I was somewhat familiar with OER before this class. I have heard a lot about online MOOCs but I was not using OERs. I found one specific OER that I felt would be especially valuable for teacher educators and that was the “Open Education Consortium”http://www.oeconsortium.org/courses/ as this site offered access to a variety of information that related to education based on various fields. I think that OERs will be especially useful for the following reasons: they offer and opportunity to prepare students for the course or to introduce students who are behind to new material; OERs also can provide entire lessons if they are fitting for the topic that week; OERs allow students to learn from various instructors who will likely differ in their approach and goals which consequently exposes students to more information. I have not given much thought to the constraints of copyright when delivering content but this module has pushed me to think more critically about my intellectual property especially when classes/lessons are recorded…
I heard about OERs when my Emory faculty colleagues Erin Lepp and Weihua Zhang encouraged me to join their team last May to learn about OERs. I was so busy I could not attend all the sessions, so I only understood it piecemeal. But now we are committed to completing an OER about service learning and community engaged learning for Emory, or elsewhere. I am still sort of flying in the dark as we develop it.
So I ended up choosing the Hewlett Foundation Database from the Read+Resources area. In their OERs that are about global development, I found an OER about unsafe abortion that would serve very well for my maternity as well as my birth and global health class. This is the link: http://www.hewlett.org/programs/global-development-population/us-reproductive-health.
I can see students viewing them, making them, remixing them, as long as they follow the licensing rules by Creative Commons. There is a lot of room for creativity while learning.
I have used Course Reserves for students to link to important readings. But I have not paid much attention in the f2f classes regarding videos or images. I know for the online environment this would need to change.
I am excited to encourage everyone including myself to use the Creative Commons databases. But this is new shift for me, so I will keep at it.
I was aware of OERs mostly through searching the net for resources, but I had not yet so carefully defined their legal status. I also regularly check what courses are available for free that have audio components I can listen to while driving.
Christine Hayes’ course on Intro to the Old Testament available in Open Yale Courses contains both interesting video lectures as well as a syllabus which would be a very helpful starting point in developing an Old Testament course.
One of the primary uses that I see for OERs is to ensure that you are not continually “re-inventing the wheel.” Especially as a new professor, you can spend far too much time creating resources (syllabi, multimedia) from scratch, instead of modifying what is already available. It is also valuable simply as the curating of resources for students. Students know how to find things on the internet, but providing or encouraging the use of OER, encourages them to become more responsible consumers of line material.
I confess that I have been less concerned about copyright than I should be. I do not disseminate material that is copyrighted. So, for instance, if I use a video clip, I don’t include that on the powerpoint that I make available to students. But I far too often consider myself under “fair use” just because I am using the material in an education setting. I know that is too naïve, especially when so many classes are now being recorded. This makes OERs all the more valuable as they often indicate their licensing status and I can use them freely in educational settings.
While I had not heard the term “Open Educational Resources (OER), I am familiar with using publicly or open-licensed content. We have actually been having a lot of conversations at work about how to distribute learning both to students and staff in a manner which is consumable. There is so much valuable content available, both in terms of scholarly open-journals, as well as lectures, quick-videos, etc… Our challenge right now is actually to cull through the content and find the content type which best suites the audience and context.
Searching through some of the databases I found a number of useful sources which would make a nice companion for some of the context I already have (e.g. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-317-organizational-leadership-and-change-summer-2009/part-i/readings/). I was quite impressed with the sheer volume of content and found it a bit overwhelming. I know I only scratched the surface with a few searches.
I can see a lot of value in have relatively easy (and free or cheap) access to content, especially from highly regarded sources. Certainly having content which has been deemed appropriate at a peer-institution helps a lot with having confidence in the source material. However, one possible downside of this is instructors becoming over reliant on others to do their research and themselves losing touch with the source content. Another challenge I see with the copyright rules is making sure the rules are maintained as they are borrowed from one source to another. For instance, those who deliver content to both public (university) and private (professional workshops) need to make sure they are following the rules of the content.
Before this class, I had never heard of Open Educational Resources (OER) as a term. I was familiar with free ESL materials like Randel’s Cyber Listening Lab or lessons on the BBC website, but had never considered them OER. Overall the materials on the OER databases seemed to favor K-12 or college level ESL material, so for my work with graduate students the materials were a bit easy. However, I did find ample material focused on college writing that I could use. For example this worksheet on paragraph organization has both clear descriptions of idea paragraphs but also graphic organizers to assist students. When I am creating materials, this type of worksheet can take significant time, so it is great it is here as free resource. At least in my field this concept has been around and is viewed as highly valuable. With so many educator’s abroad, publishers were attempting to get material out to English teacher as quickly as possible. Of course, the majority of textbooks were really expensive, but even as early as 15 years ago ESL professionals has access to photocopial material (although mostly from British publishers. The trend for ESL materials to increase in cost continues and just like topics like science and math the information can quickly age and become boring for students. I remember when these textbooks by Tapestry were cutting edge, they included CNN videos and hot topics in the news. Now of course, despite the publisher’s efforts to address general topics, it is dated. Regarding copyright, that has always been a factor in selecting materials and delivering content so I feel fairly comfortable with it.
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.
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!