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Sheila MacNeill

Sheila MacNeil OLnet Fellow


Sheila MacNeill

Project Title

Representing OLnet at OCWC Global 2009 Conference

Project Summary

The themes of the conference were Content, Infrastructure, and Creativity.

“Creativity is often viewed as freedom of the imagination from the restraints imposed by economic necessity, convention, law or any number of other factors. Yet creativity also requires provision for the material and means of production. Establishing a solid foundation for informed creativity is one of the primary goals of the open education movement.

How do we, as educators, designers and developers, present content so as to unleash, inspire and enable creativity on a variety of levels? How do we measure and build upon our successes, the most satisfying of which may be a long time coming to fruition?

Meanwhile, infrastructure has traditionally been seen as the set of lower-level services and physical architectures which make the delivery of higher level services possible - pipes, roads, power grids, and server farms. It's been suggested that open content itself, and not just its attendant delivery systems, can be seen as infrastructure. It has also been suggested that the role of the OCWC is to provide infrastructure for its members.

What are the consequences of seeing open content as infrastructure? Are there historical precedents are there? How could a concept of "content as infrastructure" inform what we do - or, for that matter, lead us astray? How does this view affect our attitudes toward what flows through the pipe, over the wire, or on the road?” (Caulfield 2008)

Participants were invited to consider the ways in which these issues inform the way they participate in OpenCourseWare and the larger Open Access Movement.


Fellowship funding was for a visit to Monterrey, Mexico 21-24 April 2009


University of Strathclyde, UK

Biographic information

Sheila MacNeill is one of the Assistant Directors at CETIS, based at the University of Strathclyde. Her main areas of interest and work are around the user experience of using and implementing technology for teaching and learning. Currently much of her work surrounds supporting the curriculum design and delivery programmes, the widget working group and the semantic technologies working group.

Main Output

Reporting back about the conference in clouds on cloudworks and Shiela’s blog and participating and networking at the conference.


  • Clouds within the conference cloudscape on cloudworks.
  • Blog post on CETIS work blog.


Bays, T (2009), ‘OCWC Global 2009’, cloudworks, 17 April [online], (Accessed 2 Feb 2012)

Caulfield, M (2008) ‘A Call for Papers: OCWC Global 2009 - Content, Infrastructure, and Creativity’, OCW Consortium Wiki, 17 December [online], (Accessed 2 Feb 2012) Licensed CC-BY-SA

MacNeill, S (2009), ‘OCWC Global 2009’, Sheila’s work blog, 1 May [online], (Accessed 2 Feb 2012)

MacNeill, S (2009), ‘OER Road Trip’, Sheila’s work blog, 24 July [online], (Accessed 2 Feb 2012)

Other Links

Shiela’s blog: