OER14 homeApplication › Ms Lorna Campbell

Open Scotland: promoting open education policy and practice in Scotland

Tuesday 14:30-15:00 (1), Blaydon/Gibbs

Type: Lightning talk

Theme: Open policy, research, scholarship and access

http://openscot.wordpress.com/ #oer14 #abs48


Ms Lorna M Campbell, Cetis Assistant Director, University of Bolton, [email protected]



The Open Scotland initiative, led by Cetis, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Jisc RSC Scotland and the ALT Scotland SIG, aims to raise awareness of all aspects of open education and explore the potential of open education policy and practice to benefit all sectors of Scottish education. Scotland has a distinctive and highly regarded tradition of education, however policies to support and embed open education have yet to be articulated at government level. There have been no national open education funding initiatives comparable to the HEFCE funded UKOER Programmes. Consequently open education practice is arguably less well embedded in Scottish institutions than south of the border. Despite the absence of top down strategic drivers, a considerable number of grass-roots initiatives have emerged across the Scottish education sector including MOOCs, OER repositories, OER guidelines for staff and students, Open Badges initiatives and engagement with the Wikimedia community.


Building on these open education developments, and experiences gained from supporting the UKOER Programmes, the Open Scotland initiative aims to encourage the sharing of open educational resources, embed open educational practice and lobby for policies that support open education at the national level. In order to achieve these aims, Cetis facilitated the Open Scotland Summit in Edinburgh in June 2013. The summit brought together senior managers, policy makers and key thinkers to explore the development of open education policy and practice in Scotland. During the summit, participants discussed how openness can help to address key strategic priorities and challenges such as curriculum change, knowledge transfer, quality assurance, change management, articulation and FE funding cuts. Participants also discussed the development of an “Open Declaration for Scotland” based on the Paris OER Declaration, and identified actions and deliverables to take forward, including establishing an Open Scotland working group inspired by the Nordic OER Alliance.


As Open Scotland is an unfunded voluntary initiative, without dedicated resource, progress in advancing the actions and deliverables identified at the Summit has been slow. In the interim, the Open Scotland blog has been launched to act as a focal point to engage the community in discussion and debate, disseminate news and developments relating to all aspects of openness in education and to further the actions and deliverables discussed at the Summit.


The success of the Open Scotland Summit clearly demonstrated that there is considerable interest across the sector in furthering the principals of open education. However continued work is required to encourage the development of open education policy and practice at the national level. There have been several notable developments both within and beyond Scotland that suggest that this is indeed an achievable aim, these include the SQA’s agreement to work with the Mozilla Foundation to explore the potential of Open Badges, Welsh HEIs decision to adopt open education principals and the continued activities of the Nordic OER Alliance. Open Scotland will continue engaging with these communities to highlight the benefits of all aspects of open education and to encourage the development of open education policy for Scotland.


Campbell, L.M. (2013). Open Scotland report and actions. Available from: http://openscot.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/open-scotland-report-and-actions/ [Accessed 25 November 2013].
Matthews, D. (2013). Welsh universities commit to sharing course material online. Available from: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/welsh-universities-commit-to-sharing-course-material-online/2007451.article [Accessed 25 November 2013].
NordicOER (2013). NordicOER Available from: http://nordicoer.org/ [Accessed 25 November 2013].
Open Scotland (2013). Open Scotland Blog Available at: http://openscot.wordpress.com/ [Accessed 25 November 2013].
SQA (2013). SQA investigates opportunities with Mozilla's Open Badges. Available from: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/67688.html [Accessed 25 November 2013]


Further details

Keywords: open education, oer, open badges, policy, open policy, ukoer, open scot, cetis, nordicoer

Website: http://openscot.wordpress.com/

Ms Lorna Campbell, Assistant Director, University of Bolton

Twitter: @LornaMCampbell

Twitter abstract: The Open Scotland Initiative - promoting open education policy and practice across Scotland #openscot