OER1131c Short Paper (Part of Symposium OER1131)
The Victoria Climbié Corpus Project.
Dawn Clark, University of Huddersfield
Graham Gibbs, University of Huddersfield
Conference Theme: Academic practice and digital scholarship
Abstract: This project, funded by HEFCE's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) as part of the Enriching Digital Resources programme has taken a large textual resource which was originally made available (and still is available via the National Archive) as part of the legal, public inquiry process and re-presented it in ways that make it useable in both research projects and in undergraduate and professional training. The data provide good examples and evidence of social work, health and other professional practice in the child protection field. The project has coded and categorised the data from the Victoria Climbié public inquiry and made the data and coding available to users via the Internet. This consists of transcriptions of the 68 days of oral evidence which was made available to the project by the Department of Education and Skills and they have agreed to our making the data freely available to teachers, students and researchers on the Internet. There is testimony from 168 witnesses, which produced over 5,200, single-spaced, A4 pages of evidence (approx. 2 million words). This data set is too large to be used in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and what the project did was create a mechanism for extracting thematic and limited subsets of the data that could be used in student project and class work. The web pages offer a means of identifying criteria for selection of subsets along with a series of exemplars of how this might be done and what learning activities might be undertaken with the data. The resource thus lies somewhere between a straightforward archived data set and a traditional OER. What was originally a legal and political record of events has now been transformed into a resource that can be used in teaching and training sessions. The coded data set has been used by researchers in the UK and USA and the launch event was attended by teachers from several UK universities as well as trainers from social work departments. (The project always envisaged that there would be scope for the resources use in professional development.) It has also been evaluated in use with students undertaking project work at Huddersfield. This paper will report on these evaluations and in particular the recognition that this kind of resource needs a very well-defined teacher input so that students are made aware of what they have learned on completion of the sessions based on its use.