13. Dreaming Spires get Wired

In April 2009, the Learning Technologies Group received national funding from the JISC and HEA for the OpenSpires project, a one-year pilot project investigating the release of open educational resources.

The OpenSpires project built upon the success of Oxford on iTunes U by releasing more audio and video material from Oxford as Open Content. This means that the material will be free to re-use and redistribute provided it is used non-commercially and the creator is attributed.

In its first year the project successfully established a sustainable set of policies and workflows that would allow departments from across the University of Oxford to regularly publish high quality open content for global reuse.

  • Over 180+ Oxford academics and visiting speakers have contributed to OpenSpires
  • Over 400 items (audio, video, slides) are currently available as open content
  • Material includes complete lecture series, interviews, seminars, and panel discussions
  • Subject areas include politics, economics, environmental change, business, research ethics, medicine, physics, English, classics, art history and philosophy.

The project leveraged new popular open outreach channels such as the University video portal and Oxford on iTunesU. Through well targeted marketing and a clear communication strategy, we have helped the discoverability of the material which has lead to consistent download figures.

The material released by OpenSpires is

  • Openly available on the web.
  • Free to download by anyone, without restrictions or registration.
  • Promoted as free for reuse in education worldwide.
  • Clearly labelled with the popular Creative Commons licence allowing reuse in education.
  • Can be discovered through all University distribution channels including the web, iTunesU, the Oxford VLE and the mobile portal m.ox.ac.uk.

Open Educational Resources (OER) at Oxford University now continues past this pilot stage of the project thanks to sustainable processes and a standardised legal form for contributors.

Find out more.

Up: Contents Previous: 12. Sakai Award Next: 14. LTG Members Share Their Great Ideas