Open Education Resources Showcase Animation

Open education resourcesshowcase

Animated musical showcase of the De Montfort University HALSOER (Health and Life Science Open Education Resources) Project part of UKOER


Open Education resources Showcase

Image: Microscopy open educational resources.
Creative Commons BY SA.

Authors:                                                                       Level:

Content and animation by Dr Vivien Rolfe                                  All, public
Music “Powerglide” © Paull Topliss and performed by
Rocket 88 (Paul Topliss, Arthur Green, Doug Ebling, Fran Ebling, Vivien Rolfe)

OER Features:

Click for Animation showcase

OER Description:

A feature of many of our open education resources is the use of animation which is a fun and effective way to help learners understand about many biological systems and processes. In fact, research shows that animation and text (or a voice over) is a really effective way of learning, and students love using these resources.

I love animating and in particular setting things to music, so this OER combines the two to illustrate some of the features of our HALS project.

The animation was compiled for “Open Education Week” 5-12 March 2012, which is a week organised by the Open Courseware Consortium to raise awareness of open education resources– that is the sharing of educational materials and the networking of learners and teachers around the globe.

The HALS project is funded by the UKOER Programme run by the JISC and HEA, and my work is also supported by an Open University SCORE Fellowship. SCORE is the “support centre” for open education resources based at the Open University.

Dr Viv Rolfe

Biomedical Science and Microscopy

Open education resourcesbiomedical sciencemicroscopy

Biomedical science laboratory skills resources showing how to use and maintain a light microscope.


Biomedical Science Microscopy

 Image: Microscopy open educational resources. Creative Commons BY SA.

Content Authors:                                       Level:

Dr Simon Oldroyd                                                           School, College, University, General interest
Dr Vivien Rolfe

OER Features: (bundle of 10 resources)

Biomedical science resources: How to set up a light microscope

PDF and Word & Txt Document Down Loads: Guide to setting up a light microscope.

How to set up a light microscope instructions PDF
How to set up a light microscope_instructions DOC

How to set up a light microscope_instructions TXT

Biomedical science resources: How to maintain a light microscope.

PDF and Word & Txt Document Down Loads: Guide to maintaining a light microscope.

How to maintain a light microscope instructions PDF
How to maintain a light microscope instructions DOC

How to maintain a light microscope instructions TXT

Adobe Flash (CS3 AS2) Animated quiz to learn parts of the light microscope.

Microscopy quiz questions DOC

OER Description:

In the biomedical science laboratory, the light microscope is routinely used to view histology slide samples (that may be obtained from patient biopsies and blood smears) and also to view microbiological samples. This is an important step in the diagnosis of many diseases and specimens will also be analysed to review the progress of various treatments and therapies.

All samples are prepared on a glass slide which is preserved and sealed with a cover slip to enable viewing under the light microscope.

These OERs are a series of 10 resources including videos, accompanying guides and an animation to introduce the light microscope. Also included is a set of quiz questions.

There are several steps that need to be taken to set up the microscope and the first video outlines these to set up the eye pieces and focus the condenser lens and the stage, along with an accompanying PDF and editable Word and Text Document of all the essential steps.

The second video illustrates how a microscope should be cleaned, and for example in our biomedical science student laboratories, all equipment is cleaned and maintained twice a year. There is an accompanying PDF of the audio transcript of this video which again outlines the basic steps. This is also available in editable Word and Text format.

Alongside these resources is an Adobe Flash animation illustrating the parts of the microscope and including a drag and drop quiz to test the user’s understanding.

Understanding the parts, functioning and maintenance of a light microscope is fundamental to any laboratory science student including those studying medical sciences and biomedical science.

Open Education File Format Tips and Tricks

When you are making an open education resource, it’s not just about the content of the resource, although content is very important. You need to think about the different users around the world, and the different devices they may be using.

I read recently that over 75% of Afghanistan has 3G mobile coverage, (the numbers are equally astounding for most of Africa), so if we’re making open education biology courses for example that we’re hoping to reach the 3rd world, we can’t just be thinking swfs, or even pdf depending on the creative commons licence attached to it. We need to be thinking mobile formats, small screens, dial up internet speed, offline viewing, open source software….

open education

We need to think about opening out our open education, so that a range of people can access and enjoy it. If we have made a great swf animation, you can export it as avi and post on youtube, albeit without interactivity Or why not let people download the source fla files in a zip…. And if you do post on youtube, this may be fine for people with great internet connections, but what about the situation away from internet, where distance learning still requires a postman – we need to make these videos available for download too.

Let me tell you about pdfs though, as it makes another point about open education… We write a great open education resource for our biology courses that we wish to share with the world, so we put a creative commons licence on, save as pdf (easier for printing), and post on the internet. Simples, no? But how can anybody remix your content, without the need for proprietary software (Adobe Reader Professional). You need to post the content as txt as well, and open office format so anybody, can open it, even if it means spoiling the format. You may wish to post it on Google Docs as well, and on your facebook group…

There are levels of open education when it comes to file formats.

  • OER that only requires open source software to open and edit e.g. Uncompiled source code, .html, .txt files (most open format)
  • OER that does not reveal source code but can be opened but not edited in a free package (e.g. .swf, .pdf,)
  • OER that requires proprietary software to open but source code is then revealed (e.g. .fla files require flash but then it opens the source code to be remixed)
  • OER that requires proprietary software to open and source code is susequently not revealed (e.g. some screencast recordings)

These are useful to know when you are attributing your open education as you may have CC No Derivs, in which case you need to think about whether you reveal source code or not, but to be truly open, it must be able to be viewed in an open source environment, which is another consideration.

I find that the scattergun approach is the best way to work, and share the resources in a number of ways simultaneously. That we we can ensure our open education reaches exactly who we want it to in a format they can understand. We want open education to be free, and readable for everyone.

Written by:

Phil Tubman BA MSc Cert Ed AHEA
Certified Member of Association for Learning Technology
Lancaster University