Learning with Technology

for Teaching

November 28, 2018
by Leanne Riseley
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Creating an OER Textbook by Cara Chang

The following post is written by Cara Chang, Leeward CC English Instructor.

TCara Changhis semester (Fall 2018) is my first semester teaching and piloting a new OER textbook for English 209: Business Writing.  Prior to teaching the class, I found two possible OER textbooks for my class on OER Commons.  The first textbook was Business Writing by Lumen Learning and the second textbook was Business Communication for Success from Open Textbook Library. I found both books to have important information; the Business Writing textbook focused more on writing skills and concepts while the Business Communication for Success text focused more on oral communication. I also noticed that there was some overlap in the content in both textbooks; in fact, some of the chapters in both textbooks were exactly the same.  As I started thinking about what textbook I wanted my students to use, it became apparent that both textbooks had something to offer. Though most of the SLOs in the course focused on writing skills, one of ENG 209’s SLOs mentioned delivering an oral report, which my students would be doing for their final assignment.  Therefore, I figured it would be helpful for my students to have access to material on both written and oral communication skills.

In April and May of 2018, I attended a workshop led by UH OER Technologist, Billy Meinke, who shared about Pressbooks, which is a simple e-book production software.  He shared an example of a UH Mānoa Nutrition textbook, which had used Pressbooks, and I really liked the appearance, layout, and clean look of the textbook. I also liked how compatible and easily accessible the textbook was on my phone since I knew that would mean that students could also easily access the textbook.  I also learned that some OER materials could be easily imported into Pressbooks, which would mean that I would not necessarily need to create material from scratch.

I spent July and August creating the textbook for the business writing class.  After planning the course schedule and looking through the two OER textbooks, I decided what information I wanted to include and exclude.  I ended up keeping information from both books and combining both textbooks into one textbook while organizing the information in an easy to understand way.  I was able to do this quite easily by importing one textbook into Pressbooks, but I wasn’t able to do this for the other textbook, which I ended up copying, pasting, and organizing in a cohesive manner.  The book starts with general content surrounding communication, covers the writing process and types of business writing, narrows down to specific writing rules and conventions, and concludes with presentations.  Lastly, I made a cover page for my textbook and named the textbook Business Writing for Success, which is a combination of both of the textbook titles.

Business Writing for Success Fall 2018 Edition

Overall, I liked working with Pressbooks.  It seemed fairly easy to use, and the layout was visually appealing and organized.  Furthermore, it seemed to be easily accessible for my students. When I finished creating the textbook, I included the textbook as an external website link in Laulima.  My students seem to like the textbook. They like that they don’t have to pay for a textbook and that all of the course materials are located in Laulima. To be honest, I’m not sure they really utilized the textbook as much as I hoped.  However, they did have group presentations on how to give presentations where each group was required to read and present on an assigned chapter in the book. I plan to have them take a survey regarding the textbook at the end of the semester, so I know how to better improve it.

While teaching the course and using the book for the first time, I came to realize how I would like to revise the textbook to make it better.  As I progressed through the semester, I realized that there was not enough business writing examples for my students. I ended up creating examples for my students that we would view, discuss, and critique in class.  Furthermore, I also realized that there are possible chapters I would like to add in the textbook. For example, I had my business writing students create a website and blog in class, and I needed to find external websites for students to read to assist them in this process.  Finally, there is room for creating and curating more lectures/videos for students who wish for supplemental materials.

In conclusion, I learned a lot from creating an OER textbook using Pressbooks.  It was user friendly and allowed enough customization for my needs. I would definitely consider utilizing Pressbooks to create another OER textbook in the future if I need to, and I invite other faculty members to participate in this valuable experience, as well.

September 4, 2018
by Leanne Riseley
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Free OER Webinars

OER Open Educational ResourcesButte College is hosting a series of free “Introduction to OER” Webinars.  It is a 4-part series that is focused on orienting faculty who are new to OER.

The workshops are Fridays from 9 AM – 11 AM HST Time (Note: 11/9 and 12/14 are 10 AM – 12 PM due to daylight savings time).  The login for the webinars is: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/458705302

Dates and tentative Topics:

9/28 – Introduction to OER and Open Access

10/12 –Licensing and Search Strategies

11/9 – Universal Design and Accessibility

12/14 – Curation using Pressbooks and Open Pedagogy

More information is found on the Intro to OER Course Website: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/1123092

Registration is not necessary. Webinars are free. Please feel free to share with your colleagues.

August 20, 2018
by Leanne Riseley
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Free OER In-Person and Online Professional Learning Opportunities

Sharing some free OER professional development opportunities…

In-person OER Training on UH Manoa Campus

Online OER Training by OpenStax

Topics include:

  1. What is OER?
  2. What is OpenStax?
  3. Are OpenStax books high quality and are they really free? (spoiler alert: yes)
  4. How can my students and I access the books?
  5. Do you have other teaching resources?
  6. What about homework and courseware?

Tuesday, September 4 at 6 a.m. HST and Monday, September 17 at 9 a.m. HST.

Registration for Tuesday, September 4

Registration for Monday, September 17

May 3, 2018
by Rachael Inake
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Our Future is Open Access

A poem written by Ann Inoshita, Instructor of English at Leeward CC.

We must break the limits of the past
and construct new methods to collect and access
the contributions of all.

We must find answers at a faster rate
and unite our efforts to create breakthroughs.

We must participate in a free exchange of ideas
unbarred by bias.

We must embrace diversity as a strength
and realize that humility opens our minds to possibilities.

Problems have evolved and our minds must evolve
to support new ways to communicate and collect solutions.

Access to shared ideas is necessary
to learn and discover
beyond what we think is possible.

Ann Inoshita shares her poem, “Our Future is Open Access.”

poem

March 8, 2018
by Rachael Inake
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Kelsie’s OER Journey Continues

The following is a special guest blog post by: Kelsie Aguilera, Instructor of Anthropology, OER committee member, and graduate of the Go Open, Go Free Using OER workshop series.

Kelsie Aguilera profile

During the fall semester of 2016, I first shared with you my Open Educational Resources (OER) journey through a special guest blog post. I now wish to update you because some things have changed!

But, what has not changed is my support for OER and the global Open Education movement OER are a component of. There are so many barriers and challenges that our students face on their paths to academic and career success; purchasing an expensive textbook no longer has to be one of them. I now advocate for OER by serving on our campus OER committee along with serving on the Awareness subcommittee. Through my OER committee work, I am grateful for the many opportunities I have been given to share my experiences with OER to our campus and the community, such as being a guest speaker for the Go Open, Go Free Using OER track at the Pacific Region Learning Summit.

After taking the incredibly enriching Go Open, Go Free Using OER workshop series in 2016 and launching two of my courses as “$0 Textbook Cost” soon after, the response I have received from students has been overwhelmingly positive. I have received countless words of gratitude and thanks about going “$0 Textbook Cost” from students and no major critiques. In stark comparison, I used to receive countless complaints about the traditional textbook I used to assign. Furthermore, my success rates have increased since the switch. Although I cannot confidently attribute the increase to my adoption of free resources, many of which are OER, I like to believe that my efforts have made a positive impact.

Ultimately, I wanted to impart a note of encouragement to you. When I first heard about OER in 2013, I immediately became frustrated because I couldn’t find any suitable OER for anthropology. Thus, I abandoned the project until I took the Go Open, Go Free Using OER workshop series, which gave me the confidence and resources I need to take the leap. New OER materials are steadily being created and added to the movement. For example, an organization I am involved with, the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges (SACC), recently released the first peer-reviewed, open access textbook for cultural anthropology called Perspectives: An open invitation to cultural anthropology.

Movements elicit change as the result of the participation of its supporters, so you can contribute to the OER movement too. I am doing my part; I am currently working with a dedicated group of SACC members to produce and edit an OER introductory biological anthropology textbook, which will be the first of its kind. If OER doesn’t work for you at the moment, don’t indefinitely rule it out. The movement keeps growing and evolving, and you can contribute to it, too, so that you can make OER work for you.

March 7, 2018
by Rachael Inake
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Why OER Was Appealing for Me

The following is a special guest blog post by: Lois-Lynn Deuel, Instructor of Psychology at Leeward CC.

Lois-Lynn Deuel profileMy path to using Open Educational Resources (OER) was not a hasty one. When I taught my first college course 25 years ago, I dutifully selected a well-known textbook for the spine of my course, promptly employed all of the publisher’s bells and whistles and creatively developed colorful PowerPoint presentations to organize my in-class lectures and facilitate student note-taking.

As my experience and expertise increased, a lot of things changed in my instructional style. I started incorporating more active learning activities, stopped using the “death by PowerPoint” approach and adopted a number of flipped classroom techniques. Most importantly, I began a slow drift away from using the textbook as the foundation in my courses.

Why was OER appealing to me?

  • Each semester, more and more students were not purchasing the textbook, purchasing a really old edition, using a “similar textbook,” or depending on the University of Google. I found the potential of increased access for ALL students to be very appealing.
  • In a similar vein, access from DAY ONE and continued access long after the course has ended (something that is not possible if students have rented or resold their textbooks) gives students a substantive and permanent resource.
  • I wasn’t making use of the entire textbook. Each year, I would “require” fewer pages to be read and leave some chapters as “optional reading.”
  • I was using an increased number of supplements to address shortcomings in the textbook, e.g., short YouTube videos that succinctly explained course concepts, popular literature with meaningful examples, clips from movies, TV shows and the news.
  • Even with new editions every few years—the information in textbooks was immediately out-of-date. I was making corrections “on the fly,” and sharing stories about cutting-edge research that was YEARS from making it into a textbook.

Last year, I participated in the OER Workshop offered through PRLS. My initial intention was to increase my technical knowledge and learn about more scholarly resources that I could systematically use to beef up the supplementary materials for my courses—like an “OER Lite” to accompany the textbook. As the week progressed, I decided that an OER text along with my existing supplementary materials might be an option. It would certainly save my students money.

Unfortunately, the next thing I came to realize during the PRLS week was that there were no existing OER texts for Developmental Psychology. If I wanted something better for my students (i.e., higher quality, up-to-date, more relevant, better explanations and examples, more efficient or concentrated learning), I was going to have to make it myself—an OER mash-up using hundreds of different resources.

The PRLS workshop on OER gave me the confidence to try (WARNING: Junie, Wayde, and Leanne are really sweet, helpful and persuasive!). So, I decided to take the plunge.

March 6, 2018
by Rachael Inake
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A Student’s Perspective on OER and Textbook Cost: $0

The following is a special guest blog post by: Kimo Burgess, Leeward CC student, Student Government Senator Fall 2017 – Spring 2018.

Kimo Burgess profileThere are many benefits when it comes to taking OER or $0 cost textbook courses. When I first entered Leeward Community College several semesters ago, I didn’t realize how outrageously expensive textbooks could actually be. I thought textbooks would generally cost around $20 to $30, but I was flabbergasted to realize that textbooks can cost up to $150 and above. Having to pay for books in addition to tuition is ridiculous. As an average college student, I have to pay for a bus pass that is priced at $250 a semester and tuition that is $2500 every year. The most I have spent on textbooks during one semester was $500. That $500 can be better spent on transportation and even alleviate the cost of living.

OER and $0 cost textbook courses offer many benefits such as financial and academic freedom, the unburden of carrying heavy textbooks, and not having to worry about whether it’s in stock at the bookstore or on Amazon. Though there are benefits with $0 cost textbooks and OER courses, access to computers or an online device can be difficult for some.

When I entered an OER course during my second semester at Leeward Community College, I felt liberated not having to carry a heavy textbook with me every time. It’s efficient and cheaper for professors to go OER. It can be irksome for both the professor and the students if they need a required reading/textbook that can be possibly out of stock in the bookstore or even unavailable at the library. Having Ebooks (electronic books) introduced as course material can make school life a lot more simple and sustainable, too. Ask yourself this question, “Why would I need to buy an expensive book when I can just read it for free?” I hope in the future that Leeward Community College offers more OER courses because it makes college life and work a whole lot easier.

 


 

Here are some statistics on Leeward’s Textbook Cost: $0 courses for Spring 2018. Let’s help more of our students, like Kimo, by offering more textbook cost: $0 courses!

March 5, 2018
by Rachael Inake
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UH System Open Education Week Activities

In the spirit of Open Education Week, UH Manoa is hosting some wonderful events. Check them out on their website. If you are available, you are encouraged to register for the various sessions that are taking place on Thursday, March 8 at the Manoa campus​. Here is the link to the livestream channel on YouTube if you wish to view the sessions on that day. Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani (University Teaching Fellow in Open Studies and a Psychology Professor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, B.C., Canada) will be the keynote speaker and will also be conducting a hands-on workshop about strategies and resources to redesign course assignments.

In the afternoon at 2:30, our own Wayde Oshiro, Head Librarian, will be part of the closing session that highlights the potential for OER to improve outcomes and the learning experiences for UH system students.

Open Education Week 2018 UH events calendar

In addition, UH West Oahu will be celebrating Open Education Week with the following workshop on Tuesday, March 6 from 1 – 2 pm.

OER: Affordable Course Content
Dr. Gloria Niles and Dr. Tom Scheiding
Location: E109

Open Educational Resources (OER) are sources of information that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Learn how OER is being implemented at UHWO and across the UH System.

Both the UH Manoa and UH West Oahu sessions will be recorded and we will be posting recording at a later date.

March 4, 2018
by Rachael Inake
0 comments

It’s Open Education Week 2018!

Open Education Week 2018 logo

Join the Leeward CC OER Committee in celebrating Open Education Week, starting today, March 5th until March 9th! This week, you’ll receive a special daily email to inform you about topics in open education, particularly those related to our campus about Open Educational Resources (OER) and textbook cost $0.

Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide.

The idea of free and open sharing in education is not new. In fact, sharing is probably the most basic characteristic of education: education is sharing knowledge, insights and information with others, upon which new knowledge, skills, ideas and understanding can be built.

Open is key; open allows not just access, but the freedom to modify and use materials, information and networks so education can be personalized to individual users or woven together in new ways for diverse audiences, large and small.

– from Open Education Week at https://www.openeducationweek.org/page/what-is-open-education

To start the week off, we compiled a few articles and resources to introduce you to Open Educational Resources (OER).

OER Myths

These are some common myths about OER:

  1. OER are just free resources
  2. There’s no such thing as a free resource
  3. OER course labels punish faculty who haven’t adopted open resources
  4. Publishers are going to fight this
  5. The bookstore is going to fight this

Read why these are myths here.

OER Textbooks for Your Course

One way to start using OER is to find an OER textbook. Curious if there’s one for your course? Check out Leeward’s OER LibGuide for OER textbooks. On the OER LibGuide you’ll also find a lot of useful information and resources.

What are you waiting for?

In this funny short video, OpenStax, a non-profit company that creates peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks, shares reasons for why you should use OpenStax.

January 26, 2018
by Rachael Inake
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Leeward OER Spring 2018 Update

Here’s a quick re-cap on what’s happening with Open Educational Resources (OER) at Leeward CC.

Open Textbook Network

The Open Textbook Network (OTN) is an alliance of over 600 higher education institutions promoting access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks. OTN maintains the Open Textbook Library, a collection of 453 peer-reviewed open textbooks. The UHCC system recently joined this growing community of open education advocates. Our membership allows UHCC OER advocates to participate in discussions with regional and national leaders, share best practices with other members, and tap into the collective expertise of the network. A highlight this year is an upcoming visit by two presenters from OTN coinciding with HSSI, March 28-29. A presentation is planned for Day 1 and a train-the-trainer workshop on Day 2. The all-day workshop at Honolulu CC is for individuals who will return to their home campuses as open textbook advocates and provide faculty with training opportunities. We are excited to participate in this network and share our successes with colleagues around the U.S.

Spring 2018 Textbook Cost: $0

Textbook Cost $0

Preliminary, we now have 273 sections at Leeward that are “textbook cost: $0” leading to a savings of $459,826 and a total savings to-date of $2,087,575. “Textbook cost: $0” “is a designation for a class that does not require students to purchase any course materials out-of-pocket. Classes may use a variety of Open Educational Resources (OERs), online resources, library resources, and faculty-authored materials to replace commercially-produced textbooks” (Go Open, Go Free).

“Go Open, Go Free Using OER” Spring 2018 Workshop

Go Open, Go Free Using OER

Are you interested in OER or going OER? Register today for the upcoming workshop series from February 13 to March 20 at 1:00 PM -2:30 PM. In this six-week workshop series, participants will learn about no-cost and Open Educational Resources (OER) which have the potential to replace costly commercial textbooks and other course materials.

Workshop Objectives:

  1. Articulating the value of OER in higher education
  2. Defining OER
  3. Distinguishing between openly licensed, public domain, and copyrighted materials
  4. Finding OER in your subject area
  5. Evaluating OER
  6. Understanding the differences in Creative Commons license types
  7. Combining different types of Creative Commons licensed materials
  8. Adding a Creative Commons license to your own work
  9. Giving proper attributions to OER
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