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OER Reflection
OER Reflection

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This is the article that I was talking about...

It describes how textbook publishers are eliminating the instructor and contracting directly with universities.

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"Psyc 200 Lifespan Development" by Linda Overstreet, Open Course Library is licensed under CC BY 3.0

My OER Poem

You mean all this time I have been subjecting
My students to corrupt companies in publishing?
Education should be about sharing
Instead high book costs our students are baring

Lo and behold! OMG. I now see
Colleagues fighting to make good information free
For seeking to increase access we must
Go OER - our mission is pono and just

So into the world of OpenStax I go
Don’t forget Open Commons, LCC Library and Merlot!
Surprised and thrilled, I so am to see
There is an OER book just waiting for me!

And a vast digital world for me to explore
Let everything I like be Open License…I implore
Attribute and CC BY License away
Yes I am ready for my Fall 2017 first day!

And never again will I resort back to cost
The spirit of free sharing will never be lost
By this inspired instructor, on this OER Track
IMUA. Move Forward. And never turn back.

*Advice to instructors who may be considering OER: Do it. It's a noble cause and an inspiring community to become apart of.

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I came into this learning track due to a long-held desire to take advantage of the fact that for the lower level courses there is little need for an expensive textbook but not knowing how to actually go about it. Not only did it bother me as an educator that students had to pay as much as they did, but it bothered students as well. And being in an environment where a class costs $900 or less, it is hard to justify adding on a textbook that adds 15-20% to the cost of taking the class. So that was my motivation going into this. In the lead up to the session, I did some searching and for lower level courses in economics, it was rather easy to find a textbook that was free of charge - OPEN STAX. And that textbook is a near perfect alternative to the expensive book being used now. What changed for me though on the first day of this learning track was the discovering the fact that I could change things around to suit my needs and according to what I deem the priorities to be. Quite simply, I can make chapter 3 into chapter 2 or I can take out some lines or add another section. I love this idea of being able to customize it and make it MY textbook for MY classes without having to make students pay the price and be locked into buying a customized textbook.

Due to the fact that the search for a textbook was rather easy, I have had the time to find texts to satisfy designations for my upper-level courses (WI, OC, and ETH) and I have had the chance to think about how I will customize things starting in the fall of 2017. This customization will reflect the local surroundings (essentially building out portions of a Hawaii edition) and reflect what I think is more important. The impact of this is, in monetary terms, significant. Without having to spend money on textbooks without reducing the educational quality, things are made better. The search for OER materials was made easier by the existence of an OER library. I would say that the only frustrating thing about OER is that I will do the work for my students to either use OER or have $0 cost classrooms, but I will have colleagues who do not do the same. Although I can try and suggest and convince and support someone to make the transition, I will undoubtedly encounter (and likely be frustrated by) colleagues who take the easier (but more expensive for students) path.

Going forward, I am going to make ECON 120, ECON 130, and ECON 131 all $0 textbook cost classes and after one year completely OER. Two of these three classes I am teaching this summer as $0 textbook cost classes with the only thing not being OER being my lecture slides. However, over the summer I will be developing my own slides and once these are created, the course will be entirely OER. Once these lower level courses are completed, I will then start to consider how to teach my upper-level courses as OER courses.

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