"Fair is not equal; it's getting what you need!" ~Rhonda Holt
Information is not free! Somewhere along the way, it cost someone or some institution quite a chunk of money, and yet there is almost an arms race over information access in a way. I say this because I used to work at a Medical Library as a Graduate Assistant, and you would not believe the demand many individuals placed on the library and its resources. I can say the one I worked at was fortunate to have some wealthy philanthropists who believed the key to improving health care was through continually investing and improving in the medical information and education available to those individuals who would provide the health care.
It's quite interesting to see the varying perspectives based upon the roles and hats we wear in our varying positions, but most importantly, it's interesting to see how different individuals perceive OERs as either a positive or negative occurrence taking education (especially online education) by storm. I would pose to liken it somewhat to the idea of "Open Stacks", an era which made many librarians fear losing their jobs and prestigious titles when the stacks were beginning to become more "open" and available to numerous users (public as well since our tax dollars after all pay for the information and materials being gathered). At this time, the library went from only certain individuals and researchers having access to information and research in limited quantities and amounts of time to it being freely available should any individual take time out of their busy schedule to visit the library and access the information, or schedule to access the information. Information access and barriers have always existed, but those who play vital roles are in panic because change makes everyone nervous. The internet is making information more freely available and shareable, but the biggest difference is that is no longer all considered as proprietary and heavily guarded.
5 R's of OERs
Reuse, revise, remix, redistribute, and retain... these are the five main activities generally associated with content developed and utilized from OERs. Because these five Rs are largely what gets considered to be done with specific content and how it is used for courses, it's important to consider the intended purpose and permissions associated with content even when it is labeled as an OER.
After attending an amazing BITS webinar led by Dionne Curbeam, February 22nd, I thought it helpful to recap and follow up with my compilation of links too. I especially loved Dionne's top 10 lists, so shout out to her as these lists are hers not mine.
Top 10 Considerations When Selecting OERs
Alignment with student learning outcomes or course objectives
Appropriateness for population and stakeholders
Credibility and Authority
OER's content review process
Availability of supplemental resources and tools
Integration with technology systems (i.e. assessment systems; learning management systems, etc.)
Ability to address diverse learning styles
Time commitment to develop and execute OER
End user support availability and type
Bonus Consideration: Hidden Costs
In the next list, the considerations are for implementation from the perspective of an instructor or faculty member and not necessarily a college as a whole. OER usage and consideration is generally done on a case-by-case basis and not necessarily as a whole college approach. Therefore, these suggestions/recommendations from Dionne's list are from the implementation perspective and lens of an individual instructor and based upon her own implementation of OERs in courses.
Top 10 Considerations When Implementing OERs
Don't allow the wide array of OERs to paralyze you.
Develop a timeline for implementation.
Outline your goals, objectives, and key performance indicators. Have an idea of your needs.
Be careful of doing too many things at once (re-design overload).
Talk to your students about the use of OERs in your courses.
Join an OER stakeholder group for encouragement, advice, and support.
Get continual feedback from students.
Develop and use assessment metrics.
Have a back-up platform for your OER material (or know the content retention policy for any platform).
Be in the position to scale and continue OER use.
Bonus Consideration: OER will not replace the faculty.
OER Links List
I thought it might be helpful for me to compile some of my tricks, tips, and resources I gleaned from the session and many other professional conferences and sessions I've attended during and upon the completion of my MLIS. So the following is a list of links to OERs I have come across or been exposed to by various sources. Some came from Dionne's list; however, this is a conglomerate of useful links and sources which can be used to different degrees as OERs.
- 80 Open Education Resource (OER) Tools for Publishing and Development Initiatives:
- Alison- Free Online Courses:
- Bucknell University- OERS:
- Cedec (Centre Nacional de Desarollo Curricular en Sistemas no Propietarios):
- Center for Parenting Education:
- Clemson Libraries- Open & Alternative Educational Resources Lib Guide:
- CODE- Online Self-Paced Courses for Teachers:
- College Open Textbooks:
- Colorado State University Online:
- Digital Garage (Google):
- Easy Notecards:
- EDUTEKA- Recursos Educativos Abiertos (REA):
- Galileo Open Learning Materials:
- Harvard Online Learning (digital learning portal—some free and some paid):
- Humboldt State University (OER List):
- InfoDev Quick Guide to OER:
- Internet Archive:
- Jonathan Kulp- Professor of Music’s Open Texts:
- Jonathan Kulp’s- Counterpoint Applied Open Text:
- Lanterna (Free IB Resources):
- Lumen Learning:
- MIT Open Courseware:
- National Center on Accessible Educational Materials:
- National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI) -Thirteen Ed Online:
- OER Commons:
- OER Knowledge Cloud:
- Office of Educational Technology (US Dept of Ed):
- Open 2 Study:
- Open Course Library (Community and Technical Colleges Washington State Board):
- Open Culture:
- Open Education Consortium:
- Open Education Database:
- Open Learn:
- Open Learning Initiative:
- Open Michigan:
- Open Professionals Education Network:
- Open Stax:
- Open Yale Courses:
- OpenContent.org (change raw PDF to HTML):
- Orange Grove:
- School of Open –P2PU:
- Score (free small business learning/materials):
- Stanford Online:
- UN- Guideline for Open Educational Resources in Higher Education:
- University of Pittsburgh- OER Lib Guide:
- University Of Washington- Free Courses:
- UWF’s Electrical Engineering OERs- Lib Guide:
- You Need A Budget: