About US

Dr Vivien Rolfe BSc PhD PFHEA National Teaching Fellow


Dr Viv Rolfe

I’m Dr Viv Rolfe and the Director of the Biology Courses project. This is part of a series of work funded by the HEFCE Open Educational Resource programme in the UK (2009 – 2012) and led by Jisc and the Higher Education Academy. I also lead the Virtual Analytical Laboratory (VAL) and Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCOOTER) projects. All this work was created when I was at De Montfort University, and I now am based at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol.

Why open education?

These projects are part of a global movement that is OPENING up the doors to education, with the co-creation and sharing of open educational resources (OER or open courseware) right up to the development of free and open courses for learners. Our OER comprise lecture notes, video and animation, or bundles of free assets (video, photos, quizzes) that you can adapt for their own purpose.

I use open educational resources (OERs) all the time – they are learning materials created by others, and not only can it be really inspiring to see how someone else may present a topic, it clearly saves identical materials being duplicated over and over again, particularly for commonly taught subjects.


So what is special about an OER?

You might argue the web is stuffed full of educational materials, and that is true. But much of it is copyright restricted so we can’t use it how we might like. Many medical subjects relating to patients would require permission to use, so the deeper you delve into copyright, the more muddled it becomes. The beauty of OER is much of it is released under a Creative Commons Open License (see the ‘CC’ logo on the image above).

In our projects we use the license derivative CC BY – SA (BY means attribute us using our web link and SA means share alike and return your new version to the web in the spirit in which was shared). Our copyright information can be found on thisprivacy page.

What subjects are on this website?

This website contains biology resources from the Faculty of Health and Life Science at De Montfort University. Subjects include forensic science, biomedical science and midwifery (although these resources are housed separately on the MORE website).

Who is this website for?

  • School children and college students considering going to university and would like a taster of some science topics and resources.
  • University students studying health and life science subjects.
  • Teachers, tutors and lecturers teaching biology and sciences who might want photographs, video, animation and stuff to reuse.
  • Anyone interested in science!

And finally!

A huge number of people have been involved in these Jisc projects including members of academic staff, library and central university services, and of course our science students. The projects were supported by Jisc, the Higher Education Academy, and a great network of OER folk across the UK. (#UKOER). Here are some of the key folk,

Dr Mark Fowler – forensic science
Professor Simon Dyson – sickle cell and thalassaemia
Jacqui Williams – midwifery
Libor Hurt – research fellow
Malgorzata Rekas – biomedical science
Marilena Ioannou – microbiology