Time management run amuck

As I have studied OERs this week, I must say that I am thoroughly enlightened about the process. I never knew what I never knew to  roughly quote from Disney’s Pocahontas. My biggest issue with OERs are the search engines  and trying to find  the appropriate material contained within the larger headings. Also using regular search engines such as google and yahoo, and inquiring if the video, article, etc has Creative Common license. I had to keep referring to the videos, writing notes on how to access the “about” and “more” to see if I’m in violation of the copyright. This was time consuming for me to say the least.

Having struggled with location of applicable content, I  then struggled with previewing  of all the material that could be potentially useful. Thus far, I have watched Rolex awards, saw how corrupt Ken Law and Jeff Schilling were at Enron, checked out audio podcasts from Franklin Covey, learned about the vaccinations that are delivered at a fraction of the dose through the skin and on and on. It was a lovely morning, but accounted for almost 3 hours of searching and looking. Unfortunately, I do not have that  luxury of time as most of my “allocation” for this posting activity is well past my other pressing things to do–such as complete my syllabus, add course reserves, get ready for a 2pm conference call, pull the updated excel sheet for diabetes management for the clinic, to develop a protocol and yes, even think about making my video–all hoping that the power doesn’t go out and I lose this information.

OER does bring to mind  my concern as to where Emory, as an academic institution, feels about OER in each independent school. I know that I have been cautioned to consider strongly where I publish, as OER’s have not historically been included in the top journal sites.  Also I am beginning to question why we avoid Wikipedia like the plague when it is open access with shared content–do we need to rethink our bias against it?

This has been a great eye opening module–the knowledge, the skills and attitudes we have gained are truly worthwhile even if I have not managed my time well.


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  1. Phyllis, I can totally relate to your issue with searching for OERs. Even the helpful sites that pull together loads of OERs in one convenient spot can’t seem to make them accessible in a very useful way. I too have poured through a ton of things searching for gems. To be sure, I found some. But it was frustrating. I think it probably made me feel how our undergraduates feel when they come into contact with the library website for the first time!

    As to your comment about Wikipedia — here’s a video I posted in my scholarblog post about how useful it can be: Using Wikipedia for Academic Research

  2. Forgot to add to my comment — Emory has access to loads of licensed resources that can be shared with students, of course. I think OERs are great in that they make learning available to everyone with internet access, or when you are teaching a class full of students who are not paying tuition. But I don’t see the publisher-controlled content disappearing any time soon (note, no crystal ball in my hands as I say this).

  3. Erin,
    Thanks so much for the information about Wikipedia. I’m going to put that into my course work so that the students get clear messages and not conflicting ones. A great video and something we all could share with our students. You’re amazing!.

    • David Key on August 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm
    • Reply

    Phyllis and Erin, Thanks for highlighting Wikipedia. I have questioned the same thing. The video is very helpful.

    David K.

  4. Phyllis, I loved and greatly appreciated your opening line…Ditto. The hours just seem to disappear while searching for materials. I’m hoping that with more and more practice, I will be able to be more efficient, for example with search terms, etc. I have a colleague who is tremendously comfortable and successful searching for specifics on the internet, so I think it’s possible to develop this skill.
    And we have a fabulous contact right here in our cohort…Erin! and Erin, the video on using Wikipedia is perfect for me and my students in my Graduate Academic Writing course for international students. Thank you for that.

    • Kristy Martyn on August 11, 2014 at 3:59 am
    • Reply

    This conversation leads me to think developing skills in searching the vast amount and sources of online educational materials is a high priority. The Wikipedia video is very useful, thank you, Erin. I learned How to use it! Kristy

  5. Hi everyone in this thread. Thanks for the kind words and also for letting me know you found the Wikipedia video useful. I just love that one!

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