The OPITE (Open Practice in International Teacher Education) project is part of the work of the UK Open Educational Resources programme run by the Higher Education Academy. The aim of this strand is to work with UK Higher Education institutions to devise strategies and policies to promote their work at institution level, through their Open Educational Resources (OER), to an international audience. One of the key objectives is to benchmark good practices in OER transferability across borders and explore practitioners’ experiences of using open educational resources internationally. OPITE builds on the “Digital Futures in Teacher Education” (DeFT) project whose aim was to develop guidance on digital literacy practice and the use of Open Educational Resources in teaching and learning. Sheffield Hallam University is the lead institution and we are working with three partners – colleagues based at the [Ed+ict] research unit at KHLiM (Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg – Limburg Catholic University College, Belgium); colleagues from the Centre for E-learning at AGH (Akademia Gorniczo-Hutnicza – University of Science and Technology, Poland) and from HAN (Hogeschool van Arhnhem en Nijmegen – HAN University of Applied Sciences).
We spent most of October and November talking to our colleagues to establish the principles for our collaboration and to decide the direction the project should take – we have decided to take the Open Textbook developed in the context of the DeFT project as our starting point and on that basis explore issues involved in re-using OERs in international contexts, to take a closer look at open textbooks and finally to look at barriers and enablers for embedding OERs within and between our institutions. We were lucky to receive some additional funding to be able to supplement the online conversations with some decent face time – and this is how we all ended up in the very cold but very beautiful town of Krakow for three days at the OPITE workshop.
We’re using the workshop to show and share the tools developed as part of the DeFT project, talk about the main barriers and enablers to use and reuse of OERs including open textbooks as well as to reveal the hopes and wishes for open textbooks in partners’ contexts. Our colleagues from AGH were kind enough to offer to be our hosts and have surpassed all expectations; they even got us snow!
At this moment in time, we are at the halfway point in the workshop, with the group busily working on their contributions to the case study which will be developed at the end of the project so watch this space for insights on transferability of OER frameworks, issues around context, localisation (and maybe a postcard or two…).