Open Content for Open Minds


Malcolm Brown, ELI director, and Veronica Diaz, ELI associate director, moderate this seminar with Judy Baker. Openly licensed educational content, commonly referred to as open educational resources (OER), offers educators an unprecedented opportunity to reexamine how they teach and how students learn. OER and open textbooks have served as catalysts for dramatic pedagogical innovation involving collaborative teaching and learning. Such rapid growth of a knowledge-sharing culture is not without challenges, however. Concerns include quality, sustainability, cost-shifting from students to institutions, and co-optation of the open education movement by entrepreneurs. After reviewing terminology, showing examples, and discussing the benefits and disadvantages of OER, we will explore the meaning and utility of open-licensing options for educators’ use of learning materials and textbooks and discover how to find, vet, use, and develop OER in ways that augment, and ideally enhance, our existing teaching strategies. Use this seminar to help you decide if the OER movement is mostly hype or truly transformative.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • List the advantages and disadvantages of OER and open textbooks.
  • Describe the meaning and significance of open-licensing options for use in learning materials and textbooks.
  • Explain how OER have been transformative by describing at least one example.
  • Identify sources of high-quality OER.
  • Find and select high-quality OER for use in teaching.
  • List action steps necessary for integrating use of OER on your own campus.
  • Network with innovative educators in the OER movement.

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