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Open-space Learning Case Studies

Six academic case studies have been established over two years, constituting the core activities of the OSL project. Business, Chemistry, Cultural Studies, Theatre Studies and Philosophy applied for OSL funding advertised internally across the University in the academic year 2009-10. Maths and Psychiatry are more recent ventures which illustrate our strategy for establishing new OSL projects in academic departments with no prior experience of the OSL methodology.

We established the following objectives for these case studies:

  • to demonstrate the relationship between performance-based learning and student achievement and confidence in their professional development

  • to demonstrate the impact of OSL workshop practices on student learners: the value of OSL in studying complex texts; the value of OSL in conveying academic content in science subjects

  • to develop the academic assessment of OSL activities

  • to establish a set of replicable OSL teaching patterns which can be adopted by different departments in future
Student Research
As part of the OSL research initiative we invited responses on OSL workshops from practitioners, university staff from different academic departments who have decided to avail of OSL techniques, student participants, and student researchers (lead learners). The lead learners were especially important to the success of the project, ensuring there was a student contribution to its research component.

Lead learner reports, interviews and documentation are available to view under the relevant subject sections. A more general discursive report on OSL across the disciplines was authored by our postgraduate lead learner co-ordinator, Adam Slavny.