Learning with Technology

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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.

October 21, 2016
by Rachael Inake
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Open Access Week (October 24-28)

Open Access Week Logo

Next week is Open Access Week (October 24-28). Having “open access” to information means “free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need” (Open Access Week).

Starting next Monday, the Open Access Week subcommittee of Leeward CC’s OER Committee will blog each day (and you’ll receive it via email) to promote Open Educational Resources (OERs) and share what they’re about, why they’re important, and how they’re valuable to both instructors and students.

Also, in the spirit of Open Access Week, UH Manoa is hosting some wonderful events. Check them out on their website: http://guides.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/scholarly_communications/oanews. One such event that you can attend at Leeward CC is a presentation on “Copyright, Intellectual Property, Creative Commons & Fair Use” by Brian Huffman, Debora Halbert, and Billy Meinke on Tuesday, October 25 at 10:30 AM via HITS in LC 108B. Topics include:

  • Key points to consider when using Open Access materials or creating your own;
  • Copyright maximalism in the information age;
  • Creative Commons licenses, including examples in our everyday lives; and
  • Four factors of the Fair Use doctrine and how to apply them.

Seating is limited so please email junie@hawaii.edu if you plan to attend. Thank you!

May 13, 2015
by Leanne Riseley
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Top 5 Things You Can Do This Summer

5.  Read a blog post from Learning with Technology for Teaching

4.  Organize your Gmail

3.  Get help from an Educational Technologist

2.  Explore OER

1.  Participate in 21 Day Summer Fun Challenges


5.  Catch up on a blog post from Learning with Technology for Teaching

Visit our blog at http://blogs.leeward.hawaii.edu/teach/ to read more posts.


4. Organize your Gmail

Read more Gmail features and tips on our workshop page at http://blogs.leeward.hawaii.edu/teach/gmail-challenge/. If you’re interested in attending the Gmail Challenge workshop, look out for the registration email or announcement in the bulletin next semester.


3. Get help from an Educational Technologist

TO3logo_v4Make a Technology One-on-One appointment to receive free help on anything teaching with technology. Appointments can be one-time only consultations or you can schedule weekly meetings for longer term projects.

http://tinyurl.com/emc-to3

 

 


2. Explore OER

OER


1. Participate in 21 Day Summer Fun Challenges

Twitter 21 Day Challenge Instagram 21 Day Challenge
Register for our online, 21 Day Summer Fun Challenges – Twitter and Instagram.

  • The Twitter Challenge starts on June 1, 2015
  • The Instagram Challenge starts on July 1, 2015

May 6, 2015
by Rachael Inake
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Leeward CC’s First Open Educational Resources ENG 100 Course

susan-wood

Susan Wood

Susan Wood, Professor CC of English, was the first at Leeward CC and in the UHCC system to create an open, online course for English 100: Composition I, which provides students with zero textbook cost, and allows anyone to re-use and re-mix her materials under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. With assistance from the Leeward CC Library, Susan found and used Open Educational Resources (OER) and her own content for the content modules. I was fortunate to work with Susan in planning and developing the content modules, putting the content in a weekly modules format using Google Sites, and publishing it as a template site for other Leeward CC ENG 100 instructors (or anyone) to re-use and re-mix under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. Susan also created a companion Laulima course site for instructors to copy to use with the weekly modules site and we created an Instructor’s Guide to help instructors put the course together.

The following is a guest post from Susan Wood.

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I was fortunate to be granted a sabbatical for Spring 2015. Part of the project that I proposed in my sabbatical application was to create an online ENG 100 course using Google Apps for Education that would be available for lecturers (or anyone) to use if they were assigned to teach an online ENG 100. After that project was approved, I was approached by both Kay Caldwell and Leanne Riseley and asked to consider creating the course using Open Educational Resources (OER). I knew very little about OER but have always used textbook cost as a major factor when choosing a textbook, so I decided it would be a worthwhile addition to the project. I did not realize at that point what an adventure I would have in the world of OER.

My first exposure to OER was a video on the Leeward CC Open Educational Resources Guide. In the video, which has since been replaced by Jayne Bopp’s wonderful video, an instructor in social sciences effusively talked about how she decided textbooks were too expensive for her students, so she found a fantastic OER textbook, pasted the link to the textbook into her course website, and proceeded to teach her course from this free resource. She made it sound so easy… all I needed to do was find the perfect OER textbook for ENG 100 and I would be on my way!

However, after weeks of searching and reading, I realized that there was no perfect ENG 100 textbook. I did find some OER ENG 100 textbooks, but some were really long and cumbersome, some were poorly written (ironic, I know), some didn’t cover the range of material we cover in ENG 100, and some were incomplete. It was then I realized I would have to create the course using a re-mix of content from several of the textbooks.

My next step was to pick the best of the content from the textbooks I found. I bookmarked the three textbooks that had material that I thought would best fit in a Leeward CC ENG 100 course, and then I set to work. I wrote an outline of the course and then proceeded to search through the OER textbooks and pull materials that I then revised as needed to fit the course objectives.

Collecting course content was a mostly enjoyable process because I got to explore what others teach in first-year writing courses. It was also professionally invigorating to read through so many different approaches to teaching first-year writing. At times, though, collecting content was frustrating when I could not find what I needed– so I had to create some content myself. Luckily, I had Rachael Inake to help me with the technical aspects of creating Google Slides, YouTube videos, and PowToons, and I was able to use these tools and more to create content. All in all, the experience of choosing, re-mixing, and creating OER was a very positive one.

The ENG 100 course is now finished and I am very pleased with how it turned out. I am excited to use the course for the first time this summer and will use it again in the Fall. I am also really excited that my students don’t have to buy a textbook. In past semesters, some students would go for weeks or even the entire semester without a textbook because they could not afford all of the textbooks for all of their courses. I am thrilled that I can now offer a course that does not burden students with the cost of a textbook. OER makes that possible.

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Below are a few screenshots of the ENG 100 OER course materials.

Screenshot of week 7's module

Screenshot of week 7’s module

Screenshot of ENG 100 Laulima site

Screenshot of ENG 100 Laulima site

Screenshot of the ENG 100 OER Instructor’s Guide

Screenshot of the ENG 100 OER Instructor’s Guide

Susan’s materials available for accessing, copying, re-mixing, and re-using, under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license:

Please contact the Educational Media Center (EMC) if you’d like to set up an ENG 100 OER course site using Susan’s OER materials or if you’re interested in using OER materials or creating an OER course.

We can’t wait to hear how things turn out for Susan and her students next semester!

March 27, 2015
by Leanne Riseley
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Open Educational Resources Faculty Leader

jayne_screenJayne Bopp has been teaching SOC 100, Survey of Sociology with an Open Educational Textbook for the last two years.

This video highlights how Jayne got started using OER and the results she has experienced since she has adopted OER in her classroom. She also shares how students are grateful and appreciative at not having to spend so much money on a textbook.

The following is a special guest blog post by P. Jayne Bopp.

I’ve always been interested in making books affordable and accessible for my students.  However even when I worked with publishers to customize books the costs never seemed reasonable and students usually couldn’t sell them back.  Today publishers constantly update editions and the bookstore can only order the newest versions.  I didn’t like being forced to order a new version, especially when it hadn’t even been published yet. When I tried sticking with older editions it became apparent that not all students have access to Amazon and shipping for low costs books can often take several weeks.

The homogenization of information started to put me off as well.  I couldn’t help noticing that the introductory textbooks in my field, regardless of the publisher were virtually identical, even down to the chapter topics. I started to feel as if the textbook was a necessary evil.  Having a book was required to legitimize the class and a starting point for learning but I always made the information my own by adapting it to my teaching style and using examples from Hawaii.  I am also not interested in having publishing companies design, implement and grade my students’ assignments; I prefer a more hands on approach.

In the midst of experiencing these frustrations I remembered an email I had gotten a year earlier about free open source textbooks.  I dug it out and lo and behold Open Stax College had, among other things an excellent peer reviewed Introduction to Sociology textbook.  All I had to do was paste the URL into my syllabus and students could view the book online, download it and even print it for free.   I tested the book with online students over the summer and it was it hit.

Like any time we use a new textbook or redesign a course there is a lot of initial work however, its well worth it.  Students have access to the required course materials from day one and are enormously grateful for the free textbook.  There is a lot more accountability because students have no excuses for not having a book.  So far, with the help our Librarians I’ve managed to make four of my classes completely OER.   Now I don’t have to fill out those pesky book order forms each semester!  

 

PRLS 2015 logoIf you are interested in adopting OER in your course, sign up for PRLS 2015 this year! We have a track dedicated toward helping you to find no-cost, low-cost, and creative commons resources as replacements to costly commercial materials.

For more information: http://prls2015.weebly.com/track-details.html

October 24, 2014
by Rachael Inake
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Why OER Matters

What are the benefits in using OER?

The development and promotion of open educational resources is often motivated by a desire to curb the commodification of knowledge and provide an alternate or enhanced educational paradigm (sentence from Wikipedia, OER). As an educator, what benefits do you see in using OER for you and your students?

Below are some of the benefits of using open educational resources:

  • Reduces costs for students
  • Grants access to more quality choices
  • Helps prior learning and after learning
  • Provides peace of mind for all users
  • Bridges the gap between formal and informal learning
  • Encourages the sharing of knowledge
  • Increases enrollment for courses with no added textbook expenses

What are the challenges in using OER?

  • Quality Assurance
  • Discoverability
  • Sustainability of OER
  • Technology
  • Lack of public understanding about OER

For more details on why OER matters, please visit Open Washington.

The following video is a student’s perspective on OER – saving money and feeling engaged. My OER experience by JoAnne Eller, Tacoma Community College from SBCTC on Vimeo.

What are your views of OER now? Please leave a comment below.

Posted on behalf of Leanne Riseley, EMC Coordinator at Leeward CC.

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