OER1155 Oral Presentation pptx

Thursday 12 May 10.25 Breakout Room 4/4a

Cases of OER use: aspects that contribute to successful adoption

James G. Greeno, Renee Fisher & Candace Thille, Carnegie Mellon University

Conference Theme: Academic practice and digital scholarship

Abstract: The goal of this OLnet project is to contribute to understanding aspects of OERs that are favorable or unfavorable to their adoption and use. Our method is to compile a collection of case studies in which instructors of a college course are using OERs. We have interviewed two instructors during their use of OERs. Our data include observations of an instructor preparing to use an OER in his teaching and interviews with both instructors about their teaching and their selection and use of OERs. Both of these cases are largely positive, so the findings of these case studies are conjectures about aspects of the OERs that we hypothesize to be contributing favorably to successful use of these resources.
For one of the instructors the OER - a course in statistics developed in the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) - is a good fit with the syllabus he already used in teaching elementary college statistics. Sections of the OLI course provided activities for students that he used in place of traditional homework assignments and accessed data that the OER provides about the class distribution and individual student participation and performance with minimal need for adaptation.
The other instructor we have studied teaches an undergraduate course in web design. The main aims of this course include students' learning to use and understand web resources in the activities of professional web design. In this case, the curriculum focuses on techniques of use and design affordances of the web resources that are the OERs. Web resources - their affordances and uses in design - are the subject matter. The use of web resources, therefore, are the focus of learning, and activities are designed and evaluated dynamically and flexibly as students encounter opportunities and challenges in their use.
In these preliminary findings, OERs were useful in two different ways. In one case the OER provided instructional activities with content that fit well with the program that an instructor had established. In the other case, activities of interacting with web resources were the skills targeted by instruction.

Keywords: effectiveness; adoption; case studies


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