Last week, Rachael shared the exciting learning that occurred in the “Stop Lecturing and Flip Your Classroom” track at Pacific Region Learning Summit (PRLS) 2015. Another PRLS track offered this summer was “Go Open, Go Free Using OER” facilitated by Wayde Oshiro, Junie Hayashi and me. Leeward is the first campus in the UH system to design and deliver a professional development series to help faculty find and incorporate no-cost, low-cost, and creative commons licensed resources into their courses as replacements to costly commercial course materials. The workshop was designed so learning was scaffolded, participants actively participated in hands-on group activities, and sharing was encouraged. Since OER adoption is a relatively new endeavor for our campus, we invited a number of OER pioneers to be guest speakers throughout the week. The goal was for each participant to find OER materials that could be incorporated into a well-designed project for his/her class.
What is OER?
Participants learned that OERs are any materials, tools, or techniques that support free access to knowledge.
“BC OER Librarians Poster” by BCampus OpenEd is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Participants identified benefits of using OER both for faculty and students.
“BC OER Librarians Poster” by BCampus OpenEd is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Participants shared what motivated them to attend the workshop. It was interesting to hear everyone express empathy for students burdened by the high cost of textbooks. Many felt it was a social-justice issue and all students should have access to course materials.
Concerns About OER
In the workshop, we encouraged participants to dialogue and express their questions and concerns about using OER.
Concerns from a faculty perspective included:
- quality of the materials and credibility of the author/source
- finding OER that support SLO
- time required to adopt, adapt or build OER
Concerns from a student perspective included:
- ability to notate OER materials
- access to devices to read the OER materials
In order to address some of the concerns, we invited Jayne Bopp (Sociology) and Michelle Igarashi (CTE English) to share their experiences with adopting OER. Their session was an honest view on their motivation for adopting OER, the workload in adopting OER, and their students’ reactions and ability to access the resources. The session was recorded and can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
Jayne Bopp (Sociology) and Michelle Igarashi (CTE English)
One of the biggest challenges for OER adoption is finding appropriate materials. In the workshop, participants were directed to some of the major OER repositories as a starting point and encouraged to look critically at the resources. Using Diigo, a cloud-based, collaborative bookmarking tool, participants curated useful sources. Participants who taught the same subject were able to collaboratively collect and share resources. The other participants were helped by a librarian – Sunny Pai, Susan Murata, and Junie Hayashi – to find OER materials.
After finding OER materials in their subject area, participants selected one OER resource and reviewed it using standard evaluation criteria. Each person completed a review of his/her selected OER resource and shared the review in the the UH OER Repository. Participants in this workshop were the first to upload content to the UH OER Repository which went live the week prior to the conference.
Experiences with OER: Finding materials and the course design process
After searching through some of the OER repositories and realizing that there is no one central place for all OERs, participants received helpful advice from guest speaker, Susan Wood. Last month, Susan was featured in a blog post in which she detailed the process she went through in developing an open, OER ENG 100 course.
One of the most informative parts of Susan’s presentation were the “mistakes” she made and how she converted them into learning opportunities. She shared:
- She didn’t follow the EMC’s process for developing online courses and ended up with 81 pages of content and had to do some backtracking.
- She didn’t keep track of attributions
- She didn’t pay close enough attention to the Creative Commons licenses
I believe her honest sharing benefited the participants and will save them from making similar mistakes. One of the participants, Brandi Reyes, stated, “we got to hear how the struggle is real, but can work out in the end, at least with a lot of time commitment.”
Course Design Process
After finding a few OER sources, participants were guided through the course design process using a project planning document in Google Docs. Links to participants’ project plans may be found on our blog site. Each project went through the design process – starting with the course SLOs, designing activities that promote active learning, and creating an assessment tool (rubric) to verify the SLO was accomplished. Participants’ plans may continue to be refined and developed as they continue to find and incorporate OER. Their project plan gave them practice at designing one project that can be replicated as they build their course.
Attributions and Creative Commons Licensing
With their project plans in place, Billy Meinke (formerly with Creative Commons, currently Educational Technologist at UH Manoa), Wayde Oshiro, and Sara Rutter (OER System Librarian), guided participants through the ins and outs of attributing materials using creative commons licenses.
The finished product from the workshop was a complete project plan with sources properly attributed and licensed with a creative commons license. In the spirit of Open Education, the plans were shared in the UH OER Repository for other faculty to adopt, adapt or build upon.
Facilitator’s Final Thoughts
This week, I learned that adopting and adapting OER is not a simple undertaking. It will take time, effort, and work by the participants to adopt OER. It will take support from both the EMC, the Library, and the institution. But, I am encouraged and impressed with the participants in this track who are willing to spend the time and effort to use OER to benefit their students. If you are interested in adopting OER, we will be happy to help you. Begin your exploration of open resources here. Once you have explored some of the available resources, contact us for an initial meeting.
Participants had highly favorable responses to the “Go Open, Go Free Using OER” track. Most were confident in their ability to incorporate OER materials into their course. The reflections shared in their blog posts provided wonderful insights into what participants experienced and learned. Some comments included:
“I really appreciated the hands on activities such as generating our own attributions, beginning the process of putting a lesson on an OER repository, sifting + evaluating open resources, etc. The different ways we explored OER tapped into every type of learning style. I definitely plan to utilize my Diigo account! Very helpful and informative. Great pace. I had such a pleasant experience!”
“I appreciate the communal environment and the spirit of sharing that OER and this conference encourages. We are not alone in our efforts to provide quality, free educational resources for our students.” – Ann I.
“In this OER workshop, we were presented with lots of new ideas, support for implementation, and opportunities for practice. “ – Lani U.
“Taking the OER track gave me an in-depth understanding of what OER is, the pros and cons of OER, how to navigate OER repositories and how to incorporate OER materials into course lessons while giving proper attributions. I came in this week expecting to just get a basic understanding of OER, but I came out of this track with such an abundance of knowledge and new skills!” – Frances W.
“I am committed to the OER movement. Right now I am a consumer of OERs but eventually I would like to be an OER contributor.” – Jayne B.
“I finished the workshop reenergized, with a lot of ideas how I would redo my textbook to make it OS (OpenStax)..” – Natalia S.
Join us next time!
Next year May 16 – 20, 2016