Creating an open educational resource to challenge information privilege

Alternative assessment: creation of an OER about marking up transcribed texts; summary of a potential blog post

Alternative assessment proposal

Barriers to knowledge include “information privilege”, that is, when knowledge is captured but does not become readily accessible. A bigger barrier is when knowledge is not even captured in a meaning way.

In my local, professional practice, I see researchers gain experience and expertise in developing ways to utilise library collections and records, particularly with digital humanities. There are some problems:

  • When visiting and fixed-term researchers leave, their expertise may be lost to the institution.
  • Other institutions may not have this expertise at all.
  • None of the five Rs of openness (Wiley, 2014) have been achieved.

The University of Manchester Library uses Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), a standard for transcribing and cataloguing, based in XML. In 2019, I helped to plan a successful series of workshops to capture knowledge on TEI from a researcher on a fixed term contract to share it with library colleagues.

After the workshops completed, the materials were stored in a private Google Drive folder. To make them into open educational resources, I plan to follow the open practice exemplified by The Carpentries and turn the materials into a workshop lesson hosted on GitHub. The resource will be released open source and, in the future, it could be reconfigured into a Library Carpentry workshop. If this is successful, this approach may help to establish further practice at Library.

How this meets marking criterion 1

“Your analysis of the OKHE theme which you are relating to your professional practice

  • I will present this alternative assessment proposal.
  • I will write a summary of a potential blog post in approximately 250 words.
  • The blog post summary will explain how my planning and development of this open educational resource (OER) has allowed me to analyse knowledge barriers in relation to information privilege, and how establishing an exemplar OER will support further dissemination of knowledge and develop a wider community in different ways to a blog.
  • To a lesser extent, also consider the new OER (in criterion 2).

How this meets marking criterion 2

“Your connections to professional practice

  • I will present this alternative assessment proposal.
  • I will develop the existing TEI materials into an OER on GitHub and engage with other educators and content developers via the Library Carpentry and other communities. The resource will be part of staff development practices for transcription and cataloguing.
  • To a lesser extent, also consider the blog post summary (in criterion 1).

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Outline of a potential blog post

250 words

I have created an open educational resource (OER) based on a closed resource I co-developed in 2019. I will analyse the theme of OER development and delivery then consider the relevant connections for the theme regarding the wider educational community. I consider the production of the OER to be a great assistance to my education of open knowledge in education when completing this assignment.

I will show how my planning and development of this OER has allowed me to analyse knowledge barriers in relation to information privilege and support further dissemination of knowledge. My work follows on from prior OKHE1 posts about blogs, GitHub and community:

  • Jane Gallagher proposes that a blog can be used as an effective way to share knowledge as a bridge between experts and a wide audience. I will suggest that creating and maintaining an OER is richer way, albeit at a greater cost of skills and time.
  • Nick Savage wants OERs to be part of a wider experience, not just single, disjointed components. I will explain that working with The Carpentries communities could help.

By developing materials in this way, I can engage with other educators and content developers and encourage digital skills development. The created resource will form part of staff development practices at Manchester for transcription and cataloguing. It could be shared via professional networks to other institutions. Finally, the post will demonstrate how working on OERs with existing networks can and should steer institutional strategic development, contributing to social responsibility goals.

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Appendix

I have written a longer outline of the blog post at the link above. Not to be assessed but included for my future guidance.

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Exploring themes of open knowledge in higher education.

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Phil Reed

Phil Reed

Librarian Data Specialist, The University of Manchester. Supporting teaching, learning and research with financial databases, digital skills and scholarship.

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