59 SPEC Kit 351: Affordable Course Content and Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources to support your course
We’ve blogged a couple of times recently about open educational resources (OER) and open
course materials, with the intent of spurring interest on the part of Duke faculty in exploring the
use of these types of materials in their courses, to supplement or replace textbooks. Now, during
Open Access Week, seems a good time to remind faculty about the purpose and promise of OER,
and encourage faculty to talk with CIT if they need help getting started.
OER are teaching and learning materials made freely available online, and can consist of
textbooks, course readings, simulations, games, syllabi, quizzes, and basically any other material
that can be used for education. Educause recently published one of their popular and practical
“7 Things” guides about OER, outlining the growing importance of OER and open courses in
higher education:
Educational resources developed in an open environment can be vetted and improved
by a broad community of educators, resulting in materials that represent what the
educational community sees as most valuable. By providing educators with new access
to educational material, open resources have the potential to spur pedagogical
innovation, introducing new alternatives for effective teaching. Moreover, learning
resources that can be modified and reused promote collaboration and
participation—two key elements of a Web 2.0 approach to teaching and learning.
The resources required to develop high-quality learning materials and activities for a
full complement of courses can be prohibitive for many institutions and instructors. By
distributing the costs over a larger number of users, OER brings a greater range of
tools within reach of more users. OER can also lower the costs for students to obtain
educational content. OER…take[s] advantage of— and prompt[s]—developments in
educational technology that facilitate new media, new formats, and new means of
Giving faculty the ability to pick and choose the individual resources they want to
use—and to modify those resources and “assemble” them in unique ways—promises
greater diversity of learning environments.
What could OER mean for you? Some possibilities…..
If you are dissatisfied with the textbooks available for your course, instead you could find
materials relevant to your course learning objectives by searching any of the numerous
repositories of OER that exist on the web (the Open Educational Resources Center for
California links to several of these). You end up with materials customized for your course at
no cost, and your students don’t pay for a textbook(s) you don’t feel is valuable.
You may want to move some of the content coverage in your course outside of class time, in
order to use class time more effectively for active and engaging learning activities to help
your students synthesize and think critically about the materials. You could record lectures
and post them online for students to view before class, but if instead you can locate
high-quality OER on your course topics, you save yourself time and can devote that time to
other tasks.
If some of your students need some review of prior concepts in order to be successful in your
Conference on Teaching Large
Classes (July 21, 2016)
Could A Student Have Guessed
Their Way To Success On Your Last
Accessibility 101: Making Your
Instructional Videos More
Active learning techniques in small
seminar classes
New Research on MOOCs
Ready Player One Discussion
Wait, Before You Go…
Teaching Ideas Duke
Faculty Video Sciences and
Engineering Images eLearning
MOOC Duke Digital Initiative
active learning course planning
course materials Humanities
online courses Coursera
assignments iPad online learning
Mobile Audio Visualization
Select Month
Open Educational Resources to support your course
Previous Page Next Page