Dr Vivien Rolfe BSc PhD PFHEA National Teaching Fellow
I’m Dr Viv Rolfe and am the Director of the Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCOOTER) Project. My present role is Associate Head of Department at the University of the West of England (UWE), but the open educational resources (OER) presented here were shared by academic staff, students and collaborators at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK.
What is this website all about?
This website contains learning materials for students and teachers all about the medical condition sickle cell anaemia. Sickle cell is a haemoglobin disorder, and 2010 when this project started marked the 100th anniversary of the first medical paper that described the condition.
The acronym for the project you might see is SCOOTER meaning – “Sickle Cell Open – Online Topics and Educational Resources”. The project involves staff and students in the School of Allied Health Sciences at De Montfort University in Leicester, and hopefully will bring on board new contributions from UWE.
What are open educational resources?
Globally there is an exciting change toward working openly in education, and open educational resources (OERs) (or open courseware) are part of this. OERs are free and accessible materials, that come in all shapes and sizes, that can be used for any educational purpose. Whether you are a student or a teacher, you can look for OERs in your subject, and these are generally recognisable by the use of an open license like Creative Commons. This means that where you see the license, you do not need permission to use the material – you can just take it! If you look at the terms of the license you may also be free to mash up, repurpose, crop and edit the resource for your own purpose.
In the SCOOTER project, and our other OER projects (Biology Courses and Virtual Analytical Laboratory) we have tried to make our resources truly open and accessible to every type of learner. This means we have not used obscure technologies and file types, and where possible we have shared our learning materials in a number of formats. You might be happy to watch a video or animation, but you can also read the transcript if you prefer.
For more fabulous information on OERs, visit the OER InfoKit produced by Jisc. It will answer all of your questions.
Who can use this site and the resources?
Anybody! The resources are aimed at university-level education, and the resources and those in the pipeline are not just medical-based but also look at social aspects of health care relating to patients and families of those with sickle cell.
Although the resources are primarily designed for university-level, there are resources on here that may be of interest to the general public, for example that discuss law or are more artistic in nature.
Who funded the project?
The SCOOTER project was funded by the UK Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as part of their Open Educational Resources (OER) Programme which started in 2009. The UK OER programme was run by Jisc and the Higher Education Academy (HEA). This is one of a number of projects covering a whole range of subjects from arts to history and science.
How can you use the resources?
This website and all its contents are covered by an open licence called Creative Commons. The exact type of licence is “BY-SA” and these abbreviations mean:
BY – you can download the resource or use it straight from the web page but you must attribute the author and the SCOOTER project. This is so other people can know where you got it from.
SA – stands for share alike. You can repurpose the resource, crop images, edit videos, but we ask you to share them back via Jorum.org.
Who is involved?
There is a growing team of De Montfort staff and external collaborators involved in the project, and an even faster growing community of followers on the FORUM, Facebook and Twitter. Project staff include:
Professor Simon Dyson – works in the TASC (Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell) Unit at DMU and investigates under-researched ethinic and social issues surrounding the conditions.
Dr Mark Fowler – a plant geneticist involved in the Forensic Science programme at DMU.
And not forgetting,
….the increasing number of people and organisations who have shown interest, been in discussion and contributed resources. These include DMU students Nick Machon and Jacob Escott, numerous staff across the university, hospitals including Leicester Royal Infirmary, Northampton General and Birmingham Hospitals, charities including The Sickle Cell Society and the OSCAR organisations, and many more.