Students studying the Medical Science Degree at De Montfort University have been involved with one part of the HALS OER project that aims to boost student use of open educational resources (OERs). We are finding that students do not know what OERs are or where to find them so just aren’t making the most of the abundance of good learning materials out there.
It is also interesting when you start discussing with them the notion of critically evaluating resources from the internet. We educate Medical Science degree students from day one on how to critique and appraise research articles and books based on credibility and reliability, but not how to select electronic resources such as YouTube videos which they are using all the time.
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The evaluation matrix developed by De Montfort library staff is being tested by Medical Science degree students on videos, animations and other electronic resources – which in essence is what open educational resources are! Medical Science degree students have highlighted where the above matrix is not appropriate for the task. It has also been a very illuminating exercise for me because it makes me realise they are not making informed decisions about any internet resource. They assume because it is on YouTube it can be used, whereas usually there is no information on which to judge the credibility of the video. So all internet resources / electronic resources / OERs should include:
- Author name
- Date of release
- Institution or organisation
- Purpose / aim of the resource – what is the student going to learn?
- Creative commons licence – so the student has found the resources and this will tell them how they can use it!
So our focus groups have served two purposes:
One – to adapt the matrix to suit OERs as a promised output from the HALS project.
Two – Medical Science degree students have seen what OERs are and started to develop an understanding of how to evaluate internet content.