What can you accomplish within 33 hours? You could certainly try and go beyond the minutiae of just getting on with your week and perhaps have a go at breaking some records, as did recently a bunch of couples in Thailand who managed to lock lips for 33 hours, breaking the current Guinness World Record for longest kiss, which stood at 32 hours. Or, if you happen to be a lecturer at a HE in FE institution where two of our project partners happen to be based, you will have precisely 33 hours release from teaching duties to engage in broadly conceived scholarly activity. Even better, you could decide to spend that time working through an OER that our partners are in the process of putting together and which looks really promising. The provisional title of the resource is “Creativity for Edupunks” so as to emphasise our partners’ interest in approaches to teaching and learning practices that stem from a do it yourself (DIY), anti-corporate attitude). The initial brief is to design a resource aimed at HE in FE staff that will comprise of eleven approximately 3-hour long activity-based sessions, that will cover the issues related to identifying, locating, releasing and putting OERs into curriculum, understanding the concept of “openness” as well as pedagogical issues around student engagement and in particular innovative assessment. More broadly, the resource will also encourage reflection on the space of research in the working lives of teaching professionals.
Ideally, the resource will be officially accredited as counting towards staff personal development and/or research activity release from teaching. The official stamp of approval would make it easier to get institutional support and would help our partners follow through with their long-term plan where within the next two or three years the course is repurposed as an optional one for students. At the same time, our colleagues plan to go ahead with the course regardless of management approval as this is something they feel very passionate about. They even jokingly mentioned a desire to smash the system at one point as well, however we are not sure whether the magic powers of OERs extend that far… On a more serious note, once completed, the resource will be a fantastic way of cascading what our partners are learning in the context of the project both to colleagues within their institution and beyond. The process of developing the resource will also give us an excellent opportunity to practise what we preach, that is, a reflexive engagement with OERs based around open sharing of practice and resources as well as inclusion of student voices.
It has to be said that we are very much at a brainstorming stage when it comes to that particular resource, hence the visions of global impact… to be obliterated soon through loads of down-to-earth discussions on format, design, content etc. Some of that brainstorming involves making decisions about best ways of capturing the process of developing the resource as well as the challenges of sharing the messiness of that journey which is a topic for a yet another blog post! It will certainly take more than 33 hours and might be a bit of a bumpy ride but hopefully the effort will pay off.