Daily Archives: March 6, 2015

Dever_ Week 7: OERs and My Online Instruction and Learning

OERs are an exciting tool for instructors to use when teaching and learning in an online setting.  I was somewhat (a little) familiar with OERs prior to the readings and research for this class, but had no idea of the depth and extent available – nor the limits and leeway afforded by different licenses.

My familiarity prior to the class was through use and participation in the Kahn Academy.  Kahn offers a toolbox of videos and interactive material that can be utilized not only to augment the main portion of my teaching current and future entrepreneurs/managers about analyzing their organization and using that analysis to plan, detail and implement positive change, but also in refreshing/establishing the basic math and financial skills that are the foundation for complex decision-making. The videos and interactive teaching tools afforded can not only instruct through information, but also the interactive “games” and scenario analysis (math, specifically calculus and algebra) can give repetition and practice for both those familiar with math and those who need clarity and/or a refresher.

In addition to providing an augment to the math and financial basis (and exercises and repetition for the learner to self-assess and be comfortable with their individual basis), a second augment that can be provided by OERs to my teaching is that there are video interviews where top managers and entrepreneurs muse in depth their stories, decision methodology and what are their basic organization parameters.  I find that interspersing these types of videos with research and readings can not only greatly augment the learning experience through instruction, but also assist the learning experience by providing comfort and confidence to the learner in that they see how a successful entrepreneur/manager has the same trepidations and some of the same thought processes that they do: also, it gives practical ideas as to the process one can use to think through important decisions that change organizations. Khan actually offers a section under economics/finance specifically relating to this, including a video series of visits with major entrepreneurs.

I have not had any difficulty (yet) with copywrites or licenses.  Partially I would attribute this to my absolute maniacal focus on attribution and credit not only on direct quotes or ideas, but also on concepts or general  parameters which (even) may have some relation to others’ work I have previously encountered or been exposed to.  In fact, recently I was asked to work with a nursing student/senior at Trinity Washington who was brought before the Trinity Honor Board for plagiarism regarding concepts/ideas from online sources.  In preparing her “defense” or explanation that it was not plagiarism, I had to conduct interviews with lawyers and academic professionals and research the stipulations of licenses and material usage.  This included Creative Commons license types. My main takeaway was that I am far from an expert and that I need to have a healthy respect for what my sources are, proper use and license of that resource, and what are the benefits of that resource.

Bob Mocadlo – My Thoughts About OER

Hi, everyone.  Although I wasn’t aware of the official term “OER,” I was aware that some things existed that were open access.  The business school-specific education class that we took included some information about MERLOT and the availability of cases from there.  However, I didn’t realize that there were full comprehensive textbooks for some of the courses that I potentially might teach!  I found a few from BCcampus as well as Boundless.  The only catch is that these textbooks are generally for an introduction to accounting, which is just the first class of many that accounting students will need to take.

There are resources available for members of the American Accounting Association (our professional association) that can be used.  Cases are frequently developed and published in Issues in Accounting Education, many of which were designed to be used by fellow educators (generally with attribution).  In addition, many large accounting firms, knowing that accounting educators are the feeders into their firms, provide educational resources as well.

From the little I’ve had the time to look at, it definitely seems like there may be some value in terms of the cases that I might want students to work on.  However, I feel like there might be some limitations on my ability to use general resources like textbooks or slides, given that many universities (especially large public ones) may standardize textbooks across class sections.  However, given how standardized a lot of material in my field is, I definitely see a potential role for OERs, especially given how many students may start to value electronic or online resources that they can access from anywhere without needing to lug many books around, as I did over a decade ago!