Monday, June 10, 2013

OER and OEP in my context

OER and OEP in my context
What I find in the current course I teach in regard to Open Educational Resources, the concept of using OER is the only way in a modern world to get students to engage and become active learners in a world where everything is connected and interaction between their peers is so important to their lives.
The down side to delivering any material to a modern student is that the internet may have an answer that contradicts (remember the internet is always correct) with what you have delivered.
The concept of what OER stands for is it’s only a natural progress of teaching towards modern students, to integrate the evolving internet connected world and if this doesn’t happen we as training providers run the risk of becoming obsolete to an expanding world. That’s how I see it anyway.
When I was getting trained (many moons ago) all the information that I had access to was provided by the training provider and often produced by the training provider. I would have loved to have the access to information that we do now and I can only imagine where I would be now if I had those resources available. But this is a double sided sword. On one hand all this information and ways of delivering content is amazing, sometime even scary. On the other the modern student wasn’t brought up when I was and most do not have the same values towards knowledge that I have and this is impart due to their being this overwhelming availability towards information, interaction and interpretation of what they find on the www.
This is where I believe it is our responsibility as facilitators in learning to ‘screen the content’ and ensure they become aware of the information in the appropriate order to actually give them the tools to handle and comprehend what they are “seeing”.
I know it sounds like we are being parents to them and in some ways we are responsible to guide the student through the course and allow them to grow and evolve into capable, confident, and future focused, work ready students (I bet you have heard that before).
That is where the Open Educational Practices come in to play. As we accumulate this knowledge and material in different formats and provided it to the class there needs to be a common practice to ensure we don’t lose focus on what as facilitators we set out to achieve and keep the course relative and achievable towards the students.

image taken from

If the facilitators get lost in the www. then what hope do the students have?
 What does this mean in my teaching context?
Utilizing these concepts from above and finding ways to incorporate them into my teaching can be a challenge, It is relatively easy to search for material and anyone who use’s search engines will know that it often is surprising what results are apparent. But then taking these results and moderating them to ensure they work with your course not against it, is one of the key factors to ensure my course relates to the students and drives them to want to learn.
I am open to my students giving me examples of material they have found and discussing with them how it relates to what we are learning about and trying to get them to the point that they can decide for themselves if what they have come across is true, relative and above all makes sense. This from what I have seen does empower the students with the confidence to become the students that industry, training provider and facilitator want.
Creating students that are active in their learning creates sustainable practice and by listening to what the students say and trying to see the world through their eyes will adapt my teaching methods to create a sustainable future in all aspects of my course.
After the students have reached this point in their journey it is a case of guiding them to become “what if” students not “I can’t” students.

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent post Kevin and you have identified a very real issue for students using the open web. There is so much information out there! I think teachers are not only having to screen the content, and guide students through it in some semblance of order, after all it is pretty chaotic out there, they also play a very important role in brokering information.

    You are so right, skills such as recognising the information they need, knowing where too find it and ascertaining its relevance and worth is critical. Students also need to know how to use information ethically - copyright, writing appropriately in a public forum - what should you share and what should be kept confidential etc.? This is what we regard as digital information literacy. For students to develop these skills, teachers need to be several steps ahead - and this is often a challenge.

    Students might be competent at using a variety of digital tools, socially, but they often have no clue how to use them for learning. Would you agree? So it is the teacher's role to guide them in this.

    You might find these online resources helpful for your students. Online information literacy.
    Module 6: Searching for information

    Module 7: Evaluating Information sources

    Module 8: Ethical use of information

    Module 9: Digital Information Literacy