OER3 Programme Meeting – Part II

Following on from my last post – OER3 Programme Meeting – Part I – in this blog I cover the afternoons events, where we discussed the issues and benefits of projects partnerships. 

Having split into three groups, each discussing one of three predetermined questions, our group focussed on Collaboration and Partnerships relating to OERs: what types of partnerships we had, what they brought to the project in relation to the different OER work packages (creation of and providing content, evaluation, re-use, dissemination) and how they impacted on academic practice. 

In our group we had partnerships with a variety of public and private organisations, who each had perhaps differing perspectives on our projects, as well as ideas about how the outputs would best benefit their audiences.  We discussed ways of managing their expectations by drawing up a design brief of our OERs and asking partners to sign it off, as well as our expectations on the input we could expect from them (e.g. accessing niche communities).  

Other issues raised by collaboration included the difficulties (but the necessity) of putting in place partnership agreements, tackling copyright concerns, increasing understanding of the goals of open educational resources and embedding openness in reward structures to encourage academic buy-in.

We all agreed that to engage appropriate partners we needed to sell the mutual benefits of a project, such as making their resources more open, providing a sustainable platform for them to be housed on, and enabling them to get evaluation feedback and reuse information, as well as ensuring that they remained an integral part of the project development.

It was good to meet people from other projects and find out what they were up, as well as discover that we were all dealing with similar issues, although I’m not sure we exactly cracked how to deal with them all! It also made me realise not only that we should value our project partnerships, but that our projects can only benefit if we ensure we get the most out our collaborations.

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