Structure of ORIC

We’ve decided to structure the ORIC website according to four broad(ish) themes. These will be: Curriculum plannning; curriculum delivery; education for sustainable development (ESD); and digital literacy. We hope that users will find these categories useful.

The curriculum planning category will contain material that is relevant to broad curriculum development and delivery issues such as information about to how to make lectures (about any topic) accessible and inclusive.

The curriculum delivery category will contain more specific material about how to approach certain aspects of curriculum delivery in an inclusive way. This will include, for example, information about small group teaching, large group teaching, and assessment and feedback.

The ESD and digital literacy categories will contain material that aids in the design and delivery of courses that embed principles that promote both of these areas.

In addition, there will be an ‘overview’ category that will suggest ways of effectively using the material in ORIC. We are open to suggestions about further categories or material that would be of use to anyone in the HE sector who is interested in the inclusive curriculum.

OER University

I’ve just finished reading an interesting article in the Times Higher Education Supplement about an ‘OER university’ and how this will ‘cut costs’ by reducing the need for more traditional methods of delivering teaching and learning. Not sure what to make of this as a couple of thoughts have sprung to mind. Firstly, how effective, on their own, are OERs? I would suspect that an OER is only useful when delivered within a particular context (usually some sort of university or blended learning setting) and can’t, really, provide a substitute for other established methods of delivering teaching and learning (although it could strengthen and add to these established methods).

Secondly, I’m always suspicious of pedagogic ‘innovations’ that appear to be motivated primarily by financial concerns. Indeed, the ORIC project is not aimed at replacing the need for more traditional university teaching and professional development courses. Rather its primary purpose is to provide structure, content and ideas to enable educational developers to create or improve university staff training programmes. I’d be interested to hear what people think about this.


Reflecting on academics perceptions of their lecture content

I have just taught a session, for the PGCert for new academic and learner support staff, on the use of resources in teaching and learning. We started discussing how long people spent writing and gathering content for their lecture slides and frankly it seems to me that we spend far to much time doing this? Why?

For me there is one key reason, we don’t want to share our resources and material. The attitude expressed is that if I spent time creating it then why should I give it away to someone else?

There is another peripheral reason, we can’t find decent enough material ‘out there’ to be able to save ourselves time. Any material has to be customised and tweaked and that can take as long. This however, is really a subset of the first reason. There isn’t enough material of the right quality ‘out there’ because people don’t want to share.

This is why I am a big fan of OER and why OERs are so important. Just imagine how much time we could all save if we just shared some of our stuff and to create enough material for all of us to be able to use quality material from others.

I’m sure this has been expressed better by others on different blogs but that is my tuppence worth.

Let’s get sharing folks!


Welcome to the ORIC project

The ORIC project is a JISC/Higher Education Academy funded project operated by the University of Bradford and the University of Salford. The aim of the project is to release high quality, open educational resources to promote inclusive curriculum design, education for sustainable development, and digital literacy. Over the coming months we’ll be continuing to populate the ORIC website with material that covers the above areas. The material on the ORIC website is primarily aimed at educational developers but we hope it will also be of use to anyone that works in higher education who has an interest in inclusion, ESD, and digital literacy. We shall try and keep the format of material available in ORIC simple and, wherever possible, we’ll stick to formats (Word, PowerPoint etc.) that virtually everyone can access, re-use and re-purpose. Later in the life of the project we will release the ORIC material as a Blackboard export file so that colleagues across the sector can immediately transfer the ORIC material to their own Blackboard sites. We will also investigate releasing the ORIC material in files that can be imported directly into other VLE formats. The ORIC project will use a Ning to facilitate discussions and comments. Currently, the ORIC site is in its early stages of development but over the coming weeks and months we will add material. By summer 2011 the ORIC site will contain 30 credits worth of masters level material, the components of which can be combined in a multitude of ways to suite the need of the individual learner/institution. We hope you will find the ORIC project useful and we look forward to hearing your comments.