OER is at a tipping point. Here's how to keep it moving in the right direction.
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-07-28
"In his now-classic book "The Tipping Point," Malcolm Gladwell explains how everything from “Sesame Street” to Airwalk shoes has sky-rocketed in popularity and shaped society. Gladwell posits that when the right elements are in place, a good idea can gain traction, reach a “point of critical mass,” and then spread like wildfire. Open educational resources (OER) are reaching the type of tipping point that Gladwell describes. While the rise of OER — freely available, openly licensed materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared — has happened gradually over the past decade, these resources are now poised to transform both K-12 and higher education for the better. Michigan’s Lansing Community College (LCC), where I serve as librarian and OER project manager, offers one example of how OER can be integrated and impactful. In 2015, five of our faculty members replaced traditional textbooks with OER. By the spring semester of 2018, 75 of our faculty had fully converted to OER in 154 course sections, reaching 3,711 of our nearly 25,000 students. How did OER reach a tipping point at LCC? As Gladwell points out, an idea needs “stickiness” to truly take hold — in other words, only good ideas succeed. OER’s stickiness comes from these resources’ high quality and their benefits to students, which include cost savings, increased engagement and improved learning, along with the potential for faculty to improve and innovate their teaching practices...."