Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Biology Open Educational Resources Remember the OeRBITAL project? I thought not.

OeRBITAL was a JISC OER Phase Two attempt to add value to OERs (and boost usage) through a metalayer of (pseudo) peer review. To say OeRBITAL sank without trace would be slightly unkind, but I think everyone would agree that it didn't set the world on fire. Why not? That can be debated long into the night (and has been), but one view might be that the approach (adding an additional curation layer) was flawed.

Society of Biology has recently received funding from the Higher Education Academy and JISC through the Open Educational Resources (OER) Phase Three Programme which has been used to develop a new website to promote OER that supports practical biology and research-led teaching in higher education. The website will feature peer reviewed lab and field work practical and protocols, health and safety information, multimedia alternatives to wet labs, videos and images. Rather similar to OeRBITAL - but hopefully more successful?

Disclosure: I received limited funding from the JISC OER Phase Two through the OeRBITAL project, and am acting as a reviewer (unfunded) for the new Society of Biology project.

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