Open Content

The University of Oxford has completed the  ‘World War One Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings’ project

The project has surfaced some of the highest quality OER through a series of expert commentaries created by some of the most notable academics in the field of World War One studies and related disciplines. Alongside these thematic directory areas of additional expert-curated OER and dynamic libraries of relevant resources from the wider OER community will be made available. The project has innovatively revisualised a series of OER to showcase the full potential of using open material to seed academic debate.

Due to the breadth of academic engagement with the project, the project has addressed some of the core motivating factors for JISC in undertaking this work e.g. encouraging new academic interpretations around WW1 to challenge received notions of historical fact and build on new areas of research and study. It has also provided new insights into the global nature of the conflict and provide new ways by which students, learners and researchers can engage with and draw out fresh perspectives in one of the most taught and researched periods of European and global history.

The project was an exciting collaboration between the teams at the University of Oxford responsible for the First World War Poetry Digital Archive and the Great War Archive (funded under the JISC Content and Digitisation Programme), and the Oxford Open Spires, Triton, and Great Writers projects (funded under the HEA/JISC Open Educational Resources Programme Phases 1, 2 and 3). This project team therefore brought together a wealth of experience from pedagological and content perspectives to create a unique and timely open educational resource that brings the people, events and places of WW1 back into sharp relief for the benefit of education and research.

As with the JISC WW1 Discovery programme, this project was underpinned by the JISC ‘Statement of Intent’

Even though the World War 1 Centenary project has now completed, there are still challenges ahead. The blog will continue past the project, and whilst the community of contributors has grown, a more sustainable model is being implemented to  ensure that new content is regularly added to the site. The project is working on a partnership with a number of University’s that will see Masters  and PhD students submit short articles on their dissertations and these topics, as part of public engagement training. This will ensure that the most recent research is fed through the site to offer truly new perspectives on the War. The sites openly available RSS feeds and API, OAI endpoint mean that the content can be included in 3rd party aggregators/repositories, such as WW1 Discovery, Europeana, Wikimedia Commons and Jorum.

Project Documents

For more information on the project, its evaluation, findings and recommendations, please see the documents below:

Final Report

Evaluation Report

If you would like to find out ways that you or your organisation can contribute to the site, please contact Kate Lindsay at katharine.lindsay@it.ox.ac.uk