Supporting Faculty Adoption of Open Ed Access Materials through MERLOT

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session Blended Community College/TAACCCT Equity and Inclusion

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Brief Abstract

The adoption of open, freely available instructional materials has gained interest and merit in recent years,  making education more affordable to students.  This presentation provides faculty, chairs, and administrators with guidelines for reviewing and selecting affordable, high-quality learning materials for  individual classes and guidance on more effectively supporting Open Ed programs. 

 

Presenters

Sherri currently serves as the Senior Executive Director of the Office of Digital and Online Learning at Coastal Carolina University. She is an Associated Faculty with the Psychology Department at CCU, and specializes in teaching senior-level classes in lifespan psychology, such as Child Development, Adolescent Development, and Gerontology. Sherri has served in academia within the field of online learning for over 20 years in the role of instructional designer, LMS administrator, faculty, and over the last decade plus as a university-level administrator. In addition to her work with Coastal, Sherri also serves the MERLOT organization as the Editor of the Professional Coaching board, as well as an editorial board member and peer reviewer for the Psychology MERLOT board. Her research focuses on methods for improving student success in the academic environment, to include all modalities of learning (online, face-to-face, hybrid, flipped, etc.) and inclusive design and tools. She has worked as a consultant for a number of organizations to support the development of online learning initiatives.
Catherine Honig, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Chair, MBA Program in National Louis University's College of Professional Studies and Advancement (CPSA). She earned her doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology from Bowling Green State University and has over 25 years of higher education teaching experience. She currently designs and teaches online courses in leadership and I/O psychology, and her research interests place emphasis on high-touch online instruction, student perceptions of online and blended learning, and the impact of EdTech tools on student learning and engagement in online courses. Catherine also serves as the Editor of MERLOT's Psychology Editorial Board.
Julie has been teaching Psychology for more than 20 years. She served as Department Chair and Assistant Dean at the University of Southern Indiana and currently focuses on teaching at Kent State University, Geauga. Her interests include creative problem solving and mindfulness. She has served on the Psychology editorial review board since 2011 with MERLOT and has been a regular presenter at OLC focusing on OERs. She is in the process of flipping her classes and including OERs.
B. Jean Mandernach, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University. Her research focuses on enhancing student learning in the online classroom through innovative instructional and assessment strategies. In addition, she has interests in the development of effective faculty evaluation models, perception of online degrees, and faculty workload considerations. Jean received her B.S. in comprehensive psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, an M.S. in experimental psychology from Western Illinois University and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Additional Authors

Catherine Honig, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Chair, MBA Program in National Louis University's College of Professional Studies and Advancement (CPSA). She earned her doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology from Bowling Green State University and has over 25 years of higher education teaching experience. She currently designs and teaches online courses in leadership and I/O psychology, and her research interests place emphasis on high-touch online instruction, student perceptions of online and blended learning, and the impact of EdTech tools on student learning and engagement in online courses. Catherine also serves as the Editor of MERLOT's Psychology Editorial Board.
Julie has been teaching Psychology for more than 20 years. She served as Department Chair and Assistant Dean at the University of Southern Indiana and currently focuses on teaching at Kent State University, Geauga. Her interests include creative problem solving and mindfulness. She has served on the Psychology editorial review board since 2011 with MERLOT and has been a regular presenter at OLC focusing on OERs. She is in the process of flipping her classes and including OERs.
B. Jean Mandernach, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University. Her research focuses on enhancing student learning in the online classroom through innovative instructional and assessment strategies. In addition, she has interests in the development of effective faculty evaluation models, perception of online degrees, and faculty workload considerations. Jean received her B.S. in comprehensive psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, an M.S. in experimental psychology from Western Illinois University and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Extended Abstract

 

In our 2020 OLC Innovate presentation entitled “Creator or Curator? An OER Decision-Making Strategy for Content Development in Online and Blended Courses,” we mapped a process that faculty members could follow when deciding whether to use OER content in their courses. Building on this model—and encouraged by the feedback we received from our Innovate 2020 participants—we propose to delve more deeply into this topic by reviewing selected open education resource (OER) collections and providing specific illustrations of how faculty can expertly sift through and select from a vast array of open education resources (OERs) in service of high-quality course development and pedagogy.  

The 2019 Campus Computing Survey revealed a six-year, steady rise in the number of higher education institutions with policies that “encourage faculty to use OER content for courses” and that provide “formal institutional support for OER course materials.” Still, while 89% of the participating CIOs agreed that “OER course materials and textbooks will be an important source of instructional resources in the next five years,” only 43% reported that “faculty at my campus believe that the quality of OER course materials is about the same as comparable commercial products.” 

Continuing faculty concerns about the quality of open education resources point to the value of lasering our focus on available OER collections and developing guidelines for assessing the learning objects they contain, along with selecting and implementing these to afford students the opportunity to enroll in and complete courses at a lower- or even zero-cost option for course materials.

The presentation will offer the following primary objectives for participants:

  1. OER SOURCES: Cover a spectrum of OER content and resource providers selected as top tier recommendations from the presenters.

  2. OER GUIDELINES for REVIEW: Provide overarching best practice guidelines for reviewing and selecting affordable, high-quality OER content.

  3. Deep-Dive into MERLOT: We will take a deep-dive into a long-time forerunner in the field of open education as an illustration of applying guidelines for OER review and selection.

 

Takeaways and Engagement Activities: 

  • All attendees will leave the session with personalized OER content evaluation and selection guidelines.

  • The presenters also will develop and share a reference document listing high-quality, OER-related resources.

  • Throughout the presentation, on-screen prompts will engage the audience with interactive feedback, and general questions also will be solicited at the end of the presentation

References

The 2019 Campus Computing Survey. (2020, September 20). https://www.campuscomputing.net/content/2019/10/15/the-2019-campus-computing-survey