I interviewed Liz Anderson two weeks ago. Liz is one of the Academic Leads at Leicester on the TIGER project. Liz is currently converting some materials in Strand One and Three into OERs. She reflected on the problems and challenges that she had experienced in the process of turning materials into OERs. These are summarized into a couple of points below:
Developing guidance for facilitators: Developing materials for IPE is different from developing materials for other subjects (i.e. History and Psychology), where there is very clear content and the lecturer is giving the materials in didactic lectures and seminars. IPE doesn’t work like that. It expects that the students come to the face-to-face events, having had didactic lectures that made them doctors and social workers. They come with their core specific profession that they’ve learned from the traditional way. We put them together to unpack the issue of working with one and another, and how they are going to do that in practice. This is incredibly complex in a classroom situation. It’s challenging to do it in a classroom and in a practical situation. It’s even more challenging when we put the materials as OERs in a repository where people could open them on their computer with no one around to help them interpret what we do with the OERs. Therefore, developing guidance for facilitators is a crucial pedagogical step. The guidance will help people unpack these OERs in a meaningful way. For example, on the front page of the repository, we can give some generic principles about how we teach these materials. Within each OER, we can give people a step-by-step guidance to tell them this is what we would do here and why we would do it. The key point is about how we take people into the resources and to say, ‘this is how we use it’.
Developing additional resources: There will be some additional resources, such as the theoretical underpinnings, into the OERs that we have not been able to provide in the classroom. The students will benefit from these additional resources by going back to the repository and look again at the materials and do some personal thinking. These additional resources will also benefit the frontline practitioners and teachers. The frontline teachers can direct students to the resources for additional learning, which were never there before. This might free up some of the frontline teachers’ time. And the students do need to go back to theoretical underpinnings when they are out in practice. They do need to link what they see with an understanding of what we’re teaching them.
Copyright and licensing
- Some people are not happy for their materials to be released as OERs.
- We have copyright issues because the music in some films that we can’t use.
- We have issues that we might need to trace all the people that we filmed to give permission for the film to be released as an OER. They all gave permission for the film to be used within our university, but they don’t give permission for the film to go to the world.
- Some of the filming was done by our university, and therefore under the copyright of the university.
- There are resources from the BBC, i.e. the dramas where they show real life teams working, which we can’t use, as they are under BBC copyright.
- There are NHS films and resources which cannot be used.
- I won from a bid of £10,000 from the National Patient Safety Agency to produce the Patient Safety film, but we can’t use it for the OER.
- It’s incredibly challenging if the film was the focus of the teaching. If we can’t play the film, all the materials and resources that we developed around it become meaningless. The challenge is what we can do in order to do the learning without the trigger of that film.
Political influence on IPE materials
We’re designing these materials at the time when there is a political change. Our professional bodies in Health and Social Care are going to be re-constructed. For example, they are going to close down the General Social Care Council. It’s incredibly challenging that we found ourselves in this political moment. In the back of our workbooks, we frequently refer to the General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and the General Social Care Council, and they might not be there anymore. We’ve got to go back and look at and update our resource, especially the descriptions on different professions.
Timing issue – priority to put up materials
The nature of IPE is that students can only come together at certain times of the year. This does narrow the opportunities for conducting evaluation of the students. The team needs to give more priority to putting up materials where the students are going to be available to use them.
Sustainability – employment of teaching fellows
We have, in Leicester university, the sustainability of employment for the teaching fellows beyond TIGER. There is a chance for TIGER OERs to stay active.
Ming Nie 11 March 2011