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Models Supporting OER in Adult Basic Education [clear filter]
Friday, November 4

2:15pm EDT

Leveraging Open Educational Resources to Expand Access to Adult Higher Education
Higher education is expensive, especially when including textbook costs. This presentation will explore how leveraging open educational resources (OER) and technologies can significantly reduce costs for students and increase access to higher education. Presenters from College for America will provide insight on their strategic use of OER.

College for America (CfA) is an accredited, nonprofit college dedicated to developing online, competency-based degrees specifically for its diverse population of working adults. The student experience at CfA is unique-students work at their own pace to complete workplace-relevant projects in order to demonstrate mastery of competencies. Part of CfA's challenge is to design rigorous academic programs for a total cost to students of $3,000 a year. Two of the areas that CfA targets to reduce costs for students include adopting and adapting OER and open technology. CfA students never purchase textbooks, nor do they need to purchase software-all of the learning resources and tools they need are provided. This presentation will provide an overview of CfA's approach, including a discussion of its successes and challenges. It will also present a framework that participants can use to select and apply free and open resources and tools for online education.

Topics will include:

- essential free and open-educational resources (OER) and technologies
- approaches to curating, archiving and maintaining learning resources
- essential considerations for selecting and supporting a mix of free educational tools
- selecting free desktop and web-based applications for instructors, designers and students
- using curriculum design principles that let students successfully use the technologies they already have access to.


Dan Blickensderfer

College For America (CfA) at Southern New Hampshire University

Friday November 4, 2016 2:15pm - 2:40pm EDT

2:40pm EDT

Open Education to Support Adult Basic Education: An Exploration of Opportunities and Constraints
In June 2013, UNESCO's Institute for Statistics reported the global adult literacy rate for those age 15 and older was 84%. In absolute numbers, 774 million people over the age of 15 lack the basic literacy skills to read and write. In the U.S., an estimated 36 million adult learners lack basic math, language, and literacy skills. Despite their numbers, these adults who are in need of educational opportunities to gain basic math and literacy skills are too often the "forgotten segment" in discussions of open education.

Session presenters will lead a discussion of both the untapped opportunities and constraints of open education for designers, instructors, and learners in adult basic education (ABE) contexts. Through an analysis of recent reports on the ABE instructional context, as well as the experiences of the presenters and the audience, we will contemplate (a) the reasons why adult learners engage in ABE courses, (b) the nature of the knowledge, skills, and motivation gaps faced by these adult learners, and (c) factors within the learning and instructional environment that may affect adoption of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices within the ABE context.

In addition, we will explore the needs of those facilitating ABE courses and programs, such as volunteer and part-time instructor professional development, and identify the unique constraints and affordances of the ABE instructional setting (e.g., online, in-person, or blended settings) that could influence OER and open education creation and use. Presenters will also contemplate the feasibility of remixing and revising existing K12 OER for the ABE context, as well as involving adult learners in the creation of open materials.


Amanda Duffy

Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research
avatar for Jennifer Maddrell

Jennifer Maddrell

Designers for Learning
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 →

Friday November 4, 2016 2:40pm - 3:05pm EDT