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open educational resources

A Librarian’s Guide to OER in the Maker Space

OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits sharing, accessing, repurposing—including for commercial purposes—and collaborating with others. They include educational materials, such as lesson plans, games, textbooks, tests, audio, and video. In addition to being free, these no-cost teaching and learning materials are available online for anyone to use, modify or share with others.This use, reuse, and remixing of instructional materials is a powerful way to gain and share knowledge. Because OER are customizable and flexible, they can be used very effectively to support students to achieve their learning goals.

OER Commons is a digital library where educators can find resources to develop, support and amplify their maker space practices. The site is searchable by subject, grade level or standard. Users can also filter results to include topics, such as activities and labs, games, videos, lesson plans, and interactive tools.

Related blog entry:

OER resources

The last IRRODL, Volume 19, Issue 3, contains numerous publications on OER (Open Educational Resources) from around the globe:

Arul Chib, Reidinar Juliane Wardoyo
Janani Ganapathi
Stacie L Mason, Royce Kimmons
Robert Schuwer, Ben Janssen
Adrian Stagg, Linh Nguyen, Carina Bossu, Helen Partridge, Johanna Funk, Kate Judith


more on OER in this IMS blog

Open Education Southern Symposium

Opening Education: Using Open Education & Open Pedagogy to Transform Learning and the Educational Experience

The Open Education Southern Symposium at the University of Arkansas is accepting proposals for its day and a half conference on Monday, Oct. 1 and Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. Proposals should fall into one of three categories:

o    Presentations: 15-20 minutes (Please allow 10 to 15 minutes for Q&A after presentations.)

o    Panel Discussions: 45 minutes (Please allow 10 to 15 minutes for Q&A after panel discussions.)

o    Lightning Talks: 7 minutes (A short 5 to 10 minute Q&A will follow all lightning presentations.)

We welcome proposals from organizations, including colleges and universities of all sizes, community colleges, special libraries, and any others involved in open education and open pedagogy. We’re particularly interested in proposals with topics centering around:

o    Adoption and creation of resources

o    Publishing platforms

o     Best practices and the impact of Open Education

o    Creative Commons, copyright, and other licensing

o    Marketing and advocacy

o    Pedagogy and student success, including K-12 highlights

o    Instructional design strategies for OER

o    Trends and innovation

o    OER in community colleges

o    Tenure, promotion, and OER

o    OER community building

o    Assessment

o    Inclusion and diversity in Open Education

Submission Details:

  • The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. The submission form can be found on our eventwebsite under the Call for Proposals page.
  • Proposal social media summaries should not exceed 240 characters (spaces included).
  • Proposal abstracts should not exceed 2000 characters or approximately 500 words.
  • All submissions will be evaluated based on the relevance of the topic and potential to advance the thinking or practice of Open Education and Open Pedagogy. Proposal reviewers will use similar proposal criteria to those being used by the Open Education Conference and OER18.
  • The planning committee will deliver decisions by June 29, 2018.
  • Presenters will be asked to accept or decline invitation to present by July 13, 2018.
  • All presenters will be required to register for the symposium.

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Pierce, Head of the Physics Library at the University of Arkansas (, or the Open Education Southern Symposium Planning Committee.


Registration is $99 for our day and a half event on October 1 & 2, 2018 at the University of Arkansas. Registration covers full participation for both days, shuttle service between the hotel and event location, lunch on the first day, snacks and beverages, and event goodies.

Register now!

For more information, check out the symposium website:

oped ed resources

The open educational resources movement is redefining the concept of online textbooks

The movement is also aiming to reimagine and democratize learning technologies.

By SUZANNE BOWNESS | April 4, 2017

more on etextbooks in this IMS blog

educational resources

Guide to the Best Homeschooling and Unschooling Resources



* Free online college courses can be found on many sites, with directories available at sites like MIT’s Open Coursework Consortium. Big players in the open-educational resources movement include Coursera and EdX, which offer MOOCs. FutureLearn is UK-based, with free online courses from UK and international universities. More information about these can be found in MindShift’s guide to free quality higher education, plusprevious collections of open educational sites and resources.

* iTunes University

* Audiobooks Free public-domain audiobooks, read by volunteers, can be found at (Print versions of public-domain books are available at Project Gutenberg.)




differences between classroom, blended, online and open learning

10 key takeaways about differences between classroom, blended, online and open learning

Tony Bates shares his thoughts on the difference

differences between classroom, blended, online and open learning

Chapter 10 of Tony Bates online open textbook, Teaching in a Digital Age:

– See more at:

More on F2F, blended/hybrid and online learning in this blog:

2014 Best Educational Web Sites

Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2014

Media sharing

Digital Storytelling

Manage and organize

Social Networking and Communication

Content Resources

Curriculum Collaboration


OER more proof needed

Open Educational Resources: What We Don’t Know

Regan A. R. Gurung November 14, 2018

One of the first reviews of OER efficacy tests included 16 studies (Hilton, 2016). The abstract stated that “ … students generally achieve the same learning outcomes when OER are utilized.”

All nine studies had major confounds such as method of instruction (e.g., comparing OER sections that were taught online or blended versus traditional texts used in a face-to-face class). Some studies switched exams between comparisons and some changed course design (e.g., went to a flipped model). Most study authors acknowledged that the type of textbook was not the only factor that changed.

There is promise in the use of OERs. Beyond the “as good as” findings, some studies suggest they could be beneficial. Jhangiani, Dastur, LeGrand and Penner (2018) found students using print OERs (versus digital) did better on one of three exams tested (no differences on the other two, still good news). Is the promise of OER fulfilled? There is not enough to know yet. We have to be tighter in how we assess the efficacy of such materials in particular and higher education innovation in general.

Methodological challenges abound in classroom research on teaching, as learning is complex. Many challenges can be overcome with strong research design. There are benchmarks for conducting research on teaching and learning (Felton, 2013; Wilson-Doenges and Gurung, 2013), and it would be prudent for more educational researchers to use them.

more on OER in this IMS blog

MinnState Online Strategies Team 3

SCTCC continue from

Tuesday, October 30 from 9:00am-3:00pm at the System Office, Wells Fargo Place (Saint Paul, MN).

Team 3 is charged with developing a process for prioritizing and selecting collaborative curriculum development and course offering projects that require the use of enterprise instructional design and technology services.

Have expertise in online education that you are willing to share?

The Online Strategy Workgroup needs subject matter experts to participate on one of the three teams below.

  • Team 1 (Access) –  Team 1 is charged with reviewing the existing services provided by the Minnesota State Info Hub and aligning the services they provide with the needs outlined in the corresponding action steps of the Online Strategy report.  This team will utilize the existing levels of funding allocated to the Minnesota State Info Hub without seeking additional financial compensation from campuses.  See what subject matter experts are needed for this team.
  • Team 2 (Quality) –  Team 2 is charged with reviewing the existing services provided by the Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI) and aligning these services with the needs outlined in the corresponding action steps of this report.  In addition to evaluating faculty development programming options available through MOQI, this team will be responsibility for developing the tools intended to support the quality improvement processes used by campuses.   See what subject matter experts are needed for this team.
  • Team 3 (Collaboration) -Team 3 is charged with developing a process for prioritizing and selecting online collaborative curriculum development and  online course offering projects that require the use of enterprise instructional design and technology services.  See what subject matter experts are needed for this team.—Collaboration.aspx  MinnState STAR ID login:

November 20, 2016

Becky Lindseth, MIchael Olesen, Bob Bilyk, Stephen Kelly, Kim Lynch, Scott Wojtanowski, Wilson Garland, Martin Springborg, Scott W and Kim Lynch

Proposal Request / Background (description of project proposal)

where does CETL fit here.

program level course mapping.
course level modules and learning objectives.

RCE reasonable credit equivalency

IAA inter-agency agreement

RFP request for proposal

Collaborate on Curriculum and Course Offerings (Action A)
Adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) (Action A)
Revenue Sharing Model (Action D)
Instructional Design and Technology Services (Action C)

can XR help students learn

Giving Classroom Experiences (Like VR) More … Dimension

at a session on the umbrella concept of “mixed reality” (abbreviated XR) here Thursday, attendees had some questions for the panel’s VR/AR/XR evangelists: Can these tools help students learn? Can institutions with limited budgets pull off ambitious projects? Can skeptical faculty members be convinced to experiment with unfamiliar technology?

All four — one each from Florida International UniversityHamilton CollegeSyracuse University and Yale University — have just finished the first year of a joint research project commissioned by Educause and sponsored by Hewlett-Packard to investigate the potential for immersive technology to supplement and even transform classroom experiences.

Campus of the Future” report, written by Jeffrey Pomerantz

Yale has landed on a “hub model” for project development — instructors propose projects and partner with students with technological capabilities to tap into a centralized pool of equipment and funding. (My note: this is what I suggest in my Chapter 2 of Arnheim, Eliot & Rose (2012) Lib Guides)

Several panelists said they had already been getting started on mixed reality initiatives prior to the infusion of support from Educause and HP, which helped them settle on a direction

While 3-D printing might seem to lend itself more naturally to the hard sciences, Yale’s humanities departments have cottoned to the technology as a portal to answering tough philosophical questions.

institutions would be better served forgoing an early investment in hardware and instead gravitating toward free online products like UnityOrganon and You by Sharecare, all of which allow users to create 3-D experiences from their desktop computers.


Campus of the Future” report, written by Jeffrey Pomerantz

XR technologies encompassing 3D simulations, modeling, and production.

This project sought to identify

  • current innovative uses of these 3D technologies,
  • how these uses are currently impacting teaching and learning, and
  • what this information can tell us about possible future uses for these technologies in higher education.

p. 5 Extended reality (XR) technologies, which encompass virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), are already having a dramatic impact on pedagogy in higher education. XR is a general term that covers a wide range of technologies along a continuum, with the real world at one end and fully immersive simulations at the other.

p. 6The Campus of the Future project was an exploratory evaluation of 3D technologies for instruction and research in higher education: VR, AR, 3D scanning, and 3D printing. The project sought to identify interesting and novel uses of 3D technology

p. 7 HP would provide the hardware, and EDUCAUSE would provide the methodological expertise to conduct an evaluation research project investigating the potential uses of 3D technologies in higher education learning and research.

The institutions that participated in the Campus of the Future project were selected because they were already on the cutting edge of integrating 3D technology into pedagogy. These institutions were therefore not representative, nor were they intended to be representative, of the state of higher education in the United States. These institutions were selected precisely because they already had a set of use cases for 3D technology available for study

p. 9  At some institutions, the group participating in the project was an academic unit (e.g., the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University; the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University). At these institutions, the 3D technology provided by HP was deployed for use more or less exclusively by students and faculty affiliated with the particular academic unit.

p. 10 definitions
there is not universal agreement on the definitions of these
terms or on the scope of these technologies. Also, all of these technologies
currently exist in an active marketplace and, as in many rapidly changing markets, there is a tendency for companies to invent neologisms around 3D technology.

A 3D scanner is not a single device but rather a combination of hardware and
software. There are generally two pieces of hardware: a laser scanner and a digital
camera. The laser scanner bounces laser beams off the surface of an object to
determine its shape and contours.

p. 11 definitions

Virtual reality means that the wearer is completely immersed in a computer
simulation. Several types of VR headsets are currently available, but all involve
a lightweight helmet with a display in front of the eyes (see figure 2). In some
cases, this display may simply be a smartphone (e.g., Google Cardboard); in other
cases, two displays—one for each eye—are integrated into the headset (e.g., HTC
Vive). Most commercially available VR rigs also include handheld controllers
that enable the user to interact with the simulation by moving the controllers
in space and clicking on finger triggers or buttons.

p. 12 definitions

Augmented reality provides an “overlay” of some type over the real world through
the use of a headset or even a smartphone.

In an active technology marketplace, there is a tendency for new terms to be
invented rapidly and for existing terms to be used loosely. This is currently
happening in the VR and AR market space. The HP VR rig and the HTC Vive
unit are marketed as being immersive, meaning that the user is fully immersed in
a simulation—virtual reality. Many currently available AR headsets, however, are
marketed not as AR but rather as MR (mixed reality). These MR headsets have a
display in front of the eyes as well as a pair of front-mounted cameras; they are
therefore capable of supporting both VR and AR functionality.

p. 13 Implementation

Technical difficulties.
Technical issues can generally be divided into two broad categories: hardware
problems and software problems. There is, of course, a common third category:
human error.

p. 15 the technology learning curve

The well-known diffusion of innovations theoretical framework articulates five
adopter categories: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and
laggards. Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 5th ed. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003).

It is also likely that staff in the campus IT unit or center for teaching and learning already know who (at least some of) these individuals are, since such faculty members are likely to already have had contact with these campus units.
Students may of course also be innovators and early adopters, and in fact
several participating institutions found that some of the most creative uses of 3D technology arose from student projects

p. 30  Zeynep Tufekci, in her book Twitter and Tear Gas

definition: There is no necessary distinction between AR and VR; indeed, much research
on the subject is based on a conception of a “virtuality continuum” from entirely
real to entirely virtual, where AR lies somewhere between those ends of the
spectrum.  Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino, “A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays,” IEICE Transactions on Information Systems, vol. E77-D, no. 12 (1994); Steve Mann, “Through the Glass, Lightly,” IEEE Technology and Society Magazine 31, no. 3 (2012): 10–14.

For the future of 3D technology in higher education to be realized, that
technology must become as much a part of higher education as any technology:
the learning management system (LMS), the projector, the classroom. New
technologies and practices generally enter institutions of higher education as
initiatives. Several active learning classroom initiatives are currently under
way,36 for example, as well as a multi-institution open educational resources
(OER) degree initiative.37

p. 32 Storytelling

Some scholars have argued that all human communication
is based on storytelling;41 certainly advertisers have long recognized that
storytelling makes for effective persuasion,42 and a growing body of research
shows that narrative is effective for teaching even topics that are not generally
thought of as having a natural story, for example, in the sciences.43

p. 33 accessibility

The experience of Gallaudet University highlights one of the most important
areas for development in 3D technology: accessibility for users with disabilities.

p. 34 instructional design

For that to be the case, 3D technologies must be incorporated into the
instructional design process for building and redesigning courses. And for that
to be the case, it is necessary for faculty and instructional designers to be familiar
with the capabilities of 3D technologies. And for that to be the case, it may
not be necessary but would certainly be helpful for instructional designers to
collaborate closely with the staff in campus IT units who support and maintain
this hardware.

Every institution of higher
education has a slightly different organizational structure, of course, but these
two campus units are often siloed. This siloing may lead to considerable friction
in conducting the most basic organizational tasks, such as setting up meetings
and apportioning responsibilities for shared tasks. Nevertheless, IT units and
centers for teaching and learning are almost compelled to collaborate in order
to support faculty who want to integrate 3D technology into their teaching. It
is necessary to bring the instructional design expertise of a center for teaching
and learning to bear on integrating 3D technology into an instructor’s teaching (My note: and where does this place SCSU?) Therefore,
one of the most critical areas in which IT units and centers for teaching and
learning can collaborate is in assisting instructors to develop this integration
and to develop learning objects that use 3D technology. p. 35 For 3D technology to really gain traction in higher education, it will need to be easier for instructors to deploy without such a large support team.

p. 35 Sites such as Thingiverse, Sketchfab, and Google Poly are libraries of freely
available, user-created 3D models.

ClassVR is a tool that enables the simultaneous delivery of a simulation to
multiple headsets, though the simulation itself may still be single-user.

p. 37 data management:

An institutional repository is a collection of an institution’s intellectual output, often consisting of preprint journal articles and conference papers and the data sets behind them.49 An
institutional repository is often maintained by either the library or a partnership
between the library and the campus IT unit. An institutional repository therefore has the advantage of the long-term curatorial approach of librarianship combined with the systematic backup management of the IT unit. (My note: leaves me wonder where does this put SCSU)

Sharing data sets is critical for collaboration and increasingly the default for
scholarship. Data is as much a product of scholarship as publications, and there
is a growing sentiment among scholars that it should therefore be made public.50

more on VR in this IMS blog

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