Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

U. Michigan launches health OER project

U-M receives grant to provide free and open, online electronic health professions educational materials, press release, April 29, 2008. (Thanks to News-Medical.Net.)

The University of Michigan has launched an ambitious pilot project to make comprehensive pre-clinical health curricula available worldwide via the Internet.

The project, made possible by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, addresses the education of health care providers in developing countries in Africa and elsewhere. It also enhances the access for health science schools around the world to materials that can be used to help educate health professionals.

The U-M Medical School is leading this project and working with U-M health science schools and partner institutions in Africa the University of Cape Town and the University of Ghana. A key part of this effort will be converting existing educational materials into Open Educational Resources, which will be available online to anyone. The Medical School and the schools of Public Health and Dentistry will provide materials for the pilot. Other U-M health science schools and the School of Information also are supporting the OER program. ...

In addition to this grant from the Hewlett Foundation, the University of Michigan, the Open Society Institute, and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research are providing financial support for this pilot project. ...

Several top universities have undertaken OER projects, but usually at considerable expense. The U-M project is unique for its use of dScribe, a low-cost, scalable and sustainable method developed by the U-M School of Information to convert educational materials into OER. The dScribe method involves a close working relationship between students, faculty and staff to assess the quality of materials and clear the intellectual property in course materials. U-M is also developing software tools to aid the faculty in quickly choosing materials to be posted to the OER site.

Health OER will be developed for the pilot program with participation from many parts of the University of Michigan. A larger, future OER effort is expected to include educational materials beyond the health sciences as well. ...

More information can be found on the new Open Michigan Website. ...