Proceedings of The Physiological Society

University of Oxford (2011) Proc Physiol Soc 23, PC2

Poster Communications

OeRBITAL: Open educational resources for Bioscientists Involved in teaching and learning

D. Lewis1, T. J. McAndrew3, C. Taylor3, G. J. Cooper2

1. Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom. 2. Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom. 3. UK Centre for Bioscience, Higher Education Academy, Leeds, United Kingdom.


Open educational resources are digitised resources which have been made freely available by their creators, through Creative Commons licensing, for use by both students and academic staff in their research and teaching. Open educational resources can include entire courses, course materials, videos, problem solving exercise and many other types of resources. The use of open educational resources is increasing in popularity amongst Higher Education Institutions. Many Learned Societies and Professional Bodies are also promoting their use and dissemination within their disciplines. Indeed, the Physiological Society has its own repository of teaching materials, Philter1 (PHysiologists’ Image Library & TEaching Resource) which is available to its members. OeRBITAL2 (Open educational resources for Bioscientists Involved in teaching and learning) is a Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and Higher Education Academy-funded UK Centre for Bioscience project, the aims of which are to discover and promote the use of open educational resources in the Biosciences. Ten Discipline Consultants, who collectively have expertise from across the biosciences, have been appointed. These Discipline Consultants are searching through existing repositories, evaluating individual resources, and disseminating information on the best of these within their discipline via the project wiki and through links with Learned Societies. Here, we present examples of resources and repositories for Physiology linked material including Topics in Physiology3, and the Life Sciences Search Engine, Vadlo4. The benefits of sharing teaching resources with colleagues outside of your own Institution include the promotion of your own teaching or Institution and enhancing your students learning experience by giving them access to materials or resources that you are unable to provide, particularly if these utilise the knowledge or expertise of colleagues which is not available within your own Institution. There is also the potential for enormous savings in cost and time; providing excellent resources for your students without reinventing the wheel. Furthermore, through the use of Creative Commons or other licencing, users can modify and potentially improve or enhance your resource for the community whilst retaining acknowledgement of your original contribution.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements