I interviewed Jacqui Williams this week. Jacqui is one of the Academic Leads on the TIGER project based at De Montfort University (DMU). Jacqui is currently converting some IPE materials into OERs. She reflected on the key issues that she had encountered in the process of turning materials into OERs. These are summarized into a couple of points below:
- Quality of materials is potentially being improved: Some of the issues within the existing materials, such as poor referencing, old referencing, using images that are not copyright cleared, are now being addressed in the process of transformation into OERs.
- Quality assurance with the existing materials: The old or existing materials have been evaluated and used in practice, so there is clear evidence of the quality of these materials in a face-to-face situation. As long as we can demonstrate the quality of the OER process, there is no reason why these materials as OERs won’t work successfully in a different context.
- Quality assurance with the new materials: There are several mechanisms which we could use to appraise the quality of the new materials: We have a model that we used for turning existing materials into OERs, which we could use for the new materials; there are some tools that we can use to get those materials appraised, using clear guidelines; there is also a DMU internal quality assurance process that we could apply
- Quality assurance with the repurposed materials: For anything being repurposed and put back into the repository, who’s going to look at the quality of what’s coming back into the Repository? Because those OERs in the Repository are not static. Some of the OERs could be going out and coming back in, and who’s assessing the quality of them?
Developing a facilitator guide:
- What’s in the facilitator guide: With face-to-face facilitators, the guide and instructions are almost like implicit knowledge. Within the e-learning OERs, we need to articulate that within a document. The guidance has to be more seamless as people go through from different packages of learning. There needs to be a clear statement or passage about how this material could be used. Within that facilitator’s guide, we give information about how it’s being used and how it could be used. We need to be absolutely transparent in terms of what the aims of the OER, what the outcome would be, what’s the purpose of this, who’s your target audience, how we would set up the learning activities.
- Evaluation of the facilitator’s guide: We need critical readers to tell us whether this guidance makes sense.
Working with third party:
Chasing up materials from the third party has been an issue that has been potentially underestimated. That actually takes quite a lot of time to go back to the original person, raise the query, expect them to go off and do the work, and if they don’t come back to you at the time, you have to go back to them again. For me, it’s about finding a way to work in partnership with them. It’s about supporting them to be part of this, and taking a fairly softly approach. They also need an explanation of what OER is or what the Repository is, so there is a lot of background work trying to bring these people forward.
Benefits to stakeholders:
- Benefits to IPE communities: It’s more about what other people gained rather than what we gain. For me, the driving force is to make sure that people have these tools to drive the Interprofessional agenda in places where it’s been difficult to date. It’s more about what other people might gain from this. People have no funding to develop the materials. People may not be in the right place to do this or have the expertise or knowledge. Their IPE might not be part of the curriculum elsewhere. So it’s about how other people have the access to these materials and how they take that agenda forward in their own country.
- Benefits to current students: The quality of the materials is being improved.
Ming Nie 10 March 2011