The following is a special guest blog post by: Kelsie Aguilera, Instructor of Anthropology, OER committee member, and graduate of the Go Open, Go Free Using OER workshop series.
During the fall semester of 2016, I first shared with you my Open Educational Resources (OER) journey through a special guest blog post. I now wish to update you because some things have changed!
But, what has not changed is my support for OER and the global Open Education movement OER are a component of. There are so many barriers and challenges that our students face on their paths to academic and career success; purchasing an expensive textbook no longer has to be one of them. I now advocate for OER by serving on our campus OER committee along with serving on the Awareness subcommittee. Through my OER committee work, I am grateful for the many opportunities I have been given to share my experiences with OER to our campus and the community, such as being a guest speaker for the Go Open, Go Free Using OER track at the Pacific Region Learning Summit.
After taking the incredibly enriching Go Open, Go Free Using OER workshop series in 2016 and launching two of my courses as “$0 Textbook Cost” soon after, the response I have received from students has been overwhelmingly positive. I have received countless words of gratitude and thanks about going “$0 Textbook Cost” from students and no major critiques. In stark comparison, I used to receive countless complaints about the traditional textbook I used to assign. Furthermore, my success rates have increased since the switch. Although I cannot confidently attribute the increase to my adoption of free resources, many of which are OER, I like to believe that my efforts have made a positive impact.
Ultimately, I wanted to impart a note of encouragement to you. When I first heard about OER in 2013, I immediately became frustrated because I couldn’t find any suitable OER for anthropology. Thus, I abandoned the project until I took the Go Open, Go Free Using OER workshop series, which gave me the confidence and resources I need to take the leap. New OER materials are steadily being created and added to the movement. For example, an organization I am involved with, the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges (SACC), recently released the first peer-reviewed, open access textbook for cultural anthropology called Perspectives: An open invitation to cultural anthropology.
Movements elicit change as the result of the participation of its supporters, so you can contribute to the OER movement too. I am doing my part; I am currently working with a dedicated group of SACC members to produce and edit an OER introductory biological anthropology textbook, which will be the first of its kind. If OER doesn’t work for you at the moment, don’t indefinitely rule it out. The movement keeps growing and evolving, and you can contribute to it, too, so that you can make OER work for you.
The following is a special guest blog post by: Lois-Lynn Deuel, Instructor of Psychology at Leeward CC.
My path to using Open Educational Resources (OER) was not a hasty one. When I taught my first college course 25 years ago, I dutifully selected a well-known textbook for the spine of my course, promptly employed all of the publisher’s bells and whistles and creatively developed colorful PowerPoint presentations to organize my in-class lectures and facilitate student note-taking.
As my experience and expertise increased, a lot of things changed in my instructional style. I started incorporating more active learning activities, stopped using the “death by PowerPoint” approach and adopted a number of flipped classroom techniques. Most importantly, I began a slow drift away from using the textbook as the foundation in my courses.
Why was OER appealing to me?
Last year, I participated in the OER Workshop offered through PRLS. My initial intention was to increase my technical knowledge and learn about more scholarly resources that I could systematically use to beef up the supplementary materials for my courses—like an “OER Lite” to accompany the textbook. As the week progressed, I decided that an OER text along with my existing supplementary materials might be an option. It would certainly save my students money.
Unfortunately, the next thing I came to realize during the PRLS week was that there were no existing OER texts for Developmental Psychology. If I wanted something better for my students (i.e., higher quality, up-to-date, more relevant, better explanations and examples, more efficient or concentrated learning), I was going to have to make it myself—an OER mash-up using hundreds of different resources.
The PRLS workshop on OER gave me the confidence to try (WARNING: Junie, Wayde, and Leanne are really sweet, helpful and persuasive!). So, I decided to take the plunge.
The following is a special guest blog post by: Kimo Burgess, Leeward CC student, Student Government Senator Fall 2017 – Spring 2018.
There are many benefits when it comes to taking OER or $0 cost textbook courses. When I first entered Leeward Community College several semesters ago, I didn’t realize how outrageously expensive textbooks could actually be. I thought textbooks would generally cost around $20 to $30, but I was flabbergasted to realize that textbooks can cost up to $150 and above. Having to pay for books in addition to tuition is ridiculous. As an average college student, I have to pay for a bus pass that is priced at $250 a semester and tuition that is $2500 every year. The most I have spent on textbooks during one semester was $500. That $500 can be better spent on transportation and even alleviate the cost of living.
OER and $0 cost textbook courses offer many benefits such as financial and academic freedom, the unburden of carrying heavy textbooks, and not having to worry about whether it’s in stock at the bookstore or on Amazon. Though there are benefits with $0 cost textbooks and OER courses, access to computers or an online device can be difficult for some.
When I entered an OER course during my second semester at Leeward Community College, I felt liberated not having to carry a heavy textbook with me every time. It’s efficient and cheaper for professors to go OER. It can be irksome for both the professor and the students if they need a required reading/textbook that can be possibly out of stock in the bookstore or even unavailable at the library. Having Ebooks (electronic books) introduced as course material can make school life a lot more simple and sustainable, too. Ask yourself this question, “Why would I need to buy an expensive book when I can just read it for free?” I hope in the future that Leeward Community College offers more OER courses because it makes college life and work a whole lot easier.
Here are some statistics on Leeward’s Textbook Cost: $0 courses for Spring 2018. Let’s help more of our students, like Kimo, by offering more textbook cost: $0 courses!
In the spirit of Open Education Week, UH Manoa is hosting some wonderful events. Check them out on their website. If you are available, you are encouraged to register for the various sessions that are taking place on Thursday, March 8 at the Manoa campus. Here is the link to the livestream channel on YouTube if you wish to view the sessions on that day. Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani (University Teaching Fellow in Open Studies and a Psychology Professor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, B.C., Canada) will be the keynote speaker and will also be conducting a hands-on workshop about strategies and resources to redesign course assignments.
In the afternoon at 2:30, our own Wayde Oshiro, Head Librarian, will be part of the closing session that highlights the potential for OER to improve outcomes and the learning experiences for UH system students.
In addition, UH West Oahu will be celebrating Open Education Week with the following workshop on Tuesday, March 6 from 1 – 2 pm.
OER: Affordable Course Content
Dr. Gloria Niles and Dr. Tom Scheiding
Open Educational Resources (OER) are sources of information that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Learn how OER is being implemented at UHWO and across the UH System.
Both the UH Manoa and UH West Oahu sessions will be recorded and we will be posting recording at a later date.
Join the Leeward CC OER Committee in celebrating Open Education Week, starting today, March 5th until March 9th! This week, you’ll receive a special daily email to inform you about topics in open education, particularly those related to our campus about Open Educational Resources (OER) and textbook cost $0.
Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide.
The idea of free and open sharing in education is not new. In fact, sharing is probably the most basic characteristic of education: education is sharing knowledge, insights and information with others, upon which new knowledge, skills, ideas and understanding can be built.
Open is key; open allows not just access, but the freedom to modify and use materials, information and networks so education can be personalized to individual users or woven together in new ways for diverse audiences, large and small.
– from Open Education Week at https://www.openeducationweek.org/page/what-is-open-education
To start the week off, we compiled a few articles and resources to introduce you to Open Educational Resources (OER).OER Myths
These are some common myths about OER:
One way to start using OER is to find an OER textbook. Curious if there’s one for your course? Check out Leeward’s OER LibGuide for OER textbooks. On the OER LibGuide you’ll also find a lot of useful information and resources.What are you waiting for?
In this funny short video, OpenStax, a non-profit company that creates peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks, shares reasons for why you should use OpenStax.
Here’s a quick re-cap on what’s happening with Open Educational Resources (OER) at Leeward CC.Open Textbook Network
The Open Textbook Network (OTN) is an alliance of over 600 higher education institutions promoting access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks. OTN maintains the Open Textbook Library, a collection of 453 peer-reviewed open textbooks. The UHCC system recently joined this growing community of open education advocates. Our membership allows UHCC OER advocates to participate in discussions with regional and national leaders, share best practices with other members, and tap into the collective expertise of the network. A highlight this year is an upcoming visit by two presenters from OTN coinciding with HSSI, March 28-29. A presentation is planned for Day 1 and a train-the-trainer workshop on Day 2. The all-day workshop at Honolulu CC is for individuals who will return to their home campuses as open textbook advocates and provide faculty with training opportunities. We are excited to participate in this network and share our successes with colleagues around the U.S.Spring 2018 Textbook Cost: $0
Preliminary, we now have 273 sections at Leeward that are “textbook cost: $0” leading to a savings of $459,826 and a total savings to-date of $2,087,575. “Textbook cost: $0” “is a designation for a class that does not require students to purchase any course materials out-of-pocket. Classes may use a variety of Open Educational Resources (OERs), online resources, library resources, and faculty-authored materials to replace commercially-produced textbooks” (Go Open, Go Free).“Go Open, Go Free Using OER” Spring 2018 Workshop
Are you interested in OER or going OER? Register today for the upcoming workshop series from February 13 to March 20 at 1:00 PM -2:30 PM. In this six-week workshop series, participants will learn about no-cost and Open Educational Resources (OER) which have the potential to replace costly commercial textbooks and other course materials.
It has been thrilling to see the Open Educational Resources (OER) Initiative takeoff at Leeward CC. Many instructors have successfully adopted and integrated OER into their classes. The initiative has reduced costs for students and increased student success. As we continue the push toward openness, we would like to encourage you to consider open pedagogy. While there is no single definition of open pedagogy, here is a definition:
Open pedagogy takes OER as a jumping-off point for rethinking the relationship between teachers, students, and knowledge. If teachers and students can now modify their textbooks and learning materials, we shift the student emphasis to contribution to knowledge as opposed to simple consumption of knowledge. Teachers and students become learners together, and “content” becomes a dynamic, always changing category with which we engage rather than a stable set of facts to be mastered. (DeRosa) Submitted by Heather M. Ross
It is always helpful to see examples from other instructors. Here one we would like to share.
After completing a 7-week OER training offered through Leeward Community College in Spring 2017, I had a renewed commitment to reducing or eliminating textbook cost for my courses by using instructional materials that are openly sourced. I soon realized that projects I already assign could be used to teach my students to openly source and share their work with a global audience. Later, I realized this process had a term, which is Open Pedagogy.
One assignment, in particular, has evolved over the past three years through Open Pedagogy. EDEE 324 is a required courses in the Elementary Education concentration for Education majors at UHWO. The ʻIke Ola Pono (Health Literacy) Digital Storybook Project is a assignment for Health, Physical Education and Movement (EDEE 324) at the University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu (UHWO). I began this assignment in Fall 015, initially inspired by the Health Literacy Database at Miami University directed by Valerie Ubbes, Ph.D. My initial intention was to create an authentic assessment for teacher candidates (students) in an online course. As the project has evolved, my focus on Open Pedagogy has increased.
The objective of the ʻIke Ola Pono Digital Storybook project is for teacher candidates to develop a children’s story that incorporates aspects of Dr. Ubbes’ Habits of Health and Habits of Mind Model in a story that is culturally responsive to Hawaiian ways of knowing. In 2017, I incorporated the Hawaiʻi Department of Education’s Nā Hopena Aʻo (learning outcomes), adding a requirement that the story align with the Nā Hopena Aʻo as well as Hawaii Content and Performance Standards III for Health.
Beginning in 2017, teacher candidates were encouraged to add a Creative Commons license (which allows individuals to share their work, but retain copyright) to their storybook, and have their book included in the Mālama Honua Digital Storybook Series. In June 2017, the first titles in the series were shared publicly as part of the Mālama Honua Fair, celebrating the homecoming of the Hōkūleʻa. This event provide the authors the opportunity to showcase their work. As the teacher candidates shared their books with visitors who stopped by the UHWO exhibit space, it was heartwarming to observe the pride the authors had as children were reading their digital book on tablets and laptop computers. Parents and teachers were downloading the QR code to share the storybooks with their children and students.
Some teacher candidate are excited, and other are a bit intimidated at the start of the semester, when they learn they will be required to author and illustrate a children’s book. However, once they review the resources available through articles, videos, and websites, the trepidation turns to enthusiasm. Additionally, reviewing the titles in the Mālama Honua Series provides motivation and desire to see their story included in the series at the end of the course.
In addition to providing a collection of resources to support the process of writing childrenʻs literature and various media that can be used to illustrate their story, I scaffold this semester long project into steps, beginning with formation of peer review teams. During the first week of class, students join a peer review team of 4 to 5 students. The peer review teams each have a private discussion forum where they can share resources, and submit the stages of their project for feedback and review from their teammates. Providing feedback to their teammates also tends to strengthen their own project, and provides a support system.
The first submission is the ʻIke Ola Pono Digital Storybook Plan. Teacher candidates are provided with a planning template to scaffold the planning of their storybook, and identify how the story alignments with standards and outcomes.
The second step is the submission of the First Draft. This includes the manuscript and a storyboard for the conceptual design of the illustrations. Instructor and peer review feedback is provided. I also evaluate the manuscript for the readability level, using Readable.io. This tool provides feedback to determine if the manuscript is written at an appropriate reading level for the target age or grade level.
The third step is the submission of the Final Draft. This is the complete book in a digital format, with text and illustrations in the book format layout. Feedback is provided once again by peer review teammates as well as the instructor.
The published version is the final version of the storybook, submitted as the signature assignment. In the published version, the author is asked to add two lesson activities that can be used to extend learning opportunities, as well as the alignment to Health Education standards and the Nā Hopena Aʻo.
As the instructor, I serve as the editor for the series. As editor, my job is to ensure that illustrations that are not original artwork are correctly attributed, and overall professionalism of the published version. Not every ʻIke Ola Pono Digital Storybook submitted is represented in the series. However, as the series has grown to 23 titles, each semester the teacher candidate seem increasingly motivated to self-assess and produce a high quality project.
In order to continue the evolution of Open Pedagogy, ideas that I am considering are for teacher candidates to revise, remix, reuse titles in the Mālama Honua Digital Storybook Series. I am also planning Read-Aloud events where authors from the previous semester will read their book to children in local libraries, and in elementary school classrooms.
Sampling of screenshots above are from Mālama Honua Digital Storybook Series. Each storybook has been licensed by the student author under a Creative Commons license.
Video from “A New High-Tech Learning Center Changed How These Professors Teach” by Julia Schmalz from Chronicle of Higher Education (6:17)
Three instructors are highlighted in the video sharing how they design their instruction around the physical space and technology in the classroom. This video highlights teaching strategies such as: