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OER Advantages and Disadvantages
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OER Advantages and Disadvantages

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  • 1. Advantages and Challenges to Open Education Resource Materials By Terry Gosse
  • 2. Some Benefits to OER 1. You can adjust a course, or materials to fit your own teaching style and course. You are no longer stuck with a published book, and their order and presentation of the material. You can change the order and change the explanation of the topics you are covering. Emphasis can be put where YOU want the students to focus.
  • 3. 2. You can bring in materials from different resources You can embed in your course the materials from different locations that you want your students to access. No longer do you need to have a book and its resources linked to the publisher’s site, and the materials you want to add put in a different program, like Canvas. The students can find everything you want them to see in one location.
  • 4. 3. You can bring in links to specific videos that you want to use to help your students understand the material. You not only can have the links to the videos, you can embed them exactly where the students should see them. The can also be embedded in the text and have a separate location to find them easily to review them. The flexibility of OER is amazing.
  • 5. 4. You can use the materials you find with fear of infringing on copyright laws. The fear of using materials that are copyrighted is now gone. The referencing of the materials is easier, and permission is already granted. 5. The cost to students is free to a small charge if they want printed materials. Even if the materials are not perfect, you can feel better that the students are not paying over $100 for materials that they can only use part of and that you can change or remove what you don’t need for your course.
  • 6. For all the advantages of OER, there are some disadvantages: 1. Find enough problems, with solutions for students to work or practice on. I find many resources that have limited problems and/or that do not have the solutions for students to learn from.
  • 7. 2. No course will ever be set up the way you want it. Of course, this is not unique to OER materials. I have never seen any publisher provided materials set up the way I want it to be. The difference is, you can spend your time fixing it. 3. Getting printed copies of the texts with the changes you have made could be difficult, for the students who want a printed text.
  • 8. 4. Another issue the the time it takes to find the exact materials you want. There are a lot of resources. It takes time to find them and to adapt them to your course. 5. The time to organize all the resources for students, especially if you are not sure when you will teach that course again Beyond finding the exact materials you want. It takes time to organize your course in a way that both you and the students can find what they want each step of the way. This is especially difficult is you teach different classes, the energy it takes can be more than you can keep up quarter after quarter.
  • 9. Another issue: Having faith that your materials are good enough to share. Many people do not want to share their work, because they feel other people will think they are not good enough. In order to publish your work with a creative commons license, you have to be willing to let others see your work, and hopefully improve on it. It has to start somewhere.