Stephen Burke and Katie Lynch from Rockland Community College (RCC) showed a great example of using Open Educational Resources (OER) across multiple courses while tightly tying the courses together. I was extremely impressed with what they had accomplished.
RCC fully implemented OER content in their English 101, 102, 103, and 104 courses. These are the first-year writing courses.
The OER content created and used is being delivered with a program called panOpen. With this program, the RCC team was able to upload content and remix it to suit the specific course.
They developed an interconnected curriculum around 10 modules focusing on different subjects, e.g., education, food, American government, creation stories, etc. Each module has connected readings within the module as well as to other modules and courses.
To build their OER library, they used content from Project Gutenberg as well as library journal databases. They wanted students to become familiar with using library resources.
Here is an example of the text they included in one of the modules:
- Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
- Frederick Douglass Narrative
- Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method
- John Dewey, Democracy and Education
- Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences
Each of the articles relates to another article in the module. They also relate to articles in other modules. As the presenters noted, the texts are stars in a constellation.
Because of the open nature of the project, students also have an opportunity to add to the constellations with their own texts.
Burke and Lynch pointed out that the success of the project was also based on administration buy-in. It took a team approach to deliver a product of this quality.
They also noted that with the panOpen application, students were able to take notes that were shareable to the entire class. This also helps to facilitate this open, “work out loud” mindset.
If you have questions about this presentation, please feel free to ask.
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