Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research resources that make use of appropriate tools, such as open licensing, to permit their free reuse, continuous improvement, and re-purposing by others for educational purposes. (UNESCO).
OER Learning Circles are an opportunity for Minnesota State faculty to collaborate across the system with colleagues who are committed to saving students on the cost of textbooks and course resources.
In addition to facilitated, virtual weekly meetings, OER Learning Circles utilize a D2L Brightspace course to support faculty and the equivalent of .5 RCE (reasonable credit equivalent) is available to participating faculty.
OER Advocate Profile – Young Seob Son
Young Seob Son is a Business Administration faculty at Bemidji State University who participated in the fall 2020 OER Learning Circle cohort.
Briefly describe your project.
My project was to redesign a Business Statistics class using OER. This is an introductory class for Business Administration majors at Bemidji State University. In this class collection, presentation, analysis, and interpretation of business and economic data are the key learning objectives. The open textbook that I chose is Open Intro Statistics. It is the fourth edition and provides the slides and videos for each chapter and labs for statistical software with data. I also use Hypothes.is, a tool that promotes active reading and the exchange of ideas among students and teachers through collective annotation.
Describe any changes that you made so this course resource is more accessible, equitable, or culturally diverse than before.
The textbook that I chose provides very diverse and useful materials, increasing the accessibility to benefit students. For example, I can use the slides as PDF files with Hypothes.is for collective annotation and can use the videos for lectures and cases, or to explain how to use different statistical software. All of them are free for students to use.
How did you become aware of OER?
I have taught Business Statistics for several years. Business Statistics I is a required classes for Business Administration majors and Business Statistics II is one of the required electives for some emphases. The textbooks used are expensive, though the materials are effective and convenient. After recently hearing about free statistical software and data, I thought it may be possible for me to redesign my classes using those free resources. Last summer I found this OER Learning Circle opportunity and joined.
What challenges did you face with your project and how were you able to overcome those challenges?
When I joined the OER Learning Circles I was in the dark about a lot of OER topics, and was starting from the beginning. While in my OER Learning Circle cohort, I learned so many things from colleagues, a variety of presenters, and the facilitator Karen Pikula. Without their altruistic contributions, I don’t think I could finish my project so quickly.
Did you experience any unexpected challenges or benefits from participating in this project? What were they?
I was surprised and impressed by the amount of available OER out there. There is more than I thought, and I’m glad we are heading in the right direction for our students.
What are your next steps?
I plan to create an assessment plan. I have built a D2L Brightspace shell using OER. However, I haven’t had time to create some effective assessment plans which may utilize those OER for effective learning.
What are your Big Takeaways for another faculty who might want to adopt or create OERs?
It has been a great experience. OER is one of the key elements to help our courses and course resources be more open, accessible, cheaper, and flexible for our students.
Read more OER Advocate Profiles.
Visit www.MinnState.edu/OER to learn more about OER at Minnesota State.