As part of the CADARN project the Learning Technology team in Bangor University is currently managing a number of OER development projects across the university in both Welsh and English. Bangor University has a very strong and established role in the development of Welsh language learning technology developing the initial Welsh Language Pack for Blackboard.
In Bangor the CADARN Funding has been used not only to provide equipment but also to fund the employment of postgraduate students to develop the resources. A call went out for CADARN project proposals in April 2014, 33 proposals were received of which 12 are currently in development. Another call for project proposals is due to go out after the Christmas Vacation.
The working practice that is emerging from this project now involves a member of the Learning Technology team acting as project manager to each project; establishing a working practice with the student developer and the academic who made the initial proposal. The Learning Technology team member meets regularly with the project developer and the student, who may be a subject specialist with limited editing experience or who may be a student from our School of Creative Industries who has a wealth of editing and creative skills but no subject knowledge of the OER content.
From the development perspective this is an interesting if slightly chaotic time! Finding suitable locations for equipment and spaces to record and edit has not been an easy task, but this kind of issue is now starting to settle in. Setting realistic time scales for the projects has also been challenging with staff initially underestimating the amount of time it will take to develop the resource they have in mind when submitting the proposal. Getting staff and the student developers to embrace the use of Creative Commons Materials is also taking some effort, but this project is helping the university to steer staff and students in that direction.
From a Welsh medium perspective the OERS we develop in Bangor as part of this project are already making an impact in the contribution our staff make to the Open Educational Resources on the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s e-learning platform ‘Y Porth’ .One of the initial Open Educational Resources projects to be completed will be a series of 7 short videos of students and lecturers discussing their academic expectations. The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s digital library contains a wealth of open digital resources in a wide range of academic areas which can be shared by lecturers throughout Wales.