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International 2011 Materials Education Symposium

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Open Educational Resources for the Materials Teaching Community (Core-materials)

Dr Tim Bullough | University of Liverpool

Open Educational Resources for the Materials Teaching Community (Core-materials)

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There is always a demand for quality electronic teaching resources to support the teaching and learning of Materials. As part of a pilot project led by The UK Centre for Materials Education in conjunction with over 20 academic and industrial collaborators from around the world, the 'CORE-Materials' repository ( provides over 1200 open educational resources (OERs, a well known example of which is MIT's OpenCourseWare) in Materials Science and Engineering, all freely available under a range of Creative Commons licenses. So far over 750 micrographs, 150 interactive simulations, 160 texts, and 130 videos and animations have been added. These were all pre-existing resources that have now been repurposed and released freely available online, licensed for open use and for repurposing worldwide. The CORE-Materials project also included development of a facetted search interface for the materials discipline to allow resources on specific materials topics to be easily found by academic teaching staff and students. A 'taxonomy' for the materials discipline was developed, which includes over 160 disciplinary terms used to tag the resources, adding significant 'value' to each resource. Initial evaluation of the resource finder and the OER resources by both students and academics has indicated the project has been very successful in providing a central repository for quality materials teaching resources. The next stage is to encourage materials teaching providers to contribute and use the resources, and this has led UKCME to explore the use of 'web portal' technologies such as iGoogle to facilitate delivery of the resources. Examples of the materials teaching resources will be shown, and the issues associated with this project will be discussed, including the motivation underpinning the open release of teaching resources in general, and the (often rather vague and frustrating) processes and policies associated with the release of such resources.