It’s true. Adopting OERs can be time consuming for faculty making the switch. There are new considerations you may never have needed to think about before: How will students access the content? Is all the information I’ve included truly open — that is, can I and my students make digital or paper copies without paying copyright permissions?
Those faculty who do successfully adopt OERs have found some pretty great benefits, enough to outweigh any drawbacks. Here are some to consider:
- The obvious: students save money. Depending upon the text you currently use this could be a little or a lot!
- The ability to update and edit the content to suit your and your students’ particular needs is a huge benefit. Students don’t have to skip through content that doesn’t pertain to them or is written at a level beyond their understanding or their needs. Faculty don’t need to specify sections to read and to skip, or jump around from chapter 3 to 8 to 5.
- The process of tailoring the information to your course and class needs may be an enlightening process for you. Preliminary results from a national survey of OER adopting faculty suggests that these instructors become more engaged in their course as a result of the work of essentially doing a custom information redesign for their students.
Have you adopted OER for your course? Are you somewhere in the middle of the process? What do you like about it? Please share with us in the comments below, or in an email to Kate. (kate.hess at kirkwood.edu)