Opening practice on participatory course production

Anna Page, Pete Cannell, Ronald Macintyre

The Open University

How can open educational practices be used to enable more learners to benefit from specialist knowledge online in accessible, engaging ways? Opening Educational Practices Project (OEPS) is collaborating with external partners to develop course creation skills they need to deliver their first free, open online courses.

OEPS explores how OER can support people distanced from education by applying ‘what works’ in widening participation to OER (Cannell et al 2015). Courses are co-created through a participative learning design process focussing on learner needs and context. By contributing their practice-based knowledge partners develop confidence and skills for future initiatives (Macintyre 2015). Existing OER may not suit their context as they create online courses for workforce development and lifelong learning. This became a two way learning process for both partners and OEPS. Moving from focussing purely on learning design to learning through and for doing (Kemmis 2010) we reconceptualise what creating content in partnership means for OER production and practice. In parallel we collaborated to create OER about open educational practices and OER.

While learning through doing we have questioned roles and responsibilities, what existing production processes at The Open University needed amendment and how technologies for OER hosting can support partner and learner needs.

This presentation will share experiences of partnership collaboration and models for OER production emerging from this collaborative process which may be adapted by others. It will also show impact evaluation of OER created including the OEPS course and how methods of OER creation have evolved as a result.

Cannell, P., Macintyre, R. and Hewitt, L. (2015) ‘Widening access and OER: developing new practice’, Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 17(1), pp. 64-72.
Kemmis, S. (2010). Research for praxis: Knowing doing Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 18, 1, 9-27.
Macintyre R. (2015) Designing Open Learning Journeys [accessed October 2016]


Opening practice on participatory course production from Open Education Consortium