Open Education

A crowdsourced introduction to OER

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Getting started with open educational resources (OER) can be daunting. With so much material on the subject, newcomers may not know where to look for guidance. We recently asked the OER community on Twitter to recommend some resources for introducing people to OER, open education, and open pedagogy.

We received so many helpful and wonderful suggestions that we’ve decided to compile them here.

Anne Marie Gruber recommended Office Hours, a webinar series by Rebus Community and the Open Education Network that “tackles complex questions in open textbook publishing and community engagement.” It features a range of guest speakers and touches on topics such as “budgeting OER production,” “tenure and promotion in OER,” and “accessibility in open textbooks.” This series is essential viewing for those looking to immerse themselves in OER.

Abbey Elder provided lots of great suggestions, starting with the BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide. From preparing your open textbook to writing, editing, publishing, and maintaining it, the guide will walk you through the entire process. For more BCcampus guides, visit the catalog.

Abbey also recommended the FLOE Inclusive Learning Design Handbook. This free resource aims to help teachers, content creators, web developers, and others create learning materials that are more adaptable to a diversity of needs and learning styles, allowing for better learning outcomes.

David Wiley’s Introduction to Open Education is a compilation of readings on the subject of OER. Compiled in 2014, these articles do not detail the latest developments in the space, but they do provide valuable insight into where we’ve been and why OER is important. Wiley has added his own commentary including background, key points, and discussion questions to enhance the readings.

The 2020–2021 academic year was a challenging time for higher education, with many courses moving online and the adoption of digital course materials increasing significantly. Digital Texts in the Time of COVID by Julia and Jeff Seaman is a fascinating look at the 2020 fall semester and what it meant for the adoption of OER and other trends in teaching.

Hybrid Pedagogy: the journal of critical digital pedagogy is described as “a community, a conversation, a collaboration, a school, and a journal,” as well as a place to discuss “critical digital pedagogy.” It’s an ideal place to explore forward-thinking ideas about how to improve pedagogy in the digital age.

The Council of Chief State School Officers offers a series of short YouTube videos providing quick answers to common questions like What is OER? and What is an open license? Similarly, Florida Virtual Campus provides a series of short videos about getting started with OER. If you know someone who is interested in OER but not ready to plunge into long academic texts about the subject, these are good places for them to start.

Maha Bali, PhD is a well-known leader in the OER and open pedagogy spaces. She recommended several excellent resources for introductions to open pedagogy, including a collection of essays, a fascinating discussion, and more:

Wendy Torres from Coppin State University shared a full OER repository that’s open to everyone. You’ll find all kinds of OER resources, such as evaluation criteria, rubrics, and OER by discipline.

If you prefer podcasts, Todd Conaway recommended Gettin’ Air with Terry Greene in which host Terry Greene and his guests discuss “technology-enabled and open learning practices in Ontario Post-Secondary Education.”

Conferences bring together extraordinary minds and allow for important networking and partnership opportunities. Dr. Catherine Cronin suggested these conferences as places to hear new and developing ideas about OER:

Pressbooks’ education product manager Steel Wagstaff chimed in with a whole list of recommendations for those wanting to dive into OER:

Crowdsourcing is one of the great strengths of the open education community. We are always delighted to see the collaborative spirit in which community members share ideas and resources for everyone’s benefit. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to this conversation. We recommend you go follow these amazing leaders and teachers we’ve quoted above: @amhgruber, @OpenAccessElder, @Bali_Maha, @Tech_snacks, @Todd_Conaway, @catherinecronin, and @steelwagstaff.

Find books on the subject of open education in our curated collection of open education books found in Pressbooks Directory.