On 3/22 Tammy did a webinar on Sexy Technical Communication with Softchalk Innovators, and on 3/23 I did a webinar on it and another ALG grant project with Dan Farr in Sociology with Affordable Learning Georgia's Design Matters. Check out our webinars below!
On March 4th, 2016, we had a GREAT time at the KSU Unconference in the university rooms on the Kennesaw campus. We learned about all kinds of neat things the faculty on our campus are doing in their classes, handed out great door prizes and awards, saw how Anissa Vega incorporates her personality into her classes, and learned about how to keep our students engaged with Angela Velez-Solic.
Anissa won KSUs Online Teaching Award in 2015, and there's no need to guess why after seeing her presentation at the unconference. For lack of a better way to explain it, she has her kids teach for her! Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic. But I will say for myself that she inspired me to incorporate my family and life into my teaching if I ever teach a class. By having her kids participate, mocking Internet icons like Bat-Dad, and using fun things like Minecraft to remind her students of what they should be doing for the week, I imagine that she has some awesome student reviews. I know I'd be more engaged in her class if I was looking forward to those fun videos every week.
Angela is the author of How to Teach Online Without Losing Your Mind, and has spoken at several conferences before. KSU was lucky to have her for her (and our) first keynote speaker! She gives a great presentation, and is totally honest. She told us about her son, and how he wanted to drop out of college almost immediately because he was bored and felt like he was paying thousands of dollars to go to high school again. And he's not the only one! Instructors are losing their students' interest, and it is effecting retention and engagement. Angela told us about cool ways to keep our students engaged and why we should care.
The KSU Unconference had its first year this year, but it will be back bigger and better next year. So look out for the information!
State University faculty are committed to supporting student success. Thirty-six
KSU faculty and staff have stepped up, with support from the KSU Library and
the state of Georgia, to create and/or
adapt 13 sets of open educational resources (OERS) sometimes for use in
multiple classes or class sequences. This work has saved $899,860 from the
student debt load each year.Each group
was awarded an Affordable Learning Georgia Textbook Transformation Grant to
support them in their work
winners and amount of student savings through OERS are
Payne and Rachel Myers (Nursing) student savings: $30, 468
Vaught and Griselda Thomas (African and African Diaspora Studies): $20,840
Isenhour, Ophelia Santos, Charles Marvil (Culinary Studies): $13,875
Ritter, Shangrong Deng (Math): $9,180
Zheng and Zhigang Li (Information Technology Department): $16,833
and Zhigang Li (Chemistry): $184,320
Rebecca Rutherford, Svetlana Peltsverger, Jack Zheng, Zhigang Li, Nancy Colyar
(Computer Science/IT): $110,419
Zhan, May Gao, Yumin Ao (Asian Studies): $11,249
Usher and Linda Lyons (First Year Studies): $67,250
Farr and Tiffani Reardon (Sociology): $13,963.80
Pearcey, Chris Randall, Jen Willard, Beth Kirsner, Adrienne Williamson, Tricia
Mahaffey (Psychology): $345,912
Zhang and Bob Brown (Information Technology): $23,936
to a study performed by the US Government Accountability Office, the annual
average amount students spend on textbooks is 26% of the cost of tuition at a
public, four year university. According to a June 2013 report from Lumina
Foundation, about “30% of college students” don’t buy the books for their
courses. Why don’t they buy the textbooks? Sixty-five percent of students
choose not to buy a college textbook because it’s too expensive.
As faculty, we
know it is hard to teach students who come to class unprepared, and 94% of the
students who report not buying the textbook say that they know they suffer
academically because they do not have the text. Forty-eight percent say they
make decisions about which classes to take, and how many classes to take, based
on textbook costs. That is, textbook costs not only increase debt load directly
but also indirectly as students take fewer courses when faced with high
textbook prices. Eighty-two percent of students say they would be more
successful academically if they had a free online textbook and if a hard copy were
Research backs up this idea. A recent study in Journal of Computing in Higher Education of nearly 5,000 college
students using OER and over 11,000 college students using commercial textbooks
in 10 US institutions yields striking results. Overall, the researchers found
that “In three key measures of student success—course completion, final grade
of C-or higher, course grade—students whose faculty chose OER generally
performed as well or better than students who faculty assigned commercial
textbooks” (Fischer, Hilton, Robinson, Wiley, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12528-015-9101-x/fulltext.html). OERS increased course
completion. Students in courses using OERs did take more courses. And students reported being more satisfied in
courses where OERs were used.
Tammy Powell, Jonathan Arnett, and I attended Affordable Learning Georgia's one-day conference on Reimagining the Textbook in Macon on February 19. We learned all kinds of cool stuff about open educational resources and affordable learning materials at the conference, but here are some highlights!
The four ideal R's of OERs:
reuse - OERs should be free to reuse
revise - you should be able to revise OERs within the licensing parameters
remix - you should be able to mix OERs with other resources within licensing parameters
redistribute - you should be able to redistribute OERs to your students and others
Challenges of OERs:
legal - copyright
lack of technical skills
Flat World Knowledge
Open College Textbooks
repository for OERs
search for discipline
Open Courseware Consortium
focused around general ed
free access for members
On Affordable Learning Materials (ALMs)
not free, but affordable
Challenges of ALMs:
limitations - have to use specific textbook to get pub materials
sometimes not downloadable
ALM landscape - eReader apps:
YUZU - Barnes & Noble (replaced Nook)
Brightwave - Follett
Smartbook - McGraw Hill
Evaluating OERs and ALMs
Does it match the learner's needs?
Does it align with curriculum standards?
How is the ease of use/accessibility?
Are there license restrictions?
How is the content quality?
Is there a community of users?
Ohio State University's BookLaunch
cohort model - 2 cohorts annually with 2-8 projects each
focused on iBooks, but support other formats (ePub, PDF)
80 hours of support
$500/$1000 with 2:1 match (half from BookLaunch, half from department)
co-produce project plan
A Cool Tool
Ohio State uses a cool tool called Bookry.com to create and incorporate interactive widgets into their iBooks.