This lightning talk will present to delegates the recent OER initiatives by Jisc in the FE and Skills sector. It will provide an overview of the Jisc FE Skills Window Project, which is developing a number of tools that aim to create more flexible and simple routes to open content relevant to FE practitioners.
The Window will also act as a showcase for the OERs created by the Jisc funded, Interactive Learning Resources for Skills projects. These are 22 projects developing and sharing OERs across a number of Further Education vocational subject areas.
The talk will highlight how these initiatives, working together, help raise awareness and understanding of the benefits of open content in the FE and Skills sector, as well as improving discoverability and sharing for teaching practitioners.
The FE Skills Window Project was initiated based on a perceived use-case that the FE and Skills sector wanted a central place to access resources to relevant subject areas and levels. This approach was informed by the success of the Hairdressing Training resource; a [Jisc] FE specific service, consisting entirely of OERs mapped to the FE curriculum. A number of research activities built on this use-case, with workshops, user surveys and targeted market research undertaken. Collectively, these formed the development of user stories to inform the design and development of the project.
The Interactive Learning Resources for Skills initiative was based on direct engagement from Jisc with employment skills and learning providers, shining a light on a sector that is heavily targeted by commercial publishers and content developers, staff for whom time is an ever-dwindling commodity, and a community of practitioners in which the sharing of free and open material has yet to gain a real foothold.
These Jisc initiatives not only provided funding for small and tightly focused OER creation, but also supported, encouraged and nurtured a community in their awareness and knowledge of approaches and issues when it comes to the development of OERs, best practices, sharing and promotion and showcasing Open in the FE & Skills sector.
This talk will present the stories of the projects, the resulting outputs, and the development of the FE Skills Window as a showcase of resources for further education.
We would encourage discussion around ongoing requirements of FE and Skills practitioners, and highlight issues that need further work and attention to promote, maintain and nurture the sector’s knowledge and understanding of the benefits of the creation and sharing of Open Educational Resources.