Unlocking Knowledge: The Power of Open Educational Resources (OER) | Williston State College

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Unlocking Knowledge: The Power of Open Educational Resources (OER)

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Unlocking Knowledge: The Power of Open Educational Resources (OER)

Posted: Oct 10 2023

WILLISTON, N.D. – The importance of having access to top-notch learning resources has increased as the educational landscape changes constantly. The way that educators, organizations, and students interact with educational content is revolutionized by open educational resources (OER). The North Dakota University System recently awarded an OER grant to Kirby Lund, Associate Professor of English, and Chair of the Arts & Human Sciences department at Williston State College. This is an important step toward reducing the cost of educational materials for students.

Open Educational Resources, or OER, are referred to as "teaching and research materials in any medium, digital, or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by others with no limited restrictions."

Professor Lund first became interested in OER when he heard students voicing concerns about the rising costs of textbooks. The costliest textbook was only utilized for about eight class days throughout the entire semester, he realized after reviewing his syllabi. He investigated other methods because of the mismatch between his use of textbooks and the practical requirements of his students.

Online OER resources have a few different levels of relevance and quality, which is one disadvantage. Even though many OER textbooks mention their authors, the quality of the various materials might vary greatly. Additionally, online textbooks might not provide thorough coverage of the necessary topics, calling for supplemental OER materials.

In response to these difficulties, Professor Lund developed "Professor Lund's Guide to English," a flexible and affordable method of educating his students without requiring them to purchase costly textbooks. Lund’s segment of the OER website strays from conventional textbook frameworks and resembles blog postings that address aspects of writing and composition and are readily available to his students in a variety of programs.

Additionally, Professor Lund has added transdisciplinary issues to the scope of his OER website. His pupils are primarily interested in English-related posts, although communication students might also gain from material like "Evaluating Sources." He embraces online instruction and offers advice on how to learn online and create persuasive forum posts.

Professor Lund works collaboratively with colleagues at WSC to support students in a variety of academic disciplines by referring to previous blogs or developing fresh content specific to certain fields of study within the college.

Advantages of OER:

Affordability: OER offers a practical way to ease students' financial burdens, especially in a time when the price of college textbooks has increased by almost 187% between 2006 and 2016 (Consumer Price Index, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). OER makes guarantee that students may quickly and without cost access crucial instructional resources.

Convenience: OER ensures that students have quick and easy access to the educational resources they require.

Empowerment: OER encourages engaged student participation in the production of educational materials.

Equity: OER makes excellent educational resources available to everyone by removing financial obstacles.

When compared to creating unique teaching tools, open educational resources (OER) allow instructors and institutions the option to personalize the teaching resources. Due to decreased costs and a more engaging learning environment, it also works well for keeping pupils in school.

For more information about Open Education Resources, visit https://willistonstate.libguides.com/c.php?g=886495 on the WSC website.

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