Sharing teaching/learning materials via the Open Science Framework

In response to an email on the BALEAP (British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes) mailing list, discussing open, online sharing of teaching materials:

If you’re looking for a free, non-commercial platform for sharing EAP teaching materials – or indeed any teaching materials – like syllabi, lesson slideshows, readings, lecture recordings, etc., you might find the Open Science Framework useful. The OSF was set up by the Center for Open Science, a non-profit maintained by charitable grants, to promote greater transparency and improved research practices in academia. This also extends to the sharing of teaching materials. It’s quite easy to start a project for a course and upload syllabi, ppts, etc., and then share with students or whoever else you like (e.g. my course in research communication for graduate students, and a random social psychology course.) You can also apply a licence, requiring that anyone who uses your materials cites you properly, just as journal articles require citation. (All materials also generate a citeable DOI and are searchable in Google Scholar.)

No doubt in many cases people will prefer to set up their own website (like Peter Levrai and Averil Bolster’s Developing EAP, and Andy Gillett’s UEFAP) or use their university’s platforms; the OSF is another option, and one which is free and non-commercial, and which has good functionality.

The OSF’s popularity is growing very quickly among researchers wanting to share manuscripts before publication, data-sets, code, etc., and I’m guessing its use as a tool for sharing course materials will also increase. At time of writing, the Center for Open Science expects to start focusing more explicitly on OSF’s functions as a platform for sharing teaching materials, beginning later this year. EAP would appear to be one field with potential for particularly fruitful work in open science, since EAP is essentially training a sizeable proportion of the next generation of academic researchers.

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