The SCOOTER project to release open education resources started in September 2010 and this website launched on November 9th. In 5 months we have achieved several milestones and goals.
One aim of the project was to use search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to promote our materials on the internet. Our SEO expert Simon Griffin has been very patient and coaxed us into producing regular blog articles and Ezine articles to provide fresh content for the site, and helped establish us a social network of forum members, Facebook followers and Tweeters! Through this work SCOOTER now ranks on Page 1 of Google for the search term “Sickle Cell Anaemia” although we cannot be complacent. This high ranking means that SCOOTER has many visitors – over 1,500 to date with people on average spending 2-3 minutes on the site. Over half the visits are “organic traffic” i.e. people using the search engines showing that the SEO works!
Visitors are from 63 countries, and UK, US, Canada, India, Australia and Nigeria are amongst the top visitors. Most people are viewing the site on a computer and only 4% of visits are from mobile devices, something we would look to enhance.
What else has been going on? The team at De Montfort University have had one academic paper on open educational resources accepted for publication, and another submitted to a health science journal. Dr Viv Rolfe will present at two conferences over the summer, and of course, there will be many more publications and dissemination activity in future months.
Most exciting has been the enthusiasm by our global community in registering for the Forum, and following our social networks. We will use the community more now to provide feedback on resources and see how we can move forwards in the future. The project has involved staff and students at De Montfort University, but also many external volunteers including UK charities, Hospitals and other universities.
It has also been fun recently asking students about open education resources. One said “it would be nice if more resources like this could be accessible to everyone. If De Montfort can allow others to use their resources hopefully other institutions will reciprocate”.
Dr Viv Rolfe
Project Lead SCOOTER Open Education Resources
De Montfort University UK
Follow me on Twitter @DMUViv