OER14 homeApplication › Mr Simon Thomson

Policy to practice or practice to policy? What’s the best way to sustain OER activity?

Monday 11:30-13:00 (1), McClintock Suite

Type: Workshop

Theme: Open policy, research, scholarship and access

#oer14 #abs28


Mr Simon Thomson, Head of E-Learning, Leeds Metropolitan University, [email protected]


From policy to practice or from practice to policy? What is the best way to sustain OER activity at an institutional level?

The OER Policy Registry has 84 (Nov 2013) registered OER policies which seems limited considering this is an international database and that significant investment has been made in OER development activity over the last 5 years.

It is clear that some institutions have developed an OER policy and some have not. This paper explores whether having such policies has influenced the impact of effectively engaging academic colleagues in Open Education activity.

Referencing work from the JISC/HEA funded OER activity from 2009 - 2012 this paper examines which institutions have a publicly available OER policy and those which have chosen to embed OER activity in other ways. In particular this paper will draw upon the experience of OER activity at Leeds Metropolitan University where we have endeavoured to embed OER practice into the systems and processes that already existed.
The paper will ask whether OER policy development is the change agent for open practice or whether policy is in response to open practice communities and cultures.

This paper presentation invites participants to bring with them their own experiences within their institutions and to engage in a live data gathering exercise around OER policy & embedding of open practice.


Browne, T., Holding, R., Howell, A., & Rodway-Dyer, S. (2010). The challenges of OER to academic practice. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 01.
Johannesen, Ø. (2006, October). Open educational resources: policy implications. In presentation at Barcelona Experts meeting, October.
Thomson, S. (2010). A staff guide to open educational resources. Leeds Metropolitan University. Available from: http://open.jorum.ac.uk/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/5819/OEResourceGuide_HiRes. pdf. [Accessed 25th November 2010].
Yuan, L., Robertson, R. J., Campbell, L. M., and Pegler, C. (2010). Examining the sustainability issues in UKOER projects: Developing a sustainable OER ecosystem in HE.


Further details

Keywords: OER, policy, practice, academic, development, sustainability, collaborative, community

Mr Simon Thomson, Head of E-Learning, Leeds Metropolitan University

Twitter: @digisim

Twitter abstract: Does OER embedding need a policy to make it work? Or can practice build policy? Discuss.