Background to the project

In June 2012, the Society of Biology received six months project funding from the Higher Education Academy and JISC through their OER Programme to work with the Heads of University Biosciences (HUBS) to promote the use of bioscience OER.

This project involved identifying, collecting and promoting UK OER to the bioscience community and we took two approaches: developing a new website to signpost and promote existing OER and a series of dissemination events and publications.

We have been working closely with HUBS to ensure the project meets the needs of the bioscience learning and teaching community.

Creating the website

Many excellent teaching resources are featured in the UK’s national repository for OER, Jorum, but many are hosted directly on institutions’ own websites and may require extensive searching to find them. Our project allowed us to identify resources for bioscience higher education, and signpost them to the teaching community via this website, reducing the time needed searching the web, ensuring better access to quality teaching resources, and introducing those who are new to OER.

This collection of OER aims to support teaching practical biology in Higher Education, and the resources featured on the site include lab and field work protocols, data handling exercises, videos of techniques and multimedia alternatives to wet lab work. 

During the summer of 2012, we searched and collected existing OER across many different websites, and recruited a panel of bioscience teaching practioners to peer review all of the resources featured.  We will be adding new resources as they are released, to keep the website up to date and useful. If you are creating new resources, or know of a great resource that we have missed, then please let us know via the ‘Submit resources’ section of the site.

Dissemination

We have been promoting open education practice to the bioscience community through a series of publications and events.

Dissemination events:

  • Information session at the Society of Biology On Campus Rep Training Day in September 2012
  • Workshop on the project at the Society of Biology’s biannual Member Organisation Meeting on the 15th November 2012
  • Launch of the website 16th November 2012
  • Interactive stand at the HUBS Winter Meeting

Publications:

This project was a part of the HEA/ JISC managed UKOER programme, funded under the Phase 3 Strand 4a; Promoting OER within PSRBs and Subject Associations.