The POERUP project “Policies for OER Uptake”, running from late 2011 to mid 2014, had a substantial focus on policy development – covering six countries in 2014: five in the EU including the UK, and also Canada. For the UK, three papers were developed: for Wales, Scotland and England. Each home nation posed particular challenges: in Wales there was emerging policy; in Scotland there was an informal policy grouping but no actual policy and little project activity; yet in England there was or had been much project activity and several policy-relevant reports but no actual policies.
This paper, covering OER (and related) policy options for HE, FE and schools in Wales, aims to demonstrate the methodology used and the policy conclusions it leads to, viewed from some months after the end of the POERUP project.
Wales was in many ways the most interesting and challenging of the home nations considered because of the existence of overarching policies on online learning yet with the emergence of national OER or MOOC-specific policies while the POERUP team were writing policies. Wales is also around the size of many of the smaller member states of the EU, making it of great interest to both the “small states” and “less used languages” agendas in the EU.
Our approach was to use the EU multi-sector (HE, FE and schools) policy framework developed by POERUP (see http://poerup.referata.com/wiki/Policies) as a “template”, but viewed through the lens of the ongoing national approach. We based our recommendations on existing Wales national policy documents and reports – in particular HEFCW (2008; 2011) and ODLWG (2014), yet extending their scope and depth, with the aim of proposing POERUP policy framework-compatible “extensions” as possible next steps for national policy.
Particular thanks are due to JISC RSC Wales, members of the HEW OER group and the University of South Wales.
HEFCW (2008). Enhancing Learning and Teaching through Technology: a Strategy for Higher Education in Wales. HEFCW, April 2008.
HEFCW (2011). Enhancing Learning and Teaching through Technology: refreshing the strategy. HEFCW, September 2011.
Online Digital Learning Working Group (2014). Open & online: Wales, higher education and emerging modes of learning. March 2014.