Creating eLearning the Open Educational Resources Way


Creating eLearning the Open Educational Resources Way

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. It is the leading trend in distance education/open and distance learning domain as a consequence of the openness movement.” (Wikipedia 31Aug16).

Pagehierachy
Fig 1 Hierarchy of Pages

At the moment I am doing some consultancy with the Open Education Resource Foundation (OERF) on a couple of courses for their Open Education Resource Universitas (OERu). As might be expected we work with free and open source software, so I thought I would share my experience.

The main hub for the project is created in WikiEducator. This is the content repository for all the documents relating to the project – Course blueprints, planning pages, minutes, and links to other resources like communication tools.

The course is also built in the wiki which thereby gives version control. A hierarchy of pages is created which will form the menu structure for the course (fig 1).

iDevices, which some will recognise from the eXe project, are used to give a uniform look to the different parts of the page layout. For example an activity iDevice:

{{IDevice|theme=line|type=activity|title=Discussion forum activity|id=Activity|body=
Text goes here
}}

ends up looking like this:

Activity iDevice
Fig 2 Activity iDevice

Thus all activities have the same icon, and similarly other iDevices have their own icon.

The students don’t take the course in the wiki but in a WordPress site. In Fig 1 you can see a Snapshot button which takes the course content from the wiki and publishes it on to WordPress. In this way the content can be published to any website, meaning there are no limitations about where it gets published.

Whilst this methodology does require SMEs to learn to use a wiki, there is a word-processor like interface or people can edit the source code which isn’t hard. I kept a simple text file with the wiki-syntax I regularly used, thus becoming a simple copy, paste edit routine.

If you are interested in seeing how the Creating Sustainable Futures course looks head over to
http://course.oeru.org/csf101/

or look at the other courses on offer.