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.

17 thoughts on “Dever_ Week 7: OERs and My Online Instruction and Learning

  1. The resources available on OERs tie in well with our previous module on learning technologies. I particularly found your attention to exercises and “games” that are available online a helpful suggestion. You also provide a good example of the dangers of sloppy use of online resources. It is always worth it to over- rather than under-attribute, especially recognizing that the ease of acquiring resources online often results in laxity in this area.

  2. I was also thinking about your comment on games and thinking how important a role they play in reviewing or interacting with the material in a different situation. There have been times I have taught something and then followed up with a youtube video on the same topic to have the students review the topic from another” teacher”, this could be improved on perhaps with a game rather than just a video.

  3. Some of the content available is really excellent and I’ve seen a number of instructors use them sprinkled throughout class to highlight specific topics. Especially in some classes after reading your 10th journal paper, and nice 5 minute video is a welcome break. However, I think it’s important to make sure the instructor and/or course designer does not just become a collator of other people content. It would be easy to fill each weeks readings with content pulled from various sources without a cohesive narrative being maintained.
    I agree with Mackenzie that it is a great opportunity to give students exposure to a few different personalities teaching the same content.

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