OER 3 Grant Funding Call

The HE Academy and JISC is pleased to announce a new grant funding call.

Grant Funding Call OER Phase 3

This marks the start of Phase 3 of the Open Educational Resources Programme which is run jointly between JISC and the HE Academy. This Call is the first step in building the work of the next phase. We will be building on the work of the programme to date, and also working closely with the OU SCORE Project.

There are four strands within this Call:

Strand 1: Para (s)  17-20 PG Cert Development Open educational resources Postgraduate Certificate development through an HEA change programme in this area. An additional grant will be made available to those institutions demonstrating the most effective use of the change programme. 12 projects

Total available: up to £0.45m

Strand 2: Para (s) 21-24 Open Materials for Accredited Courses (OMAC) Open educational resources Projects will involve the release of high quality resources to support HEA accredited programmes or schemes of professional development that meet the UK Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (UK PSF). 15 projects, at a maximum of £20,000

Total available: up to £0.35m

Strand 3: Para 25-28 Embedding OER Practice in Institutions Open educational resources The focus of these projects will be on whole institutional change, with outputs stated as reviewed change strategies addressing the development and use of OERs by teaching staff and students. An additional grant will be made available to those institutions demonstrating the most effective use of the Change Programme. 12 projects

Total available: up to £0.45m

Strand 4: Para 29-32 OER Themes Open educational resources All projects will involve the collection and release of OER. In addition, each will demonstrate the application of this activity in responding to identified opportunities and challenges for the sector. Projects from £40,000 to £200,000

Total available: up to £1.6m

For further details please see the Call

Key dates:

  • Online briefing: Wednesday 17th August 2pm
  • Closing date: Monday 5th September
  • Projects to start on 3rd October 2011 and complete by 2nd October 2012

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Details of other Calls that have a connection to the management and sharing of teaching and learning materials are also available in my funding round-up.

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Excerpt from the Call of interest to general readership: Understanding OER approaches

11.     Phases One and Two of the OER Programme have so far involved over 90  institutions in England and Wales. They have covered a wide range of discipline areas, models of release, and resource types.

12.     Experiences of the projects have been captured in their blogs and reports[1] and synthesised by an independent expert team[2]. They have also been analysed by a study on the use of OER and a literature review of learners’ use of online learning resources, both of which will be released by the October start date of the projects funded under this Call.

13.     The key findings that bidders should be aware of are:

a)    Based on the findings of the first two Phases of work, we now conceptualise open educational resources as a component of a wider field of “open academic practice”, encompassing the many ways in which higher education is engaging and sharing with wider online culture.

b)    Contributing to the wealth of open content “commons” is a major motivator for many academics who make their content available for free online, and making that practice sustainable at an individual and institutional level is one of the challenges of OER.

c)    Open content can be used by anyone, and therefore presents a challenge to current best practices in materials development. However our experience with past projects has shown that OER has the best chance of being used and usable if the content is designed for easy discovery and use by an identified user or stakeholder group.

d)    Changing personal and institutional academic practices is always complex, and the HE Academy’s Change Academy[3] provides approaches to managing the transition to these new ways of working.

e)    There is a strong connection between OER practices and digital literacies, both for providers and users of open content. It is anticipated there will be some intersects with the JISC Digital Literacy Programme[4].

f)     There is no one-size fits all for the best approach to OER use, and our projects have shown a wide range of models: from collaborative wikis to purposely commissioned content, to podcasts, to online learning modules. In addition the extent to which academics will be receptive to ideas of OER depends on their discipline area, career stage, and personal working styles. Every project finds its own approach so needs to be informed by the experiences of others. The OER Infokit[5] is designed to step participants in OER through those considerations.

14.     In summary, there are many ways that OER approaches can be used, and between October 2011 and October 2012, we intend to fund projects targeted at addressing key strategic and thematic priorities whilst building on the lessons learnt within the first two OER Phases.

15.     Based on previous phases, this Call identifies priority areas that will have the greatest impact and reach. These are:

a.    Postgraduate Certificate development to incorporate open access approaches (Strand 1);

b.    Embed development of open practices into accredited continuing professional development for academics (Strand 2);

c.    Embed OER through institutional change models (Strand 3);

d.    Employ innovative approaches to extend OER beyond traditional HE practice (Strand 4).

16.     Anticipated outputs and outcomes across the Programme include:

  • Open practice further embedded into individual practice, institutional processes and wider academic life.
  • Enhanced availability of discoverable, reusable and repurposable academic open content.
  • Further understanding of the issues raised by open practice and open content in further and higher education and possible approaches to addressing these issues.


[1] http://www.netvibes.com/ukoer#oer2[2] https://oersynth.pbworks.com/[3] http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/change[4] http://www.jisc.ac.uk/developingdigitalliteracies[5] http://bit.ly/oerinfokit