|Occupation:||Science Open Educator|
I am a passionate believer in open education and engage in OER projects and activities when and wherever I can. I build and maintain project blogs and conduct research to inform the community on how OER can be mainstreamed in education. I work in the UK Higher Education (University) sector, but have also worked with schools, colleges and adult learners.
I belong to an open education community in the UK as part of the Association for Learning Technology (OpenEd Special Interest Group) and also am a National Teaching Fellows and part of a group of around 700 university staff who champion educational initiatives to support learners in the UK.
Open Education Background
I have been involved in open educational resource (OER) projects for a decade now. At the University of Nottingham we built and shared narrated animated resources to support nursing students, particularly in their learning of anatomy and physiology, and research methodology. This work was part of the fantastic School of Nursing Education Technology Group (SONET), and the OERs can still be found today on the university's HELM website.
At De Montfort University, I participated in the government-funded Open Educational Resource Programme, still known today as #UKOER. My first project was sharing basic laboratory skills resources to support student transition to science at university. The Virtual Analytical Laboratory (VAL) accumulated OERs produced by staff, students and laboratory technical staff, and is still used in the laboratory teaching sessions at the university many years after its first launcy. VAL is linked to, and used by many other universities, and was commended several times in professional body accreditations and visits.
The next UKOER project was Sickle Cell Open - Online Topics and Educational Resources, fondly known as SCOOTER. This project coincided with the 100th anniversary of the discovery of sickle cell anaemia, a global health problem with a need to support educators and raise awareness. SCOOTER attracted OERs from doctors, specialists and educators across the UK, and a range of learning resources were shared relevant to a range of subject disciplines, from biology, to nursing and social sciences. SCOOTER attracted students to be involved at De Montfort, including an arts undergraduate student who developed an interest in representing the human body in art. I have worked with Jacob Escott on many projects since and adore his work.
The final UKOER project was Biology Courses - a project sharing all manner of life science OER more generally, from midwifery to forensic science. Again, with contributions from staff, students and external partners, the great boost for this project was a partnership with the Leicester Royal Infirmary Pathology Services Department. The provided us with case study materials and opportunities to visit the hospital laboratories to film and create science training materials.
I have subsequently moved universities again, but these three project websites, along with my own blog that contains open education content, are still maintained by myself today. OERs are dispersed widely via Flickr and YouTube, and have a network of global users.