Open Educational Resources (OER) opened a new window for course development and delivery. In this study, I will discuss the advantages of OER for second language students and faculty and access the effectiveness of open language courses from different universities.
This study will discuss the advantages of using Open Educational Resources for second language students and faculty. The advantages include: â€¢Cost effectiveness: Language textbooks & practice books are expensive; most OER language courses use PDF files instead of textbooks to help students reduce the cost. By taking classes online, students also save commuting time and money. â€¢Motivation (Games, Dynamic Flashcard, Mobile Learning): Compared to traditional classroom lecture, online courses provide more choices in technology use and resources, especially in second language course. Student can also receive course information via Mobile (smart phone). Teachers often combine vocabulary games, dynamic flashcards and videos in the courses to enhance students' learning motivation. Another common tool is online synchronous meeting with instructors and tutor to assist students with pronunciation or grammatical problems. â€¢Self-Paced Learning & Diversity choices: In my previous study, students indicated that they liked to use online learning resources because of the self-paced learning feature. Students can learn in their own speed instead of waiting for others to complete the assignment before they can move to the next chapter. For language teachers, the variety of online learning resources provide rich selection of course materials, for instance, videos of Chinese culture and news from the Open University in UK. However, instructors should be careful about the credibility issue and choose appropriate topics for students in different classes. â€¢Instant Assessment for learning outcomes & Self-review (Quiz): Many OER language courses provide online quizzes and instant feedback. Students can have access to the quizzes and their results. â€¢Learning Policy (Instructors should review the online materials): As mentioned before, there are many online resources/tools for second language instruction. It is the responsibility for language teachers to make suggestions or choose suitable online resources when building an OER language courses or simply using OER as out-of-classroom resources. Open courseware from universities or government sites tend to have higher credibility than other online resources. I will also assess the effectiveness of open language courses from different universities including: UK Open University, MIT, Yale, Open University Hong Kong, and Open University Australia.