Open Educational Practice – what, why and how?

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 | SIMON HART | No Comments

Free webinar: Open Educational Practice – what, why and how?

Tuesday 9th December, 1–2pm (Australian EDT) 3-4pm in New Zealand

OERs are only a part of the wider topic; OEP includes a different way of thinking, planning and managing for the open sharing of teaching practices. But how much is aspirational and how far have we got with implementation?


  • Carina Bossu and Luke Padgett:  OER Project leaders at the University of Tasmania and organisers of the very successful OER National Symposium held earlier this month.
  • Theresa Koroivulaono: Acting Director at the Centre for Flexible Learning at the University of the South Pacific. Working at a regional university that serves twelve small island developing states (SIDS), the transformative potential of OER in higher education is reflected in multifarious ways that include, selection and adaptation for use, development, testing for access and directly informing learning design.


The webinar is offered free of charge. If you wish to attend the webinar, please register by emailing by 4pm Friday 5th December (Australian EDT) at the latest. Details will be sent to you before the event about how to access and join in the webinar.

Further information

For more information on the speakers and the webinar topic, please visit the ODLAA website.

Otago-led Open Access Media Studies textbook goes live

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 | Richard White | 1 Comment

{Media release from the Creative Commons Aotearoa NZ website, CC BY}

The Media Text Hack Group is proud to release v1 of the hacked Media Studies Textbook, following a highly successful remote collaboration with participants from across New Zealand and Australia.

The project was spearheaded by Dr Erika Pearson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media, Film and Communication University of Otago. As Pearson explains, “the textbook is designed to be used by students in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. To this end, the textbook includes nearly fifty entries on a range of topics and issues common to curricula across the region.”

“We’ve also released the text book under a Creative Commons Attribution licence. This means that educators and students can adapt and rewrite the textbook using their own examples and explanations, without having to ask our permission in advance.”

Inspired by similar projects around the world, and supported by funding from Creative Commons, the Media Text Hack Group sought to act as ‘curators’ of the vast array of information about media and communication, and drew together examples specific to the region.

The text can be read linearly, like a book, and the online format also means that readers can also dive in and out of sections as they wish, following hypertext links across the material and out to useful information across the web.

As Richard White, Copyright Officer at the University of Otago, puts it, “This is a real 21st century textbook – I hesitate to even use that word – that harnesses the power of the web to break out of the print model we’ve had for the last several hundred years. It’s open access, which means a lot of different things: it’s free; anyone can read it, use it, adapt it; it’s also open to wider scrutiny, which helps improve it over time.”

This first release represents a core of work based on the common curricula of media and communication studies programs across the region. It is hoped that future versions will develop and expand these areas, as well as take advantage of new tools of collaboration and sharing. All are welcome to take, use, recycle and adapt the material under the Creative Commons Attribution licence.

“It’s great to see an initiative like this coming out of the Humanities, where most similar examples have been in Science disciplines,” says White.

“Erika’s team have really achieved something wonderful here. As far as we know this is the first initiative of its kind in NZ, and in this discipline, perhaps even the world.”

This release will soon be followed by a ‘cookbook’ which will discuss the process of developing the book.

As Pearson puts it, “this cookbook will hopefully guide and inspire others to produce their own open educational resources. Open textbooks ensure that educational resources are accessible, affordable and reusable, helping communities to realise the goal of enabling universal access to education.”

This first release can be accessed at:

Hacking a Media Textbook (in a Weekend)

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 | Richard White | No Comments

Taking inspiration from a story about Finnish mathematicians who (successfully) attempted to write an open mathematics textbook in a weekend, this weekend (16-17 Nov) a group of intrepid Otago staff are leading collaborators from a group of institutions across Australia and New Zealand in writing a Media textbook in a weekend. Partly funded by Creative Commons, the project teams will work together in a purposely constrained timeframe to create a peer-reviewed text for use at their own institutions — and of course, being openly-licensed, for re-use by others.

Senior Lecturer in Otago’s Media, Film and Communication Department Erika Pearson says that in part the project aims to fill a gap: most introductory-level media texts are expensive for students and tend to be US-centric, rather than focused on our own cultural paradigm. The process itself will be a new experience for those involved, with teams across Australasia communicating via video link-up to keep tabs on each others’ progress — a bit like the V 48 Hours Film Competition but with teams collaborating to produce a textbook at the end of the weekend. In addition to producing a book that will be made available through institutional repositories, the process itself will be documented so that those involved can repeat and build on the process in future years and for others to learn from.

Read more about the project on its own blog or check out the Creative Commons post about it and similar initiatives around the world.

No doubt Erika and her team will welcome offerings of food and drink to keep them going over the course of the weekend!

Openly licensing your teaching materials (OSCoP, 14 October at 1pm)

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 | Richard White | No Comments

In the next Open Scholarship Open Scholarship Community of Practice, Fieke Neuman from Anatomy will be joining us to discuss the plan to share Anatomy-specific teaching resources with other institutions over the Web using Creative Commons. Please come along and join in the discussion and bring a colleague/friend!

Otago Open Scholarship Community of Practice
October 14, 1pm
Central Library Conference Room 3
Audio-conference: dial (1) 083044, enter PIN 136363 then press #

Openness around the world

Monday, January 21st, 2013 | Bill Anderson | No Comments

The current issue of the journal Open Praxis is devoted to the topic “Openness in higher education”. Have a read…

Several articles discuss the challenges of assessment – especially when learners want to credit their open learning to traditional/formal courses …

What would you do if a student asked for credit from a Udacity/Courseara/OpenLearn/OERu course?? Is there anything you could do at Otago?


Creative Commons in Dunedin, Friday 23 November

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 | Richard White | No Comments

For those in Dunedin, Creative Commons Aotearoa NZ will be hosting a discussion session just prior to the opening of the NetHui South Conference (see this post). Anything CC-related can be raised, discussed or debated, though the focus will likely be on open access and Open Educational Resources.

The session is open to anyone, regardless of whether you’re attending NetHui.  Matt McGregor, CC ANZ’s Public Lead, will be down from Wellington to facilitate.

Creative Commons Meet-up, Kakapo Room, Otago Museum, 11am Friday 23 November

Enabling universal access to higher education via openness and collaboration? Open webinars, March 6-7

Friday, February 10th, 2012 | MARK MCGUIRE | No Comments

Assuming that “UK” time equates to London (which is 13 hrs behind us) the New Zealand time and speakers for these free webinars are as follows:

Tues 6 March, 10:30 pm-12:00 am NZ time (6 March, 9.30-11:00 am UK):

Jim Taylor (University of Southern Queensland, an OERu Anchor Partner), Grainne Conole (University of Leicester) and Vasi Doncheva (Northtec Polytechnic, New Zealand – an OERu Anchor Partner)

Wed. 7 March, 4.30-6:00 am NZ time (6 March, 3.30-5:00 pm UK):

George Siemens (Athabasca University)

Wed 7 March, 10:30 pm -12:00 am NZ time (7 March, 9.30-11:00 am UK):

Martin Weller and Patrick McAndrew (both from the Open University, UK), Sandra Wills (University of Wollongong, Australia)

To find out more about this series of 3 1-1/2 hour free online seminars, and to register, visit the Toucans Project Blog, (which is where I copied the following text):

The UN has noted that there are approximately 100 million adults in the world, mostly in developing countries, who are eligible to enter higher education, but cannot afford the enrolment fees. As part of our contribution to Open Education Week (5-9 March), we are hostng a series of three Webinars entitled “Enabling universal access to higher education via openness and collaboration?” at the University of Leicester. Speakers will exchange ideas on how the emerging culture of open access, combined with the existence of new collaborative partnerships such as the OERu (Open Educational Resources university), OERtest and others, might enable access to higher education – and accreditation – on a massive scale that would previously have been unthinkable. Initiatives such as the OERu are actively piloting new models for the sharing of resources and expertise in higher education, to enhance the quality of their existing provision and address needs beyond the boundaries of their traditional constituencies. To find out more, see the “Five things you should know about the OERu Network Plan”.