4.1 Case study: fostering a healthy digital culture
The approach taken within one of the short course production teams at The Open University is an example of how to foster a healthy digital culture. Regardless of role, each member brings a different digital skill set that is of equal importance to delivering the product. There is a high level of trust, asking questions, showing others in the team how to approach all tasks and proactive behaviour is a fundamental way of working, to ensure that products can be developed quickly. There is never an assumption that someone knows how to do something or a mindset of ‘that is someone else’s job’. Everyone is flexible and helps out when required.
Case study: fostering a healthy digital culture?
The table below is an extract from production guidance for course authors who often have never used the online platform to which we deliver. The focus is very much on the skills they already have to build confidence, set expectations and create a safe, open environment to build trust quickly. People are encouraged to ask for help, while being able to access the necessary digital guidance and tools. The aim is to ensure that, when work begins on the online platform, people have developed the capability to understand how to deliver the best course possible.
Get to know the platform
Sign up for a short course and look around to see how the platform works.
Write as though you were talking to someone directly rather than writing an academic paper or textbook.
Tell stories and take the learner on a journey
What is the key thing you want the learner to take away and talk about?
Focus on skills
Write your content around skills that will improve the learners’ employability.
Have a big question and know who your learner is
This will help you shape the course in the right direction.
Flag third-party content early
Identify any third-party content you’d like to use as soon as possible. Don’t assume if it is in an OU course that we can use without clearance.
Plan media early
Consider what you want in terms of video, audio, graphics, interactives to allow time for production.
Vary content and learning types
Use the different step types and media options to give learners variety and keep them engaged.
We love big ideas, and where possible we will find a way to achieve them.
Ask for help
The team is here to help you, there are no stupid questions.
Be prepared to hear No, but we will work with you to find a solution.
The platform does not have the same functionality or approach as our platform. We will always let you know if we feel something is not right, or not possible. This means we say ’No’ a lot but we will try to find a way round it.
We are also really strict on word count!
Our aim is to ensure you have fun and deliver the best course possible.