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The Promise of Open Educational Resources

by Dian Schaffhauser

Campus Technology

Article excerpt

Affordable Learning at Scale With OER

Open educational resources free students and faculty from the tyranny of the textbook. Here’s how to encourage large-scale adoption.

Our take

Teachers Have Opportunities to Explore and Create in a Digital Environment

The tyranny of the textbook” is a situation familiar to all instructors; technology opens up opportunities to escape from the tyranny, with cost savings for schools and students. One opportunity: leveraging technology to provide broader access to digital textbooks. Through Open Educational Resources (OER) instructors have access to free, open license, materials to use in their classrooms. Not all of these materials effectively leverage available technology, though. Are there opportunities to take a do-it-yourself approach to content creation?

There certainly are and some instructors are doing just that. A good starting point is exploring the content available through OER and considering ways in which it might be augmented and improved. Administrators can help to encourage instructors to experiment and learn from the process rather than focusing on “getting it right” initially. The beauty of the online environment is that changes can be readily, and inexpensively, made as teachers learn from their own experiences and the best practices of others.

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