Learning with Technology

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My OER Journey As Part of A Learning Community

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The following is a guest blog post by Gloria Niles, Assistant Professor in Education, UH West Oahu.

I registered for “Go Open, Go Free” offered by Leeward Community College to learn more about Open Education Resources. My initial motivation was to learn more about resources that could be used as alternatives to costly textbooks for the courses I teach at UH West Oʻahu. Having attended brief sessions on OER and Creative Commons previously, I was intrigued to learn more. For presentation assignments in the courses I teach, I encourage my students to find images with Creative Commons. I wanted to learn more, so that I could provide better support for my students.

Over the past seven weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet new friends and colleagues from the Leeward campus. I looked forward to our Tuesday afternoon sessions each week, working collaboratively on learning activities, and sharing our experiences of finding sources that are relevant for each of our needs. I have achieved my goal of learning where to look for credible Open resources for alternative to publisher issued textbooks. We completed evaluations of resources, explored repositories, identified and distinguished between different types of CC licenses, and discovered tools to help attribute credit efficiently. As a learning community, we shared our challenges and our success. Our facilitators, Leanne Riseley, Wade Oshiro, and Junie Hayashi were supportive, encouraging and wonderful sources of information and guidance throughout our OER journey.

Now that this part of our OER journey is complete, my commitment to finding credible OER sources for my course material has strengthened. Additionally, I have gained new motivation to not only look for sources, but also contribute materials that I have created, revised or remixed from other sources. Being the only faculty member from a different UH system campus to participate in this workshop, I feel grateful to have expanded my network of OER champions. I also look forward to sharing the information and excitement that I have gained with colleagues, and my students at UH – West Oʻahu. Mahalo nui loa for the opportunity and the experience of Go Open, Go Free!

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