Archive for April, 2010

Course launches

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Once again we are in the middle of our course launch period with nearly 40 courses launching over the next few weeks.  Our new courses for this term are Shakespeare, Globalization (which I blogged about here a few weeks ago) and Writing Drama.  these are all currently sold out but there are still places on English Poetry of the First World War, Philosophy of Religion, and Pompeii and the Cities of the Roman Empire among others.  To see the full list of available courses visit our online courses website.

There is also always next term, when our new courses will include Greek mythology, Henry VIII and Ethics.

Beyond Borders – OERs at Oxford

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Yesterday I was at the very enjoyable  Beyond Borders event, hosted by our colleague at OUCS which looked at OERs and work of the OpenSpires in particular.  With many of the presenters stranded all over the globe they did an amazing job of bring things together and managed a truly multimedia experience. In one respect I was there with a Mosaic hat on, and it is a relief to find that our conclusions from that project remain equally true today.  More generally it was great to hear what OpenSpires has achieved in the last year.There is an great  summary of the event here, generated from twitter feeds and live blogging throughout the event.

However for me personally the most interesting aspects were hearing:

  • Andy Lane talk about the OU experience, they are  continuing to do so much and there is a lot I want to follow up – In particular i think the work Patrick McAndrew and others are doing through OLnet is going to produce some very interesting findings in coming years.
  • Jan Hylén showing  how much the OER movement has grown in a short time
  • Timm Unwin talking about his experiences ICT4D in Africa I completely agree that the idea that greater challenges of HE in Africa should make reuse more prevalent is wrong.  We should not be surprised that people find it just as hard if not harder to reuse in resource poor contexts.  But real sympathies on the challenges of working in this space which really took me back to our Global Health project.
  • Robin Wilson who presented using OHPs but in the best practice of trendy PowerPoints used virtually all images and no words, although I wonder if they were all copyright cleared images?

Also a great chance to catch up with so many interested in this area.  I am sure they will have most of the sessions released as OERs themselves soon, so do check them out.