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Exploring best practice in the collaborative use of OER rich media resources in art & design practice based-learning & teaching

My role as ‘Arts Learning and Teaching Online’ (ALTO) college coordinator at the University of the Arts London provides a rare opportunity to observe and contrast how OER learning content is created, used, shared and re-purposed by staff and students within specific courses across the university and with our OER partner HEIs Bath, Falmouth and Brighton.

As ALTO college coordinator I will contribute to the successful completion of the ALTO Project, ending October 2011. The core of the project is concerned with the creation and sharing of Open Education Resources (OERs). The fundamental challenge of the ALTO project is to facilitate ‘institutional change’.

The topic or area to be investigated: Designing OER practice
The University of the Arts London is predominately a making university, the nature of practiced based course particularly in the Fine Arts are seen as ‘troublesome’ in terms capturing knowledge and OER learning design. The many positive ‘community’ and ‘independent’ learning and teaching study benefits identified from using OERs are currently being practiced on site in our studios throughout the university. Students are encouraged to be self directed, reflective and critical in their ‘practice’. Very few arts courses at UAL provide project briefs, most learning and teaching takes place in peer/tutor led small group collaborative discussions or one-to-one in an ‘open’ studio environment.

The arts have a strong tradition of creating new meanings through the appropriation and reworking of existing content, ideas, materials and processes, I would like to explore how this tradition can support and encourage the development and reuse of OER rich media content.

My central question would be:
How do we address ‘troublesome knowledge’ and ‘threshold concepts’ to better externalise practice? I would investigate and evaluate the most effective and efficient ways of utilising OER in arts HEIs by identifying best processes and practices individually and collaboratively for creating learning resources/objects to support the learning design process in support of greater flexible and blended learning opportunities for future students in order to extend the range of study modes and options at the UAL and beyond.

Evidence I seek to gather and how I might analyse that evidence

• Investigate and evaluate best practice in sourcing, reworking and redistributing rich media OER content that effectively supports the learning design process.
• Observe and contrast current practice in the OER community
• Examine the effective use of source files and edit notes in relation to producing better ‘editable’ learning resources/objects.
• Investigate better methods of linking recourses with learning design by improving and exploring resource derivative information and perspectives
• Examine effectiveness of inter-college collaborations
• Examine effectiveness of collaborations with OER partner HEIs Bath, Falmouth and Brighton.
• The benefits of OER peer reviews
• How can the student voice influence the use of online resources?
• Develop an ArtsOER ‘Remix and Redistribute’ community of practice through meetings, blogs and online communication. How would a discipline-based, cross-university online community of practice help overcome perceived UAL threshold concepts or staff reluctance to create and share teaching resources in an OER environment?

Benefits are:
The ALTO project has concluded that there are many strong benefits for involvement with OER and its associated communities, because:
• Support greater flexible and blended learning opportunities for future students in order to extend the range of study modes and options at the UAL and beyond.
• It is an effective institutional and professional development tool in the context of externalizing practice, pedagogic conceptions and strategies in order to support reflection and development.
• It provides a foundation to introduce and extend collaborative learning design skills amongst staff to support greater flexible and blended learning opportunities in order to extend the range of study modes and options
• It brings external business and collaboration opportunities

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This Work, Exploring best practice in the collaborative use of OER rich media resources in art & design practice based-learning & teaching, by cfollows is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.