open approaches at Oxford: OER Oxford

Examples of projects taking an explicity, openly, creative commons approach to their content:

Politics InSpires a collaborative effort between the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford and the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge. We created Politics in Spires with the intent to share, amongst ourselves and with a wider community, thoughts on politics and international relations from scholars at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. We aim to promote and disseminate our research, to engage in scholarly debate on current affairs, addressing topical issues in a timely fashion. We want to encourage free expression and invite critical exchange of ideas in an informal environment, openly accessible to anyone. We therefore welcome and invite comments from many audiences: we would like to receive feedback on our ideas, to hear our audience’s opinions, and to promote frank and respectful debate around these topics.

FreeSpeech debate We believe that making our content freely available for non-commercial purposes is an integral part of promoting a global debate on free expression. We think the best way to do this online is a Creative Commons licence, developed as a way of maximising the free expression possibilities of the internet. It allows all users contributing content to set the terms for how others can republish or translate their content, without having to seek prior permission every time.

Oxford University Mathematics OpenCourseWare courses which are published under the terms of OpenCourseWare.

Open Spires High-quality educational material for everyone, for free. Oxford University is providing OER podcasts under a Creative Commons licence, free for reuse and redistribution in education and research. The OpenSpires project focuses on what makes Oxford unique: world-class academics presenting research-led content.

Oxford Text Archive The University of Oxford Text Archive (OTA) is a repository of digital literary and linguistic resources for research and teaching. We also offer advice to resource creators about best practice for creating digital resources, and to users of digital resources on how to benefit from existing resources.

Open Data about the University of Oxford The site aims to collect data from around the University and make it available for reuse as linked data under open licenses.

Woruldhord The Woruldhord project is based at the University of Oxford and presents to you a collection of freely reusable educational resources to help you study or teach the period of English history centred on the Anglo-Saxons, or Old English (literature and language). This equates to a period of history roughly covering the mid-fifth century until the eleventh century. All the material held here was donated by members of the public, museums and libraries, academics, teachers, and societies. This then is a community collection created by a community of people for others to use.

Introduction to course design This site brings together a selection of different ways in which technology has been used in courses offered by the University of Oxford it is intended to be a source of ideas for those about to design a new course, or redesign an existing one. This course and all the content within it is available as Open Educational Resources.

Music scores from the Bodleian This Bodleian Libraries project aims to make music scores from the Bodleian collection available online with the help of members of the public. performances of the pieces are being cleared and released under creative commons licences.

Fourteenth-Century French NotationThis course created by Dr Elizabeth Eva Leach covers the basics of the notational system so that you can understand the sorts of decisions that modern editors have made, check available editions against original notation, sing directly from original notation, and be prepared for the more advanced studies that would be necessary to gain editorial proficiency. It is designed for musicians who can read modern notation but have no knowledge of medieval notation. It is offered openly to the public, and materials can be re-used by other people in their teaching.

The Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP) is a collaboration between the Bodleian and the University of Michigan, which produces highly accurate, fully-searchable, SGML/XML-encoded texts of early English books.

Europeana 1914-18 is based on an initiative at the University of Oxford where people across Britain were asked to bring family letters, photographs and keepsakes from the War to be digitised. The success of the idea – which became the Great War Archive – has encouraged Europeana, Europe’s digital archive, library and museum, to bring other national or local institutions across Europe into an alliance with Oxford University. The collaboration brings European stories online alongside their British, German, Slovenian, Luxembourgian, Irish, etc. counterparts in a World War One stories collection. As part of this policy, the Europeana Terms for User Contributions establish that all content that is contributed to Europeana by its users will be made available on under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license.

OpenAdvent A collection of Christmas-themed resources all of which were released by their owners openly and for free to be enjoyed and shared at a traditional time of giving.

23 Things Oxford The aim of this programme is to introduce library staff to Web 2.0 technologies – working on the principle that exposure is the first stage in learning.  Over 12 weeks, the aim is for staff to spend a little time each week working on the project, building up their own skills as well as adding to their abilities at work.  23 Things Oxford is offered as a staff development resource to all, under a Creative Commons licence.

World War One Centennary: Continuations and Beginnings. A growing collection of OER designed to support new ways of teaching and thinking about the Great War. The project will collect and release digital learning content as OER in an easily accessible online platform to provide an academic-driven corpus of reusable scholarly resources that seek to readdress World War One and its cultural, historical, and political context. The project will surface the highest quality OER through a series of expert commentaries created by some of the most notable academics in the field of World War One studies and related disciplines. Alongside these thematic directory areas of additional expert-curated OER and dynamic libraries of relevant resources from the wider OER community will be made available.

The Great War Archive Since 2008 the University of Oxford have engaged over 2100 members of the public in the UK, Germany and Luxembourg to capture over 30,000 images of personally-owned memorabilia from the First World War. The Great War Community Collections started in 2008 with the Great War Archive (GWA) initiative (funded by JISC). This innovative project asked the public to contribute online, or via ‘collection’ days at memory institutions (museums, libraries, archives etc.) to a repository of digitized material related to the First World War. Highly successful, this led to the RunCoCo project to train others in our methodology and an ongoing collaboration with Europeana to run collection days and sites across Europe. This will be the largest online archive on the War in the world, created by the European public, openly available for all to explore and reuse in teaching, learning and research.

Google Books In 2004, Oxford University entered into partnership with Google to scan the Bodleian Libraries’ out-of-copyright holdings, in particular those from the 19th century.  Items were selected solely on their copyright status and suitability for scanning, and the works that have been digitized cover a wide range of languages, disciplines, and genres. They include the first English translation of Newton’s “Mathematical principles of natural philosophy” from 1729, the first edition of Jane Austen’s “Emma”, and John Cassell’s “Illustrated history of England”.

Great Writers Inspire This project will create and assemble a substantial new body of open content with a literary theme (focused on engaging new students) to be released through a new online web portal.The materials will be grouped around a set of specific writers and thematic collections, curated by subject specialists and steered and evaluated by the demands of the subject community. There will be a concentration on textual materials with embedded illustrative audio and video together with new publishing methods that include a substantial set of material released as ebooks for mobile devices.The material, intended to provide an engaging introduction to a typical humanities undergraduate education, will be available to be reused in education worldwide and will be an innovative introduction to the wider UK open educational resources movement. All material will be released under a suitable open content licence and published as downloads and feeds for use in perpetuity.

WebLearn is Oxford’s open-source, enterprise-level, virtual learning environment (VLE) that  offers you a suite of learning, teaching and library tools. The Sakai Project began in 2004 when Stanford, Michigan, Indiana, MIT and Berkeley began building a common Courseware Management System rather than continuing their homegrown systems or licensing software from a commercial vendor. Oxfords own system built system developed from Sakai is called WebLearn. While many such systems impose licence restrictions on the host institutions there are no restrictions on the number of users allowed to access a service built with Sakai; in a research-intensive institution such as Oxford it essential that external collaborators can have an account and work within the VLE without us having to worry about licencing restrictions.

Contributions to Open Source projects by OUCS staff OUCS staff make extensive use of open source software to deliver services, and take advantage of the freedom to examine the source code, fix it, and enhance it. The department recognizes that participation in community open source development is valuable for both staff development and enhancement of the University’s reputation, as well as improving the software itself for the benefit of all.  Staff who wish to contribute to open source projects seek the permission of the Director before doing so. A register of open source projects is maintained.

Open, continuing education Resources on this site have been developed, in the first instance, to support students studying weekly classes in the Department of Continuing Education, but will subsequently be released as open educational resources  that can be used by adult learners and their tutors globally. A collection of public domain philosophy texts that everyone is free to enjoy and share. It will enable users to transcribe, translate, annotate and create bibliographies of philosophy texts. It will focus on providing access to and encouraging scholarly collaboration around philosophy texts – will be developed in close consultation with the project’s academic advisory board, students from Goldsmiths University and project partners Oxford and Royal Holloway.

Oxford Open Science is a group  within the Open Knowledge Foundation for anyone in Oxford interested in projects related to open science. Maybe you’re looking at ways to share scientific data more effectively, planning a project involving citizen crowd sourcing, want to make your research as accessible as possible or maybe you’re just interested in how openness and transparency could change the way we do science. Podcasts are available from some of their events.In the podcasts they consider the impact of opening up science: allowing both the research community and the public to freely access the results of scientific work. Individuals can be fully informed about medical or environmental research, students worldwide can get access to the latest work, and software agents can roam the vast scientific knowledge base seeking patterns and correlations that no human has observed. Ultimately, it may profoundly change the way science is done.

Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) is an online store of research publications by scholars at the University of Oxford. It contains freely available copies of works such as journal articles, conference papers and posters, reports, and working and discussion papers. It contains digital copies of doctoral research theses by students of the University. ORA enables researchers to maximise the visibility of their research.

The Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics was established in 2003 with the generous support of the Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education of Japan. It is an integral part of the philosophy faculty of Oxford University, one of the great centres of academic excellence in philosophical ethics. The Centre is committed to raising awareness of ethical issues in the broader community and stimulating debate in the public arena. To this end, they have an open access policy for their resources which the resources are freely available to the public, and include journal articles and online lectures.

The goal of Digital.Bodleian is to aggregate and open up, through both a graphical user interface and through open linked data, the Bodleian Library’s substantial collection of digital assets.

Oxford Alumni Weekend The annual Oxford University Alumni Weekend aims to showcase the Collegiate University as a whole, giving prominence to a range of current research and its application to real world situations, as well as recognising the achievements of Oxford men and women. Past themes include “A Global Oxford” (2008), “Equal Citizenship” (2009) and “Shared Treasures” (2010). Many of the sessions are recorded and podcast. Of around 80 recordings, 67 are currently licensed as Creative Commons.

Open source tools  are developed at Oxford and made available to anyone who wants to use or further develop them:

  •  The Behaviour Composer is a web-based tool designed to support teachers, learners and researchers, including those with little or no programming experience, to build, share, and discuss computer models.
  • Molly Open Mobile Portal is a framework for the rapid development of information and service portals targeted at mobile internet devices. The framework follows a “batteries included” philosophy, featuring a wide variety of applications and connectors to common and standards-based systems .

OER research projects are carried out at Oxford to better understand the creation and use of open materials.

Any more?

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