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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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. Five years later, SPARC have collected a significant amount of data in order to answer the question of whether or not we have achieved that goal. You can read more about the data collection methodology and their ongoing work on this question here. SPARC have made the data available under the CC0 dedication and you can download them here. OER Only.

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Enhancing OER to Improve Learning

Iterating Toward Openness

One of the defining features of open educational resources is permission to engage in revise and remix activities with regard to OER. While those permissions make it possible for us to change and improve OER, they do nothing to tell us which OER to spend our time and energy improving – or how to improve them.

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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. 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. Once we’ve identified that content, we invite faculty to Shine by contributing their expertise to the improvement of OER. Analyzing the Effectiveness of OER.

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The OER Adoption Impact Explorer

Iterating Toward Openness

I’m very excited to announce the launch of the OER Adoption Impact Explorer. This interactive tool lets users adjust a range of Institutional Settings to match their local context and estimate what the impact of adopting OER would be on their students and campus. (Cross-posted from the Open Education Group blog).

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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. What does the Drake Equation have to do with OER production and enhancement?

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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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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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Information Underload and OER Leverage

Iterating Toward Openness

Is this why OER repositories (and the learning object repositories that came before them) typically fail – because the resource you find is frequently no better than the resource you could have made yourself if you had just spent the time creating instead of searching? But there’s some basic math around how we use time in relation to OER. Spending 15 minutes searching and finding an OER that would have taken you 100 hours to create = very useful.

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Navigating the Shift to OER

edWeb.net

In addition, Dr. Michael Nelson, Director of Curriculum and Assessments for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools (ID), explained in the presentation, “ Navigating the Digital Shift: Leveraging Quality Instructional Materials for Learning,” how his schools are shifting to an OER (open educational resources) environment as part of their overall plan to improve individual student achievement. – Vetted OER materials: For every subject, K-12 teachers have a stockbook of vetted OER lessons.

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Why We Should Expand Our OER Advocacy to Commercial Publishers

Iterating Toward Openness

The data in the [Linux Foundation’s] Kernel Development report shatter this illusion. 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. A switch to OER makes that happen. Preface.

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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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. But another reason is because we need good, solid data about the efficacy, cost, and effectiveness of Pearson’s and other commercial publishers’ products. 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.

Thoughts on OER and Cost Savings

Iterating Toward Openness

Yesterday, Phil Hill wrote about OpenStax’s new method for calculating the savings students see when their faculty adopt OER. Welcome Change: OpenStax using more accurate data on student textbook expenditures. based on federal data. Dividing that number by seven courses (the undergraduate average, according to enrollment data) comes out to $79.37

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Campus Support for OER is Growing, Survey Finds

Edsurge

The number of colleges running efforts to help professors shift from published textbooks to low-cost online materials known as OER is growing rapidly. Nearly two thirds of colleges in the survey—64 percent—reported campus programs to “encourage faculty to use OER content for their courses.” This is no longer an intellectual argument on the part of the [OER] evangelists.” As Green put it: “There’s a huge set of concerns about quality of OER by faculty.”

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?OER Researchers Don’t Disaggregate Data on Diverse Students. Here’s Why They Should

Edsurge

With course materials averaging around $1,200 per year , many colleges over the past decade have adopted open educational resources (OER) to cut costs for students. Since then, a number of studies across many institution types have found that OER—freely available educational materials that can be downloaded, edited and shared— save money and show that students learn just as much using OER as with commercial textbooks.

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Everything Old is New Again: Textbooks, The Printing Press, The Internet, and OER

Iterating Toward Openness

Can you learn to interrogate qualitative data without practicing? But – particularly when it comes to OER – we aren’t. Back in 2012 I wrote: You have to admit that some of the things the publishers are working on are both cooler and better than almost everything that currently exists in the OER space. Can you name a single OER project that does assessment at all (and I don’t mean PDFs of quizzes)? There’s certainly no one funding next gen OER.

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Personalization in Lumen’s “Next Gen” OER Courseware Pilot

Iterating Toward Openness

For almost three years Lumen Learning has been helping faculty, departments, and entire degree programs adopt OER in place of expensive commercial textbooks. We suspect – and will be validating this soon – that the decisions learners make early on based on their inspection of these model data will be “suboptimal.” This term we’ll learn more about what’s working and not working by talking to students, talking to faculty, and digging into the data.

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The RISE Package for R: Reducing Time Through the OER Continuous Improvement Cycle

Iterating Toward Openness

By definition, open educational resources (OER) are licensed in a manner that gives you permission to change, update, and improve them. Learning analytics, on the other hand, can provide great insight into where course materials – including OER – are not effectively supporting student learning. In this open access article we outlined a method for automating the identification of the OER in a course that are most in need of improvement.

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Tailor-ED Raises $1.6 Million to Bring Differentiated OER to More Students

Edsurge

A schoolwide version is available with additional data analysis, customized content integration and professional development workshops. What appealed to Rouse, the North Carolina teacher, was the platform’s data analytics on individual students. Education Technology Financing Open Educational Resources (OER Samantha Rouse had a routine. After she put her three sons to bed, the Kinston, N.C.,

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OER and you. The curation mandate

NeverEndingSearch

At the #GoOpen Exchange on Friday, everyone was talking about OER and the need to curate. But it was clear to our little group, that to the larger majority of the participants, we were not even on the OER radar. Some OER background: Launched in October, GoOpen is a U.S. What are OER? According to the OER Commons : Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost.

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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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OER: Free Like a Beer, or Free Like a Puppy?

Edsurge

Those in the puppy camp argued, with good reason, that free curricula and OER content were hardly free once the related costs and risks were factored in. So the discovery, vetting, and alignment costs inflicted upon the teachers and districts that would try to embrace free and OER content would remain high. And it turns out that a great deal of free and OER content is actually free like a free beer—in fact, like a really good craft beer.

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Does Your District Have a Solid Data Foundation?

Tom Murray

I’ve been able to see firsthand how school leaders are implementing exciting innovations that are accelerating high quality teaching and learning—things such as Open Education Resources (OER) , repurposing their spaces , completely overhauling how they assess a child’s growth by shifting to a competency-based learning model , among other things. From what I’ve witnessed, many schools leaders are not evaluating their data management at more than a surface level.

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Part 2… Beyond the Technology Shine… Content Standard Nouns Meet 25 Free OER Education Resources

21st Century Educational Technology and Learning

Part 2… Beyond the Technology Shine… Content Standard Nouns Meet 25 Free OER Education Resources. That’s right, the identified nouns can give you keywords that will allow you to search a wonderful world of OER (Open Education Resources) on the internet. Remember OER resources provide curriculum that: Makes learning more authentic by giving the teacher the ability to localize learning. A Listing Of 25 OER (Open Education Resource Sites).

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The Role of Open Educational Resources (OER) in Making Education Available to All

A Principal's Reflections

I recently had the honor of traveling to the MIT campus in Boston and participating in a panel discussion on Open Education Resources (OER) at The Sixth Conference of MIT''s Learning International Networks Consortium (LINC) with three illustrious advocates of these open resources: Nicole Allen, Philipp Schmidt, and panel moderator Steve Carson. Open educational resources” (OER) here refers to the many free learning resources now populating the Worldwide Web.

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In Search of OER’s Future and Edtech’s Missing Evidence at SXSW EDU

Edsurge

Here’s more of what we heard and saw on Monday at SXSW EDU: A Sustainable Future for OER Monday marked day one of Open Education Week, and speakers at a panel used the opportunity to discuss the potential for open educational resources as an alternative to increasingly unaffordable textbooks—as well as the challenges and misconceptions that the open movement still faces. Still, sustainable ways to fund OER into the future remains an open question.

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Art, Science, and the Role of Data in Education

Iterating Toward Openness

One of these days, after I’ve retired, I’m going to write a radically restructured, OER-based freshman music theory course, based on research I did early in my career and what I’ve learned about good teaching since then. It’s a partisan divide over the role of data in education. On the other side of the divide are those who are represented as believing that educational data is a plague, and that contact with it should be avoided at all costs.

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

Edsurge

But OER advocates think open access course materials hold another kind of promise for students, too. Of course, commercial courseware also generates student outcome data, which traditional publishers could use to improve their products, too. They can with OER materials. “I’ve

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Data Interoperability: Beyond Accountability and Reporting

edWeb.net

This new role for educators is a direct outcome of the data-driven classroom and the quest for accountability. While teachers may understand the need to collect the information, they resent inputting the same data over and over again in every learning management system, educational application, and state and federal accountability report. More important, the data entry can seem pointless when the outcomes aren’t applicable to the students. Teacher. Classroom facilitator.

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Educators Like Their Curricula More When the Training Is Good, Survey Finds

Edsurge

It considered all adoption types, from traditional publishers, to local curriculum creation, to open educational resources (OER). This holds true across all curriculum types: OER, small publishers, large publishers and home-grown materials.

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Open Education – Where do I begin?

Tom Murray

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Andy Marcinek , Chief Open Education Advisor at the US Department of Education (ED), to explore how schools can benefit from Open Educational Resources (OERs) and what is being done in this area nationwide. The Office of Education Technology ( @officeofedtech ), has lead the charge on OERs, and has compiled various resources on their GoOpen site. This blog was originally posted on the Future Ready website at [link].

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Does Ownership of Instructional Materials Matter?

Doug Levin

Given the rise of OER (of which I am a fan ), an increasing array of business models, questions about the degree of alignment to state standards and assessments, claims of effectiveness, and interoperability concerns, the instructional materials procurement decisions facing school districts have never been more complicated. That is, if educators need to actually part with any money in the first place given the rise of the freemium model and the promises of OER advocates.

Underappreciated No More: A Free Edtech Platform Shines as Schools Go Remote

Edsurge

As countless educators around the world have scrambled to figure out how to deliver lessons remotely with whisker-thin budgets, many turned to open education resources (OER). No “pro” accounts, no efforts to collect user data that gets sold later.

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