The FAVOR Project
LLAS has been funded by JISC to lead The FAVOR (Find a Voice through Open Resources) project. The Project will showcase the excellent and often unrecognised work of part-time, hourly-paid language teachers in HE, and engage them in activities which will enhance the student experience. Tutors will publish teaching resources as open content, and create a suite of new Open Educational Resources designed to assist prospective students in understanding the nature of language study at HE level. Outputs will be disseminated to schools and evaluated by prospective and existing students and will contribute to the national agenda for the promotion and support of language learning.
October, 2011 - October, 2012
Kate Borthwick, Project Manager LLAS
The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) OER Phase 3 programme
Aston University, Newcastle University, SOAS, University of Southampton, UCL SSEES
“It has been a reinforcing, motivating and inspiring experience. It feels good to be part of this project.”- FAVOR tutor
There is strong government and societal acknowledgment of the importance of learning languages, and the FAVOR (Finding a Voice through Open Resources) project has worked to showcase the excellent and often unrecognised work of part-time, hourly-paid language teachers in universities, by engaging them in activities which enhance the student experience and contribute to the academic life of their institutions.
The project sought to understand how open practice might benefit the working practices of part-time, hourly paid language tutors working in universities. Teachers of language are usually on teaching-only contracts and have low status compared to their research-active colleagues. They tend to have intensive teaching timetables, allowing little time to pursue research interests, professional development or maintain professional profiles. As a result, such tutors are often a reservoir of untapped knowledge and experience and can feel a sense of alienation from their own institutions.
The project worked with part-time language tutors across five universities (Aston, Newcastle, UCL SSEES, SOAS and Southampton) to create and publish more than 340 new open educational resources for students. Resources are in at least 18 languages and are free to download, use and adapt. Materials include teaching activities and new resources which give prospective students a ‘flavour’ of language study at university.
In the process of becoming ‘open practitioners’, tutors have learnt new technical skills, shared pedagogical ideas and learnt from others, and adopted new approaches to creating materials. Their project work has raised their profiles within their universities and the community and made a lasting impact on their teaching.
“I’ve learnt a lot…thank you very much for the project because for me it was great…now I’m so motivated to learn more.”- tutor comment
The resources created for the project benefit the education community by increasing the pool of high quality teaching materials openly available; archiving useful content at a time of cuts and consolidation in language departments, and promoting the benefits of studying languages. Resources and information can be found at www.languagebox.ac.uk
JISC : www.jisc.ac.uk
JISC profect web pages : http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/ukoer3/favor.aspx
The LanguageBox online repository www.languagebox.ac.uk
FAVOR Final Report: Download PDF (823KB)
Further resources available on our website:
The FAVOR project builds on previous projects led by LLAS, including the HumBox project and the Community Café project. LLAS has long-standing experience of working with language tutors to support teaching and learning in higher education.