Introducing the project

Aims and objectives
This project will collect and release digital learning content that supports the theme “Great Writers inspire – learning from the past”.

The project will provide a new set of key lectures, a series of downloadable electronic texts and ebooks, plus background contextual resources including a blog of scholarly posts to support the lectures and ebooks.

It is anticipated that the content will explore the historical context, discuss key texts and the writers’ legacy and influence on literature. Example collections will cover themes and writers related to:

  • Early English
  • Renaissance Theatre
  • The World of Writing in the 18th Century
  • Victorian Writing
  • World War I Poets
  • Modernism

The material, intended to provide an engaging introduction to a typical humanities undergraduate education, will be released under a suitable open content licence and therefore can be reused in education worldwide.

The project will focus on content collection and release through community collaboration and engagement. Our principal stakeholders will be the humanities subject community. We will also engage with school teachers to ensure that the material released is useful to the pre-university sector.

As a result of this project a substantial collection of rich learning resources with a literary theme and a focus on engaging new students will be created and made available for global reuse. The materials will be related to a strong ‘Great Writers’ thread, curated by subject specialists and steered and evaluated by the demands of the subject community.

Great Writers project

Collecting existing materials together and enriching them with new resources will increase their exposure, surfacing materials which may otherwise be undiscovered.

We will undertake wider engagement with the humanities subject community through community engagement workshops:

  • Be Inspired’ – An engagement event to launch the project featuring a series of short lectures which will act as a catalyst for content collection and generation.
  • Engage’ – A workshop focussed on generating collections around the theme of Great Writers. This session will provide the steer from representative users and provide a forum for increasing open content literacy amongst academic content producers.
  • Sustain’ – A session focussing on usability and evaluation of the collections generated.

The end users for these materials will be:

  • Teachers wishing to create richer learning resources will find a resource bank of reusable materials which can be used to enhance and facilitate learning.
  • Students. The collections will offer a widened perspective on a text or topic, and facilitate cross-discipline understanding. Students’ learning experience will be enhanced by having access to material in different formats (audio, video, text, ebooks). Access to resources adapted to portable devices will increase uptake. Potential students wishing to gain a flavour of study at University will benefit from the ‘window’ that these resources provide.
  • Life-long learners with an interest in classic texts. Themed collections can offer new approaches to classic topics which will appeal to the interested self-learner.
  • Resource creators. By documenting the processes used for creating the themed collections, resource creators elsewhere can follow the same tried and tested methods when creating new resources.

Great Writers is an OpenSpires OER Project (Open Educational Resources) run by the Learning Technologies Group, Oxford University Computing Services, University of Oxford. It is funded by the HEA and JISC through the Open Educational Resources (OER) Programme.

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