The following is a guest blog post by Naiad Wong, Instructor, History, Leeward Community College.
I really appreciate how much this 7-week course has “opened” my eyes. Of course, I realized a while back that teaching was becoming more challenging as students are using more and more technology to get through class. Trying to keep up with the radical changes sometimes feels a bit overwhelming.
The information in this course has given me a great understanding of where I need to go with my own course but also in collaborating with my own department on how to upgrade our sources for Generation Z.
Right now, my biggest challenge will be trying to convert all my primary source readings and all textbooks into a format that students can access anywhere at anytime. This is especially true as more and more students are taking history classes at Leeward and they are from Kauai CC and Maui CC. The reason they like OER and online classes is that they have no such course on their campuses.
The “dialog” which has started in the Arts and Humanities department on making the switch is quite exciting to see but we know how much work still needs to be done. I consider this only the start and will be working with Wayde and the rest of the OER teachers — thanks Leanne and Junie — to really get this going.
We were essentially, “saved” this semester in terms of enrollment thanks NOT to our in-person classes but to our online classes which allow lower cost, more flexibility for all types of students, and also, access to OER materials which I cannot use the same way in on-campus classes.
OER will be THE tool which may save the humanities in the future. Actually, I am VERY sure that this is the case.