Since 2015, the University of Edinburgh’s Open Education Resource (OER) Service has collaborated with Geoscience’s Outreach (GO) course, where students create educational projects with community clients, to curate an exceptional collection of high quality OERs into an accessible collection on the TES platform. This curated collection now consists of 59 OERs, packaged for teacher’s ease, on wide ranging scientific topics for ages 3-18. Covid-19 lockdowns and home-schooling illustrated the importance of the broad reach of this collection with downloads increasing 60% in 2020.
The GO course mainstreams OER creation and open community engagement within the curriculum, providing students with an opportunity to gain experience of science outreach and public engagement. Outstanding student projects are selected by course organisers and passed to the OER Service who collaborate with Geoscience staff and our summer Open Content Curator Interns to further develop and package the resources into high quality educational material. The OERs are also aligned with Experiences & Outcomes in the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) for ease of teacher mapping to educational needs. Newsletters are sent out to Scottish school networks each year to update teachers on these available resources.
Since 2016 our employment of undergraduate summer interns has been crucial to the success of curating GO student projects into outstanding OERs, while providing our intern students with valuable work experience. Each with insights for engaging audiences, streamlining templates, editing and repackaging resources, and providing feedback for the GO course workshops which have been implemented and increased the quality of student projects.
We are proud that this collection actions the University of Edinburgh’s vision purpose and values; to discover knowledge, make the world a better place, and ensure our teaching and research is diverse, inclusive, accessible to all and relevant to society.