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Reflexive task 2: Phil

Page history last edited by Anna Gruszczynska 9 years, 2 months ago

Task part 1: Your commentary

Finally, once you have familiarised yourself with the resources provided in this task, please post a short reflexive piece on this wiki page (using the comments feature) addressing the following questions:

  • Look over the comments from the pre-meeting task: has your understanding of OERs changed, and if yes, how? Has your understanding of the concept of “openness” changed?


My understanding of OERs has certainly changed from the pre-meeting task as at that point I believed they were reasonably formal in nature and I was unaware of the range of resources that were available. I previously believed they were mainly lecture notes, seminar work and assessment exercises and did not realise how diverse and creative they could be. I was also unaware of the depth of some of the resources and did not know that complete books and full modules could be so accessible.


I found the amount of OERs and some of the language surrounding them to be initially overwhelming but things like the Glossary and the explanation of the differences in the types of available OER licences helped overcome this concern. My awareness of concepts such as ‘attribution’, ‘share alike’ and ‘derivatives’ enabled me to see how the system can work. I can also appreciate how the creator, if desired, can retain ownership of the produced resource and the time spent familiarising myself with the licences feels beneficial. This awareness has allowed me to understand the potential extent of the remixing and repurposing that happens to OERs. The updates that have been made to these resources suggest this process occurs and it would be interesting to see any feedback and amendments from such an exchange.


The frequent use of video, audio, images and games in addition to textual resources has also been a surprise. This has influenced my understanding of openness as I now appreciate its application to teaching methods as well as content. The powerful label ‘edupunk’ illustrates the extent of this openness as OERs can address established educational barriers and put the student at the centre of their learning experience. The students’ promotion to creators of educational resources potentially creates a level of engagement that cannot be reached via their traditional role as resource-recipient.


My understanding of openness has also changed in the sense that I did not realise the importance they gave to public involvement in their use. I was unaware of the extent of the concept of ‘Teaching in Public’ and its promotion of teaching as a public good. I have followed this principle before and believe that the localization of these OERs will assist the development of this approach. It surely is important to increase awareness of the benefits of higher education at anytime, but its relevancy must be increased when the system is under such intense political and financial pressures.  

In summary I now see OERs as representing a vast amount of accessible resources that can be used without any copyright concerns from both lecturers and students. In addition to increasing opportunities, their openness for being remixed and localized creates a potentially dynamic process to the development of knowledge. 


Task part 2: Your commentary

Again, please post a short reflexive piece on this wiki page (using the comments feature) addressing the following questions:

  • how ‘easy’ was it to find materials?
  • was browsing or searching more effective?
  • would it matter to you were the materials came from (the originator)?
  • would you trust (and then re-use) some items over others?
  • can you come to any general conclusions about the quality of the material you have discovered?
  • would it be more effective to be able to search or browse according to:
    • file types (video / document / audio / pdf etc)
    • granularity (single item / multiple item / module / RLO etc)

 If you were hypothetically (or in practice) at the point of re-designing a module or refreshing some of the content, would JORUM be a useful resource or would you look elsewhere?


My organisation was not registered for Jorum UK and therefore I had to wait a couple of days before I could search there. The registration seemed a straight forward process as it was promptly arranged.I used the jorum website first and found that both Jorum Open and Jorum UK had many potentially suitable resources. I found the latter slightly easier to find my way around initially although at this point I was generally searching rather than following a consistent approach. My eagerness in trying to find as many resources as possible both for myself and for the programme I manage meant that I wasted time searching for things that I had previously found on either Jorum Open or Jorum UK. However, the simple recording of the resources’ persistent links (and the equivalents on the other sites) solved that unnecessary problem.


For the other repositories on the Phase 2 wiki, I decided to search for the same three terms in order to appreciate some of the differences between them. I therefore searched for ‘criminal justice’, ‘victimology’ and ‘restorative justice’; and the searches produced various degrees of success:


Jorum (both)

CJ = 22 hits; V = 0; RJ = 21.


CJ = 404; V = 4; RJ = 1.

Whilst the number of resources was high for criminal justice, I need to spend more time reading them to develop a considered awareness. The efficiency of using Merlot as a search engine could be questioned by some as two of the CJ resources (protecting crime scenes) could be found immediately via google - as following a search there for ‘protecting the crime scene’ these 2 resources were google’s 2nd and 5th hits.


OER Recommender 

CJ = 216; V and RJ = 0


Open CourseWare finder 

CJ = the resources were identical to those provided by OER Recommender and browsing via the tag clouds was the only way I could find resources as the search engine did not seem to work. Therefore I could not search for victimology or restorative justice.



I tried all three terms but found nothing and the search engine did not seem to work on here either.


Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange (GLOBE) alliance

CJ = 21 hits in ARIADNE, edna Online, LORNET, MERLOT, NIME

V = 1

RJ = 2


OER Commons

CJ = 54

V = 0

RJ = 1

In finding all these resources I tried both searching and browsing and whilst the former was quicker, the browsing on Jorum was useful as I got to appreciate its range of available resources. The tag clouds on Open CourseWare finder were helpful for finding things there.

It could matter where the materials came from because some of the resources (e.g. Jorum) did not always make it clear whether they were created for HE or FE students. I do not see this as a major concern but I could understand how it might affect perceptions. I was though concerned that some resources revolved around links to web sites, i.e. government ones, that I frequently have to try to persuade students to see beyond. Therefore, I would be cautious about freely advocating students to use some of these repositories for general searching purposes without caveats from myself. The American dominance of some of these sites would also require an additional level of caution.  I would be happy to use the independent resources although the creators of some and their date of creation are not always clear on some and this could be a concern.  I would trust and reuse the sources I discovered from different HE providers although the unclear licence status of some resources would influence my confidence in knowing what would be appropriate to use/reuse. I am also uncertain about what communication, if any, should then take place with the creator or repository.


I have discovered many resources that would be useful for my role both as a lecturer and as a programme leader. The potential relevancy for my own teaching or potentially for a module on ‘my’ programme was the focus of my inquiries. The width in the term ‘criminal justice’ provided some extremely interesting results although this was not the case with the more specific quests of ‘victimology’ and ‘restorative justice’. Some of the material appeared to be good quality and I felt it was good enough to use straight away and I am currently conducting formative exercises with the students and acquiring their views to test their level of effectiveness.


The array of methods the resources used for conveying information has been an informative experience and has made me contemplate a range of possibilities for future approaches.  I am not concerned about the file types although granularity is influential as this context enabled faster judgements on how these OERs could fit in with my different curricula. I am currently involved in validating a new programme and fully intend to use Jorum now I have some awareness as to its potential.






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