I developed ENH114 (African-American Literature) as an online course that uses primarily OERs (Open Education Resources, which are free, online resources that can be used and shared.) I am interested in finding out how this approach works for students -- on the plus side, it will save them money and insure that they have access to course materials when they need them. However, I want to see how the use of OERs seems to be going -- how effective this approach is, and whether there are any issues.
I will be assessing students reactions to the modules; I will also be including brief survey of their reactions to specific materials. In this way, I hope to get a preliminary idea of how the OERs are going over, which type of OERs the students preferred, and any issues that crop up.
Overall, I was extremely pleased with the results of my pilot. The class went very smoothly, and students seemed quite comfortable with the OER approach. 90% of the students surveyed said they preferred the cost-saving OER work, even though they felt it caused them some extra work!
I plan to tweak the course to increase its effectiveness.
One hears so much about OERs these days, but I know of no research supporting or disproving their efficacy. I so look forward to your results!
And now that the results are in, no surprises! Nice job of closing the loop on OERs!
We too have seen a big push for using OER materials in RDG. The problem we run into, especially at the dev. ed. level, is the appropriateness of the materials that are available online for free. Most are made for children and are not appropriate for adult learning. Any OER materials we would use would have to be created and would take a lot of time and effort on the part of the instructor. We are still looking into this as an IC. I am glad to see that your students did well with it because we are piloting a class in the Fall that we developed using OER and novels. Hopefully students will report that they like it as well.
You can apply for a Maricopa Millions grant -- it'll still take time, but at least you'd get paid for it!
The use of OER materrial is a great way to decrease costs for students and for the college. Depending on the materials, there can be more work to do for students and faculty or not. Great pilo and thank you for sharing. The Energy Institute is looking into using more OER as we develop some hybrid courses.
I've had a lot of luck with improved learning because of the extra work that the students have to do. I think it's because they have to produce materials, so they can't fool themselves about whether they have really read or not!