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Now that you have selected the OER for your course you will need to decide if supplementing or adapting the OER is necessary. Because you are no longer tied to a publisher textbook you have the freedom to bring together multiple resources and adjust them to meet the learning outcomes for your course. Curating course content ensures it aligns with your learning outcomes. Content can be text, video, media, podcasts, simulations, interactives, learning activities, etc. Course mapping is one tool that can help you step back and take a thousand foot view of your course, which can help you identify the gaps and the areas of overlap. It is also a way to assist in the process of keeping track of your content sources and references, making OER adoption a little easier. The value of keeping good notes cannot be overstated. A course map can be a valuable tool to organizing and tracking outcomes, the learning activities, and OER content with which they align, the sources and licensing of the content you select.

OER Course Map

When searching for commercial textbooks, many instructors evaluate the content covered, the supplemental instructional materials, and the ease for students of procuring the book. When searching for OER materials to adopt within a course, most instructors first evaluate the material for content coverage, often aligned with the materials with what had previously been covered by the commercial textbook.

As the focus of Module 2, we want to emphasize that OER adoption allows instructors to recenter student learning and how students show learning through assignments as the first step in their material adoption process. Instructors can and should then work backward from those assignment goals to determine what materials will facilitate learning. Because the materials are now free, faculty can:

  • use a couple chapters from several books
  • select shorter books, assigning a wider range and a higher number
  • use journal articles, websites, and books to building foundational¬† and deep reading
  • decolonize their materials including a breadth of voices and experiences

To do this work, start with building and/or identifying course objectives and learning outcomes. We, along with many others, recommend using excel for this work to keep the cells organized.

Second, identify the modules and submodules of the course. These will include the content covered, the ways of thinking covered (like critical thinking, research, etc.). Here is an example map, that outlines the structure using Module 1 from this book.

Module/Submodule Learning Outcomes
Module 1: Thinking Through OER
Module 1a: First Module Overview
Module 1b: What Does the Research Say?
  • Review and identify the difference between an OER and other free educational materials
Module 1c: Introduction to Open Educational Resources
  • Identify search tools for finding open educational resources
  • Conduct a search for open educational resources

Third, identify the assignment and assessment measure. This allows instructors to consider what students need to learn and know to be successful in that assessment.

Fourth, identify the OER that will lead students to success with the assessment and/or assignment. For many OER adopters, this step will be most useful if it includes two (3) columns, one to identify the source (including URL and/or access path), and one to identify the portion of the source used.

Module/Submodule Learning Outcomes Assignment OER OER Section
Module 1: Thinking Through OER
Module 1a: First Module Overview
Module 1b: What Does the Research Say?
  • Review and identify the difference between an OER and other free educational materials
Write a reflection on the value of OER adoption within adopter discipline The OER Adoption Journey (URL) Module 1 Chapter 1
Module 1c: Introduction to Open Educational Resources
  • Identify search tools for finding open educational resources
  • Conduct a search for open educational resources
Explain OER to a colleague The OER Adoption Journey (URL) Module 1 Chapter 2

 

We’re providing this sample course map to demonstrate the shift in adoption practices when moving to OER instead of commercial textbooks.

 

Icon of a closed book with many tabs. There is a gear on the cover. Resources

 

icon of a person with their head propped up on their hands and a thought bubble overheadSomething to Ponder

  • What major concepts from this course do my students need to understand?
  • How will my students understand major concepts in this course?
  • What are the core components to support my outcomes?
  • What are enhancements to the core components of the course?

Over the upcoming days, week, and/or months (depending on your lead-in time for course design), as you begin using the selected OER in your course, you will likely think of some ways you would like to adjust/revise the OER based on how you felt students understood the materials and based on student feedback. Consider having a dedicated notebook for this so that you can take notes as you think of them, and be able to find them when you have time to make the revisions. How will you keep these notes organized to suit your educational design needs?

Integrating existing OER into your course does not need to be a one-person job. Librarians, Instructional Designers, and other OER adopting faculty can provide guidance in incorporating OER into your course as you navigate your way through this adoption journey. Join our conversations at #OERJourney on Twitter to connect with others on their adoption journey. We also encourage you to reach out to Librarians and Instructional Designers at your institution.

 

 

Navigate to the Modifying an Open Textbook

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

The OER Adoption Journey Copyright © 2022 by nicolepfannenstiel; Kimberly Auger; and Matthew Fox is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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