OER: Ready. Set. Start.
By Eszti Major-Rohrer
OER, maybe 2018 is going to be your best year yet. Maybe most U.S. college students will start their academic year this fall with at least knowing what you are. (And in case you didn’t know, OER stands for Open Educational Resources.)
Seemingly, you are all the right things. Free, crowd sourced, available. Why don’t you get the spotlight you so deserve?
Spring semester 2018, brought just the right opportunity to investigate. As an adjunct faculty member, I was asked to teach Hungarian at Ohio University’s College of Business for students attending the Global Consulting Program this summer. Perfect! I don’t want students to buy Hungarian travel books about spas and castles, I want them to know what it is like to work with Hungarians and understand the culture better. I need you, OER my friend to come to the rescue!
I get ready. I have my course outline, I know the expectations I need to live up to and the expectations I should have for my students. I can add more color my class outline, I can use whatever course content I want to get my point across. I have my learning outcomes that I distilled down to more granular topics for each class. I know what I’m going to teach and I know what I want my students to take away.
I curate. Let’s start at the beginning. I just need to find OER that helps! Is there really that little about Hungary, Flickr…?? I’m tempted to post my personal picture collection for the greater good – for any future faculty or student ever wanting to research this topic. But for now, that’s not what I’m here for. I need a map of Europe. No, LMS embedded search, I said I need it with CC license, why are you showing me “all rights reserved” content? OK. Is there anything about pronunciation then? Watching every YouTube video about pronunciation and the country. Why does anyone think that a pronunciation video about Hungarian phrases presented by a clearly non-Hungarian speaker is actually a good idea?!
I need help. I’m running out of time. I need CURATE by Ed Map to the rescue. I just need to make sure they know: I need small videos, pictures and articles about cultural differences, business etiquette and such. It’s all outlined in my syllabus!
I see the light. In just a week, I have a list of content suggestions. It’s wonderful! I review and I like the mix. Will I use them all? Perhaps not, but better to have more options than less. I can always share extra articles and videos as homework assignments.
Now the work begins. Setting up my very first class in the LMS. I enter links and annotation for students. I hate power point. I.am.not.going.to.use.it! But the links. Why are they just links? Didn’t I see embedded videos being an option?
Setting up my course is a daunting task. I set up folders, I organize my content so I think content is easy to find and reference for students. It dawns on me. This very work, finding, assigning and making content available (and easy to find) will make it or break it. These students, and their readiness to succeed in Hungary this summer are in my hands. Every piece of content has to be perfect. Everything has to be in the right place. Everything has to be crystal clear. I cannot have questions about the quality or the contents of anything I post. I have to be as confident as I can ever be that the course content aligns with my message. And this is where I realize: finding, vetting and organizing OER saved me so much time. But the true purpose of OU hiring me just now comes to light. I have to make sense of this all, so it makes sense to all.
Interested in bringing OER content to your institution? Need help powering up your team to take the next step? Looking for a quick and simple way to demonstrate the benefits of OER to your institution’s administration? Then be sure to get more info on Ed Map’s OER Booster Kit today!