Thursday, 8 December 2011

New projects at the RVC

Over the past month we have had two significant successes with funding from JISC - at a time when funding is particularly hard to find. These will enable to continue to develop our innovative projects working on Open Educational Resources, WikiVet and commercial publishers.

Online Veterinary Anatomy Museum
The JISC Content Programme has provided over £ 130,000 to develop an Online Veterinary Anatomy Museum(OVAM). The project will provide access to a comprehensive set of veterinary anatomical resources which will be presented in an intuitive virtual environment. All the UK veterinary schools have already committed to contribute materials as well as vet schools in Ireland, Spain and Australia. In addition, other partners including Elsevier, Mansons and Morpho Vet Imaging have agreed to provide content for the museum.

3D Image of Foal with Mandibular TumourThe museum will contain a wide range of digital exhibits provided by the partners including e-books, anatomical videos, potcasts, powerpoints, slides, assessments and images (pictured right is a 3D Image of Foal with Mandibular Tumour, courtesy of Morpho Vet Imaging, Belgium). These will be shared under a Creative Commons licence as Open Educational Resources meaning that they will be freely available. The intention is to categorise all these items in a way that they can be virtually displayed in “collections” and “themes” depending on where in the curriculum they will be used. The project has funding for each of the partner schools to employ students as virtual curators to help tag and build these collections.
For more information about the project visit :

PublishOER - Developing new models for Online Publishing

This project is led by the Academy Subject Centre for Medicine, Dentistry & Veterinary Medicine at the University of Newcastle and will develop new ways of augmenting the open educational resources (OER) ‘pool’ with high quality published content by investigating new business models for embedding published works in OER. It is a partnership of organisations including Elsevier, JISC Collections, Rightscom (with links to all publishers) and education providers particularly the RVC. It will survey stakeholders in the context of advancing academic publishing in challenging times (responding to changes in UK further and higher education), test models of working through a significant case study in veterinary medicine and explore the potential for mutually beneficial national licence agreements. It will investigate alternative, flexible ways of raising income while augmenting existing resources with weblogs, reviews, comments and ratings from users, and ways of incorporating published works into OER, ensuring staff and students are operating within best practice, accrediting, attributing and paying (when necessary) for using commercially published material in sharable resources.
For more information about the project visit :

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Development of a Virtual Anatomy Museum

The Online Veterinary Anatomy Museum (OVAM) will provide access to a comprehensive and pedagogically structured set of veterinary anatomical resources from UK veterinary schools and other institutions. These will be aggregated and ordered in an environment which will make them easily discoverable by different cohorts of learners. Key to the success of this project will be the development of effective methodologies to embed and integrate these materials within a traditional curriculum to maximise exposure, uptake and sustainability.

More information at : OVAM web site

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Presentation at e-Health Conference 28th June 2011

E health presentation 28th june 2011

The presentation will examine a collaborative model for sharing OERs between veterinary schools through a wiki.  The session will describe the lessons learnt from the JISC funded Opening Veterinary Access to Literature (OVAL) project. This is intended to trigger discussion as to how academic institutions can collaborate effectively with commercial publishers in the development of free to access learning resources.
The intended learning outcomes include an appreciation of the issues involved in sharing OERs and the application of the MEDEV OOER toolkit to support this process. More specifically, the session will discuss how OERs can be adapted from existing published texts to generate educationally valuable, quality resources which are open access.
The WikiVet project has now been running for a 4 year period. In that time over 10,000 individuals have registered with the site representing over 198 veterinary schools from 68 countries. The presentation will explain how the WikiVet environment has assisted in the publishing of OERs in an accessible format. A comparison will be made with other approaches to repositories for OERs including JORUM and the case will be made for new thinking on the most effective publishing models for the future.
The relevance of this session to the wider healthcare community includes exposure to new working practices which help address current shortfalls in funding for resource development. This will include developing business models which facilitate collaboration between corporate partners and academia with benefits for both.
To date review and evaluation of the project has been limited to feedback from small focus groups and statistical review of site usage. The session will explore ways that these OER initiatives can improve feedback and evaluation in order to better focus provision on the needs of an international audience.
Further information on WikiVet and the OVAL project can be found at A compilation of key blogs relating to OERs is available on the MEDEV site at

Scase, T., Brown, G., Cox, B., Short, N., Smith, K., Whittlestone, K., Hammond, R. and Rhind, S. (2008) 'The WikiVet community of practice', The Academy Subject Centre for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine Newsletter 01, no. 17, Autumn 2008 pp. 15-16. ISSN 1740-8768 Also available online at: accessed [5 May 2011], ISSN 1479-523X.
Brown, G., Quentin-Baxter, M. and Belshaw, Z. (2010) ‘WikiVet: building a community of practice to support a self-sustaining wiki for veterinary education’, Int. J. Web Based Communities, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp.183–196.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Bloomsbury Media Cloud

Launch Event, Friday 20th May

In January 2010, JISC awarded the Bloomsbury Colleges £90,000 to deliver a project - the Bloomsbury Media Cloud, which builds upon their portfolio of shared licenses and collaborative approaches to supporting learning, teaching and research. The project, running in partnership with the London International Development Centre (LIDC) aimed to establish a shared media platform across the Colleges to create a consortium site with a focus on issues relating to international development.

This is the official launch of the new media platform - please contact if you would like to attend.

1300 Lunch
1400 Welcome (Sarah Sherman, Project Manager)
1410 Keynote Presentation: Richard Jacobs (Director of Business Development, MGt plc & PayWizard plc)
1440 Bloomsbury’s International Profile (Nick Short, Project Director)
1450 The Bloomsbury Media Cloud (Neal MacInnes, Media Officer)
1510 Developing an Open Source Media Platform (Stuart Bowness, Director: MediaCore)
1530 Break
1545 Cloud Computing and JISC (Alex Hawker, Programme Manager: JISC)
1605 e-Copyright and Digital Performance Rights (Zak Mensah, e-Learning Officer: JISC Digital Media)
1630 Drinks Reception

The Hash-tag for the event is #BLEcloud

Thursday, 14 April 2011

WikiVet goes mutilingual

It is now possible to translate content on a WikiVet page into another language!

An extension has been installed into WikiVet after testing, you may have noticed a new tab for 'translate' on the left side of the screen in WikiVet. This enables you to select another language to view content in. The current languages that are available are Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

Find out more....

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

WikiVet gets new funding from JISC

The WikiVet project has just received £ 100,000 to support a new initiative to publish commercial content on the site. The Opening Veterinary Access to Literature (OVAL) project involves the repackaging of currently restricted-view veterinary educational resources into an open format, which will then be made freely accessible to an international audience of veterinary online learners.

Veterinary students and graduates have become increasingly confident in using web based resources to supplement or replace traditional approaches to learning. Whilst the convenience of e-learning has obvious attraction, there are also concerns with the academic quality of online information and how to search for it amongst the numerous other less reliable sources. The OVAL project will help to address these issues by adapting quality peer reviewed articles and datasheets provided by our commercial partners and integrating these in to the widely used WikiVet veterinary educational portal.

Currently, there is an extensive range of veterinary literature produced by private sector publishers which has a limited readership due to the prohibitive costs. However, with the significant market changes associated with e-publishing, there is now a good business case for making some of these resources free to view. The OVAL project intends to use this opportunity to develop an innovative model for repurposing online journals and text books as Open Educational Resources (OER).