Mid-Project Update

                This term I began teaching a fully online technical writing course on Moodle (still using a textbook, mind you), which has given me a much greater sense of just how much I can do on Moodle. As a result, I’ve added a number of resources to my Writing 115 OER shell, including discussion forums, video resources, external website links, and a slideshow Flash video.

                The shell for my OER course is now built for the most part, but I continue to add materials, activities, and more thorough descriptions of assignments. When I first began this process, I viewed Moodle as little more than a place to post .PDF handouts and the course syllabus, and a platform for taking attendance and entering grades. Now I’m beginning to see it as a far greater tool for learning than I’d previously thought. My approach to this OER fellowship has changed to where I’m now imagining the course as not only being textbook free but as also being classroom free/fully online. With that in mind, I’ve added hyperlinks to web resources, including lessons and videos, created discussion forums, embedded materials, and added assignments that students can upload directly to Moodle—assignments that I can then read, grade, comment upon, and return to students without ever having to use pen or paper. This is a pretty great discovery.

                In terms of challenges, some of the readings I’ve used in my face-to-face classes were not available for OER use, so I was forced to drop some of my original selections in favor of others that are more freely available (primarily older essays).  This has taken a bit of flexibility on my part, but in the end I feel it has been well worth it. I’m still in the process of adding and replacing some readings, but doing this has made me rethink my reading selections in general, especially around their availability.  

                Another challenge I faced was creating files that can be opened with free software, i.e., files not reliant on proprietary software. For example, I use a Powerpoint presentation to illustrate strategies for critically reading texts. I had originally posted this to the Moodle page as a Powerpoint file, not taking into consideration the possibility some student users might not have Powerpoint software (or any software capable of opening a Powerpoint file, for that matter). To remedy this, Jen suggested I use a website called Slideshare to convert the Powerpoint file; I used it and read up how to embed a slideshow into Moodle, but for some reason that I never figured out, I could not make the file appear. So I took a different approach and converted the slideshow into a Flash video (using free software called Ispring) and then simply adding it as a file rather than embedding it onto the page. This ultimately worked well, I think. And, despite my frustration at still not being able to embed the Slideshare slideshow, I read up on (and watched numerous YouTube instructional videos about) Moodle in general and ended up learning quite a lot about embedding videos and other resources using Moodle’s HTML editor. I’m now feeling much more confident about my Moodle knowledge and realizing just how vast Moodle’s capabilities are.       

OERs are an intriguing concept but… by Meredith Keene-Wilson

I have to admit that I first heard about OERs in 2007 from Hal Plotkin from DeAnza Community College. I was intrigued with the concept but like many people I thought it would just take too much time to rework my courses. I decided to dabble and for the next year or so I found and used OER modules like a lesson or quiz and used them here and there, wherever they were appropriate. The student response was quite favorable and my interest increased. Here’ where the journey led me – so far!


Meredith Keene-Wilson
Media Arts Instructor
Lane Community College


OER seems like a natural progression for me ~ Ian Coronado, Mulitmedia Artist, Instructor

For some time, I have felt that I am at my best when I am working with others towards a common good, a bigger result and that when we join forces, we sum to a greater whole than our discrete component selves.  This may be what spurned my interest in the open source movement and later to production and use of Creative Commons materials.  OER seems like a natural progression for me and I am glad that I can not only make materials cheaper for my students, but that I can also share with others that are interested in either learning or teaching with the tools I have created.

Ian Coronado
Media Arts Instructor
Faculty Technology Specialist
Lane Community College
email: coronadoi@lanecc.edu

My OER Education turned me into an iPad addict! by Sandy Jensen

Vids 4 Ed!


My OER Education turned me into an iPad addict!
Was it only a year ago that I got roped into attending a ten week seminar program in “how to abandon your textbook and embrace Open Education Resources”? It was a program sponsored by the  Lane CC Student Body, and I was given my first iPad as a reward for saving thousands of student dollars by not ordering a textbook for some of my classes. I’ve moved on to my i Pad 3, shown above in the loving embrace of an i-Guy i Pad holder, and I’ve never looked back.

Recently, the Powers That Be have started hounding me for a video report of how that whole project has gone over the past year. Finally, I found a moment when I wasn’t in my jams. I asked my 86 year old mother, chair-bound, recovering from hip replacement surgery, to hold the i-Pad video still while I covered about five talking points.

Well, I put an old “It’s a Beautiful Day” song on the audio track of this video, so I suppose You Tube could yank it at any moment. Sigh. If that happens, I’ll repost and hop more clearly on my legal foot.

Sandy is Lane’s own EduBlogging guru. Check out her  Mind on Fire Blog.

Sandy Brown Jensen
Language, Literature and Communication Instructor
Faculty Technology Specialist
Lane Community College
email: jensenj@lanecc.edu



My students all press the “like” button, when it comes to OERs! by Jill Siegfried

In the Winter of 2011, I participated in the OER Faculty Fellowship at Lane Community College and have been using OER resources ever since. My name is Jill Siegfried. This is my story:

I teach Career and Life Planning Online. Planning ones career and life isn’t a one-term process. I like to show students how to access information, news and events that are current and relevant to them.  Students are unlikely to keep a textbook as they move through their lives, but likely to remember sites, links, and processes for finding current, helpful information.

What I’ve enjoyed most about using Online Educational Resources is how dynamic my class has been. I’m able to use current “up to the minute” resources, and students help me co-create the class by adding their own OER suggestions. Each term I ask for anonymous feedback from students and has been consistently good.

My students all press the “like” button, when it comes to OERs!


Jill Siegfried
Lane Community College
email: siegfriedj@lanecc.edu

Christina Howard offers Physical Therapist Assistant students a blend of online and hands-on skills practice with OER materials.

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program offers a blended learning curriculum of on-line courses and hands-on skill practice.  Our program attributes OER and student-generated content with our high level of student success in the clinic and on the national licensing examination. Our students expect the opportunity for quality materials, repeat demonstration, repeat drill and practice, and quality feedback to learn how to be an effective and safe PTA.

We use a variety of OER and generate OER (YouTube and SoftChalk) in our program. Here are just a few samples of what we offer our students:

Christina Howard, MPT
Program Coordinator
Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Lane Community College
email: howardc@lanecc.edu

Adrienne Mitchell, ALS Instructor Shares OER Course Materials

I’m using OERs in Math 10 and in RD093 / WR093, which are linked courses for English language learners, and I’ve found that students in traditional face-to-face, hybrid, and online classes all appreciate them. In both RD/WR093 and Math 10, I’m using both OERs that I have found online from such OER repositories as Conexions as well as resources that I have developed such as screencast videos, interactive Softchalk practices, and Moodle activities. Of course, in the spirit of OERs, I would be happy to share these resources with anyone who is interested!


Adrienne Mitchell
ALS Instructor
Faculty Professional Development Coordinator
Lane Community College
email: mitchella@lanecc.edu