Week 1: What is Open? What is an Open Textbook

Experiences with openness

Re: Experiences with openness

by Megan Garvy -
Number of replies: 0

I have developed two online courses recently using only supplemental readings rather than a textbook. (Although I believe that this is not an "open" approach because students must be enrolled in the college to access chapters from the eText and/or scholarly journals.) The design without a textbook cost has helped to market the classes. It also enabled me to identify text specific to my perspective of context to support specific course competencies. I do agree with this idea in the videos and readings for the week that students should not pay twice for the service. I have developed a few courses from grant projects. The public already paid me for these courses; students should not be required to pay “twice” for the course and the textbook. This conversation is perfect timing for a current discussion I am having with my colleague regarding a document that we recently created together. I believe that the solution will be a creative commons license. The knowledge in this document should be shared with everyone. It was made to share, to empower, to TEACH! There is a huge component to the topic of OER, which is payment to the authors. I need a paycheck. With course design, perhaps a stipend for courses developed with OER textbooks would be feasible. (If the course itself is not open.) The effort is put into the process to develop not the reproduction of the product. In reference to the document my colleague and I recently created, the tool and resources should be free and we may be compensated for training and mentoring. The video and readings also presented a framework that a good teacher shares knowledge clearly and effectively to students. So, we are great because of our craft to delivery content (pedagogy) not as a result of the content we are sharing. The content should be free to be explored, revised, remixed, reproduced and reused. So, I understand this topic or OERs more. I am muddy still on how open courses exist. Is it truly an act of generosity? Do the developers and instructors volunteer their time or are they compensated up front for the process? Do they grade and provide feedback voluntarily, too, or are these courses simply resource banks with discussions among students and quizzes that are automatically graded? I am eager to know more.

Helpful OERs: I coordinate an outreach project for the college and was guided to connect with faculty at our sister college that have developed two OER textbooks for math. The availability of this quality and reliable resource has been an asset to the program! I was able to redistribute the materials by packaging them as a math kit and train peer tutors to coach their tutees with the materials during real time training sessions.