Recently I had the opportunity to spend a day with our TIGER (see note below for a description) project partners at the University of Northampton. I took part in their course development event.
Our Northampton Tigers are currently developing teaching and learning resources that can be released as OERs (Open Educational Resources) for the benefit of the wider academic and practitioner community. The subject area covered within the TIGER project is Interprofessional Education (IPE) – a Higher Education level programme of studies undertaken by professionals that you and I meet when we are in need of health and other forms of care (nurses, care professionals, paramedics – just to name a few). The focus of Interprofessional Education is for these different professionals to learn about each other’s roles and develop efective collaborative practices.
I observed many interesting aspects of course development that were unique to developing OERs and especially for OERs for Interprofessional Studies.
An obvious, but often under-rated point that needs due attention is that developing OERs is a much more complex and sophisticated process than that used in developing course material for distance and e-learning. This is especially the case, as Northampton Tigers showed me, in a subject area such as IPE where the course development team includes both interprofessional academics from universities and practicing professionals from hospitals and other communities gathering together to develop a set of teaching resources that are relevant for both national and international academic and practitioner communities. Copyright issues and ethical considerations of using images and other media are just two of the many aspects to consider in OER development.
As we are involved in the TIGER project in the next coming months, we will be able to report on the actual processes involved in developing OERs from scratch and from existing traditional e-learning courses. So, watch this space!
Meanwhile you can visit the project website at http://www.northampton.ac.uk/tiger to learn more about it….
Note: TIGER (Transforming Interprofessional Groups through Educational Resources) is an Open Educational Research project funded by the UK Joint Information Systems Committee and led by the University of Northapmton in partnership with De Montfort and Leicester Universities.
2 Feb 2011