Learning with Technology

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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

March 16, 2017
by Rachael Inake
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Get ready for Open Education Week, March 20-24, 2017!

Join the Leeward CC OER Committee in celebrating Open Education Week from March 20-24, 2017! (We’re celebrating a week early due to Spring Break that week.) In the spirit of Open Education Week, on March 20-24, you’ll receive a daily email featuring an open education related story to promote and inform you about being open in education.

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

Please help to spread the word and raise awareness about free and open educational opportunities during Open Education Week. You can also share on social media using #openeducationwk and #book$0. If you have something to share or would like to leave us a comment, please do so on our posts. Mahalo!

February 14, 2017
by Leanne Riseley
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Leeward CC Spring 2017 “Textbook Cost: $0” Information and Infographic

Leeward CC continues to provide our students with high quality course materials with zero out of pocket costs, saving our students hundreds and thousands of dollars. We wanted to share this semester’s statistics with you in this fun, and easy to understand infographic.

Highlights include:

  • 255 “Textbook Cost: $0” CRN (sections) or 21% of all CRNs  (up from 217 last semester)
  • 4739 students enrolled in “Textbook Cost: $0” classes (up from 4194 last semester)

Textbook Cost: $0 Sections rising each semester

For more information on the overall Open Educational Resources initiative, please visit the project website.

December 14, 2016
by Leanne Riseley
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What Students Are Saying about Using OER

Over the past three semesters, several instructors who taught using no-cost or Open Educational Resources sent a survey to their students to see how these resources affected their learning. The results below are a summary of the findings.

Demographics

There were a total of 530 students who took the survey (97% Leeward and 3% Kapiolani students) in 16 different courses.

Have you saved money with your instructor adopting no-cost or OER resources?It wasn’t a surprise that 94% of survey responses showed they feel they saved money by using no-cost or OER resources.

Comments from students included:

“I was thrilled that Professor X was using OER resources. Money is very tight as it is for most college students, especially non-traditional students with families.”

“…I didn’t have to buy any books and we learned just as much as other classes where you had to buy a book maybe even better. I wish most classes were like this so we can save paper books money time.”

“Yes, absolutely! I live in Hawaii by myself, and as you know with the high cost of living here, saving every little bit helps. I am on financial aid, and scholarships. Just this simple act on the professors, as well as the colleges part, I was able to save money and use it in other places in regards to my education.”

 

 

Access and Use

The majority (97%) of the materials were accessed through the Learning Management System (Laulima). 48% of the students identified general online resources as a way they accessed their materials. 37% of students used Library online resources. It was interesting to note that 28% said they rely on print by the Instructor and 20% print it themselves.

92% of the students reported having access to a device and the Internet to access the resources. 90% found the resources easy to navigate, download, or print.  Approximately the same number of students reported using the resources frequently throughout the semester.

These access and use statistics have remained consistent for the last three semesters.

Quality

87% felt the quality of the no-cost resources were just as good as a traditional textbook.

Student’s Opinions

80% felt they did better in the course because they had access to the resources from the first day of class.

88% felt the instructor showed concern for them because they chose no-cost resources.

86% would be more likely to register for a “Textbook Cost: $0” course vs. one without a label. 97% would take another course that used “Textbook Cost: $0” resources.

95% reported no challenges with the no-cost resources.

It is interesting to note that in all areas, there was a small percentage of students (about 6%) who did not hold the same opinions regarding access, quality, and lack of challenges using no-cost resources.

Some of the General comments

“This is a much better alternative to traditional textbooks. It saves money, and much more useful and easy to access than printed textbooks. I hope all classes will convert to this method in the future.” – Spring 2016 student

“I did better in this class than I did in my other classes. All texts needed were easy to access and understand. I honestly don’t feel I would have been able to afford another book and I am very thankful that my professor chose to use no-cost resources.” – Fall 2015  student

“You can’t go wrong with downloadable textbooks. You don’t have to carry bulky books and you are using your computer to do assignments anyway! It’s all in one place.” – Fall 2015 student

“Textbook Cost $0 saves me money, time, and providing me with the education needed to succeed. It saved me the stress by going down to the crowded (fixed spelling “crowed”) book store to buy a expensive book. I really appreciate our professor X (removed name) for her concerns for us student and this program.” – Fall 2015 student

“I would say that just because there is no textbook doesn’t mean there is no work. You have to work just as hard. Also the resources are just notes of your teachers so please do NOT plagiarize! Have respect for the teachers who give you this no cost textbook option because it shows that they care, that they understand the struggles of having to pay for expensive textbooks!” – Fall 2015 student

“It saves a lot of money and isn’t a hassle at all!” – Fall 2015 student

“The quality of learning from a course that uses OER resources is just as good as when you have to spend hundreds of dollars on a textbook or two.” – Fall 2015 student

“I was happy and very thankful when she told us that we didn’t need to buy a textbook. This was the first time and I hope it’s not the last time. I wish more professors could do this for their students.” – Fall 2015 student

“…it is a great way to save money while not compromising quality of education. In some ways, like having access to material from anywhere at anytime, it improves the quality of learning.” – Fall 2016 student

“Definitely a benefit in taking this class. You don’t have to carry your book with you. You can do your assignments as long as you have Internet access.” – Fall 2016 student

“Cost friendly and easy on the back. No books to carry!” – Fall 2016 student

“This wouldn’t work for all classes. Some classes use the textbook a lot and it makes it easier to have a textbook to read and write on.” – Fall 2016 student

“I loved not having a textbook. We got to have SO many different readings, insights and resources then if we got it all from the same place (a textbook). Also, being a college student and not having tons of money, I really appreciated not having to buy a textbook!” – Fall 2016 student


Thank you to Kelsie Aguilera, Jayne Bopp, Ross Higa, Michelle Igarashi, Ann Inoshita, Gregg Longanecker, Lani Uyeno, Jonathan Wong, and Susan Wood for helping to provide this student data.

For more information, please visit the Open Educational Resources Fellowship Program.

 

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October 28, 2016
by Rachael Inake
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Open Access Week 2016 Summary

On behalf of the Leeward CC OER Committee, we thank you for participating in Open Access Week events last week and reading our blog posts. We hope you found them informative and useful in learning more about Open Educational Resources (OER) and how it can benefit instructors and students. Here’s a summary of everything we shared last week.

OER Quick Info for Faculty

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OER and Textbook Cost Zero Quick Info for Students

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OER Benefits for Students

Students from Speech Instructor, Michele Mahi’s COM 210H class, candidly share in this video why they appreciate using Open Educational Resources (OERs) in her class.

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Kelsie Aguilera’s OER Journey with Anthropology

kelsie-aguilera-oer-2016Guest post by: Kelsie Aguilera

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…

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Passed the Point of No Return or Regrets

oer-igarashi-studentsGuest post by: Michelle Igarashi

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.

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Next Steps…

If you’re interested in going OER, please contact a Leeward CC Librarian to get started. You may also be interested in participating in the next “Go Open, Go Free Using OER” workshop series in Spring 2017. For more info and to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/go-open-go-free-using-oer-spring-2017-registration-28872347970

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.

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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
0 comments

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.

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