We are now working on the seventh JISC online Innovating eLearning conference entitled Shaping the Future which takes place from 13th – 23rd November 2012.

We have the usual array of excellent keynote speakers which we hope will challenge and stimulate our delegates. (with keynotes by Sue Black, James Clay and Ian Gilbert)

One of the sessions that we are offering this year is called

Opening up Practice and Resources: Are we nearly there?

Open resource projects and high profile open education initiatives are attracting headlines, but what can a shift towards openness bring to education and should UK educational institutions and educators be sceptical about the benefits? This session draws on cross-project analysis from the UKOER evaluation and synthesis project which has examined OER initiatives across the UK since 2009. The session will also reflect the latest research questions and directions in OER activity internationally as a background to the discussion. Two of the presenters offer an inside track on how an exciting, innovative open course initiative (PHONAR) became established at Coventry University as a concurrent learning option alongside its campus based equivalent course for conventionally registered students. The team responsible will offer examples of specific improvements and benefits in teaching and learning achieved through openness for both formally registered students and open learners.

This session will reflect current evidenced understanding of open resource practice relevant to UK education and invites you to address some commonly asked questions. The session will address some broad questions about locating open courses in the current traditions: What literacies, practices and mindsets do people need to learn in an open, networked world?; Who should decide what people learn in open learning and how ? What construct aligns people’s open learning?; Should open courses be structured such that everyone on the course is teaching and (at the same time) learning?  The speakers will also offer insight into the pragmatic practice-based queries from fellow teachers such as:  How do you cope with people failing to complete an open course – does it matter and what are the effects? How do you know that work is theirs? Why bother with the open option? I can’t do what you do, so how do I start?

I am very pleased to have Allison Littlejohn leading the session who can talk to several different perspectives. I have worked with Allison on several OER initiatives and supported her work as one of presenters on change 11 mooc. She is leading a new research study on SRL (self regulated learning using change 11 mooc as context) and also leads the Synthesis and Evaluation Team for the JISC/HE Academy UKOER Programme and HEFCE OER review. Allison is also leading  a new EU OER4Adults study.

I am also really pleased to have Jonathan Worth and Shaun Hides from Coventry University contributing to the session. They have recently been working on the UKOER project – COMC Coventry Open Media Courses.  I’ve written about their really exciting work before in my post about  the MOOC webinar. One of these days I will definitely be signing up for one of their open courses.

And if all this wasn’t enough we have Chris Pegler from the  Open University facilitating the session and encouraging conversations with delegates.  Chris led the ORIOLE (Open Resources Influence on Learners and Educators) National Teaching Fellowship and OLNET (Open Learning Network) project. Chris has strong connections with UKOER through her work as Academic Director of the national SCORE (Support Centre for Open Resources in Education) initiative and is co-chair of the OER13 conference.

Allison, Jonathan and Shaun recently contributed to a JISC on air show about open courses so listen to this for a taster but come and join us at the conference to join the discussion. You can register here…

You don’t even have to leave the house!