Jorum Community Enhancement Officer,

Session overview:
  • introduction to Jorum;
  • Jorum, OER (Open Educational Resources) – and the UKOER Programme;
  • Why share learning and teaching resources openly?
  • the Jorum Learning and Teaching competition;
  • current developments and future plans.

What is Jorum?
  • a FREE online service providing access to learning and teaching resources, contributed by staff in UK Universities and Colleges;
  • these resources can be shared, reused and repurposed;
  • Jorum is a JISC-funded service, jointly run between the EDINA and Mimas national data centres, based at the Universities of Edinburgh and Manchester.

Jorum is…
  • a place to find learning and teaching materials,
    • both in Jorum and elsewhere;
  • a place to share learning and teaching materials;
  • a place to discuss views and exchange tools,
    • via the Jorum Community Bay.

Jorum is working with others:
  • the Academy – and the Subject Centres;
  • Communities of Practice (CoPs);
  • National Digital Learning Repository (NDLR, Ireland);
  • and other JISC services and projects.

Listing of UKOER projects in the Subject strand

(available at:


The Adur Carers Project, Open University.

  • Collaborative writing: web2practice, JISC Netskills.
  • Reading Skills Tutorial - Julia Braham and Marion Bowman.
  • Making group-work work - Peter Hartley, LearnHigher.
  • Incorporating an understanding of poverty into assessments of children and their families - Colin Paton, SCIE.
  • Virtual Pain Manager - Barry Richards.

What sort of resources can I find in Jorum?
  • resources across all subject areas;
  • single files (documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, video, audio, animations,…);
  • content packages / learning objects;
  • virtual objects / web links to resources stored elsewhere;
  • resources created as part of nationally funded projects, such as the UKOER Programme.
  • Further information is available in the Jorum Collection Development Policy:


“Jorum stands as a national statement of the importance of creating interoperable, sustainable materials, supporting individuals, teaching teams, collaborative groups and communities in the development and sharing of resources. At the time of development Jorum was cutting edge in understanding the ways to and implications of sharing.”

Transformation through technology: Illustrating JISC's impact across two decades (JISC 2010)

The JorumUK collection:
  • the collection for sharing within UK FE and HE:
    • houses all resources deposited in Jorum prior to 2010;
    • shared through an institutional licence;
    • contains 2370 learning and teaching resources.
  • later in 2010: additional new JorumEducationUK licence to be introduced:
    • will enable sharing across UK FE and HE without the need for an institutional subscription.

The JorumOpen collection:
  • contains OERs (Open Educational Resources):
    • learning and teaching resources whose creators or owners have made them available for sharing under Creative Commons (CC) licences;
    • contains 5076 learning and teaching resources to date!
  • exposed to search engines (e.g. Google);
  • plenty of guides, support materials and vidcasts available on the Jorum website.

How do I choose?

To access the Jorum Deposit Chooser, click the Deposit button on any page of the Jorum


HEFCE / Academy / JISC Open Educational Resources Programme:

JorumOpen contains and points to all project outputs from the UKOER Programme;

all resources deposited in JorumOpen tagged as #UKOER;

Jorum is supporting projects in the next round of funding.

Some reasons to share:
  • policy:
    • “HEFCE has announced an initial £5.7 million of funding for pilot projects that will open up existing high-quality education resources from higher education institutions to the world.”HEFCE website, 14 October 2008.
  • pragmatism;
  • to save time - ?
    • “It’s becoming to me as [if] you are almost a negligent academic if you don’t go out and look for the OERs before you start developing things.” Terry Anderson, Professor & Canada Research Chair in Distance Education, Athabasca University (ALT-C 2009).


“Jorum can save us time. Using materials from Jorum means that we do not have to start from scratch and create resources ourselves. There is a wide variety of content so you never know what you might find.”

Carolyn Groom, Learning Digital Services Librarian, Carnegie College.


"It takes time and money to produce the resources - it would be a shame not to share them more widely."

Colin Paton, Senior E-learning Project Manager (SCIE)."People go to Jorum to look for good quality resources."

Carol Elston, e-Learning Adviser (LearnHigher).

Podcasts recorded at ALT-C 2009,featuring the winners of the Jorum Learning and teaching Competition. All Jorum podcasts can be found on the Jorum Community Bay.

Some more drivers and benefits to sharing

“Access to publicly funded resources”

“Esteem amongst colleagues”

“Access engaging and attractive resources”

“Save time and money”

“Access to high-quality resources”

“Engage with the subject community”

  • “Get comments and suggestions and improve my resources”
  • “Share good practice”
  • “Introduce some variety / get ideas”
  • “Free up time to focus on pedagogy rather than content creation”

How willing is the community to share openly?

Deposits made into JorumUK and JorumOpen.

The Jorum website:
    • read more about the JorumOpen and JorumUK collections:
  • Jorum Community Bay:

The Jorum Learning and Teaching Competition:
  • in conjunction with ALT-C 2010 conference:
    • three cash prizes (£300, £200 and £100);
    • three commended awards (£20 Amazon voucher);
    • kindly sponsored by Intrallect Ltd.
  • aims to highlight the work of those who dedicate their time and effort to creating and sharing resources.

The Jorum Learning and Teaching Competition:
  • resources to be deposited into JorumOpen (and tagged Jorumcomp10);
  • closing date: Friday 25th June 2010.
  • further information:
  • have a look at last year’s winners:

Current developments and future plans:
  • a new visual identity for Jorum;
  • a new licence – JorumEducationUK:
    • available within JorumUK, to enable sharing across UK Further and Higher Education Institutions without an institutional subscription.
  • a unified search:
    • enabling users to search across all resources held within both JorumOpen and JorumUK collections, providing one simple search functionality.

In conclusion:
  • OER are becoming both more prevalent - and more necessary;
  • Jorum can support and add value to open sharing:
    • by enabling material to be shared, discovered and downloaded openly under Creative Commons licensing;
    • by providing a trusted source of online learning and teaching resources;
    • by increasing the visibility of these resources.
  • “communities form around great content” - ?
    • Powazek, 2002.

Any questions?

Need support?
  • Contact the Jorum Support team on or call 0131 650 3032.
  • Jorum website – “Support” tab:
    • FAQs; JorumOpen and JorumUK guides.
  • Jorum Update list:
  • Jorum Community Bay includes the JorumOpen vidcasts:
    • available at:

  • Anderson, T. (2009) ALT-C 2009 Keynote speech. Speech presented at the 2009 conference of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), Manchester.
  • HEFCE (2008) Opening up resources for learning. Available at: 28 May 2010).
  • JISC (2010) Transformation through technology: Illustrating JISC's impact across two decades. [Online]. Available at: 28 May 2010).
  • Powazek, D. M. (2002) Design for community: the art of connecting real people in virtual places. Indianapolis: New Riders.

Useful links:
  • Jorum:
    • Jorum Learning and Teaching Competition:
    • JorumOpen vidcasts:
    • Jorum Community Bay:
  • EDINA:
  • Mimas:
  • Creative Commons:
  • JISC:
  • UKOER Programme:
  • NDLR: