In Autumn 2016 Research IT Services (RITS) in collaboration with Digital Education embarked upon a project to create wholly online versions of popular face-to-face courses(Gibbons and Wentworth 2001).
The Research Software Development and Research Computing Services whom I am working with are both active members of wider research support communities, and in the spirit of these communities it was agreed that the new learning resources created would be done so as Open Educational Resources (OER). Where possible we also tried to use open source tools and resources for the creation of the OERs.
The social relational model of disability identifies externally imposed disadvantage and restriction as being caused by a contemporary social organisation that takes little or no account of people who have impairments (Seale 2014). If we subscribe to this model we therefore need to ensure that our institution as a social organisation does not impose such disadvantages and restrictions. This includes all teaching and learning. As our research community is diverse, and the online courses created will need to be accessible for all users. To paraphrase Maha Bali we wanted to avoid “giving an apple to someone with no teeth”.
The aim was to address multiple dimensions of inclusion and accessibility, with regard to content presentation and availability of the learning.
In this session, we will discuss how we learnt to walk the talk of open practice; and how open
education and practice can contribute to inclusion in research communities.
This will be framed in the case-study of the ongoing project with Research IT Services but also in a wider context with an opportunity for presentation participants to share their approaches and experiences.
Gibbons, Heather S., and George P. Wentworth. 2001. ‘Andrological and Pedagogical Training Differences for Online Instructors’. Online Journal of Distance Learning Education 4 (3).
Seale, Jane K. 2014. E-Learning and Disability in Higher Education: Accessibility Research and Practice. Second Edition. New York: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415629416.
Slides for this session can be viewed at: https://www.slideshare.net/SamanthaAhernMIET/oer18-walk-thetalk