Why and How to Improve Learning by Improving OER Content

Concurrent Session 8

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

How well do your course materials support learning? Join us to explore how learning data can detect common trouble spots for students, using OER courseware. Then experience the process of designing improvements that engage students and strengthen learning. (Bring a device to join the fun!)


David Wiley is co-founder and chief academic officer of Lumen Learning, an organization dedicated to increasing student success, broadening access and improving the affordability of education through the adoption of open educational resources. Previously, David was Associate Professor, Department of Instructional Psychology & Technology at Brigham Young University. Related to his contributions as a longtime champion of open education, David has served as Education Fellow at Creative Commons, Nonresident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, and Shuttleworth Fellow. David conducted a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Instructional Technology at Utah State University, and earned a PhD in Instructional Psychology & Technology from Brigham Young University.
Guy Krueger is a Core Lecturer and the Writing 101 Curriculum Chair in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. His research focuses on basic writing theory and praxis at institutions across America. Additionally, he is interested in assessment of and placement in first-year composition (FYC) courses. Krueger has been at the University of Mississippi since 2010.

Extended Abstract

As open educational resources (OER) move into the mainstream of higher education, they are making a dramatic impact on affordability and access. But what are we doing to realize the full potential of OER to improve student learning?

By designing digital courseware using OER, we gain better tools to engage students and support learning, as well as powerful learning data that tell us where the content and assessments are and aren’t effective at supporting learning. We can use these data to pinpoint areas where the courseware isn’t doing its job. Then, capitalizing on the flexibility of OER content, we can make continuous improvements aimed at improving learning.

OER give us unique permissions about what we can do with this learning content: retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute content (the 5Rs). Learning data help us understand what’s happening in the learning process and where students struggle. As we find new ways to combine OER with learning data, it unlocks phenomenal new possibilities for:

  • Recognizing precisely where students are struggling
  • Understanding which OER content is or isn’t effective at facilitating learning
  • Identifying which instructors excel at teaching in areas many students struggle
  • Making and testing iterative improvements to OER to strengthen learning

Join this session to learn about the RISE Framework, a new model for assessing the effectiveness of OER content aligned with specific learning outcomes. Hear from faculty who have collaborated with Lumen to apply this process, and see updates and improvements they have developed. Experience what it’s like to use the RISE framework to identify common trouble spots, evaluate what’s not working, and develop data-driven, continuous improvements to OER course materials to improve learning.

Bring a smartphone or other device, so you have the opportunity to interact with OER course materials that are undergoing this process. Explore alternative approaches for making OER content more engaging, interactive, and effective to support learning. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how data-driven improvements in course materials can enhance student learning, as well as what it feels like to be a student using interactive OER course materials.