OER's in Competency Based World
Concurrent Session 1
While redesigning CBE’s (Competency Based Education) courses using OER’s (Open Education Resources) at South Texas College, we discovered the challenges instructors and instructional designers faced during the redesign using a master template. Some of the challenges faced were agreeing on terminology, the layout of the template, and finding OER’s for the courses.
Our Bachelors of Arts - Organizational Leadership department chair (BASOL) recently requested the help of the Distance Learning department to assist in redesigning the master template for CBE courses. The courses were previously using publisher materials and decided to make a change to OER to ensure the courses were cost efficient. With the help of our department, all the of courses have OER's or are using low-cost resources such as Lumen or Tophat. Throughout the implementation of the new master template and the OER's or low-cost resources, we encountered several challenges. We did overcome the challenges and are looking forward to sharing our challenges and how we met those challenges.
Two C's Consistency and Citing
There are two C's that we had to recognize during the transition: consistency and citing resources. As instructional designers, we had to ensure consistency throughout the template including the syllabi. During meetings with the department chair and faculty, we had to agree upon the terminology that would be used such as "assignments" or "exercises" since the assignments were intended only for students who did not pass the pre-test of the competency. The grading policy also needed to be consistent. However, in the end, we agreed to have a specific grading policy for this department which included A/B or Fail instead of a traditional grading scale. These are a few examples of what was discovered as we helped the BASOL department.
In addition to the two C's, we encountered alignment. Alignment was a key part of the redesign. The master template we used was based on the QM rubric. Aligning the learning objectives to the content/resources and then aligning the content/resources to the exercises and assessments was another challenge. During the final review of the course, before it was made available to students, it was reviewed by subject matter expert, an instructional designer and the academic coach to ensure that the course was aligned.
Our instructors were on the hunt for resources, not just any resources, they had to be free or low-cost resources. There are currently only a few sections that had to resort to using low-cost resources such as the ARTS-1301 (Introduction to Fine Arts) and HIST-1301. The subject matter experts are currently searching for OER's for these sections so that all of the BASOL department will eventually only be using OER's.
The two C's eventually lead to three C's, the third C is for communication. It was vital that we all communicated with each other. The department chair with the faculty, the instructional designers with each other and the academic chair with the faculty, department chair and instructional designers. Without communication, we would not have met the challenges that this project held.