Open Education Practices: A User Guide for Organisations/Video: OER at OP

Interviews with staff and students at Otago Polytechnic, in the initial stages of establishing open educational practices there (2006-2009). Youtube version Internet Archive version Video by Leigh Blackall, Sunshine Connelly and Mark Leggett for Otago Polytechnic

Video: Open educational resources and practices at Otago Polytechnic


In 2008, Otago Polytechnic signed the Cape Town Open Education Declaration,[1] adopting the Creative Commons Attribution "CC By" copyright license. This means the CC By work of others can be shared and modified, as long as attribution to the original author is made. Many staff began publishing their educational materials to the Internet, using popular media sharing sites. Following are transcripts from interview samples given by Otago Polytechnic staff and students who featured in the video: Open educational resources and practices at Otago Polytechnic.

Robin Day, Deputy CEO: "So the vision is to make Otago Polytechnic a key and a lead provider in this area both in New Zealand and world wide.... The recognition of Creative Commons with Attribution as our default position has been widely accepted and feedback has been that it is instrumental in building Otago Polytechnic's reputation as an educational provider."
Sarah Gauthier, Liaison Officer Marketing and Communications: "I'm aware that people in EDC are doing a lot of fantastic and innovative work, around getting people to work more collaboratively in the online format, both in teaching and learning, and maybe by bringing our materials to a wider audience. So rather than keeping it all closed up in an institution where information can only be found in books, we're putting information online, where many people can see, where people can interact with it in a different way.... You have this whole big world, out there, with little people living in columns, not knowing what the other one is doing. What I think open educational resources can do is connect those people, so that not only are they interacting, but they're learning, so their information actually goes up."
Anna Hughes, lecturer: "I think open education is a great thing, it would be fantastic if more tertiary institutions - or any institution, embraced that open education policy. I think that Otago Polytechnic should be doing it, and should lead the way.... I think my vision would be that there is as much as possible out there in an open access forum, and that its available to as many people as possible around the world."
Phil Kerr, CEO: "As an institution, we've embraced the concept of OER (Open Educational Resources) as a way of operating, that's manifested in our IP Policy, and our Copyright Policy, and we've started a journey that we think will be long term benefit not only to the Polytech, but to the sector, and education generally.... It's very easy to say why should we hide the content that we generate, let's make it freely available, let's encourage people to use it and put back in the pot so-to-speak, and I think everyone ends up better off with a philosophy of that nature."
William Lucas, Lecturer: "I have a real problem with the whole issue of intellectual property, its crazy and restrictive, I mean its not as if you're giving something material away and that you lose being giving something of your resources. If you share your intellectual property you haven't lost anything.... I'll create the stuff and leave it lying around, and later I'll see other people using it - that's fine ... its the way it should be!"
David McQuillan, Programme Coordinator (Massage Therapy): "I think that what people pay for is not just the content of the knowledge, they pay for someone who can guide them through it.... There's a huge learning curve with teaching online. Last year was our first year, and I'd say some things went really well, and other things we can improve on. If we look how the students have achieved through the year, we've decided that over-all they've performed better that the students in the previous year, there are some areas where their learning is more and where it is less, but over-all we're pretty happy with the outcome.... If we can persuade others who are in the same field, to become involved in open educational resources and development and collaboration, then that would be better for everyone really."
Samuel Mann, lecturer: " ...what's changed in the last couple of years is that we've had a complete turn around in the approach to the accessibility of information ... now the emphasis is on, let's get this stuff out there! It really is an exciting thing.... The straight knowledge isn't our core business, our core business is facilitating people to understand that knowledge or to work with that knowledge."
Terry Marler, Team Leader at the Educational Development Centre: "It's not just a giving, its a receiving as well. Of all kinds of personal connections, and understanding how resources could be customised and used in developing countries ... the other interesting thing is that, wherever I have gone, people say to me - 'Otago Polytechnic, we know all about your efforts.' Because of the work we do on Wikieducator we are well known for our work, and it is appreciated. It's like a door opens wherever I go because of this work."
Kyla Russell, Kaitohutohu CEO: "The purpose of open educational resources is access to resources without having to reinvent a wheel, and the realisation that just by providing access, doesn't necessarily grant the qualification - it provides access to learning ... if people can come to learn to use it as a resource, then the greatest reason we can have is the concept of Ako - to teach is to learn. And so in teaching someone else you learn a lot about yourself, and learning from someone else you can pass on a new way of teaching. And so for me that's what it provides - not just as a resource, but how we use it - you know, engaging with it and using it as a tool rather than a nuisance."
Jean Tillyshort, Group Manager for Central Otago: "We've had really good feedback about our policy for open education, and our open resources, and being proactive about that, and we've actually had really good feedback about particular resources we've put on the Net and made available as well."
Mike Waddell, General Manager Marketing: "If I want to find out - through open education, how to peel an onion, I can find that out 70 thousand-probable ways by purely doing a search on the Internet. So why shouldn't then someone find out how to peel an onion at Otago Polytechnic?
Ryan Ward, Co-president of the Student Association: "New Zealand may not be ready for free education, but it's definitely something we can work towards, and the reduction of those barriers - specifically the financial ones. Thousands of educational resources are freely available online, for collaboration, easier access, improved teaching and learning outcomes."


  1. Shona Cox. 2008 Otago Polytech signs Cape Town Open Education Declaration. Education Weekly Eduvac Wednesday, July 16th 2008.