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Open Educational Resources (OER) - Benefits and Challenges


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Presentation for OER 101: Benefits and Challenges of utilizing OER - 5 Benefits and 5 Challenges

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Open Educational Resources (OER) - Benefits and Challenges

  2. 2. WHAT ARE OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES (OER)? • Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others (definition by Hewlett Foundation). • Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared (definition by Creative Commons). Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  3. 3. BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES BENEFITS • Affordability and accessibility • Additional resources for learning • Encourage engagement • Up-to-date and relevant • Collaboratively developed CHALLENGES • Sustainability • Quality • Recognition of value in larger scope • Faculty and institutional buy- in • Larger accessibility issues Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  4. 4. AFFORDABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY • One of the most significant drawbacks for students is the cost of course materials. This can oftentimes be a deterrent for students beginning the educational process, students already enrolled, or for schools to utilize the newest and most up-to- date resources. • If materials can be accessed digitally, then students have ready access through phones, laptops, etc. These also allow for students to experience the material in a different way. Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  5. 5. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR LEARNING AND ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT With more and more emphasis being placed on flipping classrooms and more interactive, integrated learning, OER provides opportunities for faculty and students to expand the classroom beyond the textbook. More engaged students have better success and derive more satisfaction and mastery from the educational experience. Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  6. 6. UP-TO-DATE AND RELEVANT With the rate that the world is changing and new knowledge is being developed, textbooks become quickly outdated— oftentimes by the time that they are published. OER has the potential to utilize and access the most recent and newest information right at the faculty and student’s fingertips. Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  7. 7. COLLABORATIVELY DEVELOPED OER has the potential to grow and develop as it is used and augmented by faculty and students. OER texts (such as openstax) are peer reviewed and developed by those knowledgeable in the field. OER provides opportunities to interact with other faculty and scholars in a different way than the traditional more siloed approach to teaching and learning. Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  8. 8. OER – THE “PANACEA” TO ALL THAT AILS EDUCATION? • While OER has a number of very valid and significant plusses, there are also some issues and challenges that must be considered. Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  9. 9. SUSTAINABILITY Currently, many OER projects are funded by grant dollars from numerous organizations. While this does provide short-term funding for development and implementation, the question remains as to if it is enough to carry such a significant shift in education forward into the future. Likewise, is there the appropriate recognition attached to OER to encourage its growth and development across education? Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  10. 10. QUALITY AND RECOGNITION OF VALUE Quality versus perception of quality To what standards will OER be held? How do we guarantee that quality OER are utilized in the way that provides the most opportunity for student success? How do we change preconceived notions and ideas about OER amongst faculty and students? How do we best utilize OER to bring the most value to the educational experience? Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  11. 11. FACULTY AND INSTITUTIONAL BUY-IN OER is a new idea that is coupled with new technology and it is vastly different than the traditional textbook/lecture format still used by much of Higher Education. OER can be perceived as undercutting the value of faculty expertise and seen as a replacement for faculty interaction. OER development can be seen as taking away earning potential for faculty in developing text and course material for the larger market. How does OER and its development fit into the entrenched tenure cycle in Higher Education? Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  12. 12. LARGER ACCESSIBILITY ISSUES The success of OER is predicated on the idea that everyone has EQUAL ACCESS to the needed technology and resources to access it. This is problematic. Not all houses have internet access and not all students possess technology or the appropriate technology. Likewise, it is predicated on access to materials on the Internet. Net neutrality is a significant issue currently and could vastly affect access to content and services online. It also will affect public entities’ (libraries, schools and even University’s) access to the Internet and material on the Internet. Rebecca Leber-Gottberg
  13. 13. CONCLUSIONS • OER has an untapped amount of potential to equalize education by making educational materials affordable and accessible for all students. • It also has possibilities to improve student learning outcomes by accessing varied and current materials developed from multiple perspectives and sources. • HOWEVER, these are not without significant drawbacks currently. While OER may be the future of education, it is vital that institutions “get onboard” with the role of faculty and the development/use of OER. • It is also important to recognize that access issues could be a hindrance to students unless they are also guaranteed the appropriate technology and access to OER materials institutionally Rebecca Leber-Gottberg