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Friday, November 4 • 3:15pm - 4:05pm
Participant Experiences in a Service-MOOC to Design OER for Adult Basic Education

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In the U.S., over 30 million adults do not have high school credentials, but less than 2 million are currently supported within federally funded adult basic education (ABE) programs. To put this figure into perspective, nearly 50 million children were enrolled in U.S. public elementary and secondary schools in 2014. If all adults in the U.S. who had not reached high school equivalency entered the public school system, enrollment would increase by 60%.

The massive gap between needed and available adult basic education resources fueled a recent project to design and develop open educational resources (OER) for ABE instructors and learners as part of a service-learning experience. During a 12-week course on Canvas Network, a massive open online course (MOOC) platform, over 1,300 participants enrolled in a project-based instructional design course to develop OER for adult educators and learners on OER Commons.

In this panel discussion, several designers, ABE subject matter exerts, course facilitators, and participants will share their experiences from this service-learning project. Through prompted discussion, the panelists will contemplate how well this open service-MOOC model supported both professional development via open education, as well as OER development and use for an adult basic education audience. MOOC design and facilitation issues (including costs, learner feedback / guidance, and assessment) and OER design and development topics (such as authoring and quality / evaluation) will be considered.

A unique aspect of this service-MOOC was the design and facilitation of the course by an all volunteer team of professional instructional designers and adult basic educators. Starting in the fall of 2015, volunteer designers and subject matter experts in ABE spent 13 weeks designing and developing the course. Another team volunteered for 12 weeks as the course facilitators. In total, these professional educators and instructional designers volunteered over 1,000 hours to design and facilitate this service-learning experience. A conservative estimate of the professional services donated by the volunteers who designed and facilitated this course exceeds $50,000.

The service-MOOC participants began the OER design process by dissecting the adult basic education design scenario to explore key aspects of the opportunity. What are the needs, goals, and constraints? Who are the target learners? What is the instructional context? Participants then developed OER to support adult learners who have not completed high school and are taking adult basic education courses as they prepare for high school equivalency exams (i.e. the GED, HiSET, or TASC tests) or other certifications. The instruction aligned with the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) that underlie high school equivalency exams and other ABE programs in english language arts / literacy and math subjects.

The OER was designed and developed using Open Author, an online authoring tool on OER Commons. The instructional materials each MOOC participant developed incorporated all necessary content presentation, learner practice, and assessment materials for 15-30 minutes of instruction, as well as guidance for instructors regarding use of these materials. Upon successful completion of this project-based course, participants earned an Instructional Design Service Badge and Certificate of Recognition.

avatar for Melinda Boland

Melinda Boland

VP, Services, ISKME
Creating and sharing OER, digital libraries, and how to spread the word, create advocacy, and empower teachers to create and share resources.

Amanda Duffy

Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research
avatar for Jennifer Maddrell

Jennifer Maddrell

Independent Research Consultant
I founded Designers for Learning as a nonprofit to offer service-learning experiences for instructional design professional development. Ask me about our #OpenABE service-MOOC on Canvas Network. Participants in the service-MOOC are "gaining experience for good" by designing and developing... Read More →
avatar for Hilary Melander

Hilary Melander

Senior Product Manager, Instructure
I am passionate about life, learning, challenging myself, and striving for excellence.My journey with Instructure started over 5 years ago as an Instructional Designer for Canvas Network. Today I am a Product Manager focusing on Canvas Discussions, the Course Import Tool, and the... Read More →

Friday November 4, 2016 3:15pm - 4:05pm EDT