PCF5:Open educational resources and health education

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Title of session

Open Educational Resources and Health Education

Session details

  • Date: 16 July 2008
  • Time: 11:00
  • Room: Elgin Hall

Session papers

  • Luis Palacios, Travel Medicine Online: The eCPD Experience (334)
  • Dr. James Rossiter, Repurposing Online CPD Courses into New Educational Contexts (414)
  • Prof. Richard Heller, Building Public Health Capability using Open Educational Resources (270)

Key Issues that arose in the session

  • Course materials are frequently transferable, adaptable and scalable, but it is important to remember that pedagogy needs to be considered as deeply as content. Often, the same content must be adapted to work with different types of learner (whether the difference is in the country and context, or the stage and educational level of the students, or both). Adaptation, however, should not be seen merely as a money saving device and will not work as such.
  • Even within the Open Source movement, it is important to develop appropriate business models and to make sure that developers and tutors / facilitiators are rewarded appropriately for their work. Such rewards need not be financial.
  • It is important to involve as wide range of stakeholders as possible in all stages of course development and delivery. Working in partnership with Southern institutions is strongly recommended. Some clinical courses will benefit from the involvement of patient groups.

Points for future action (Policy, recommendations, commitments etc.)

  • Open source courseware and open courses are almost impossible to run without volunteers (a term that applies even when they are paid a small honorarium). It is important that this valuable service is recognised. This could usefully take the form of CPD credits or other forms of accreditation. Might it be worth approaching learned societies to see if they would be able to offer accreditation that would be recognised more widely?
  • How can we identify and engage with a full range of potential collaborators and other stakeholders? Might it be possible, for example, to build up a register of Northern and Southern institutions (and possibly individuals) that would be interested in collaborations in open and distance learning?
  • If material developed at one institution is used or adapted by another, how can this “cross-badging” be described and how can quality best be maintained and guaranteed?