Next week, Jen and I will be posting about all the things we learned at the Annual Conference on the Teaching of Psychology this year in Phoenix. Here is a quick recap of the highlights from the session’s today (stay tuned next week for more details!)
Training for, Developing, and Piloting an OER Course in Psychology
Julie Lazzara, Alisa Beyer, Matthew Bloom
All of us at The Novice Professor are eager to get more involved with Open Education Resources. Julie, Alisa, and Matthew gave some great insight on how to develop useful and effective OER resources. They gave a ton of links and gave some great tips. As someone who hopes to become more involved with OER, and someday put together my own OER materials, I found the information insightful and instructive. Next week I will share more (including their links!), but for now, I wanted to leave you with this little tid-bit that stuck with me:
When we as instructors make changes to a course, we look to implement things (textbooks, assignments, lecture style, etc.) that improve learning outcomes. Making changes to our courses take time, and it is vital that those changes we make benefit our students in some way. As instructors, it is easy to focus on those benefits in terms of higher grades, improved course retention, or better evaluations. As far as I know, there hasn’t been much (if any) evidence that says OER improves learning outcomes. But it does save students money.
Matthew pointed out that it’s easy to think that because your textbook of choice may only cost $40, that this burden on the students isn’t monumental, meaning switching to OER would be more trouble than its worth. But many students aren’t just taking your class. Even if all their classes had $40 textbooks (which IMO is highly unlikely), that could still cost them a cool $200 at the beginning of the semester. For the undergraduate who is working part-time as a server to pay their living expenses, or the student who is working full-time to support their family, $200 may not be easy to come by. For me, that alone makes OER worth while.
Written by Karly Schleicher