University of Pittsburgh, Department of Biological Sciences
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
The term ‘Open Educational Resources’ (OER) is used to describe any educational materials that educators and learners can freely retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute. OER range from open activities, through open textbooks and software, to fully open classes. Although faculty and students who use OER generally report that these resources meet their pedagogical needs while reducing financial barriers, adoption of these materials has been slow due to a perceived lack of options and low quality (e.g., 42% of faculty in the United States are not aware of OER). Rates of use are, however, increasing in the United States (e.g. from 5% to 14% of US faculty between 2015–2016 and 2018–2019) (Seaman and Seaman 2020).
OER can substantially reduce the financial burdens of STEM education and have a multitude of additional advantages over traditional textbooks and course materials. They promote flexible and innovative teaching, regular updating of materials, and the involvement of students in resource development and improvement. Ultimately, these benefits lead to increased belonging and community in the classroom.
The aim of this session is to motivate participation throughout the entire OER lifecycle, from development to implementation. Each talk will consist of an overview of an open educational resource, or collection of resources, followed by a discussion around a core theme or issue in this movement (e.g., improving student engagement with OER). The resources shared will include open modules, courses, and textbooks. We hope for this to be an interactive symposium that leaves participants with the tools and motivation to find and contribute to ecology-relevant OER.
Seaman, J.E. and Seaman, J. 2020. Digital Texts in the Time of COVID: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2020. https://www.bayviewanalytics.com/oer.html
Presenting Author: Kyle Whittinghill – University of Pittsburgh and University of Vermont
Co-author: Nathan Brouwer – University of Pittsburgh
Co-author: Natasha J. Gownaris – Gettysburg College
Co-author: Aaron Howard – Franklin & Marshall College
Co-author: Castilleja F. Olmsted – University of Pittsburgh, Department of Biological Sciences
Co-author: Dan Wetzel – University of Pittsburgh
Co-author: Andrew Wilson – Gettysburg College
Co-author: Taylor Zallek – University of Pittsburgh
Presenting Author: Cailin H. Orr, Science Education Resource Center – Carleton College
Co-author: Sean Fox – SERC at Carleton College
Presenting Author: Sam Donovan – BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium
Presenting Author: Ellen Bledsoe – University of Arizona
Co-author: Nathan Emery – UC Santa Barbara