C. Edward Watson was interviewed in a Teaching in Higher Ed podcast about his research when he was at the University of Georgia where he conducted a study about OER and equity.
Quote around the 19-20 minute mark:
“We found that course grades improved at greater rates for nonwhite students and Pell eligible students. In other words, those that we thought that a free textbook would help. Those folks really saw a difference. We also saw significant decreases in DFW rates, a greater rates for nonwhite and Pell eligible students. In fact, looking just at those subgroups, we saw DFW rates drop by a third. So, it really is sort of the notion that that OERs are doing more to make the classroom more equitable, more fair. “
Thoughtful reflections on the diminishing federal and state support of higher ed which leads to private interests taking hold on campuses ($$$), increases in costs for students ($$$), and how faculty are now engaging in many ways to help students get that education AND still have a bed to sleep in and food to eat. OER and other open practices is a gateway to this new reality where faculty are key change agents. ~Kathy
OER: Bigger Than Affordability
Open education resources can catalyze a much-needed national conversation about what we mean by “public” higher education, Robin DeRosa writes.
By Robin DeRosa
November 1, 2017
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I began considering the larger role of open in a social justice agenda targeted at public higher education in the United States, where I live and teach. First, I looked to Sara Goldrick-Rab’s research on how the hidden costs of attending college make college graduation an unattainable goal for such a large portion of our nation’s population. If 50 to 80 percent of the total sticker price of college is coming from nontuition costs, as she demonstrates, we need to confront the complete set of material conditions that constrain students.
Not only can OER drive down the real cost of college, but thinking about textbook costs can propel faculty, in particular, to think about how course and program design can be adapted to make access — more broadly writ — a priority. Is food insecurity on the radar of your chemistry department? If OER is appealing because they can help make knowledge more accessible, then we must care about the myriad issues — from child care to transportation — that prevent our potential students from even coming to our classrooms in the first place.
Seven faculty were awarded grants of $1,000 to $2,500 in the spring of 2016
Four hundred fifty eight students from courses in Physics, Kinesiology, Astronomy, French, German, and Human Development
In addition to the cost benefit, other students said the OER materials made their class experience more enjoyable
“The readings that were presented catered more to a student attempting to understand the material in a way that is more learning-friendly.”
“I was able to better understand the content we were learning, because the best reading possible was selected [by the professor] to explain a concept, as opposed to just following a textbook where some content may be explained more clearly than others.”
Joe Moxley writes: Rather than working as employees on by-the-piece rates for global companies like Pearson, faculty members can assume the role of publishers. . . . We need to realize our power as authors and publishers. Working collaboratively, we can create dynamic teaching and learning environments.
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MIT’s Open CourseWare (OCW) is visited by over 1 million people every month. In this interview with Shigeru Miyagawa, chair of the MIT OpenCourseWare Faculty Advisory Committee from 2012-2013, he describes the development of an open education mindset at MIT as this became a part of the institutional mission.
In what ways do you think Open Education (OE) has impacted Institutional practice, reputation and culture of MIT?
OCW was definitely a huge paradigm shift. From looking at one’s teaching materials as solely for the use of our students inside the walls of our Institution to saying here is part of our education that we want to share with the rest of the world. Anyone is free to use it. This is a complete shift in how we view what we’ve produced as teaching material. This really started the OE movement. From people trying to sort of keep it inside or trying to charge for it in order to make money to saying that it is good, in fact it is part of our mission to share what we have produced with the rest of the world.
Read the entire interview at Open Education Consortium’s collection of interviews with administrators and faculty on the impact that open education projects and practice has had on their institutions.