Learning with Technology

for Teaching

October 23, 2017
by Rachael Inake
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Fall 2017 OER at Leeward CC

Once a month, the OER Campus Committee will share information about OER to raise awareness, promote, encourage, and support using OER at Leeward CC.

We are launching our first post, today, in the spirit of International Open Access Week (October 23 -29, 2017) to inform the campus about what OER is, why it matters, and what Leeward CC is doing.

What is OER?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are “teaching, learning, and research resources 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” (Hewlett Foundation). In other words:

  • OER is free to use; no strings attached
  • No permission is needed since the creator already grants it through a Creative Commons (CC) license
  • You can retain OER indefinitely
  • You can choose to modify OER to meet your teaching needs per rights granted by the license

Why does OER matter?

  • Saves students money
    • 25% of total college costs for Leeward students is for textbooks and supplies
    • Half of community college students rely on financial aid to pay textbook costs
    • 65% of these students use financial aid to pay for all textbook costs
  • Grants access to more choices of materials
  • Materials are publicly available for students to access before and after taking a course
  • Flexibility to customize or mashup several OER to create custom resources for your students

What is happening at Leeward CC?

Leeward CC supports “Textbook Cost: $0” and using OER. We have an OER Campus Committee, workshops, fellowship program, and more to support using OER at Leeward CC. See the infographic below for information and statistics for “Textbook Cost: $0.”

Textbook Cost: $0 infographic

Our numbers continue to increase regarding “Textbook Cost: $0” courses, students enrolled, subjects, and instructors.

Fall 15 Spr 16 Fall 16 Spr 17 Fall 17
“Textbook Cost: $0” CRN (sections) (% of all CRNs) 55 148 217 (19%) 279 (23%) 289 (27%)
Students enrolled in “Textbook Cost: $0” classes 2643 4194 5121 5371
“Textbook Cost: $0” different subjects 12 63 69 111 91
“Textbook Cost: $0” instructors 16 49 71 91 92

How can you get involved?

Be a part of this initiative to “Go Open, Go Free at Leeward CC” and use “Textbook Cost: $0” and/or OER materials in your classes. Contact the Library or EMC to get started. Also, visit our OER website for more information.

March 22, 2017
by junie
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OER Saved My Life

The following is a guest blog post by Borjana Lubura-Winchester, Geography Lecturer, Leeward Community College.

Aloha, my name is Borjana and I am a Geography lecturer at Leeward CC and the UH Manoa. Originally, I am from Sarajevo, Bosnia and a proud Leeward CC/Manoa graduate. First time I have learned about OER was last semester from our librarian Junie Hayashi. My students complained about high cost of the textbook I was using for one of my classes. In addition to high cost, I was using a very small portion of the book and could not find any alternative. I was constantly ‘bombarded’ with different publishers and offers via email or knocking on my office door, but nothing even close to what I wanted. Finally, I decided to create my own textbook and asked Junie for help. During our first meeting, Junie started telling me about OER and creative commons, licenses, copyright, etc. Oh boy, it was so overwhelming to me. I did not understand anything. I ‘jumped’ into compiling the resources week by week. Pretty soon I learned how hard process that could be. The OER workshop saved my life!

Participation in the OER workshop made a whole difference for me and my students. From the early start, the students did not have to worry about the textbook. There were no complains about ‘late Amazon arrivals’ or waits for the financial aid to ‘kick in.’ The material was immediately available online and ready to use. I cannot say that I was not skeptic at first about credibility and availability of the sources. However, the OER workshop and its facilitators Leanne, Junie and Wade helped me to get on a right path of finding sources I never knew existed before. The facilitators were patient with many of my questions and always willing to provide guidance for my subject matter. I discovered a well of available pictures, podcasts, documentaries, lectures, textbooks and various articles. Also, I realized that there is a completely new world of the community of authors who put hard work into creating these materials, yet enable them for anyone to use. At first, I did not want to share MY hard work, but (after participating in the workshop) I changed my attitude. Once my textbook is complete to the standard I feel comfortable with, I will upload it for use in the OER.

Finding sources is not an easy job. Giving the appropriate credit and using the appropriate attributions is crucial. Weekly homework and in-class activities with my colleagues helped me understand the process better. The teamwork cleared up any confusion and gave me the confirmation of how to find/attribute sources correctly. The facilitators had ‘easy to follow’ weekly assignments with the list of compiled instructions, links and directions for us to successfully complete the task.

Throughout the OER workshop I created my ‘road map’ toward OER courses. Because of the OER workshop, I am able to offer the rest of my classes with the OER for upcoming Fall 2017. I must admit, I am glad that there is the summer break coming up where I can spend a lot more time searching and building my source bank. My advice for instructors who plan on converting their classes to OER is to do it over the summer break where they might have more time. In the end, no matter when an instructor decides to take this journey, the OER is worth her/his time. I feel liberated and much confident in my classes and material I present to my students. It suits better the student learning objectives and their success in the classroom. It enables me to teach what matters the most in my discipline. Thank you OER team!

March 22, 2017
by junie
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OER Journey: From “Oh, What is That?” to “Oh, Wow!”

The following is a guest blog post by Faustino Dagdag, Business Management Instructor, Leeward Community College.

My first impression of OER was really “what is that thing people were calling OER”? OER in my mind was something that I should stay away from because it had to do with some kind of technology issue. And technology is not my “cup of tea”. Then at a Pacific Region Learning Seminar (PRLS) session last summer, I learned during a morning discussion that OER was a real way to provide students with text books without any cost to the student. I was however in the Art of Teaching Online PRLS track, but I was intrigued at the concept of free textbooks. I attempted to learn more about OER during meal breaks where I could ask those attending the OER track more about, how to provide “free textbooks”.

For myself one of the more distressing part of teaching is the growing number of students in the course who could not or would not purchase the assigned text due to financial reasons. Also growing is the number of students who are purchasing the text utilizing discount on-line sights which often delayed delivery of their copy. The issue of text book availability resulted in having to adjust the course delivery schedule often sacrificing valuable hands on in class activities time to provide for more content instruction at a slower pace to accommodate those with no text. This slower pacing jeopardizes the application gained knowledge due to investing more time in content driving as opposed to content usage. This problem now may have a solution in OER.

I needed to learn more. I had to learn more about it quickly because in the fall I was scheduled to teach a management course that was designated “No Cost textbook”. It is the goal for the management program which I belong, to support OER and No cost textbooks. My first experience was being provided the site for Saylor.org to research OER text books on Management. Luckily I found a suitable e-text book. However the search was difficult as well as cumbersome. And I thought “so this is OER”. Was I wrong.

In the fall semester I participated in the Teaching Excellence Program. One of the sessions was titled: “Student Engagement Using Technology and Open Education Resources”. Speakers showed how student engagement could be ignited by how the course content was provided and delivered using OER. This session opened my eyes and mind that OER was much more than free text books. It was a way to spark students imagination, creativity and engagement while building their knowledge and skills base for their future career. Additionally the session exposed me to the wide array of resource available for me to utilize to engage and teach my students. Still I needed to learn more regarding OER.

The next opportunity to learn more was the “Go open, go free with OER” workshop. The title is most appropriate, I learned that OER is more than free access to material but it was a way of sharing and collaborating to move ideas and thoughts forward to make it accessible to any and everyone who could find the idea valuable then they could add to the thought. The workshop provided a solid foundation to understanding OER as a practice as well as a philosophy. It showed me and the other participants how to share properly by learning about Creative Commons licenses, practices and ethics. It instructed us on the technical aspects of searching, using and sharing subject content. More importantly it provided reasons to let go of thinking knowledge is to be held as a possession but to see knowledge as a gift to be shared and grown.

This is just the start of my OER experience and pursuit of sharing. I have a desire to construct a course utilizing OER in totality not piece meal as I am utilizing it now. I have a kernel of an idea regarding that course. I’ll use the summer to fully develop my OER supported course, more exciting to me is the prospect of having students join the sharing process and experience. OER for me has gone from Oh, what is that to Oh wow.

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

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!

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