Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Unanticipated Topics [clear filter]
Thursday, November 3

10:45am EDT

Putting Knowledge to Work with HigherEd.org: A New Educational Portal and Search Engine Using OER in Competency-Based Education
Knowledge to Work (K2W) is a U.S. Department of Labor TAACCCT grant project at Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) in Virginia. K2W has developed seven regionally-accredited direct assessment competency-based education degree and certificate programs using personalized learning plans, prior learning assessments, and free and low-cost learning resources (including OER) tied to competencies. In addition to implementing these programs at LFCC, K2W has made this work freely available online at the domain HigherEd.org for learners anywhere to benefit from. This presentation will provide an overview and demonstration of HigherEd.org and its uses for adult learners.

HigherEd.org is an educational portal and search engine designed to assist adult learners with achieving their career goals. HigherEd.org allows learners to create their own personalized learning plans based on their career goals, review competency frameworks associated with the credential(s) they will need in order to achieve those goals, and locate a variety of free and low-cost learning materials (including OER) to help them obtain those competencies. Users are also provided access to career pathway information, assessments, badges, nationally-recognized industry certifications, and tools for locating apprenticeship and employment opportunities. HigherEd.org also connects users with LinkedIn to market the competencies and credentials they have obtained to potential employers.

avatar for Kiri Dali

Kiri Dali

Digital Librarian, Knowledge to Work, Lord Fairfax Community College
I am the Digital Librarian for a round 4 TAACCCT grant project called Knowledge to Work (K2W) at Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia (USA). K2W is a direct-assessment competency-based education program using OER as learning materials wherever possible, and free or low-cost... Read More →

Thursday November 3, 2016 10:45am - 11:10am EDT

11:10am EDT

A little bird told me... Using social media for promotion and community building
A tweet might just be 140 characters but it can mobilize a political revolution. A Facebook post written in Cambridge, Massachusetts can inspire a retired farmer in Auckland, New Zealand to study linear algebra. More people are beginning to look to the internet to continue their education and expand their subject expertise. In a time where people are choosing to gather news and current affairs from sources on social media, integrating these channels into your organization's communications strategy has never been more important.

In this session, we will share our experience in growing a following, promoting MIT OpenCourseWare, and fostering an online community of individuals who become essential ambassadors for disseminating our work. We will provide practical tips for why and how you can promote your organization, lessons learned in experimenting with campaigns, and touch upon quantitative and qualitative reporting.

Attendees will leave this session with a better understanding of how social media efforts can make a difference in an organization's reach and impact as well as serve as a powerful tool in communicating the value of your open educational resource.

avatar for Yvonne Ng

Yvonne Ng

External Outreach and Annual Giving Manager, MIT OpenCourseWare
Marketing, social media, fundraising, and stewardship.

Cheryl Siegel

Publication Manager, MIT OpenCourseWare

Thursday November 3, 2016 11:10am - 11:35am EDT

11:35am EDT

Investigating Foreign Language Open Education in the US
Much of the open education movement to date has centered on the creation and use of open educational resources (OER) in areas such as science and technology, which are on the leading edge and currently the more prominent users of OER. Connexions, Merlot, and OER Commons show two to three times as many entries for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics categories as compared to the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

While other contexts (e.g., Europe) have created and made use of OER in foreign language (FL) curricula since the early 2000s, OER only recently began to affect FL education in the United States (US). A small-scale study that surveyed university-level FL program directors in the US indicated that one of the primary reasons for interest in OER as the growing number of blended and fully online courses offered in a variety of languages (Thoms & Thoms, 2014). However, discussions of how OER can be best utilized in both traditional face-to-face, blended, and fully online FL courses have not sufficiently addressed the issue of effectively mixing open and closed materials, tools, and practices (Blyth, 2013). Furthermore, little is known about how FL educators teaching in K-12 contexts in the US perceive and make use of OER in their courses.

As the open education movement continues to grow, there is a critical need for research that explores (a) how FL educators perceive and make use of OER in their classrooms, and (b) the nature of and reasons for the rise in open educational practices (OEP). In response to the paucity of research related to OER and OEP in FL education in the US, this presentation reports on the results of the first wide-scale survey study sponsored in part by the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) housed at UT-Austin. Data was collected in summer 2015 from 1,673 FL educators collectively teaching over 20 FLs and working at all levels of the US educational system-K-12, community colleges, and 4-year colleges/universities. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the response data focus on (a) how aware FL educators are of OER and open education in general, (b) reasons why FL educators adopt OER/OEP, (c) perceived benefits and challenges of creating and incorporating OER in FL courses, and (d) how OER has changed FL educators' teaching. The presentation will report on this data and will provide suggestions for raising awareness among FL educators about OER and OEP. In addition, future avenues of research in this area will be delineated.


Joshua Thoms

Utah State University

Thursday November 3, 2016 11:35am - 12:00pm EDT

1:15pm EDT

Essential learning model (ELM ) transformation in Pratice
The presentation description is currently being reviewed for permission to release prior to its announcement on the campus. We had hoped to have that done before the deadline tonight, unfortunately it will probably take until early next week. We hope this is okay, but if not we understand.


Peter Smith

University of Maryland University College (UMUC)

Thursday November 3, 2016 1:15pm - 1:40pm EDT

1:40pm EDT

Excelsior's Open OWL: engaging students and improving basic writing skills
Excelsior's multimedia Online Writing Lab (OWL), developed in partnership with eight community colleges across the nation, applies best practices in instructional design and education technology to provide students with a truly immersive user experience. Two pilot studies found the OWL to be effective in improving student writing and increasing course grades. Designed so that it can be easily incorporated into any traditional, online or blended courses at no cost, the OWL offers an alternative to developmental writing courses.

We recently launched a rebuilt version of the OWL. I'm going to open the hood of the new OWL and tell the story of the platform's creation. Highlights:

  • Cost of the original OWL platform? $250,000... Cost of the new one? $0.
  • Owlets - a feature that lets you customize the OWL for your courses.
  • The free HTML5 authoring tool we used to create interactive activities.

avatar for Mark D. Oppenneer

Mark D. Oppenneer

Director of Web Systems, Excelsior College

Thursday November 3, 2016 1:40pm - 2:05pm EDT

2:15pm EDT

The OER Degree Initiative
In the early 21st century, the nation is struggling to address numerous social and economic challenges. We are witnessing a shrinking middle class, increased income disparities, lack of opportunity for young people, and the need to build a skilled workforce to attract good jobs, increase regional economic development, and ensure prosperity for all. Americans fervently believe that education is the route to opportunity, social mobility, and to rebuilding our diminished middle class. As never before, our society demands high-access, low-cost opportunities to get the knowledge and skills required for good jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage. Leaders at all levels are looking to community colleges to help solve these complex challenges. Our community colleges are the nation's premiere open-access institutions that educate the largest percentages of low-income students and students of color in higher education. They are trusted institutions where America develops the skills of its workforce and millions of nontraditional college students gain traction toward college degrees and credentials and sustainable careers.

Yet completion rates for students attending community colleges remain stubbornly low. Many factors are thought to contribute to these low rates including financial pressures on community college students, many of whom are already supporting young families. Institutional factors are also believed responsible, including outdated pedagogy and curriculum, weak advising systems, and inadequate supports for learning.

The Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative seeks to boost college access and completion, particularly for underserved students, by engaging faculty in the redesign of courses and degree programs through the replacement of proprietary textbooks with open educational resources. The short term goal is to reduce costs for students and accelerate their progress through college, but an important secondary impact is to change the culture of institutions so that they create systems and structures that better connects curriculum and pedagogy to updated student learning outcomes.

The new initiative builds off groundbreaking work in several states and particularly at Tidewater Community College in Virginia. Tidewater is the first community college to adopt an open educational resources degree which enables students to complete a two-year degree in business administration with no textbook costs. Tidewater's "Z-Degree" program has experienced high student satisfaction levels, improved student retention, and an estimated 25 percent reduction in college costs for students (tuition and books).

Over the next three years, the Open Educational Resources Degree Initiative will lay the groundwork for nationwide adoption of OER Degrees. Recognizing the growing expertise and interest in developing OER degrees beyond US borders, the Open Educational Resources Degree Initiative invites two-year public higher education institutions and systems in the U.S. and Canada to apply for three-year grants to support the creation of new OER Degree programs.

The work of selected colleges and state systems will be supported by a robust technical assistance component that will help faculty and staff re-design courses using open educational resources; opportunities to engage in a community of practice with OER experts, peers, and other resources; and research and evaluation efforts.


Una Daly

Director Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), Open Education Consortium
Una Daly is the Director of Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), a partner in Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative and the California Zero Textbook Cost Degree program. She also was OER Library Services Manager for the California Open Online... Read More →

Donna Desrochers

Associate, rpk GROUP

Rebecca Griffiths

Principal Education Researcher, SRI
Education researcher focused on evaluating technology-supported interventions aimed at improving student learning and success in K-12 and postsecondary settings. Enjoy investigating system-level and organizational facilitators and barriers to innovation. Lead large-scale research... Read More →
avatar for Richard Sebastian

Richard Sebastian

Director, Open and Digital Learning, Achieving the Dream
As Achieving the Dream’s Director of Open and Digital Learning, Dr. Sebastian helps ATD’s Network colleges advance open and digital teaching and learning practices to support equitable outcomes for students and facilitate whole college transformation. Dr. Sebastian is a national... Read More →
avatar for David Wiley

David Wiley

Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer, Lumen Learning
I've spent over 20 years creating, clarifying, elaborating, and evangelizing the core ideas of open education to students, faculty, institutions, companies, and governments. I've also worked to place a solid foundation of empirical research beneath these core ideas. Now, my colleagues... Read More →

Thursday November 3, 2016 2:15pm - 3:05pm EDT
Grand Ballroom