Oxford OER case studies

beyond4“I’m global NUMBER ONE of the download chart [for the whole of iTunes-U]? How many does that mean – 20 downloads this week, 100? 18,000 a week! Completely humbling! I hope that’s 18,000 people that I’ve turned on to philosphy” Marianne Talbot

In a change from the published programme, the panel of Open Content (OER) Case Studies from Oxford moves to before lunch (to accommodate the video link this afternoon to the US for the stranded speaker).

beyond5The panel is introduced by Peter Robinson (manager of the Oxford OpenSpires project). The University of Oxford speakers are:

  • Marianne Talbot, Lecturer in philosophy, Department for Continuing Education, example iTunes-U link. Marianne reads from her ‘fan-mail’, it is “really rather heartening to get such a broad range of feedback from across the world”.
  • Dr Emma Smith, Lecturer in English, Faculty of English Language and Literature. Recorded lectures on iPod with a microphone, to make available for the University’s undergraduates who were unable to attend her lectures. The secondary (worldwide) audience was not actually considered. The danger for the primary audience is that attendance at lectures may drop – as students listen to the podcasts instead. Link to sample lecture.
  • Dr Tristram Wyatt, Senior Research Associate, Department of Zoology. Tristram speaks about sustainability – about a project coming out of continuing education (‘extension’), online study skills course – and illustrates the difficulties experienced when trying to continue with a podcasting project, rather than an individual recording
  • Professor Martin Kemp – Emeritus Research Professor of the History of Art: Martin was fundamental in developing OpenSpire’s OER licence in order for the academic to retain control of their content. Martin mentions ‘La Bella Principessa’, a profile portrait of a Milanese lady, a newly rediscovered work by Leonardo Da Vinci, in a podcast in which he explains the roles of himself, Pascal Cotte, and others including Paul Biro, in attributing this radiant and exciting picture to Leonardo da Vinci. Link to mp3. Martin also explains about the role of podcasting in profile raising for an academic publishing and trying to attract speaking and other media engagements.

Peter plays a short inspirational video about Oxford University’s involvement in podcasting.

Peter talks about the motivation for Oxford:

  • The University has an impressive track record – OpenSpires builds upon significant investment already made in the creation and publication of digital content like iTunes-U (http://itunes.ox.ac.uk) and http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk
  • Accessibility and outreach – it improves the accessibility and outreach of the high calibre teaching and research materials available at Oxford
  • A use of technology that reflects what is unique about Oxford, ‘it is a use of technology which reflects the individuality of Oxford – an institution that is research-led and focussed on content creation’
  • High calibre material of global importance
  • Fits with Oxford’s strategic mission, objectives and values e.g. ‘enriching the international, national and regional communities through the fruits of its research, the skills of its alumni, and the publishing of academic and educational materials’.

Some links:

Questions and comments from the floor include that for podcasting to be succesful it must become embedded in institutional practices. It should also be part of the whole raising of the status of teaching and learning in general.

Session 3 Beyond 2010.

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