– In as much as I’m gonna
talk about open educational resources I should start
by saying that this set of slides is an open
educational resource, and I’ll say more about what this green button means here in a
moment, but let me start. It’s fortuitous of the way that you frame this conversation
because I wanna start by talking about education as well and about the nature of education. I wanna argue for a minute
that education is sharing, and that in the big vin
diagram of the universe there’s sharing, which is a bigger circle, and that education falls
wholly inside of that broader circle of sharing. By education I don’t
mean hunting for parking. I don’t mean sitting in faculty meeting. I don’t mean the endless
hours spent on preparing for tenure and promotion and things like that. I mean the actual educative
acts that we engage in. So education is first
about sharing what you know with your students. It’s about sharing feedback
with them on work that they prepare and submit to you. It’s about sharing encouragement with them as it looks like they’re getting it or sometimes more importantly
when it looks like they’re not getting it
and they’re doubting whether they’re ever going to get it. It about sharing your
passion for your discipline and hopefully infecting them a little bit so that they decide they
want to become economists or educators or whatever
it is that you are. When you think about it really it’s about sharing something of
yourself with your students. That’s what great educators do. When you think about the educators who inspired you in your past, I think you would agree that they shared something of themselves. So the internet has been
called a sharing machine. It’s pretty clear that over time kind of the march of
technology here is one that has made our capability
to share information with each other cheaper
and easier in terms of copying and distributing
a book for an example. It turns out that if you
go to Google and look, you can find people who
are still willing to hand copy books for
you ’cause you can find anything on the internet, but that’s fun. But essentially for me
thousands of dollars to produce a hand written
copy and move that around the world the way
that it was previously moved around the world to where
we find ourselves today where it’s essentially
free to make perfect copies and distribute them at the speed of light around the world. That gives us an unprecedented
technical capacity for sharing. Now I wanna introduce this point. I’m re-showing some student
work during my talk today. I’m teaching a graduate
seminar right now on openness in education,
and one of the things I have them do each week,
’cause I have them create memes to summarize the
topics of each week, and this one’s about sharing. When you see some animated gifs popping up and things, just know that
this is some student work. You can find the attributions
here at the bottom. But what if I told you that we can share without running out of
the thing we’re sharing. When we share digitally, when you share a You Tube
video with someone else, it’s different from sharing
a DVD with someone us. Because when you share your DVD with them, while they’re watching it
you can’t watch it anymore because they have it. But if that movie is put
online and it’s made digital, we can all watch it at the same time. A hundred of us, a thousand
of us, a million of us can watch that same digital
have at the same time. The internet gives us this
amazing capacity to share. In as much as education is sharing, then the internet gives
us amazing capacity to engage in education,
except that it doesn’t. So long before the
internet was even a twinkle in an engineer’s eye, there was copyright. If we come back to this
slide about the way that technology makes it easier for us to copy and distribute information, we can actually put a heading
on the left hand side here, which is types of activity
that copyright regulates. Copyright regulates
four kinds of activities and two of those are
copying and distributing. It sets up this tension, which is a tension that’s been playing out in different fields for
the last decade at least in that what the internet technologically enables us to do copyright
prohibits us from doing. The internet makes it
possible for us to make an infinite number of
perfect copies for free and send them anywhere around the world, and the music industry
was the first to kind of learn the hard lesson of
what the technology enabled. But eventually copyright
law caught up with them and Napster is no more. But then there are better
versions of Napster like tools, things like BitTorrent, and now DVDs are passed
around in this way, so the movie industry is
learning this lesson again. But this is a fundamental tension that our society is dealing with, and it touches us in education as well. So of course I’m not here to say that we should all break the law to take full advantage of the internet, but I’m also not here to
say that we should just ignore all the opportunities the internet creates for us in education because the law says something different. How can we resolve this tension? So I wanna talk about
open educational resources as a way of resolving this tension between what’s possible
and what’s permitted. In the style of a thesis
defense I’ll begin by defining terms here so
that we’re all clear about what we’re talking about
because it matters deeply. It matters deeply. When we say open what do we mean? There is some confusion I think that is pretty wide spread that open is essentially
a synonym for free, and I wanna disabuse
you of that right away. The internet is already free to read, to watch, to listen to. You don’t pay to read tweets or to watch videos on You Tube or to read the news on CNN or look at photos on Instagram. The whole internet is already free. If all that we meant by open was free, we wouldn’t need a new word. We’d just call it free. Open means a free grant of permissions, and specifically a free
grant of permission to engage if what we
call the 5R activities. I’m not gonna violate the
first rule of Power Point and read the slide to you. I’ll just pause for a
moment and let you do that. But when we say the word
open we mean that someone has given us a formal copyright license to engage in all of these activities. They’ve given us that set of permissions. They’ve given us that license for free. Now just to say a little bit about these I do wanna point out that retain is the fundamental permission here. The permission or the right to own to make a copy, to own that copy, and control that copy, it’s becoming an increasingly unique thing in a world of Netflix, and
Hulu, and Spotify, and Pandora, and library databases that we never get to own things anymore. We pay a monthly access fee, and for the next four
weeks we have permission to stream that movie from Netflix or stream that TV show from Hulu or view that PDF through the library, but we’re not allowed to own. Nobody wants us to own anymore. Being able to make a copy
that you keep forever that doesn’t delete
itself after six months, that doesn’t blow up because of some DRM that’s built into it is
fundamental to enabling you to do the rest of these other things. So this idea of ownership
of private property turns out to be important. The implications of these
five our permissions are many, but just let me point out three. First, when you have permission to retain and redistribute, when you have permission
to download copies and to share those copies
what that essentially means is that everyone can have free copies. All that material is
essentially made available to everyone for free
because you have permission to make your own copies
and you have permissions to share those with others. Revise and remix mean that we can edit. We can improve. We can customize. We can localize. We can adapt. We can do that either individually kind of in our own offices, or we can collaborate with others. We can have those
collaborations in the open, in the public’s sphere with colleagues from other institutions. We don’t have to hide in our offices behind some claim of fair use. That what we’re doing is okay as long as we don’t let
it out into the wild. We can collaborate at internet scale. This right to reuse
means that we’re not just stuck in some legal sense in
formal educational settings. It’s not just about the
classroom or about labs but it’s about study groups and tutorials and outside of school and community groups and a wide range of other areas. Now in as much as we’re talking about providing a formal grant of permissions we have to do that in a formal legal way. How many of you know
about Creative Commons by show of hands.? Several of you do, okay. So all I will say about
Creative Commons then is that Creative Commons is a
nonprofit organization that creates copyright
licenses that grant people these 5R permissions. They make those licenses
available for free so that you as the author
of an article or a video or whatever it might be
can apply this license to your own work and by means of that tell the world that they
have these permissions, so they don’t have to call you. They don’t have to ask. They don’t have to e-mail you
and wait for you to respond. You just tell them by default I’m giving you these permissions, and if you want or need other permissions feel free to email me or call. But make all the copies of this that you want to give to your students. Make a copy and post it in the
learning management system. Make a copy of it and edit it. Translate it into Spanish if
that’s what your students need. Revise the reading level down if that’s what your student’s need. Pull out the examples from
Utah of high dessert mountains if that doesn’t make any
sense to your students and put in examples that
will make sense to them. Do all, make all those improvements and make your copies
and then give them out. Give them to anyone who needs them. So open when you hear the word open, I hope that you think about it this way. That it doesn’t mean that you just have free access like you do
to the internet where everything is free for you to look at but in a kind of look but
don’t touch kind of way. Open means that you have a free
grant of these permissions. Here’s another piece of student work here. Now I wish I could take
credit for the word faux-pen. It’s not my word, fake open. By faux-pen we mean things
that you get free access to, free but probably gated access where you have to create an account. You have give up some personal information like your e-mail address, your zip code or something like that. So there’s some kind of wall
that you have to penetrate, and after you’ve penetrated that wall the resources you find on the other side are not only all rights reserved as opposed to granting
you the 5R permissions but they’re also governed by terms of use or contract terms or something else that restricts your ability to use them even further than just copyright does. So for example in the
Coursera terms of use depending on which day of
the week you look at them because they do seem to
update with some frequency there’s a clause that says
you may not use any of the material presented on this
site in conjunction with any tuition baring for credit
kind of experience. So not only is the
Coursera material not open in the sense that it grants
me the 5R permissions, but I as a faculty member
can’t even tell my students. You need to brush up on
you Python go over to the Coursera and hit that and do the first four or five weeks of that Coursera course because the Coursera terms of use preclude me as a faculty member, who has students who are paying tuition, from sending them over there
as an official part of their credit earning experience
at my institution. That’s a restriction way beyond copyright. But when I have to create an account and gain access to things, then these terms of use can
be applied over and above all the rights of reserve by copyright. So this is why we call this faux-pen. You’ll hear people refer to
things that they do as open but if you look at it closely
a lot of times they’re just trying to kind of…
(person sneezing) Bless you. Trying to ride the
good marketing brand of open, but this is actually
what they’re giving you. They’re not giving you permissions. They’re giving you something
that’s free to look at but not touch and they’re
actually restricting you further than copyright generally would. In terms of thinking about
costs and permissions… Well, you can see the slide. I just put this up here
to kind of give you a quick way to compare and contrast. So as you’re teaching your classes when we think about
making the choice to use traditionally copyrighted materials in a world of the internet, we’re putting ourself,
we’re leaving ourself in the situation where
we’re fighting this tension between what the internet gives us the technological capability to do. The copyright on our materials
prevents us from doing. But when we make the choice to use open educational resources, we find ourselves in a
place where everything that technology makes possible for us to do the resources that we and
our students work with give us the permission to do. So it opens up a broad kind of new range of possibilities. Let me give a couple of examples for those of you who
aren’t familiar with OER and have never seen these in the wild. I’ve said a bit about what open means, educational resources of course are courses, or textbooks,
or chapters, or videos, or simulations or assessments. Here’s an example OER. This is from a biology
textbook by Openstax. This is a simulation from the Pnet collection at Colorado, which is an open educational resource, some videos from Khan Academy. I expect many of you are
familiar with Khan Academy. Here’s both some open assessment content but also an open source tool
for delivering assessments that not only presents them to students but also measures the amount of time that they spend answering each question and requires them to
indicate their level of confidence in their answer
before they move on. So that instead of just
right, wrong on each question you get right wrong, amount of time, and level of confidence, which if you’re a psychometrician
is kind of a gold mine. So OER run this kind of
wide range of materials. Sticking with the theme
of defining terms now, we can finally talk about OER adoption. When I talk about OER adoption
in the rest of the talk what I mean is not asking
your students to buy a 100, or 150, or $200 textbook and then providing a link to some OER as a supplemental resource. What I’m going to mean is, I’m going to mean
replacing whatever required materials were previously on your syllabus with open educational
resources so that these are the primary resources we’re using and we’re actually
displacing the cost of that previous textbook. So I want to talk about
four pieces of this pattern of high impact OER adoption the first being improving affordability. So another piece of work here. I don’t know if you’re
familiar with the doge meme. This is one of my favorite memes. There’s a great piece of academic writing about the grammar of the doge memes, that if you’re into this
kind of thing is very fun. I expect many of you have seen this graph or a version of this graph somewhere. This one’s from the economists looking at textbook prices compared
to consumer prices. Students lived experience of this costs of textbooks looks
something like this. If I have an extra 20 or 30
bucks a month laying around, I could chose to use
that in one of two ways. I could either procure one
month of streaming access to most of the catalog of American movies, TV shows, and music, or for about 50% more I could
get access to one textbook. So tens of thousands
of movies and TV shows, and millions of songs
actually cost about 2/3 of what it cost for one month
of access to a textbook. This is the lunacy of textbook pricing. Any Ursula Le Guin fans in the room? Couple. Anybody could give us
a 30 second summary of Wizard of Earthsea, just to break it up so I’m not doing all the talking? (audience laughing)
No. Well, long before that
derivative copy cat, Harry Potter Went To Hogwarts this young wizard, Sparrowhawk, went to the school on
an island called Roke, went to the school at Roke
to learn to become a wizard. Part the experience of becoming a wizard in this universe is spending time, spending a winter at what’s called the Isolate Tower. The Isolate Tower is on the far north, cold windy part of the
island, and you go there and what you do is you spend the whole… You spend your whole time there memorizing lists of names
because in this magic system learning the true name
of a thing gives you complete mastery over it. This is a big part of wizardry is learning the name of every piece of every plant of every mountain, and inlet, and brook and everything in the whole world. The way that this learning happens is that the master namer,
one of the masters of Roke, provides you with a written
list of names in the morning and at midnight everything
on that list disappears, and you have between the
time he hands it to you until the time it disappears to learn it. So it turns out to be highly motivating for all these students, and I think it’s kind of fun. Now why do I bring up… Why’d I bring up Ursula Le Guin here? Because as you look around campus most of the things that we do to try to ameliorate this problem of textbooks costs are really disappearing ink strategies. We tell students at the end of the term just sell your book
back to the book store, or, in fact, don’t even
buy your book just rent it. Don’t even both with the physical book just go buy an access code to an online to a vital source or something like that, just buy six months of access to a digital version of a book. But in all these scenarios whenever which ever specific one you prefer at the end of the semester the student’s textbook disappears, and it’s not lost on them. That out of the left side
of our mouth we say to them this course is so
critically important that we will not allow you to
graduate unless you take it, and out the right side of our mouth we say you’re never gonna need to
think about any of this again. You sell that book back just
the day the class is over, and they get it. They get it. There are costs beyond financial costs. They’re academic costs of
the high costs of textbooks. This is from a survey of
about 22,000 students. This survey from Florida. I can see in my notes it’s 20,557 asking them how does your behavior change due to the cost of textbooks? You can see that it slows them down. They take fewer courses.
They drop courses. They withdraw from courses. They earn poor grades in courses. So there are academic costs here as well. So in terms of access and affordability retain and redistribute
really solved this problem. As a faculty member you can go find OER that you want to use instead of textbooks. You can make your own copy. You can own that copy
forever. You can give. You can share new copies
of that with your students, and they can keep it forever. It doesn’t cost anyone
anything because these permissions have been
granted to you for free. The part of this that’s
the most exciting to me is the way that OER kind
of invigorate pedagogy, and let me say two things
about that, one very briefly in that anytime we make a change we’re invited to engage
in some new thinking. A lot of OER adoption, I think a lot of effective OER adoption, really engages faculty in this
process of backward design. Is that a term that you’re
familiar with, backward design? Starting with outcomes and saying what is it that I want my
students to be able to do by the time they leave this course? What do I care about them learning? Then for each of those outcomes
that you specify saying what is there a student could do that would leave me to believe that they’ve actually achieved that outcome that I care about? So there’s an assessment planning process with assessment map to each outcome. Then as you think your way
through those assessments saying what kind of
activities can I ask students to engage in that will
prepare them to succeed? Is it gonna be reading? Is
it gonna be watching videos? Is it writing? Is it making videos? What kinds of things am
I gonna ask them to do to support their learning? I think Josh and Mark are doing a workshop this afternoon
that will talk about… or maybe later this morning. It’s gonna talk a little
bit more about this. I’m just gonna pause her to say anytime we make a change in our life it invites us to reflect a bit, and so that’s interesting. But I think more interesting is if you’ve heard this phrase open pedagogy I think more interesting is asking more direct questions about what is it that open allows me to do that I wasn’t allowed to do before? Or more specifically if we say people learn when they do things, and we know that copyright… Here I am I said I wasn’t
gonna read off the slides. Here I’m reading off the slide. Copyright restricts what we’re able to do, and open takes those restrictions off. Open makes it so that we can do things we couldn’t do before. So if people learn by doing things and open let’s us do new things then will doing those new things impact learning in some way? Will students learn different things? Will they learn more?
Will they learn faster? Will they learn better? We’re kind of unlocked here. Open allows us to do new things. So let me give you one
example of a family of things. I’m doing a workshop this afternoon about this idea that I’m
gone talk about right now. I have an issue in my own teaching with what I call disposable assignments. Disposable assignments
are assignments where it’s understood not explicitly, but it’s understood implicitly by everyone involved in the interaction that the ultimate destiny of student work is the garbage can. I’m gonna go to great amount of work to design some effective kind of homework or assignment, some kind of experience I’m gonna ask them to do. They’re gonna spend a lot
of time engaged in it. I’m gonna spend a lot of time grading it, and then they’re gonna throw it away. I’m not saying that students
don’t learn from these, of course they do, they always have. (person sneezing)
Bless you. It does seem like a pretty
big wasted opportunity. A quick back of the envelope I would say that students
spent collectively, undergraduates only, and not
time that they’re reading outside of class just time
that they’re actually doing work that we set for them conservatively something like 40 million hours every year over and over again that they do, that we grade, and then
they recycle hopefully. Is there kind of a
different path through this? Is there some way that we
could create assignments that students would see value in doing, that they might enjoy doing, that we, wait for it, might enjoy grading. At the end of that process
it would actually add value to the world rather than
just being thrown away. It’s easy to forget that
students are people. People enjoy feeling
like their work matters, and like it’s not all gonna be ignored and thrown away at the end of the day. So how can we leverage open to get them to engage in this kind of work? Let me give a couple of concrete examples. If you’ve heard me talk before you’ve probably heard my talk about this. This is one of my favorites. I have an assignment I
called my kung fu assignment. Any kung fu fans like Jackie Chan, old Jackie Chan not like the recent stuff the good stuff? The defining characteristic
of a good kung fu movie is that the movement
of the mouth of people in the movie has nothing
to do with the sound that comes out. It’s not even correlated it seems like. So the idea of this kung fu
assignment is instead of… I originally used this
to replace a two page compare and contrast kind of paper. This is a class on social
media and learning. Instead of a two paged paper comparing and contrasting Blogs and Wiki’s go find some open video. It could open either because it has a Creative Commons license on it or in this case because
it’s public domain videos where those copyright
restrictions don’t exist. Go find some open video, write new audio for it, and then dub that audio
over top of the video to create something new
that instead of doing whatever it was it did in the past now teaches me something
about whatever the topic is. In this case it’s gonna teach
me about Blogs and Wiki’s. What this group of three students did was they found this old
Kennedy/Nixon debate footage. They’ve put Kennedy on the side of Wiki’s and Nixon on the side of Blogs. It’s about five minutes long. I’d show it to you but we
don’t quite have the time. But if you just Google
Blogs versus Wiki’s, it’ll be the number one or number two search result that you’ll find. Nixon is in favor of
blogs because blogs are owned by a single person. You actually have control
over the information that’s on there and what’s
presented to the people and the media. He talks
about the Watergate blog that he recently created
so that he can control the flow of information
about what happened there. Then Kennedy gets up and
talks about Wiki’s and how everyone can contribute to Wiki’s. It’s about free speech. It’s about promoting civic engagement and getting people involved. He ends by saying ask not what your Wiki can do for you but what
you can do for your Wiki. That really sums up, it so beautifully sums up, the difference between Blogs and Wiki’s. This would have been a
throw away piece of work that all three of those
students would’ve done a two page whatever, and I’d have graded it watching football or something and then given it back to them. Instead we went through
a process of a script and words and finding the right vehicle to communicate this message, and what words should we have them say, and what should they focus on. The accents that they
try to do are terrible. The students tried to
do like a Nixon voice and a Kennedy voice. It’s really a lot of fun. But you can see that
what would’ve otherwise been thrown away turned
into a You Tube video that’s been watched 52,000 times. When I took the screen
shot, I think it was 54 or 55 last time I actually
went and showed the video. Because we chose open material they were able to produce something that could then go out into the world. It wasn’t just a video where they hacked a bunch of stuff together that was of questionable legality, and I watched and we, the four of us had a laugh, and then deleted it. It’s gone out into the world, and had a life beyond the classroom, and lots of people have enjoyed it and have learned from it. Maybe a slightly more, if
you can say traditional traditional example here
is from another class I used to teach when I
was still full time called project management for
instructional designers. I think this class is
probably taught at about 50 schools around the country, and the market for this is so small. There is no textbook called project management for
instructional designers. But what we did in this class was we found we found an open textbook. We found a collection of OER that had been pulled together and made to look like a textbook, which is what an open textbook is, about project management. But it was written for the
business school context. You can tell from the little case studies and examples and things that
were scattered throughout it. It was very close to
what my students needed, but it was not what they needed. I was complaining to a colleague about this when he
essentially backhanded me and said aren’t you the open guy? Aren’t you the permission’s guy. Like if it’s not the book, you need it to be change it and make it the book you need it to be. I thought that sound like a lot of work. I don’t wanna do that. I thought wait, wait, there’s a good idea here. So I redesigned this class
when I made the switch to this book in such a way that instead of having students
do the kind of work that they did before, I again broke them into groups and set them each with the task of proposing a specific way that they over the course of the semester would work on transforming
the course textbook from being a business school book to being an ed school book. So that very first semester the most obvious things were done. Like one group of students said, “Well, take all the little yellow boxes “that have examples in them “that talk about trying to
coordinate the logistics “of getting rebar and
concrete to Singapore “coming from different ports. “We’ll rewrite those so that
they’ll be examples about “trying to get faculty member Smee “to actually deliver his content on time “for an online course
that we’re building.” We’ll rewrite all the
examples in the book. You can imagine that the
level of understanding it takes for a student to
actually write good new examples compared to the
level of understanding they need to be able to
pass a multiple choice quiz it’s a higher bar. It’s a higher bar. So I broke them into teams. They each took on a strand of work that would carry throughout the term, throughout the book. Another group of students were really interested in video
said it’s 2000 whatever. There’s no video in this
book. It needs video. They went out and found three
practicing project managers who manage instructional design projects, and created a set of
questions that dealt with some topics from each chapter, shot video footage
interviewing each of them on each of those topics. Then integrated that video. So now at the head of
each chapter there’s a ongoing series of three videos, one video for each person, where they talk for three
or seven minutes about some time when a failure
to manage people correctly resulted in a project imploding
or something like that. Then in later terms when
more of those kind of obvious things got done, then students started
doing other things like… I always open this class, which isn’t a class students are typically really excited about taking. I open it by talking about
the PMP certification, which is a project management certificate that you can earn. The group that runs that
certification claims that the average salary for someone with that certificate is a $106,000, and so as soon as I say that everybody’s really excited to be in the
class for about 30 minutes, almost that whole class period. This is a big money exam. It’s expensive to take. Its expensive to prepare for. There are those giant paperback books like you seen to prep
for the GRE or whatever that exists for the PMP exam. So one group of students said, “We want to go look at a
bunch of those other books “and see the kinds of things
that they tell and ask “students to do to prepare for the exam. “Then we wanna kind of
reverse engineer this book “and organize it in such
a way that a person could “prepare to take the exam using this book “instead of having to go buy
a $180 PMP exam prep book.” Over the semesters
they’ve done a wide range of interesting things to the book, and they all know that if
their work hits a minimum level of quality that it’s
actually going into the book. They’re co-authoring the
textbook that they’re using and that the students that
come after them will use. Now this book, because
there was no other book in this area, this book
is used at a lot of institutions around the country. If you hit this page and
scroll down to the bottom, you’ll see lengthy list
of authors of the book that includes many of the students who have come through the class. So that’s a pretty exciting
proposition for them. So these kind of renewable assignments, renewable assessments, are all enabled by these permissions. If this was a typical
Pearson, Cengage, McGraw book on project management
we couldn’t have just cracked it open, taken
all the examples out, put new examples in, integrated video in, restructured it to support
studying for the PMP exam. These things are all possible because of these permissions. These are new things now that we can do. I have of tell you it’s so much… That the difference between
feeling like an editor supporting students who are doing work that they know is gonna go into a textbook and the difference between
feeling like a grader of an assignments you know
are gonna be thrown away as soon you finished grading them it’s a different way of
engaging with students as a faculty member. It can actually be enjoyable, and feel like you’re
adding value to the world not just pouring out your soul on an essay that they’re never even
gonna read the feedback. They’re gonna through it away. Students engage in a different way too. In this course I always ask the students at the end of the term two questions, which IRB would probably
never allow me to do, but I ask them was your grade
ever in doubt in this class? Like, how much time did you spend worrying about your grade in this class? They say actually I
didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about my grade in this class. Then I ask them was there any course that you took this semester
you spent more time on than you spent on this class? Then they get this
wonderful look on their face where they realize that
they’ve been snookered somehow. Why did I spend to much time on this class when I wasn’t worried about my grade? How did you trick me into doing that? What happened here? What happened was they
were doing good work that they knew was gonna
go out and have a life and be seen and used by other people and it just leads them,
without even realizing it, to engage in a completely different way. Doing it at scale scale is a super, super dangerous word. I’ve become a big fan of this phrase worshiping at the altar of scale. I think a lot of the
educational technology products that are being created
currently are being created mainly for the purpose
of moving humans out of the equation of teaching and learning because humans are expensive, of variable quality, and don’t scale. Anytime in the educational
context you hear someone use the word scale, you
should panic immediately until they persuade you that they’re a reasonable human being
with good intentions, which I hope to do over
the next three slides. Are you familiar with this
idea of OER based degrees, or OER degrees, or Z-degrees
as they’re called sometimes? So again defining terms
the idea of an OER degree is when a sufficient
number of elective courses and all of the required
courses in a degree program have some sections of them offered where the faculty member has assigned OER instead of traditional
publisher materials. So that a student who’s paying attention as they register each
term can go from their first day as a student through graduation without ever being asked to buy a textbook because there’s an entire OER pathway that’s available to them. The first of these was created at Tidewater Community College. It started in the fall of 2013. This some information from their website about what they call the Z-degree or the zero textbook cost degree. You can see here they’re
comparing tuition, instate tuition, with instate tuition plus
the costs of textbooks and saying that think
that their OER degree takes about 25% off the cost to graduate. This is a two-year degree
in business administration. But can you think of anything
else that you could do that could take much off
the cost to graduate? I mean moving tuition, moving fees that involves boards and trustees and legislators, and an act of God or Congress or something. You can’t do anything about housing, but textbooks is something
that we as faculty can just say I’m gonna chose
to do this instead of that, and if a group of faculty come together and as a group say we’re
gonna do this instead of that then this is what can happen. The first of these launched
at Tidewater in 2013 that same we’re followed
very quickly by work at North Virginia, which was
also quite successful, which then led to the Zx23 work at the Virginia community colleges, so the community college
system for Virginia which is 23 schools said we each need at least one of these and started a project to do that. That led to some work coordinated by Achieving The Dream, which is a membership organization
for community colleges that just funded earlier this year where they funded more OER degree work at 38 colleges around the country. Over the summer Governor
Brown in California signed some budget language setting aside money, depending on how they spend it, between 20 and 25 colleges in California to create OER degrees there. This is work that is
starting to scale now. It’s not an individual
faculty member saying I’m going to use OER instead
of my traditional textbook which is awesome, and the
student experience of that is to come in and sit down
and find out, “Wait what? “I don’t have to buy a textbook.” It’s like getting extra whip
cream on your pumpkin pie. It’s a great surprise,
but it’s not something that you can plan for. When the institution makes a commitment, when the faculty come together and say we’re gonna do this in such a way that there’s a complete pathway
through the degree, now I can arrange to work fewer hours. I can arrange to take
out fewer student loans. I can actually plan for this now because it’s not just a hit or miss, somebody might have
adopted an open textbook. There’s been this kind of group commitment to create this degree experience. What nobody has done yet which I think would be really
interesting for UB to try, I’ve got a question
mark down here for you, is a Gen Ed path way. There’s not an a four-year
school that’s made a institutional commitment in this way yet, and I think what would be
really fascinating would be instead of trying to do
an entire degree program say we’re going to commit
that regardless of what major you’re from there
is pathway through the required general
education experience there where you can go two
years without ever being asked to buy a textbook. That wouldn’t just impact one degree. It would impact every student on campus. How we doing on time? – Just a few more minutes.
– Just a couple more. – Thank you.
– Okay, good. Only one more point to make. This is I think you all know grumpy cat. There is a definite feeling that because open educational resources
can be copied for free shared for free that they
must be lower quality because your mom’s all taught you that you get with you pay for. The difference between a $10
stereo and a $1,000 stereo is that the $1,000 stereo is a lot better. So let me breeze very quickly, ’cause I’ve run a little
longer than I should have here, through two studies. Now this is wearing my research hat group. This is where the work that I
still do as an adjunct to BYU. I’ll just put some information up and make a comment or two about it. This is not a small study. This is 16,000 students
across 10 institutions. Propensity score matched groups looking at a couple variables that
we think are interesting: completion C or better, credits enrolled this term and next term. We’re balances across age,
gender, and race for students. The important thing to look at here is all of the the NS’s
all over this screen. NS everywhere here means
no significant difference. What we’re asking here
is the rate of student completion in classes
where faculty assigned OER compared to other
sections of the same class in the same semester
where faculty assigned traditional publisher materials. Basically no difference in completion except for these two
cases where the treatment group out performed the control group. Students were assigned OER completed at higher rates than
students who were assigned traditional publisher materials and now you can read the rest of it. This is completion as a yes or no. This is C minus or better
final grade as a yes or no. This is final grade zero
to four on a GPA scale. The big take away from this study is that we can save students tons of money and do no harm. No difference in outcomes. There are a couple of
cases where the students were assigned OER do better and then there’s this one interesting case where the students were
assigned traditional publisher materials did
better than students who were assigned OER. I’m gonna come back to that in a second. Now we have some survey work from students asking them what do you do with the money that you
save when your faculty assign you OER instead of
a traditional textbook. We’re kind of surprised ’cause
students put their hands over their hearts and told us some very, somethings that we didn’t
really know how to respond to. This one actually came out a lot. I buy fresh fruit. I buy healthier food.
I buy better groceries. But a lot of students also said I take that money that I saved and I reinvest it by taking more classes. They say okay. Actually I probably skipped over it. The context of this study
is community colleges where there is no full time tuition tier. They have to pay for
every additional credit. We looked at that across
these 16,000 students and what we did find in fact
was that in the semester where they were assigned to use OER the students were assigned to use OER took over two credits
more than the students in other sections of the same courses, at the same institution, in the same term who were assigned traditional
publisher materials. Now there might be other
things going on there. But over two credits more. Moving quickly. These red boxes these red boxes led us to go back and see what is going on here? As we looked at this course the materials for that
course were so expensive that the drop rate among
students in the traditional publisher material sections
of that course was very high. When we got to the end to
compare the completion rate and compare final grades in
the traditional publisher section we had kind of a
selected subset of students. In the OER second we
had basically everybody who had shown up at the beginning. So we asked ourselves is
there a way that we can try to model all of that
in a single measure? If you think about this depending on which discipline you come from this can be a medieval gauntlet or it can be an eCommerce
funnel either way you like it. As students come into the courses they have to survive the drop deadline. They have to survive
the withdrawal deadline. They have of earn a final grade that is high enough for them
to apply that course toward graduation. This study is actually done at Tidewater. They’re about 35,000
students in this study, and we have face to face
and online results here. But basically what you see
is traditional publisher materials on left OER on the right. There is a difference
in drop. It’s not huge. There’s a difference in
withdrawal that’s a little bigger. There’s a difference in C or better. When you aggregate all that together to ask the question of all the students who showed up on day one what proportion of them make
it to the end of the class and receive a grade that’s
gonna be high enough to allow them to count that
course toward graduation? The OER sections where
faculty assigned OER come out about six points higher both in face to face
and if we look at online it all slides down but
still again about six points higher in online settings as well. Openedgroup.org is our
research group website. We’ve collected… At this slash review we have what is essentially a live literature review that we update a couple
times a year with all of the results from all the empirical studies of the impact of OER adoption on a range of student outcomes. I’d encourage you to go
there and check that out. More fun student work here. With that I think I’ll just
kind of skip through here. This is summary: High impact OER adoption
can do all of these things. Mark and Josh will talk more about in a workshop kind of way
about that after the break. When you think of the open
in open educational resources remember it doesn’t just mean free, like free to read, or free to look at, or free like the internet. It means a free grant of permissions to engage in these activities. That’s got us right to the hour. Thank you. (audience applauding) Well, do a couple questions. Okay, a couple of questions. Please. So on the first side I
think everything that… If you think about open as
being a grant of permissions then anything that could have
permissions associated with it we should have a conversation
about whether or not it makes sense to grant
people those permissions, so not just materials
but also assessments, also discussion questions
that you might use either in class or online, anything that you might capture should that be open or not. Like if we opened assessments how could we share
assessments with each other in a way that students
couldn’t just go to Google type it in and find the answer to it. So there are some
interesting questions about how to that well. ‘Cause I think it’s
really about supporting broader collaboration both
inside the institution but in some ways more
interestingly cross institutionally with other faculty in the discipline to be able to tweak and revise and improve your assessment strategy, the way that you talk about things, the examples that you use. I think there are ways that we can push on all of that in ways
that are productive. Now questions about the future, the university’s future business model, I don’t know that I have
anything super intelligent to say about that. Other than to say I think
it’s gonna be very tricky because when the content’s free and the assessment question are free, now there’re issues of security and verification and things like that, we do have to step back and ask what is the value that
we add to that equation? Is the university more than the library? I mean the library is a
bunch of free content. What value do you add? What value do I add? How do we justify to
students you should pay because it’s not just a book and a multiple choice test. There’s more here. We need to better about our
articulating what that is, why and how it’s valuable. Yeah, it’s gonna be very
interesting going forward. But I think the onus is on us to explain to people who say, “Well, the whole internet is free. “Why do I have to pay to go to college.” The onus isn’t on them
to answer that question. It’s on us to answer that question. Where does all that go? I would argue that
they’re not ignoring it. That they’ve actually already given up on kind of static content, like textbooks. The Openstax makes an AnP book. I don’t know if you’ve
seen it. It’s very good. The You Tube channel The Noted
Anatomist has fabulous video with great artwork and great voiceover, and it moves and shows you. There’s tons of raw resources out there. My view is that the publishers, although they haven’t said it yet… It’s like there’s three
minutes left the game, and they’re down 28. I mean they’re not gonna
walk off the field but they understand where they are. Strategically where they’re going is they’re going away from static content to interactive systems like MyLabs and MindTap and these other kind of homework platforms where
because it’s digital they can exert perfect control over it. Unlike a textbook where
if you buy then you can trade textbooks with
another student later on. They don’t have to make a purchase. You cut the publisher out of the deal. There’s a secondary market,
and whatever else happens. If I only offer digital
and in the digital I bundle in the way that you’re supposed
to submit your homework you can’t share access codes. You can’t give that to someone else. I can exercise perfect
control over that sphere, and you see them migrating very quickly to models like that, which
they will describe to you as being higher value and better. There are some things about
them that are interesting. Immediate feedback for students it is great when that can be done. Less time spent grading for you, gives you more time to talk and argue and have office hours and do
the things that you like to do. But it’s a pretty bitter pill to say: Hey, we’ve have a couple of
these little improvements for you and the only cost to that is giving up any control whatsoever or choice around options that
students might have had. Where you’re gonna see
this going in the future is how can we provide those
benefits of immediate feedback and things like that in a way that’s true to the values of open? Publishers are ahead of
open by two or three years. They’re not very far ahead. But they are ahead of us on that piece. – Thanks, David.
– Very good, thank you. (audience applauding)