With the emergence of digital learning materials and open educational resources (OER), instructors have a wealth of instructional course materials at their fingertips. But just because something is free and in digital format doesn’t mean it passes muster.
“At some institutions the review and selection of course materials involves faculty collaboration and a shared responsibility to ensure course materials meet agreed-upon learning goals for students. Ideally, the decision on which course materials to use is based on the needs of the faculty teaching the course and the desired learning outcomes for the often diverse group of students taking the course,” according to a course materials guide from the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).
The guide offers a brief overview of OER and notes that there are always costs associated with free materials, such as costs to reproduce resources or costs associated with the manpower necessary to maintain an OER repository. Despite the costs, though, OER are a viable option for course materials.
The New York Public Library just released a treasure trove of digitized public domain images, everything from epic poetry from the 11th century to photographs of used car lots in Columbus, Ohio from the 1930s. Over 180,000 manuscripts, maps, photographs, sheet music, lithographs, postcards, and other images were released online Wednesday in incredibly high resolution, and are available to download using the library's user-friendly visualization tool. It's a nostalgist's dream come true.
Via Dennis T OConnor, Chris Carter, Elizabeth E Charles, David W. Deeds
"Students at Maricopa Community Colleges (MCC) in Arizona have done just as well academically with open educational resources (OER) as with traditional, high-priced textbooks. In addition, students and faculty are more engaged in teaching and learning in courses that use OER, which are free or low-cost teaching and learning materials, and students are more likely to complete degrees faster. Those benefits, as well as the cost savings, could be used in marketing efforts aimed at encouraging more students to enroll, according to OER advocates."
Open educational resources have grown over the last few years from one-off oddities in single courses to the basis of entire degree programs. Cutting out textbook costs for students tops the list of reasons administrators encourage faculty to develop and adopt these free—or very inexpensive—resources, also known as OER.
Other enticements include immediate access for students who sometimes wait or refuse to buy course materials, and instructors’ ability to customize and update OER, which range from digital textbooks to interactive tutorials to quizzes to YouTube videos.
Taking into account library articles, web links, videos, simulations and more, many courses are already using a number of open education resources — and the move to full OER doesn't necessarily mean a total revamp, according to research out of Excelsior College.
A recent survey of 3,000 faculty members by Babson College reported that six in 10 instructors (58 percent) were "generally unaware" of open educational resources (OER). Some were downright resistant to the whole idea. "I am against freely giving faculty intellectual property," declared one respondent. "It is tantamount to working for nothing. The universities don't want to pay us and the book companies don't want to pay us."
Rutgers University in New Jersey has launched its Open and Affordable Textbook Project, which offers grants to faculty or department groups that switch to free, low-cost or open alternatives to traditional textbooks.
Open Educational Resources are the result of a different approach to education: the focus in on sharing, improving and reusing educational materials created by people (not only super-experts) who are willing to let knowledge spread and be used by anyone.
The Modern Language Association recently announced an exciting open-access project, Humanities Core, funded by the NEH. The project is very ambitious and promises to be a valuable asset for researchers, particularly those without access to the expensive databases of large universities. The announcement explains the project:
Many studies show that open access (OA) articles—articles from scholarly journals made freely available to readers without requiring subscription fees—are downloaded, and presumably read, more often than closed access/subscription-only articles. Assertions that OA articles are also cited more often generate more controversy. Confounding factors (authors may self-select only the best articles to make OA; absence of an appropriate control group of non-OA articles with which to compare citation figures; conflation of pre-publication vs. published/publisher versions of articles, etc.) make demonstrating a real citation difference difficult. This study addresses those factors and shows that an open access citation advantage as high as 19% exists, even when articles are embargoed during some or all of their prime citation years. Not surprisingly, better (defined as above median) articles gain more when made OA.
The Open Education Consortium announces the 2017 winners of OER & Project Awards for Open Education Excellence.
The Open Education Awards Committee, populated by educators and open education advocates from around the world, reviews and selects winners. Open Educational Resources and Projects are produced in a variety of languages and developed by institutions and organizations committed to increasing access to high quality education for everyone.
The Open Education Consortium is pleased to recognize these institutions and organizations as well as the resources, projects and initiatives they have contributed to free and open education.
Congratulations to the following 2017 Open Education Awards for Excellence WINNERS!
Open educational resources (OER) in higher education could triple in use as primary courseware in the next five years, according to a new survey of college and university faculty.
OER have the potential to jump from 4 percent use as primary courseware to 12 percent, noted a Cengage Learning survey of more than 500 faculty. And one of the main reasons for the projected increase in adoption is OER’s potential as a solution for students who skip or defer classes due to the price of required course textbooks or learning resources.
The survey, Open Educational Resources (OER) and the Evolving Higher Education Landscape, also found that OER use for supplemental learning materials may nearly quadruple in size, from 5 percent to 19 percent.
For over a decade, plenty of time and dollars have been poured into efforts encouraging the use of open educational resources (OER). In 2007 the Hewlett Foundation’s funding helped create OER Commons. Last year, the U.S. Department of Education spearheaded the #GoOpen movement, a collection of ef
By Curt Bonk in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the process and effectiveness of Open Educational Resources (OER) based flipped classroom practice in an undergraduate course named
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