Taking shape…

In beginning this project, I felt as though I was gathering tons of little pieces of information and resources. In fact, it often felt as though the resources available on the web were as limitless as grains of sand on the beach! But, now I have built a sand castle (or maybe it’s a sand “fort” – not castle status yet). I have uploaded the majority of my OER course into a Moodle test shell and would love to share it with any who are interested. Send me an email and I’ll be happy to add you as a course reviewer.

A final piece I would still like to add is a resource where I utilize Camtasia or some sort of screen capture software. I will be working on that in the weeks to come!


March OER Update

Thank goodness this is not a blogging fellowship! I would fail! 🙂

Work is coming along on my OER course. I have been able to move fully away from a text and am actually much happier with both the depth and breadth of the content that I am able to provide my students. The library’s option for students to check out e-readers or to download electronic books onto their computers free of charge has been a huge help! In the course I am working on, I have always allowed a great deal of latitude in the selection of one of their assigned readings. The e-readers have allowed me to keep that option open without an added dollar cost.

My next goal will be to upload some of the articles, books, videos, etc. that I have collected into the Moodle shell for the OER. I am teaching this course Spring term, so the “real” Moodle page is live and I would be happy to give anyone access to it who would like it!


January 2014 – Faculty OER Fellowship

The OER Fellowship has been on my “to do list” for quite some time now and I am so excited to have the opportunity to participate. The initial draw for me to this fellowship was the fact that our students prioritized this project so highly that they provided faculty with the funding to support this project. I love that we have the opportunity to show them that their voice was heard!

I am a lover of books and do prefer print versions. Both as a professional and a not-too-far-distant student, I have always enjoyed the feel of books in my hands, the way I can mark them and customize them for my own reference, and the sort of history they provide of my academic and personal growth when I view them on my bookshelf. I often think that if I ever moved, I would spend more money shipping books than many other personal possessions! That being said, I also remember how steep the price tag was on textbooks when I was a student. When I bought my textbooks as a freshman in college, it was the single largest purchase I had ever made (maybe that is why I keep them!).

As both the program coordinator of the Exercise Science Program and a faculty member, I have tried to prioritize keeping text book and program expenses at a minimum. When possible, we reuse textbooks from term to term, faculty try to select what are considered to be professional resources, not just simply texts for use in class, or we create our own “shared” resources (in print) in each class. The course that I am focusing on for my fellowship is my EXMS 294: Fitness Management course. The text that I have traditionally used for this course runs around $90 – a steep price. While it is a valuable compilation of information, I’ve found that this specific text does not seem to be used by our students after graduation. I think that I can create a more dynamic and accessible resource for my students that will be of use beyond their graduation at the end of Spring term and save them some money!

My goals for this fellowship are to:

1) First and foremost, enhance my understanding of the OER resources that are available! This course is a blend of fitness, science, and business – I can envision needing to pull from multiple disciplines to be able to compile a comprehensive set of resources.

2) Diversify the resources that I refer my students to. I believe that the more voices they can hear from and the more viewpoints they are exposed to will not only enhance their understanding of the topic, but will also help them in developing excellent information literacy skills. The exercise science field is inundated with bad (very bad) information that is regularly posted by non-reputable resources. I believe that through my exploration (and their’s), new discussion topics will emerge in class.

3) Confession – I have never blogged. Gasp. I also don’t currently follow any blogs! Double gasp. The whole OER fellowship process will be a learning opportunity for me! 

I look forward to working with Jen and with this cohort!