Achieving impact in Africa through openness

The Open Learning Network (OLnet) project has produced a publication which focusses on the impact of open educational resources (OER) in Africa.  Written by Pauline Ngimwa (who recently achieved her PhD at the Open University), the report provides detailed analysis of the work of the six OLnet Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa (TESSA) fellows and reflects on important observations and lessons learnt that could inform future teaching initiatives.

Achieving impact in Africa through openness: OLnet-TESSA Fellowships

Achieving impact in Africa through openness: OLnet-TESSA Fellowships

The OLnet TESSA fellowship was aimed at enhancing the capacity of teachers interested in using OER to improve education in the region and this report reviews their experiences and outputs.  The six fellows involved were from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Mauritius.

PDF versions of the report are available to download from, alternatively glossy printed versions can be ordered at cost price via

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New OU Open Educational Resources hub website

The Open University is pleased to announce a new website which pulls together information about all the Open Educational Resources (OER) projects at the OU.  Many OU OER projects have websites already, and some projects have been completed, however up until now there has never been an overarching website providing a portal to all these OER riches.  With projects which research, explore and champion the cause for OER such as the ground breaking OpenLearn, Bridge to Success, TESSA, HEAT and OLnet amongst many others present on the website, and the University’s huge contribution to YouTube Edu and iTunesU to celebrate, there is plenty to discover about OER on the Open Educational Resources at The Open University website.

OU Open Educational Resources website

OU Open Educational Resources website

The website was built and will be maintained by staff in the Institute of Educational Technology, with big contributions from the OU Library, Learning and Teaching Solutions and the Open Media Unit. 

Posted in Innovative use of technology, Learning, Learning design, Mobile learning, OER, Open Educational Resources, elearning | 2 Comments

New Season of IET Technology Coffee mornings

Professor Martin Weller and Dr Juliette Culver present the first IET Technology Coffee Morning in the 2012 series on Wednesday 4th April at 10:00 am when they talk about what they learnt from ‘Flickr photo a day’ and the implications this approach has for education.

On 18th April Dr Yishay Mor shares his experiences of using Google Apps as a technological platform to support student discussions and learning to provide them with an intense and rewarding learning experience.

Professor Mike Sharples will demonstrate and discuss the nQuire system and explain how it supports scientific inquiry learning, from data collection in the field to sharing results. This coffee morning takes place on 2nd May.

Subsequent IET Technology Coffee mornings which are aimed at any Open University staff members cover topics ranging from ‘Bridge to Success’, ‘Creative approaches to cross-platform content on YouTube and iTunesU’, to ‘Conducting Usability Evaluations Remotely’. They all start at 10:00 am with tea and coffee provided. For the complete schedule and updates on these events please see

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JIME Spring 2012 OER special issue of JIME now available

JIME Spring 2012

JIME Spring 2012

The International Editorial board of JIME is delighted to announce that the Spring 2012 edition of the Journal of Interactive Media in Education is now available online. This is a special edition which features four papers exploring different aspects of Open Educational Resources. The issue also includes three book reviews of great topical interest about gaming in education and using digital media in schools.

JIME is an open access journal, launched by the Open University in 1996, which focuses on the theories, practices and experiences in the educational technology field. The journal fosters rigorous debate on theory and practice of digital media in education, with the aim of radically improving teaching and learning. Articles go through a typical peer review process and once the papers are published online, anyone who registers on JIME is able to comment and discuss them on the site.

JIME welcomes new submissions for its forthcoming issues, so if your paper, website, or multimedia artefact fits the profile of JIME, please submit it by the end of April 2012 for the Summer issue, or by the end of July 2012 for the Winter edition. Full instructions for submitting articles can be found at

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Bridge to Success (B2S) – Newsletter #3

B2S Newsletter #3 thumbnail of PDFBridge to Success (B2S) offers open, free content to help students cross the barrier to gaining the skills to learn, providing “bridging” content in mathematics and learning to learn. Thanks to a Next Generation Learning Challenges grant, the project began in April 2011 and has now successfully published all its content online as free Open Educational Resources (OER):

This edition of the B2S newsletter covers winning the Distance Learning Program of the Year (2011) as awarded by the Maryland Distance Learning Association, some of the hard work ongoing in order to “get the word out”, and the successful accessibility audit of the LabSpace platform where the materials are hosted: B2S External Newsletter 3 March 2012 (pdf)

For more information about the project visit or email

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‘Learn About’ Fair 2012 – Learn about, discuss and discover – update

LAF 2012 ButterflyThe fifth annual Learn About Fair held on 29th February 2012 attracted 600 people from across the OU, attending either physically at the Jennie Lee Building at Walton Hall, or participating online through Elluminate sessions and live streaming of the Fair’s presentations.

Collaboratively organised between IET, The Library and LTS the Fair gives OU staff an informal opportunity to find out about the latest developments in using technology in education.  More information about the programme of stalls, presentations and online sessions can be found on the website, and there is also a flickr picture stream and a short video to give you an idea of the event.

Early feedback has been very positive with people identifying a real buzz, enjoying finding about existing practice, current projects and future opportunities and welcoming the opportunity to network with colleagues.

As always the team are keen to hear your views in order to keep improving the event, so if you attended and haven’t provided feedback yet we’d be very grateful if you could let us know your views:

Feedback link for visitors to the Fair
Feedback link for stall holders and presenters

High angle shot showing busy scene of people enjoying the 2012 'Learn About' Fair

Posted in Accessibility, Assessment, Human Computer interaction, Innovative use of technology, Jennie Lee Research Laboratories, Learning, Learning design, Mobile learning, Professional Development, Usability, elearning | Leave a comment

Video introduction to H812 Block 2

Chris Pegler has prepared a video introduction to Block 2 of IET’s ‘Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice’.  See below for the video:

Posted in Learning, Professional Development, Technology enhanced, elearning | 1 Comment

Today’s gaming enthusiast is older than you think, finds Open University research

Those struggling to think of a last-minute Christmas gift for their middle-aged relatives might be intrigued to know they may prefer a digital game this year, rather than a nice pair of slippers.

Research carried out by a PhD student at The Open University, into how people engaged with digital games, found that the age of those who play and enjoy these games is not typically a 20-something playing games like Call of Duty. Rather, research student Jo Iacovides, 28, found that the demographics are changing among game enthusiasts. She studied how people learn through their involvement with games and carried out a three-stranded approach using email interviews, monitored on-site case studies and questionnaires among a group stretching from 20 to 65.

(full article by Christine Drabwell, OU Media Relations)

Posted in Jennie Lee Research Laboratories, Learning | 3 Comments

Lightbulb ‘discovery moments’ using multiple devices in the wild

This IET Technology Coffee morning was given by Dr Anne Adams, IET and focused on how various devices can impact on student interaction and learning patterns.

Posted in Human Computer interaction, Innovative use of technology, Mobile learning | 1 Comment

Evaluations of interactive ebooks and mobile learning on the iPad

On Wednesday the IET Technology Coffee morning focussed on a project which is exploring the use of ebooks and mobile devices for learning. Three of the five presenters were Associate Lecturers who have travelled from Region 13 (South East) to explain what they’ve done so far and are planning as part of this project.

The abstract for the coffee morning can be found at

The event was live web streamed (though this was only advertised internally) and was recorded:

If you have any questions for the presenters, please email

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