Adopting Open Educational Resources Isn’t Hard

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Posted on by Nelson Thomas

The rise of Open Educational Resources is no longer a trend. It is here to stay and bring increased value to students and professors in their academic journeys. Awareness of OER resources has increased approximately 20% in the past five years — a sign that the OER community voice is growing. However, the level of adoption and awareness should be much higher.

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We’ve talked with professors from all over the country, and we’ve listened. One of the biggest concerns regarding OER adoption is that it is challenging to get started.

You may have questions like, how do I begin converting my current curriculum to OER? How do I know they are as good as the resources I use now? Are the resources credible enough to use within rigorous academic courses?

We understand the feelings you have. It can be complex and uncertain, especially after spending so much time developing and iterating your curriculum over the years.

We understand the value OER brings and have the resources to help you make this transition easier.

Here are three ways you can get started using OER right now:

1. Leverage existing resources

Tapping into databases like ours will help you save time by avoiding the need to reinvent the wheel. We have aggregated over 75,000 high-quality resources, including content from our friends MERLOT and OpenStax. Leverage quality resources available to you now for free. It saves you time and helps you get started quickly.

2. Connect with others who have already done it

Reimagining your meticulous curriculum is challenging; doing it alone is even more complicated. Fortunately, collaboration is what OER is all about. There are networks of educators and curriculum designers waiting to help spread the utilization of OER. Let’s all work together and help each other!

3. Take advantage of existing technologies

The classroom has changed forever — leverage technology to make your students more engaged in the curriculum and build classroom equity through alternative assessment and dialogue.

By leveraging technology in your classroom, you can:

  • Have conversations right over the source material with your students
  • Use annotation tools to easily save and share thoughts right in the margins of the assigned readings
  • Take advantage of our clean and modern interface that enables students to communicate in a familiar way
  • And enhance classroom participation and engagement over assignments and reading materials.

Engage with students in a modern way by using technologies that increase equity through conversation and collaborative experiences.

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Source: Howard S. Dvorkin

It is no secret that students are facing massive financial challenges once they graduate. OER can be enormously beneficial even beyond the financial perspective. Coupled with technology, students can share their voice, engage and participate in the curriculum in ways proven to leave them with memorable and meaningful classroom experiences. We need to create an academic system that enables them to take the skills garnered in school and to lead impactful lives. OER with modern technology can help us achieve just that.

Change is often as challenging as it is necessary. But together, we can positively impact academia forever.

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Are you thinking about switching your course to OER? We would love to help. Schedule a time with us to learn more (https://info.ecotext.co/contact)