In this panel presentation, members of Ohio State University explored the impact that the introduction of Open Educational Resources (OER) had on course design.
The panel began their presentation by talking about their Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX). The ALX helps faculty redesign their courses through the use of OER.
The actual presentation focused on a multi-year research project. They organized the results of their research in thematic areas for the purpose of this presentation. The data collected as part of their student was through interviews and student surveys. They analyzed the results using a Deeper Learning framework.
There were a number of motivations for using OER in their course design:
- Faculty could tailor their content to the students.
- Erroneous content could be quickly updated.
- Increased collaboration.
- Faculty could use more dynamic resources.
- Expected cost savings for students.
Faculty noted that the preparation process took longer than expected. One must allow more time for course development at least initially.
There was greater alignment with student learning outcomes (SLO). Faculty saw increased levels of active learning. They could better adjust the materials to their teaching style.
Perception of student impact
When faculty were asked about the student impact, they were hesitant to answer. They did note that they did see changes in their teaching.
- The switch to OER yielded cost savings for students.
- There has been an increase in flexibility in the course creation process.
- There are concerns about ongoing sustainability.
- Right now, there is a hesitancy to attribute impact.
- There is a desire for communities of practice.
I would have to concur that using OER to prepare a course is not only good for the students but also for the instructor. With OER, faculty have more control of their classrooms. OER provides control of content, teaching styles, and learning styles. Why be a teaching assistant to someone else’s content when you don’t have to.