OER: Day Five

Posted on behalf of the AIR/OER team:

Welcome to Day 5 of From Inquiry to Practice: A Guided Exploration of OERs in Adult Education.  As you consider the conversations over the past week, we would like to wrap up by focusing on two key ideas: 1) how you plan to apply this new information about OER in your work, and 2) what support you need to begin using OER in your instruction.  Let’s explore both topics by responding to the following questions.

  • Consider your current classroom and teaching objectives.  How could you incorporate OER to this material to enhance student learning?  Why would the addition improve the learning experience? Please be as specific as possible
  • What support do you need to move forward with OER use and creation?  For example: would a continuing LINCS conversation be valuable? Would short tutorials be helpful, or teacher examples of Instructional strategies to include OER?

Here are two resources to support your understanding of OER and their value in the classroom.  You’ll notice that both the OER Resources and OER FAQs are open, and you are encouraged to reuse, redistribute, revise and remix them! 


Since I'm not teaching in a classroom, I'm often not directly using OERs.   Our courses adn staff are more "up in the air" than most years since, here in Illinois, some major financial feces is hitting the fan... but if/when we have an instructor for our lowest-assessment-score course I'll probably be collaborating to include OERs .   

I'm also going to be looking for OERs that will support the other developmental courses I support, which use ALEKS for the "drill and practice" for the courses. I'll be searching for and hopefully creating videos that will "explain" conceptually (ALEKS explains procedures) and hopefully figuring out how to get my "watch subtraction on the number line" app to work... back to it now... 

Hi Sue,

Sounds like a lot is going on with your program!  I'm interested in your comment about creating videos and an app.  What program will you use to create the videos?  Will you attach an open license to them and share them on OER Commons?  Are they instructional videos for teachers modeling best practices or are they for students? What about your app?  

I see videos as playing an important role in adult education classes and am glad to hear that they are in your future plans! Please keep us updated.



I'm making the app with   open source Android App development resources -- Eclipse has a development environment that I'm starting to get the hang of.   (I read last week, though, that Oracle won a lawsuit against Android, specifically about having ownership rights over code ... so things might not be so open source in the future? )   Handily, I could take our college's online "app development" course (and it's online, so anybody could sign up -- as is the Java I prerequisite, and I"d be glad to be an email buddy if anybody wants to give it a try).   Also handily, the instructor is very supportive.  

I've dabbled in a few resources for videos, including Flash itself (I took our animation course in 2012).   However, now I can just use Powerpoint and narrate and draw as I go and make a video of lecture.   

I'm posting this from a session at a conference where, tomorrow, I'll be presenting about how I teach basic math skills to college students ... and going through my files I realize I'd made a lot more little snippets than I'd thought, mainly trying to figure out how to do it.   http://www.resourceroom.net/2014math/   is the page I'm going to use to talk from and it's got lots of the things I've put together.   

 I've convinced myself that it's time to stop takin' classes and start making things happen, at least enough for a good demo, app-wise (it's going to be on "seeing" subtraction on a number line, including positive and negative integers)... and organize what I have and put together something presentable...

I think that OERs in secure classrooms would be extraordinarily helpful.  Because, as in most adult classrooms, skill levels can vary widely, it would be a great tool to be able to assign specific videos to address individual student needs.  Wouldn't it also be great to be able to either sit at a lab computer, or access a resource online via a handheld device, so that students could work at their own pace?


We've been heavily into OERs for awhile ($0 or negative budgets).  One of the things we use is an offline version of the Khan Academy (KA-lite).  The majority of students like this format and have had a suprisingly positive reaction to the points that are accumulated for correctly completing exercises.


Hello Marshall --

That is fantastic!  I've gotten mixed reviews on K.A. Lite.  I think most students like it -- as much as they like Khan Academy (heavy:)) -- but I've heard instructors lament the fact that K.A. Lite doesn't have the interactivity of the full site.  I recognize that we are constrained by issues of access, but the full site and it's dashboard and tracking are pretty cool...for the money, and the off-line appeal though, K.A. Lite is a homerun.

-- Heather

Have to add... that you do have to watch for mistakes in the videos and a high frequency of including stuff students haven't learned yet.

I kinda liked the "area" videos but noticed in the comments that the fact that in his example, he had drawn two areas of rectangles with different lengths and widths... and the bigger one was actually the smaller shape.

Then in the exercises that followed, students were expected to know how to calculate the area of a triangle.  Unless they knew from our May 22 challenge question, they had no instruction in the videos for that; his example was of a rectangle.

In addition, the movies are extremely procedure-based (happily, that area one has really good visuals).  Some of them (such as his explanation of exponents) don't even get to the right answer of the question presented; he just tells us a whole lot of times that 6 ^ 8 is NOT six times eight, but is some REALLY HUGE NUMBER because it's 6 x 6x6x6x6x6x6x6 ...(with no drawings of squares, cubes... and introducing the concept with an advanced, abstract example...)  


I'm going to be building up powerpoints  -- mostly at http://www.resourceroom.net/mec but there are links to some more at http://parkland.libguides.com/MAT094CAS  -- and folks can feel free to download them and do whatever you like with them.   THey're aimed at folks who fell off the number train 'way bakc when... 

The guys at Learning Equality (the people who created KA Lite) have been working with us (Idaho) for the last year / year and a half to improve the performance and usability inside a corrections setting.  One of our Program Managers (along with the grant manager, Northwest Nazarene University) will be presenting about the project at CEA later.this Summer.

Another resouce that we've found to be really useful, which included KA Lite's predecessor (which partly led us to KA Lite), is RACHEL from the people at World Possible (www.worldpossible.org).


I incorporate OERs both in my face-to-face and online courses.  I have used primarily Science OERs since teaching Science is new to our adult education program.  I have taught about Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Lightning and Thunder, etc.  The learners have enjoyed the resources and I have enjoyed not having to come up with my own lessons.  A lot of OERs come with all ready lessons, with assessments, videos, worksheets, and activities.  This is very helpful since my work time is valuable resource.


Brooke, thanks for giving us your experience with OER.  Could you please tell us the ways in which you find and assess the OER you use in instruction?  Do you primarily use OER Commons?  Have you found that your participation in the AIR/OER project has given you the opportunity to investigate OER and their use?

Cheers, Susan