Learning with Technology

for Teaching

March 21, 2017
by junie
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OER Opened My Eyes

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.

March 20, 2017
by junie
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What, So What, and Now What

The following is a guest blog post by Merissa Brown, Speech and English Lecturer, Leeward Community College Waianae

Go Open, Go Free using Open Educational Resources @ Leeward Community College: What, So What, & Now What

I arrived to my first “Go Open, Go Free” meeting a committed Open Educational Resource (OER) skeptic. I thought “free” resources, willy-nilly edited by anyone, were bound to lack academic integrity and be low-quality substitutes for resources offered by respected publishers. However, I am always searching for innovative ways to save students money. Also, I realized I didn’t actually understand the process behind Creative Commons licensing, or how materials become OER. When I saw the invitation to attend Leeward’s OER training, I decided to educate myself and THEN determine if my skepticism was warranted.

Nothing was as I had expected.

During the past 7 weeks of curriculum, online discussion, and face-to-face meetings, I learned that there ARE many high-quality textbook and supplementary resources available and that our mighty librarians are well versed in how to help us locate what best suits our needs. I learned exactly how I can and should not use the materials I find and how to properly credit the creator for his or her efforts. I learned how to pick and choose various components of multiple resources to customize materials for my exact needs, teaching style, and preferences. I learned that educators review resources to help others determine quality and how to share my own reviews. Finally, I learned how to license materials I create so that I can share my work on my terms.

Anything we create is copyrighted. Anyone who wants to use another’s work should ask permission, but a permissions process can be clunky. When someone wants to share their work Creative Commons licensing grants the ability to, “refine your copyright” and “refine how you give permission,” (1:05, “Creative Commons Kiwi” by plccanz is licensed under CC BY) streamlining the process.

While I believe that OER has much more potential than is currently realized, what matters to me now is that I have a new place to find quality resources, connect with colleagues across the planet, and share my work exactly as I deem fit. OER provides content creators and mixers new ways to reach more people without overstepping boundaries of copyright.

Using OER is not necessarily easy. I’m still not satisfied with any OER full text I’ve found while looking for materials to replace my existing speech book. However, I have found a wealth of new material for English courses and expect that my English courses will have zero textbook cost from here on out. To solve my speech problem, I plan to marry several different materials together and customize a course-specific resource. I now have the skills to confidently approach the task. The process will take time, but I plan to complete the transition to fully OER materials for speech by Spring 2018.

While I may not approach every new class I teach as strictly OER, I am committed to the ideas behind the movement. I plan to spend some of my down time this summer licensing and sharing my original materials and adding proper Creative Commons attributions to any of my non-original resources. Knowing I can determine how others use my work and how I am allowed to use others’ material is comforting. Learning a new citation style as it emerges is exciting for a super citation-nerd, like myself. Modeling proper citation for students is essential in the days of instant information sharing where “alternative facts” lurk around every corner.

Information literacy is important for everyone, but especially for educators. Even if you may not plan to use OER or think you have no need, becoming literate in this educational expansion is crucial. I recommend those involved at every level of education take this training. Faculty, staff, and administrators will all discover benefits. In addition, I look forward to seeing how OER training can be implemented into general information literacy curriculum for our students.

March 20, 2017
by junie
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My OER Journey As Part of A Learning Community

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!

March 17, 2017
by Rachael Inake
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Student Satisfaction with “Textbook Cost: $0”

Students benefit from “Textbook Cost: $0”!

“Textbook Cost: $0” classes are classes with zero out of pocket costs for textbooks, supplemental course materials, access codes, etc. can be designated Textbook Cost: $0.

Textbook Cost: $0 classes may incorporate Open Educational Resources (OERs), online resources, library resources, faculty-authored materials, or any combination of no-cost resources. Therefore, it is required to have Internet access to use these course materials.

– from “Go Open, Go Free Using OER at Leeward CC

textbook cost 0 student satisfaction infographic

Direct link to infographic: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/21051624-student-satisfaction-with-textbook-cost-0

Learn more about “Textbook Cost: $0” at Leeward CC, a list of “Textbook Cost: $0” Leeward CC courses, and FAQ: https://sites.google.com/a/hawaii.edu/oer/zero-textbook-cost-adopters.

March 17, 2017
by Rachael Inake
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Ross Higa Shares About OER

Welcome to Open Education Week at Leeward CC! The Leeward CC OER Committee is excited to promote Open Education Week and we hope you join us in raising awareness about free and open educational resources (OER). Look for our posters around campus!

This week, you will receive a daily email highlighting how OER are benefiting students and instructors at Leeward CC. “Open Education seeks to scale up educational opportunities by taking advantage of the power of the internet, allowing rapid and essentially free dissemination, and enabling people around the world to access knowledge, connect and collaborate” (Open Education Week).

Hear from one of our Leeward CC instructors, Ross Higa, Assistant Professor of Management, share how using OER has benefited his students and how he has become an advocate of OER by encouraging his peers and colleagues to use OER.

Video: https://youtu.be/qMMQdOTOhkg

October 27, 2016
by Rachael Inake
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Passed the Point of No Return or Regrets

This is a special guest blog post by Michelle Igarashi, English instructor at Leeward CC.

oer-igarashi-students

I started using OERs in 2014 when a publisher’s representative informed me that my textbook would be undergoing yet another round of “updating” and thus my students could no longer purchase used copies.

During a conversation with one of Leeward’s fine librarians, I discovered a wonderful new type of online text known as an “Open Educational Resource.” The clincher? These books were FREE!!!

I was dubious at first and thought there was no way a no-cost, and, gasp, online textbook could be as good as its bound counterpart. Also, I worried about accessibility. Socio-economic discrimination weighed heavily on my mind as I considered whether going 100 percent online would be appropriate and fair to all students. Therefore, for my first OER semester, I offered the students the option of printing chapters from our classroom printer (We have some tech in the room thanks to a grant.) if they so desired. No one took me up on it. I have been “textbook cost $0” from that point on, and every semester I offer students the printing option and not one has printed a single page.

My students have commented in class and on my evaluations that they love the online resources. I teach Career and Technical Education designated classes; many of my students spend their mornings in shop or in kitchens. Pupils have shared how they love having their textbook in their pockets, and how easy it is to pull out during breaks. Moreover, a couple of weeks ago, my classroom flooded, and we were relocated into the D building portables. I was concerned we’d have reading issues since we were without our usual classroom tech. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when, without missing a beat, students sat down, pulled out their phones and began reading. One even read from a flip! I captured the moment in the photo above. It looks like I have no classroom management, but as I walked around, every student had the OER pulled up, and, with no prodding, the day’s assignment was well done and completed on time.

Since adopting OERs, my students’ reading comprehension scores have gone up. Discussions are fuller as more students complete homework. No one “forgets” his/her book at home. Students like the interactive nature of OERs with clickable links as opposed to footnotes or having to flip to other parts of the book. Besides having to hide whenever a publisher’s representative walks through the Language Arts’ hallway, all is well.

October 26, 2016
by Rachael Inake
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Kelsie Aguilera’s OER Journey with Anthropology

The following is a special guest blog post by Kelsie Aguilera, Anthropology instructor at Leeward CC.

kelsie-aguilera-oer-2016

I first became aware of Open Access (OA) my first week working here at Leeward CC. My office mate at the time was Jayne P. Bopp, instructor in Sociology. Over the course of that first week sharing an office with Jayne, I noticed that she seemed to have found a magical way to avoid all the customary beginning of the semester drama revolving around textbooks. The customary beginning of the semester drama revolving around textbooks includes, but is not limited to, the following student gripes:

  • “Not knowing” what book is needed even though the syllabus clearly indicates the required textbook.
  • Not being able to afford the textbook.
  • Lamenting about not only having to buy an expensive textbook, but also having to read the textbook in spite of being far more adapted to acquiring information on demand (like a Google search) and via more interactive avenues (like educational videos on YouTube).
  • Seeing little value in textbooks. This idea is so pervasive among students that many avoid buying their required textbooks all together. For example, my older brother recently graduated from a well-known community college on the mainland and always boasts that he managed to acquire a B.S. in Education with a ‘B’ average, without ever buying a single required textbook!
  • Unwillingness to commit to my course with full 100% effort in the beginning of the semester because of “not having the book yet”.

Mind you, this list does not even touch upon the multitude of possible instructor gripes!

I soon learned from Jayne that this seemingly magical way of avoiding textbook drama was through providing Open Educational Resources (OERs) to students rather than assigning a traditional (paid) textbook. She then showed me how to search for free, open textbooks as well as how to make them available to my students. Unfortunately, I could not find an anthropology OER textbook, as anthropology is not one of the more “popular” college disciplines like psychology, math, and writing. I quickly abandoned my OER dreams until last Spring semester, when I took the Go Open, Go Free Using OER workshop series at Leeward CC, facilitated by the EMC and Library. If you’re interested, this workshop series will be offered again in the spring semester. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/go-open-go-free-using-oer-spring-2017-registration-28872347970.

In the workshop series, I was guided through the process of curating a set of my own free, OERs. I learned that I no longer had to wait around for a perfect OER textbook to materialize; I could collect my course OERs myself! I loved the freedom and creativity involved in being able to pick and choose my course materials. With a traditional textbook, I disliked that so much of the content covered in the textbook was content that did not align with my Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs), and therefore, I would never assess. Why assign a dense textbook chocked full of material that is irrelevant to the goals of the course? With OERs, I was able to choose a set of relevant and diverse resources – academic journal articles, podcasts from NPR, latest blogs from professional anthropologists currently out in the field, and information from credible anthropological websites like National Geographic. I am lucky that in my discipline of anthropology, many of us have made a commitment to Open Access. In fact, many anthropologists are starting to avoid the traditional publishing route and make their research openly available. And yes, much of these resources that I now assign as part of my set of OERs have earned the esteem of being “peer reviewed”. And no, not a single student from any of the six course sections that I have transitioned to OER in has complained about not having access to online resources.

I personally believe that my ultimate goal with my introductory level anthropology courses here at Leeward CC is to inspire students to have a life-long appreciation and understanding of anthropology, whatever their academic or career paths may be. I personally believe that adapting to student needs by providing curated, relevant, and credible OERs in a variety of content types was an important step in helping me work towards this goal.

October 24, 2016
by Rachael Inake
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OER Benefits for Students

By: Cara Chang, Writing Instructor at Leeward CC. Video produced by: Michele Mahi, Speech Instructor at Leeward CC. Special thanks to Michele’s COM 210H students for sharing their views on OER.

Students from Speech Instructor, Michele Mahi’s COM 210H class, candidly share why they appreciate using Open Educational Resources (OERs) in her class. In sum, students appreciate Michele’s incorporation of OER materials in the course because:

  • The text is available 24-7, so there is no excuse as to why students can’t do their homework.
  • It is free, which means students can focus on paying for their classes and not the added cost of textbooks.
  • The textbook is tailored to the course.
  • It is relevant for the class and provides many different perspectives.
  • It encourages the instructor to curate excellent materials for the content of the course, which means that he/she is involved and invested in the making of the course.
  • It is more fun than reading a textbook.
  • It is convenient and easily accessible.
  • It is easy to share information with others.
  • It is reflective of the “real world” which requires the use of technology.
  • It is environmentally friendly.
  • It is exciting and encourages learning!

View the video to see Michele’s students’ testimonies of why they like and how they have benefited from using OER in their COM 210H class.

August 15, 2016
by Brent Hirata
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SMART Board

This is a special guest blog post by Lani Uyeno, English instructor at Leeward CC.  During the Spring 2016 semester,  Lani participated in our SMART Board Basics orientation.  In her post, she shares an small group classroom reading and discussion activity that incorporates the SMART Board.  We look forward to continue working with Lani to further integrate the SMART Board technology into her instruction.

lani

  One of the difficulties my students face as they begin using outside sources for their essays is to accurately state the main and supporting points of the articles they have read. The further the topic is from their own experiences, the harder it is for students to comprehend and use the information from their selected articles. Although my students complete a process analysis essay on the topic of annotation,  they needed more practice applying the process. The SMART Board was a perfect vehicle to practice annotating a text.

  To begin the process, I had students preview a copy of “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, asking them to read the title and make a prediction or ask questions, and then to read the first paragraph, the first sentence of the remaining paragraphs, and the last paragraph to get a sense of the whole. This part of the process was done in four minutes. Students then shared their predictions as I jotted notes on the SMART Board slide.

Click to enlarge

  In the second part of the process, students were given eight minutes to read and respond to the entire selection. Students marked main ideas, identified key words, and jotted questions in the margins of the reading selection. Students were asked to review their markings and to answer any questions they had posed earlier.

  In teams, students shared their responses for specific sections of the selection, and each team came to the SMART Board to jot down their annotations. Here is a sample marked section.

  We completed the activity with a summary of the selection — three minutes of writing addressing “What is ‘The Story of an Hour’ about?” One student wrote, “Mrs. Mallard receives the news about her husband’s death and is filled with grief but later feels joy because of the freedom she experiences that she will no longer be controlled by her husband. As she is walking down the stairs with her sister, it is revealed that her husband is alive. She dies from shock, but others think she has died of heart failure from happiness.”

Click to enlarge.

  To complete the process, students assessed their level of comprehension after applying the annotation process. In a three-minute focused freewrite, students responded to the question “How did the annotation process help with your understanding of the story?” Several pointed out the process made “hard to understand parts” clearer, forced them to ask questions  about the character and plot, and helped them keep track of terms and sections that were difficult to understand. One student wrote, “The process makes me stay active, so I didn’t get side-tracked. I could look back and compare my first impressions with my later understanding.”

  The SMART Board allows teachers to take snapshots of the slides produced in class and to turn the written parts into text. After the activity was complete, I took all of the teams’ comments and “translated” them, and then posted them to Laulima for review. In later classes, students were asked to take turns presenting their annotations for other reading selections.

 

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