OER-Enabled Pedagogy in an Online Info Lit Course

Poster Description: The online course INFO 101 uses OER-enabled pedagogy to engage students in a holistic approach to real world information seeking. This poster describes the OER remixed for the course, accessibility modifications to the OER, and how two OER-enabled projects allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the course learning outcomes.

Poster: View slides on Sway

Presenter Name: Megan Dempsey, Raritan Valley Community College

Presenter Bio: Megan Dempsey is a Professor and Instructional Services Librarian at Raritan Valley Community College in NJ. Her research interests include active learning in information literacy instruction and OER-enabled Pedagogy in higher education. She has published in Journal of Academic Librarianship, Communications in Information Literacy and IJOER, among others. Email: megan.dempsey@raritanval.edu

16 replies on “OER-Enabled Pedagogy in an Online Info Lit Course”

Hi Megan,

Thanks for sharing your work! I have a few questions about how you made decisions and selected content. Did you use any rubrics to evaluate OER and if so, which did you find most useful? How did you organize all of your resources as you were developing and building this course?

Thanks!
Melissa

Hi Melissa, thanks for “stopping by”! I did not use a formal rubric for evaluating the OER. I was primarily looking for content that would meet the course learning outcomes and, because I was choosing only OER, knew that I could adapt the content as needed, which I did by putting the content directly into Canvas pages and attributing the original sources. A colleague of mine participated in finding the resources, so together, we drafted an outline of course content and then added links to resources as we found suitable ones. I saved full textbooks and individual chapters to folders to keep them organized. But they are, as I mentioned, delivered to students through Canvas so that’s where most of the organization of content takes place.

Hi Megan: I’m impressed by this marshalling of resources! How long did it take and do you have tips for making this a sustainable practice for faculty with multiple courses each semester?

Hi Abby, thanks for viewing! I honestly have no idea how long it took because I am constantly reviewing, editing assignments, discovering new materials, and making adjustments to the course based on the students each semester. I spent the summer prior to the first semester the course ran collecting the open textbook content and developing the Canvas course. Since then, I’ve used the intercessions to redesign and tweak the assignments, adding in the Collaborative Resource List project this semester. I don’t think the sustainability of it would be drastically different from any other online course that utilizes student-directed projects for assessment instead of more traditional exams or objective assessment measures. And because the course materials are all openly licensed, I have retained versions of them to continue to use in perpetuity, regardless of what happens to them in the online locations. I hope this answers your questions.

Thanks for sharing your syllabus website. I love this idea! I’m thinking about creating a syllabus website for the new course we are planning for the new gen ed curriculum now. It’s very UDL friendly! Does your institution and/or library regularly create websites for the syllabus? Or is this a thing specific to this course?

Hi Bree, that online syllabus is specific to my course and there isn’t any kind of college- or library-wide initiative to do so. There are a handful of faculty who have adopted practices like liquid syllabi and ungrading, that sort of thing, but unfortunately nothing coordinated across the institution. I’m glad you liked it! A colleague of mine recently talked about how she has front-loaded her syllabus with the campus resources information because she’s found so many students have so many needs that are completely external to the course but huge impediments to their success. That is a future change I am considering making to the online syllabus – putting more emphasis on the support resources available to students on and off-campus.

So interesting! I am assuming this is a course geared for freshmen (?) but I wonder if you find that upper classmen take it (“because they are one-credit short for graduation) and if you have had to modify some of your content because of this. It is something we are struggling with in our one-credit.

Hi Joy, thanks for visiting! I am at a community college so there’s little distinction between first year and second year students for the most part. I have had several who are about to graduate, and have received comments from them that they wish they had taken the course earlier! Because the content is information seeking holistically and I try to gear it towards “real life” information needs rather than academic research, the amount of exposure they’ve had to college level research isn’t much of a factor here.

Love to see such a lovely OER remix project combined with open pedagogy! What scaffolding do you use throughout the semester to prepare students to work on their open projects? Do you do Creative Commons License training with them? If so, when do you target that information throughout the course. Thanks so much!

Hi Amanda! Thank you, and thanks for taking a scroll through. I give a light introduction to OER in my introduction to the class so students understand that our course content is openly licensed and what that means. We don’t get into formal Creative Commons instruction until later, this semester it was week 8 of a 10-week course, but I am playing around with the timing of that and considering moving it earlier. The Mastery Project is introduced formally in Week 3, I conference with students around that time, and then they have a proposal due shortly after (although my due dates are loose also, but it’s the first step). Week 6 we discuss Scholarship as a Conversation and they are asked to find two sources for their Mastery Project and discuss the “conversation” that happens between those sources. When we do Creative Commons and Copyright, I ask them to consider if they will openly license their project and fill out a survey on that. Drafts can be submitted for feedback in the last few weeks before the final projects is due during Finals Week.
For the Collaborative Resource List, elements of that project are scaffolded into our Authority module and Ethical use of Info module before final submissions.

Thank you for the quick reply! This is very helpful information for a course we’re creating at my institution where we will be using open pedagogy with students over the course of a semester long action plan project.

Hi Joy, thanks for visiting! I am at a community college so there’s little distinction between first year and second year students for the most part. I have had several who are about to graduate, and have received comments from them that they wish they had taken the course earlier! Because the content is information seeking holistically and I try to gear it towards “real life” information needs rather than academic research, the amount of exposure they’ve had to college level research isn’t much of a factor here.

Hi Amanda! Thank you, and thanks for taking a scroll through. I give a light introduction to OER in my introduction to the class so students understand that our course content is openly licensed and what that means. We don’t get into formal Creative Commons instruction until later, this semester it was week 8 of a 10-week course, but I am playing around with the timing of that and considering moving it earlier. The Mastery Project is introduced formally in Week 3, I conference with students around that time, and then they have a proposal due shortly after (although my due dates are loose also, but it’s the first step). Week 6 we discuss Scholarship as a Conversation and they are asked to find two sources for their Mastery Project and discuss the “conversation” that happens between those sources. When we do Creative Commons and Copyright, I ask them to consider if they will openly license their project and fill out a survey on that. Drafts can be submitted for feedback in the last few weeks before the final projects is due during Finals Week.
For the Collaborative Resource List, elements of that project are scaffolded into our Authority module and Ethical use of Info module before final submissions.

Hi, Megan,
Great job on your poster presentation! I rotate in teaching an undergraduate information literacy course at my institution. Like yours, it relies on in-house created content. However, this past year I collaborated with a small group of other academic librarians in Oklahoma to create an OER textbook, “The Insiders: Information Literacy for Okies Everywhere.” The timing was perfect to incorporate several chapters into my existing class curriculum. I hope it might be of assistance to you too, so feel free to take a look! Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *