Friday, August 07, 2009

SOLSTICE event: Creating and Sharing Digital Content

The SOLSTICE event (Edge Hill University, 16th July) was a really good day. The speakers comprised project managers from the JISC funded ReProduce programme of projects ( and one from the new OER programme of projects.

One of the keynote speakers was Tom Boyle, director of the RLO CETL. Tom demonstrated the GLOMaker2, a tool for creating online learning content. It looked really easy to use and the best thing is that is has a pedagogical framework underpinning every step of creation. This is especially exciting (yes, exciting!) as many of us are guilty of creating content based on what is available or possible technically rather than focussing on the pedagogy first and then using appropriate technology to create content. The new tool will be released on 21st August, for free, from the link above.

We will be testing out GLOMaker2 at Birmingham in a sort of ReJiG, part 2, where we will be demonstrating various bits of kit to support creation of learning content. We will be encouraging our librarians to use this software and evaluate in terms of use and re-purpose.

Anyway, back to SOLSTICE. The other talks were very good and highlighted many of the same problems that we found with BRUM and ReJiG and that I've pulled out in the post below (finding content, standards of content and metadata, copyright). There was a discussion session at the end of the day in which we all listed our 'must haves' for anyone looking at these issues. I'm hoping that an organisation/individual/project group will start to take these issues forward, especially in terms of IL RLOs (this is the idea for our IL RLO Share community of practice) so watch this space!

BTW - visiting Ormskirk meant a very welcome overnight stay in Liverpool and another quick peak at the Colour Chart exhibition at Tate Liverpool (that I'd visited a week before). Well worth a visit.

ReJiG talk at Birmingham eLearning event

Sorry, it's been a while!

I gave a talk (my two project colleagues chickened out again) at an internal eLearning practitioner event at the University of Birmingham on the 23rd June. The talk was a general overview of the project and then focussed on the barriers that we came up against during the project. We had a good crowd and many of those asking questions afterwards shared the same problems that we had including:
  • finding appropriate online content
  • questions of copyright
  • the standards that we use (or don't use) for content and metadata

The issue of standards is one that really struck a chord with many in the audience as academics, it seems, are very concerned with the quality of the learning material that they may be expected to release to the outside world. I will be very interested to see how our Social Sciences department deals with quality assurance of their material before releasing as part of their OER project.

Please follow the link below to see the slides from the talk.