Open Education Resources

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by mattbrent, Feb 15, 2013.

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  1. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

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    Associate Professor of History & Political Science
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    Lottsburg, Virginia
    Howdy folks!

    The Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System has helped to set up a grant that faculty across the system can apply for. Essentially we have to put together a plan to turn one of the VCCS' highest enrolled courses into a course that solely uses Open Education Resources. The folks chosen for the grant get $3000 to compensate them for developing courses using these resources.

    There are a slew of courses that can be done, but within my field there are two: US History (until the Civil War) and Western Civilization (up to the Reformation). I'm going to be completing a grant application to create an OER course for Western Civ. They encourage us to consider already existing resources, like MIT Open Courseware and Saylor.

    I'm exciting about this opportunity. Even if I'm not selected for the grant, I had been thinking about doing something similar for my political science courses.

    I was just curious though, if any of you have created a course that uses OER? The whole goal is to decrease the cost of attendance for our students. Right now a course is about $350 in tuition, and the book can run another $200-300. It's insane how expensive textbooks have gotten.

    If any of you have experience doing this, I'd love to hear about it.

    Thanks!
    Matt
     
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    I have extensive experience in this area, please let me know how I can help. It sounds like the main thing you need is an OER textbook, or at least a set of resources that's a viable alternative to a textbook. If that's so, and you can narrow things down to the course you'd like to teach this way the most, I'd be happy to see what can be found for you.
     
  3. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

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    Thanks, Steve!

    In the chancellor's messages brochure about this program, they list a bunch of resources we can use. The key is that we're not making our own stuff, other than maybe quizzes and such. The books and whatnot have to come from already existing sources. I've already peeked at Saylor, and they have quite a bit.

    -Matt
     
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    The Saylor Foundation is fantastic. You may also be interested to search OER Commons for additional materials.

    Is the part about not making your own stuff simply because you're not supposed to spend the time to do it? Because, generally speaking, if you do create material you can always release it as OERs as well.
     
  5. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

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    Associate Professor of History & Political Science
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    No, I think they just want us focusing on making use of already existing materials and using our time building a course with those, as opposed to building the whole thing from scratch. I'm sure I will be making some of my own stuff, but as the saying goes "there's no need to reinvent the wheel..."

    Anything we do create has to have a creative commons license, and I'm totally fine with that.

    -Matt
     

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