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.

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
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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!

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