Where Are All the Faculty in the Open Education Movement? | EdSurge News
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-05-16
"Open educational resources (OER) are gaining increasing popularity. And as an active member in what advocates define as the “open education movement,” I frequently hear about the growing dissatisfaction of textbook costs and pedagogical concerns among faculty about outdated course materials. When I attend professional gatherings on open education, however, instructors like myself are often the minority. Yet open educational materials impact faculty and students alike, and many instructors are using these resources today. So why are there so few practitioners actively involved in increasing open education? To answer this question, I have to examine my own experience with OER and its advocates. I first came into the open education field as an educator frustrated with many traditional textbooks in my discipline. Therefore, I had the simple mission of writing an openly-licensed textbook that not only addressed my students’ learning needs, but would be accessible to anyone. To me, using OER felt like a no-brainer. That mission led me to connect with other professionals who shared the same passion and ideology—that a high-quality education should be accessible and affordable to everyone, regardless of their upbringing or background. Soon I started to attend open education conferences in order to gain a better understanding of the issue, and those in the field welcomed me with warmth and excitement. However, I began to notice a discouraging theme at these professional gatherings: I was consistently one of the few college instructors present. Many working in open education praised me for being so involved in the movement as an educator dealing with OER on the ground. But their praises were also minced with a bit of visible surprise or even confusion about my motivation or interest in open education issues. Even more, it felt odd to listen to discussions about faculty use of OER and barriers against adoption in the classroom without a strong faculty presence in the room...."