OER Part 2: Collaborating and Developing Open Educational Resources for Your Courses

John W. Warren, Sean Dunaway, Jessica Matthews, Stephanie Liberatore, Joyce Johnston, Virginia Hoy, Catherine Saunders

Session Information

Year: 2017 | Time: 2:45pm-4:15pm | Location: WORKSHOP: Johnson Center (Room B)


BRIEF SESSION DESCRIPTION:___________________________________________________FULL ABSTRACT: Open Educational Resources (OERs) include materials for teaching, learning, and research that may be freely used and repurposed by others, because they reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license (such as Creative Commons) that permits their use and reuse. Traditional textbooks have become unaffordable for many students. A collaboration among Mason Publishing, Mason 4-VA, and Mason online seeks to reduce the cost of instruction and improve teaching and learning outcomes by encouraging the use of OERs to ensure more equal student access to quality educational resources.   This session examines lessons learned from that effort, and from two related projects:  an effort to collect peer-reviewed OERs created and/or adapted for English 302 (a required core writing class), and an experiment with incorporating OERs into an English language course for INTO Mason taught to international students.  
Mason Publishing, a department of the University Libraries, teamed with Mason 4-VA and Mason Online in a pilot project to encourage the use of OERs in innovative course redesign. Courses targeted for the pilot include those with high enrollment numbers, are required courses for majors, count in the Mason Core, or carry high textbook costs. As part of this pilot project, Mason Publishing is assisting instructors in developing open textbooks and other open access materials. These goals are also supported by Mason’s collaboration with the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) in a consortia effort in the Open Textbook Network (OTN). The English 302 OER Collection, funded in part by a Mason 4-VA OER grant , seeks both to provide students with quality educational resources and to strengthen an existing culture of collaboration among instructors by encouraging  experienced instructors to share materials they have created with each other and with instructors new to the course.  Creative commons licenses allow us to trace the evolution of individual activities and assignments, and to assure that assignment creators and adapters receive credit for their work in retention and promotion reviews.  The INTO Mason course seeks to engage students through OER tools, including open source game platforms like Squiffy, that let students teach peers with DIY text adventures. 
During the hands-on portion of the session, attendees will be introduced to the various creative commons licenses and their advantages and disadvantages for particular teaching scenarios, and will have a chance to consider which licenses would work best for their planned or possible OER projects. 


learning spaces; teaching online; digital tools


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