Learning with Technology

for Teaching

March 21, 2017
by junie

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

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

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

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

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

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!

March 11, 2016
by Leanne Riseley

Conclusion of Open Education Week

This concludes Open Education Week for 2016. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share educator’s reflections and experiences with OER so far. If you are interested in exploring OER, please consider attending Go Open, Go Free Using OER during Pacific Region Learning Summit from May 16 – 20, 2016 at Leeward CC. For more information and to register, go to the website.

GoOpenLeeward CC faculty and lecturers registration fee for this track is being subsidized by VPCC Morton’s office.  Early bird registration deadline is April 15, 2016.

March 10, 2016
by Leanne Riseley

Friday – OER Sharing by Weirong Cai and Kelsie Aguilera

This is a special guest blog post by Weirong Cai and Kelsie Aguilera, both teach Anthropology at Leeward CC.

WeirongandKelsie_150x169Weirong’s Reflection

There has been two year since I first learned about OER.  I had questions about OER such as “what types of OER material are available,” “can I find quality materials for the courses I teach,” “what if there are restrictions for using OER but I’m not aware of such restrictions,” “how much time will it take for developing a course using only OER,” and so on.  I now have answers to most of the questions thanks to the OER workshop I’m attending now.  At the workshop we had the opportunity to explore some OER databases.  Obviously, the amount of OER has increased rapidly in recent years, and the sharing of OER materials has become more regulated and systematic.  I also came to the understanding that, while being open (free) for anyone to use, most OER have some restrictions about the way the materials are used.  The information and knowledge I learned at the workshop will help me make plans for adopting OER materials in my teaching.

Kelsie’s Reflection

I have also been interested in OER for about two years, ever since I first learned about them from my ex-office mate, Jayne Bopp. For the past two years and before I took the OER workshop I’m attending now, every now and then, I would casually look for OER materials. I didn’t have much success looking for OER materials on my own and just concluded that OER wasn’t for the discipline of anthropology. What I found so valuable about the OER workshop offered is the support structure provided. I have been working very closely with the EMC and our librarians and it turns out that they are much better at finding OER than I am! I am now confident that I can go OER by next semester. Going OER is important to me because it keeps the costs of our courses down and starts everyone off on the same footing— everyone has the course materials they need to be success from Day 1 of the semester.

March 9, 2016
by Leanne Riseley

Thursday – OER Sharing by Michele Mahi

This is a special guest blog post by Michele Mahi, who teaches Speech at Leeward CC.

Michele_150x200Describe your experience in looking for an openly licensed item in your subject area

The process of finding openly licensed items in my subject area was both encouraging and frustrating. At the moment, there is no site that aggregates all openly licensed educational resources. Sites such as Open Washington provide a comprehensive list of websites that provide open educational resources, however, in order to search the materials available, you must visit each site individually, and there are a lot of sites. For instance, in the category of open course materials, Open Washington lists seventeen different websites to visit. Having a wide selection of sites that contain open educational resources is advantageous, however, the process of combing through a series of websites is time consuming.

I have not had a chance to visit all of the OER websites, but I am encouraged by the materials I have found thus far. While I have not found a complete textbook or complete course materials for the courses I teach, I have found pieces that I could string together. Switching to OER is a lot of work and anyone who has told you otherwise is lying. However, I think switching to OER is worth the effort. I highly recommend enrolling in the OER workshop offered by Leanne, Junie, and Wayde. You will learn a lot and your students will thank you.

March 8, 2016
by Leanne Riseley

Wednesday – OER Sharing by Amanda Silliman

This is a special guest blog post by Amanda Silliman, who teaches English at Leeward CC.

Amanda_150x200What have you learned so far in the Go Open, Go Free workshop?

Learning about OER this semester has been very enlightening. I learned about the databases where OER are uploaded, and that Open Education Resources can be textbooks, photos, and videos. Just like when one examines an article for its usability and its credibility, the same process applies to OER materials. There is a twelve question checklist that instructors can use to assess the material that they find in OER databases in order to ensure that the open material is reliable for college students to use.

Additionally, I learned all about licensing for materials marked as available in Creative Commons. It was not something I had originally considered when I began the workshop, but now I am glad that I had the opportunity to learn more about it and how it can affect the materials I use should I decide to put together my own OER material to share.

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