Re-purposing for open education: evolving roles, responsibilities and processes

Connolly, T.; Ferreira, G.M.d.S and Wilson, T. (2007). Re-purposing for open education: evolving roles, responsibilities and processes. In: 4th International Conference in Open and Distance Learning. Forms of Democracy in Education: Open Access and Distance Education, 23-25 Nov 2007, Athens, Greece.



This paper explores processes designed to support large-scale re-purposing for an open education repository. The context for the discussion is provided by OpenLearn, the Open Content Initiative of the UK Open University (UKOU). OpenLearn is a major initiative funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation that aims to repurpose several thousand study-hours of existing UKOU learning materials. A core challenge for OpenLearn has been to establish an appropriate context to enable re-purposing of learning resources written primarily for print. The response to this challenge has been to create a streamlined production structure to support a team including media, editorial and academic staff. This is, however, distinct from the structure that supports course development in the institution. Indeed, a variety of ongoing changes within the university suggest that OpenLearn constitutes, amongst other possibilities, a site for experimentation and trialling of new ways of working that question established roles and responsibilities. The discussion revolves around a comparison of graphical schemes created to represent the production processes, which undergo periodic reviews. In suggesting that the project appears to be fostering a re-evaluation of professional jurisdiction boundaries, this paper investigates aspects of that venture that may also challenge the very nature and purposes of education.

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