Beyond providing no-cost and freely reusable content and resources for instruction, Open Educational Resources (OER) are beginning to shift teaching and learning practice in adult basic education. Historically, the focus on adult basic education has been on literacy and the basic math skills students need to attain a high school credential or its equivalent.
OER help to meet the high demand for quality instruction and increase the capacity of adult educators to teach more rigorous content, particularly in science and math. OER and other resources developed for K-12 and higher education are giving direction for standards implementation in adult education, which provides a connection to college for adult learners. As the use of OER ramps up in the adult basic education community, the future looks promising but it is not without challenges which need to be resolved through training and professional development.
In this presentation, staff from the American Institutes for Research will discuss their lessons learned providing practical training about OER and open educational practices in adult education to address the immediate need to engage the adult education field in the use of OER. Presenters will provide an overview of two open professional development solutions: (1) Teacher OER User Groups and (2) a three month training of trainers program - both funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education with the goal of supporting adult learners with development of 21st century skills to ensure students are college and career-ready. Presenters will also comment on their assessment of the use of these approaches as models for professional development on about how OER can be shared, reused, and adapted. Participants in this session will walk away with a better perspective on the applications for OER in adult basic education and how training can help to create a shift in thinking among adult educators about the value of teaching with OER and the use of technology to do so.