Knowledge Base

Use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in FMNs

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?
Teaching resources that are freely available for anyone to customize and use in their classrooms.  

How will you be using OER in your FMN?
FMNs are built around using OER materials, often from our partners. Many FMNs are built around using one or more of these OER materials into your courses. After you use these materials, your module adaptations will then be shared as OER materials for other educators to reuse.

Why is contributing to OER a requirement of this FMN?
Your adoptions will add value to a resource by adding materials (e.g., assessments, data analysis) or changing the structure (i.e., lecture vs. lab activity, large class vs. small class). This allows the product to be readily used in different ways by a broad range of instructors. One of the most important benefits of sharing your work is to provide examples of how materials can be customized to particular learning settings and student audiences.  

How do FMNs promote effective use of OERs to teach quantitative skills?
One of the main barriers to using OERs is identifying relevant and appropriate materials. FMNs lower this barrier by identifying collections of vetted materials.  In addition, FMNs provide a supportive community to help faculty better integrate OER materials focused on quantitative skills into their courses.

How does an FMN lower barriers to participation in open education practices?
Open Education Practices go hand in hand with Open Education Resources. Open education practices include both using OERs and contributing to the pool of OERs.  The main barriers to contributing to the pool of OERs are concerns about quality of contributed materials and credibility with peers, authorship or concerns about receiving credit, and the time investment needed to generate quality materials1,2. FMNs reduce these barriers in several ways.  First, FMNs are designed to support participants as they pilot OER adaptations in their own classrooms by providing peer feedback throughout the process hopefully reducing concerns about quality. The FMN structure also streamlines the process of contributing to OER by providing a simple structure for formating adaptations, while the QUBES publication system makes sharing easy and ensures automatic attribution when your work is adapted by others. Along with automatic attribution, your resource will have a citation and DOI documenting your active commitment to scholarly teaching.

What are the benefits for you to contribute to OER?
The best way to understand OER is by participating in the OER lifecycle. Publishing educational materials on QUBES will result in a citation with a DOI and metrics that can be used as evidence of scholarly teaching for tenure and promotion packages. OERs can be continuously improved as multiple versions are shared by the same author or they can be customized for new use cases by adopters. Through this process, you have access to the original and adapted OERs for use in your classroom. By sharing your original or adapted materials, you make the OER more valuable to other faculty, and you can get feedback and ideas based on how your resource was used in a different classroom. This feedback is valuable for informing future development of curricular materials and for making improvements to your shared materials.

Learn more about FMNs | Learn more about OER
1Belikov, O.M and R. Bodily. 2016. Incentives and barriers to OER adoption: A qualitative analysis of faculty perceptions. Open Praxis 8: 235-246. 2H.C. Davis, L. Carr, J.M.N. Hey, Y. Howard, D. Millard, D. Morris and Su White. 2010 Bootstrapping a culture of sharing to facilitate open educational resources. IEEE Transactions on learning technologies 3: 96-109.


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