The goal of the JISC-funded Sesame project was to produce a rich and sustainable source of open educational resources (OER), targeted at adult learners and their tutors, across a broad range of subject disciplines, and to make these resources freely available for others to view, download, repurpose, and incorporate in to their own learning and teaching.

Building on previous research and related projects undertaken by TALL and the University of Oxford more widely, the project team worked with part-time tutors and students on the Department for Continuing Education's weekly class programme to identify existing, and create new online resources to support their teaching and learning. OER were produced in the form of a series of open online course sites, containing newly-generated resources such as podcasts, course notes, slides and more, created and released as OER as the Department's weekly classes were taught, and made available through a central website,, and other mainstream portals such as iTunes U, Oxford's podcasts portal and Jorum.

The specific aims of the project were:

  • To embed open ways of working in the development and delivery of weekly classes.
  • To increase awareness and knowledge of OER among staff and students.
  • To enable weekly class students to find and use appropriate, validated OER in their work.
  • To improve part-time tutors' skills and confidence in identifying, using and creating OER.
  • To widen access to Oxford's teaching to new audiences globally.

To achieve these aims the project:

  • Created and released new open content.
  • Developed tools and processes to facilitate open practices.
  • Provided training to support part-time tutors to identify, use and create OER.
  • Developed infrastructure to enhance discovery of OER generated by the weekly class programme.
  • Shared lessons learned from the project with JISC and the wider community.

The project began in October 2011 ended in October 2012; however, continues to be used by the weekly class programme and the Department more widely to create and collect resources to support teaching and learning.

Key project outputs
Resources gathered by the Sesame project
A short video describing the project, including interviews with tutors about the impact the project has had on their teaching practice
Sesame Project Plan
Sesame Project Interim Report
Sesame Project Final Report
Other outputs

For further information contact:

Sean Faughnan, Project Director

Marion Manton, Project Manager