Since 2007, the University of Nottingham has released OER through the U-Now website. Resources made available in U-Now are offered under the Creative Commons ‘Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike’ licence, and users can view the resources on the site or download them in re-useable formats. The OER publication model at Nottingham is strong, with over 70% of schools having a U-Now presence. In addition to the U-Now website, the university has created a number of OER tools and services that support the creation and attribution of Creative Commons resources and images. These include the Xpert search engine, Xerte on-line toolkits, and the Xpert Image Attribution tool. Nottingham’s OER portfolio is managed through the Open Nottingham programme which launched in 2010 to provide a strategic approach to OER activity at the institution.
During 2013, Nottingham expanded the ‘Open Nottingham’ programme by joining FutureLearn, the UK led Massive Open On-line Course (MOOC) platform. During 2014 Nottingham delivered its first three MOCOS through FutureLearn, all of which were made available under Creative Commons Licence. In addition to running MOOCs through FutureLearn, Nottingham also offers Nottingham Open Online Courses (NOOCS) to registered students and staff across its three international campuses (UK, China, Malaysia) through Moodle. NOOCs are set up as optional on-line learning modules with a choice of registration options for students e.g. credit free – for personal or professional development, Nottingham Advantage Award credit and elective academic credit. This hybrid model empowers students to engage with online learning at a level they are comfortable with and allows the University to gather data on the most viable strategies for running open on-line courses. Most importantly, it facilitates a two-way exchange of innovation and expertise between the outwardly facing MOOCs and inwardly facing NOOCs.
A primary strategic objective for NOOCs and MOOCs at Nottingham is that course content must be made available for use in other teaching and learning, or research, contexts, or as open educational resources. In addition, a NOOC or MOOC should act as a driver for teaching enhancement and innovation; provide a catalyst for staff, student and alumni engagement with online and blended learning; support community building across our international campuses; and demonstrate a fit to the strategic priorities of the sponsoring school.
This presentation will discuss how Nottingham has tried to shift the focus of MOOCs and NOOCs from being peripheral and media-hyped disruptive innovations, to core innovation catalysts, used strategically to support teaching enhancement within the institution. It will provide an overview of the courses that have been delivered so far and discuss the impact, both in terms of learner data but also in terms of their strategic influence on Nottingham’s open, on-line and blended learning activity.