Why This Professor Believes OER Can Make STEM More Inclusive and Affordable

Edsurge

For some folks in higher ed, the very idea of using open educational resources (OER) sparks dread. The right OER provides professors opportunities to teach the latest research and even make areas like math and science more inclusive.

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A Thumbs Up to Open Up for Delivering Free, Curriculum-Scale OER

The Journal

In 2016, OER (Open Education Resources) are undergoing a major transformation: rather than educators needing to struggle with searching OER repositories containing millions of OER objects and then trying to stitch together those OER objects into coherent lessons, organizations such as Open Up Resources are producing curriculum-scale, OER-based courses. Finally, OER is coming of age

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Some Thoughts about OER Research

Iterating Toward Openness

Student: I’ll study whether students learn better with OER than with traditional course materials! We would also discuss people’s uncontrollable urge to conduct media comparison studies – studies comparing student learning in the context of iPads versus printed books, or online classes versus face to face classes, or interactive video disc versus televised courses, or some other setup in which the medium du jour is compared with the medium of yesteryear.

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ECM #149 OER: Teaching Without Traditional Textbooks

The CoolCatTeacher

Award Winning Science Teacher Amy Pace Shares How She Uses OER Textbooks Amy Pace is a Presidential Award winning science teacher. She is using “free” OER textbooks for all her courses. OER stands for Open Education Resources which are often curated by experts via grants and other means. Of course, nothing is free. Visionary states, districts, and schools might find a money-saving resource with OERs. OER Commons – Index of OER Resources.

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When is an OER an OER?

Iterating Toward Openness

tl ;dr – If a resource is licensed in a way that grants you permission to engage in the 5R activities, and grants you those permissions for free, it’s an open educational resource (OER) – no matter where you find it or how it’s being used. For several years I have used a shorthand definition of OER as “free access plus permission to engage in the 5R activities.” Consider the following scenarios: A person downloads an OER to their laptop.

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The Fans, Fanboys, and Fanatics of OER

Doug Levin

and I am merely a fan – not a fanboy – of open educational resources (OER).** Others surely see me as some sort of OER fanatic. After all, I’ve advocated for federal support for the development, use, and adaptation of OER (see, e.g. , the May 5 Education Week story by Sean Cavanagh, “ ‘Open Educational Resources’ Promoted in U.S. So, if these are the actions of someone who is an OER fan, what stops me short of claiming fanboy status?

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Reducing Friction in OER Adoption

Iterating Toward Openness

Last week I promised I would write a few posts about reducing friction with regard to OER. In last week’s post I talked about how we’re making it ridiculously easy for students, faculty, and others to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of OER.

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Gooru.org: Making it Easier to Use OER

The Journal

Gooru.org is an OER marketplace with 5,000,000+ open education resources. But, most excitingly, they are posting "just" 35 full courses that teachers can "copy and customize." We applaud gooru.org for taking this major step in providing support for teachers who are trying to #GoOpen

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K-12 OER Collaborative enters next phase

K12 Open Ed

Last week, the K-12 OER Collaborative entered the next phase of their project, awarding contracts for rapid prototypes to the following developers: edCount LLC. As a refresher, the K-12 OER Collaborative is a project to create comprehensive CCSS-aligned curriculum for grades K-12 math and English Language Arts that is open licensed under a CC BY license. This may be the one of the important opportunities for OER, blended learning, and CCSS we’ve seen to date.

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S3: A Holistic Framework for Evaluating the Impact of Educational Innovations (Including OER)

Iterating Toward Openness

This fall I’m once again teaching IPT 531: Introduction to Open Education at BYU (check it out – it’s designed so anyone can participate) and today I’m beginning a pilot run-through of the course redesign with a small number of students.

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6 Unbeatable Ways To Spot High Quality Open Education Resources (OER)

Wisewire

Since OER came onto the map in the early 2000s, the pool of available resources has grown into a vast ocean. With a wide array of OER materials at our fingertips, the trick now is not so much in finding OER, but on identifying high quality OER that can be used and transformed for our classroom needs. These credible sites offer a wealth of vetted, high quality OER resources, categorized and sorted for easy navigation.

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Some Very Bad News about the UNESCO OER Recommendation

Iterating Toward Openness

I recently wrote a brief essay about the wonderful new UNESCO OER Recommendation. For those of you who don’t want to read the full analysis below, here’s the key takeaway: Imagine what would happen if making copies of OER was illegal. The tl;dr.

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'Better Every Semester': How Faculty Use Open Educational Resources to Improve Courses

Edsurge

It didn’t align with the structure of her course. But OER advocates think open access course materials hold another kind of promise for students, too. Every course should be better every time it’s taught,” he says. “It’s They can with OER materials. “I’ve

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The Real Threat of OER

Iterating Toward Openness

He writes, “While to an OER advocate faculty are mere pawns to their agenda, to publishers, faculty are critical partners in academic success.” ” The overwhelming majority of OER advocates are faculty, and they have become OER advocates for two reasons. However, the second reason faculty have become OER advocates – and more of them are becoming OER advocates each day – has less to do with price and more to do with empowerment.

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Maha, the Path to OER-Enabled Pedagogy, and Technological Determinism

Iterating Toward Openness

Among other things, the post discusses her role in my decision to abandon the phrase “open pedagogy” and adopt the phrase “OER-enabled pedagogy.” To make this easier for future scholars looking for a (relatively) short description written from my own perspective, here is the tl;dr of the process by which I adopted the term “OER-enabled pedagogy.” OER-enabled pedagogy does nothing of the sort. oer-enabled-pedagogy

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Thoughts on Continuous Improvement and OER

Iterating Toward Openness

Recently I’ve been doing both more thinking and more roll-up-your-sleeves working on continuous improvement of OER. Some have research, grant writing, and publication responsibilities in addition to teaching their courses. Some teach five or six courses per semester. And this process of making OER more effective every semester – also known as “continuous improvement” – is where we see some of the most exciting opportunities to collaborate with faculty.

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OER-based Degrees: Momentum

Iterating Toward Openness

Inspired by MIT’s example, hundreds of other institutions around the world began openly publishing the resources they created in support of their courses. Creating and sharing OER did not harm their ability to succeed in accomplishing their core missions – the education of their students. And there are many reasons to believe that their efforts in creating and sharing OER actually advanced their core missions. 18) for the creation of OER-based degrees (see SEC.

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Of Sunlight, OER, and Lumen

Iterating Toward Openness

Because I can’t stop thinking about open, I’ve been pondering the relationship between solar power and OER. ”, “How can you sell OER if they’re free?”, ”, and “If OER are free, why would anyone pay you?” Of course, I could have stopped everything else in my life for a few months and learned most of what I needed to know to answer these questions myself. OER are a lot like sunlight. Sunlight and OER are free.

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How to find, curate, and assess OER

eSchool News

As schools and districts try to reduce textbook costs and digitize instructional resources, one of the struggles many teachers have is finding good repositories of open education resources (OER). The first step is to know how to access OER resources. Accessing OER. Department of Education has its #GoOpen District Launch Packet , and Open Learning has a free online course (about 15 hours) on how to develop OER content. How to find OER.

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Does OER Actually Improve Learning?

Edsurge

Regardless of where you stand on the debate over open educational resources, you’re probably wondering: Does OER actually improve learning outcomes? At least, that was one of the main takeaways from a short session led by Phillip Grimaldi, director of research at OpenStax, a nonprofit OER initiative out of Rice University. The problem is, the research today treats OER like any other intervention and we expect it to impact all students,” he said.

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OER: Some Questions and Answers

Iterating Toward Openness

Earlier this week I read an op-ed – sponsored by Pearson – titled “If OER is the answer, what is the question?” OER often shine in their variety and ability to deepen resources for niche topics. While it’s possible to build a complete course from OER, the finished product often lacks the scaffolding found in courseware authored by single author/editorial/product teams. T = the fraction of those people with Time available to work on OER.

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Lumen Learning, a Proponent of OER, Makes First Acquisition to Offer Faculty Coaching

Edsurge

Lumen Learning, a company that sells low-cost OER textbooks and courseware, plans to start offering professional development services for faculty that can be bundled with its titles. In other words, some of its textbooks are now sold with coaching on how to teach with OER more effectively.

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David, Goliath, and the Future of the U.S. K-12 OER Movement

Doug Levin

K-12 education system by open educational resources (OER) since 2009, although my first exposure to the ideas and leaders of the movement stretch back to the launch of the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative. I’m deeply grateful for the support and collegiality of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation over this time, including for allowing me to attend this year’s annual OER meeting. This is where context matters most for the OER movement.

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On ZTC, OER, and a More Expansive View

Iterating Toward Openness

As the movement grew and more people began advocating for the adoption of OER in place of traditionally copyrighted materials in classes, some advocates chose to make cost the primary focus of their advocacy. Materials that were openly licensed and free were the OER we had spent the last decade advocating for. As the above diagram shows, ZTC and OER advocates share common ground (green above), but also have important differences driven by their primary priorities.

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From here to there: Musings about the path to having good OER for every course on campus

Iterating Toward Openness

I spend most of my time doing fairly tactical thinking and working focused on moving OER adoption forward in the US higher education space. I made what was probably the clearest statement of my vision for the future of learning materials in my Shuttleworth Fellowship application several years ago: My long-term goal is to create a world where OER are used pervasively throughout primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools. Now, make no mistake – OER is a means, not an end.

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“ZTC Thinking” and the Hybrid OER Sustainability Model

Iterating Toward Openness

In the first installment on Monday, I explained how a fundamental failure to understand copyright makes the definition of OER in the new UNESCO recommendation nonsensical. The search for a model that will reliably sustain OER initiatives over the long-term has been underway for over 20 years.

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Self as OER

ProfHacker

Suzan has recently defended her doctoral dissertation on open participants’ experiences in a massive open online course. When we look at common definitions of Open Educational Resources or OERs (e.g., OER Commons , The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ) it is clear that there is tendency to equate open educational resources to open educational materials and tools , such as course materials in text, audio, or video format, open textbooks, and educational software.

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Why We Should Expand Our OER Advocacy to Commercial Publishers

Iterating Toward Openness

There would be huge benefits to the OER ecosystem if we made similar arguments with commercial publishers, helping them understand why switching to an OER model would be good for their business. Why Commercial Publishers Should Switch to an OER Model. And a switch to OER would help publishers solve both of them. The harsh business reality for publishers is that they are competing in a world increasingly filled with OER. A switch to OER makes that happen.

Of OER and Free Riders

Iterating Toward Openness

Heather’s post is reacting to this quote from an article she read recently: “There is one additional requirement for widespread OER adoption. If you believe that open educational resources are public goods , which they appear to be since they are both non-excludable and non-rivalrous, then it can be hard to avoid bringing the rest of that conceptual framework (including the idea of the free rider problem ) to your thinking about OER.

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Nationwide OER Degree Program Launches Today

Iterating Toward Openness

In case you didn’t see it elsewhere, I’m republishing the press release from Achieving the Dream about the incredibly exciting OER Degrees work that launched today. OER Degree Initiative will accelerate use of openly licensed learning materials in higher education and cut costs to students while improving degree and certificate completion. The effort is intended to spark more rapid adoption of OER within higher education, beginning with community colleges.

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Reducing Friction and Expanding Participation in the Continuous Improvement of OER

Iterating Toward Openness

I’m going to write a post or three about some of the friction that exists around using OER. I’ve been writing about continuous improvement in the context of OER for a few years now. A Framework for the Continuous Improvement of OER.

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If We Talked About the Internet Like We Talk About OER: The Cost Trap and Inclusive Access

Iterating Toward Openness

These are purchasing programs in which “institutions are signing up whole classes of students to automatically receive digital course materials at a discounted rate, rather than purchasing individually.” The inclusive access model’s goal of reducing the cost of textbooks apparently reminded the article’s author of OER, because she includes some discussion of OER toward the end of the article.

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Of OER and Platforms: Five Years Later

Iterating Toward Openness

Five years ago, in an essay called 2017: RIP OER? , I pondered whether this year would be the end of OER. To the best of my knowledge there is no one really working on next gen OEROER that are interactive, simulative, really rich with multimedia AND combined with OAR [open assessment resources] that drive diagnosis, remediation, and adaptation. There’s certainly no one funding next gen OER. Much has been written about 2012 being “the year of OER.”

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Pearson, Efficacy, Credibility, and OER

Iterating Toward Openness

I believe we’re seeing this same effect across OER adoptions, and have labeled it the Remix Hypothesis. The availability of these data enable truly objective, head-to-head comparisons of OER and commercial products, and set the stage for conversations about students’ academic return on investment in course materials. That’s a fight I know OER can win. It’s also why OER effectiveness research needs to be putting its very best foot forward.

OER Cost Savings and Adoption Rates: New Methodologies, New Data, and New Results

Iterating Toward Openness

At the OpenEd Conference in 2013, Nicole Allen and I challenged the OER community to save students one billion dollars. As a brief summary, part of the data collection involved sampling the prices for required course materials across a range of material formats, including new print, used print, print rental, digital rental, and loose-leaf. The overall average price for all OER (both OER Only and OER Hybrid) is $17.32. The adoption rate of OER is 6.3%.

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