Behind the scenes with openlearn
9 May 2007
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Open educational resources are defined as technology-enabled educational resources that are openly available for consultation, use and adaptation by users for non-commercial purposes (UNESCO, 2002).
Openlearn is one of the largest such initiatives and is committed to the provision of open educational resources for all. It is being developed by The Open University and is primarily sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
It provides users with higher educational materials drawn from the Open University courses. Presently it includes over 2 500 hours worth of study materials and access to social learning tools such as discussion forums, video conferencing, chat and knowledge mapping software.
In this presentation we introduce openlearn and outline some of the main research issues surrounding such a large initiative. We have identified key areas for research including design and implementation, the experience of users, opportunities for collaborative research projects and sustainability. We outline these issues and discuss some of our current research activities.
The presentation is approx. 30 minutes long, followed by an open discussion.
Andreia Inamorato dos Santos is a Research Fellow in the openlearn team based at the Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University. Her current research includes the field of cross-cultural issues and sustainability in open educational resource provision. She also does research into online teaching and learning, drawing on Discourse Analysis as a theoretical framework. Previously, Andreia worked as a lecturer of English literature at universities in São Paulo, Brazil; and did research in the field of applied linguistics.
Steve Godwin is currently a Research Fellow on the openlearn project and is based at the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University. He has been researching interactive education and eLearning since the year 2000. Previous projects have included ‘Interactive Education: teaching and learning in the information age’ based at the University of Bristol and ‘The Impact of Interaction and Integration in Computer Mediated Higher Education’ based at The Open University. Previous to this Steve spent several years as a lecturer in FE and HE in Birmingham. Other research interests include Mathematics Education.
Dr Patrick McAndrew is the Research Director for openlearn. He has a Mathematics degree from Oxford University and a PhD in Computer Science, from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He joined the Open University in 1999 to research and teach approaches to web-based teaching and learning.
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