Why do we want to produce Open Educational Resources?

An Open Educational Resource (OER) is any teaching or learning resource residing in the public domain. It doesn’t have to be a full lesson plan; it could just be a photo or video.

Although the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) hasn’t deliberately produced OERs before, we have plenty of experience of producing software and making datasets and images available. Most of these are covered by licence agreements (sometimes dictated by the data collectors and funding bodies) but, if they were freely available, would qualify. We would like to make some resources available openly via the JISC project.

One of the main reasons we would like to create OERs is to raise awareness of BODC and the data we hold, as well as encouraging use of the data. Creating OERs and making them available on our website will help us to reach out to user groups that might not have been aware of our data holdings. We would also like to improve the general communication of science to the public. OERs could be used to help explain principles behind tides, sea level change and storm surge forecasting.

High and low water register for Sheerness, 1877

Figure 1: High and low water register for Sheerness, 1877. Underlined on the 08/10/1877 is an exceptionally high water reading, caused by a storm that affected the South East coast of England

We plan to work with recent Ocean Science graduates to create the resources. Having just been taught the concepts involved, they should be best placed to explain them in terms that newcomers can understand. We are aiming to create resources that can be used in university courses but can also be accessible to the public and work when used in bite-sized chunks.

We want to deposit our OERs in Jorum, the JISC-funded service for storing and distributing teaching and learning resources. Hopefully, doing this will encourage people to explore our data holdings.