Just as with a commercial textbook, you may find that your selected OER doesn’t cover all the necessary content to meet your course objectives. But, the difference in using OER is that you can adapt it or mold it to fit your ideal. You have a wonderful opportunity to reimagine your course now that you have selected the OER that will be the course materials your students use to learn about the content you are teaching. In this module we encourage you to review and evaluate your course goals and then adjust, revise, and/or remix OER to meet the needs of your learners, as set forth in those goals. You no longer need to be satisfied with what is handed to you: balancing what a commercial textbook offers while you make decisions to keep costs and number of materials low for students registered. OER gives you the freedom to say, “This text can be better” and then supplement or remix it with additional OER content. This is why, in this second module, the content we are sharing will address the second of the 3 ‘big idea’ questions you need to consider on your OER adoption journey:
“How do you determine your instructional needs now that you are no longer bound by commercial texts/content?”
By the end of the module, you should be able to:
- Curate OER course materials to ensure meeting your learning goals
- Use a course map to evaluate your course and course materials for gaps and areas of overlap
- Modify an open textbook to ensure it meets the learning goals you set for your course, if desired and/or needed
Navigate to the next chapter called Combining OER Resources to Meet Learner Needs
Throughout this book we use the term OER for Open Educational Resources. This term has several different meanings. For most, OER is reserved for resources that fall within the 5Rs framework, retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute. Within this framework, OER refers specifically to resources that can be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed by other authors and adopting educators. Not all freely available resources can be revised, remixed and redistributed.
Within this work, we approach OER with a broader definition, including non-remixable resources like library resources, web resources, public data sets, public case studies, and more. These are often referred to as ZTC - Zero Textbook Cost materials.
Given our broader definition, we chose to use OER throughout as it is the more commonly recognized acronym. We do acknowledge there are different definitions, and adopters should pay careful attention to the copyright and research in their areas when using terminology.
Throughout this book we use the broad term adoption for the process of selecting/identifying a text(s) or series of materials to support learners within a learning space. The assumption is that selecting/identifying the text(s) or materials leads to use within the course. Because OER can be used to support learners in a wide variety of spaces, we use the term adoption to include classroom, curricular, co-curricular, and beyond classroom learning spaces educators, instructors, librarians, and/or instructional designers encounter as part of their work. For instance, this book could be 'adopted' by centers for teaching and learning as OER for future faculty adopters.