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Finding and Using Open Educational Resources for Online Teaching

Posted by on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 in News.

by Derek Bruff, CFT Director

Open Educational Resources [logo]Over the last three weeks, Center for Teaching staff members have produced a variety of resources for Vanderbilt instructors making the shift to alternative and online instruction. Some of those resources have focused on tools instructors can use to create learning materials for their students, including lecture videos, screencasts, and more.

However, instructors can often find learning materials created by others that are both high-quality and free to access. Leveraging these “open educational resources,” as they are often called, can often make the process of moving a course online easier and provide students with robust resources for learning.

Andy Wesolek, the director of the Vanderbilt Libraries’ Digital Scholarship and Communication (DiSC) unit, has just published a guide to help faculty find and use open educational resources in their online teaching. The guide includes a introduction to open educational resources, as well as pointers to sources of open textbooks and other openly licensed learning materials.

I would encourage faculty and other instructors to explore options for integrating open educational resources in their teaching this spring. Instructor-produced lecture videos and screencasts can be useful to students, but sometimes, it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. There are a variety of learning materials that are openly available that Vanderbilt instructors have their students engage with.

Instructors with questions about open educational resources are welcome to reach out to the Center for Teaching or to Andy Wesolek, who is holding online office hours this week on Thursday, March 26th, from 2pm to 3:30pm and on Friday, March 27th, from 9am to 10:30pm. Contact Andy via email to get a Zoom link for those office hours, or to ask questions.

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