Wednesday, February 21, 2024

GEN 101 Open Education Resources

The University of Arizona Global Campus has championed equity issues that are woven throughout our culture. Many of our open-access students' chances and access to education are limited by many kinds of inequality, including social, income, racial, ethnic, gender, and ability. We know that students and faculty feel a stronger sense of belonging and inclusion when there is diversity present in the materials. In addition, research suggests that students with a greater sense of belonging tend to have higher motivation, more academic self-confidence, higher levels of academic engagement, and higher achievement.

Relative to higher education, open education resources (OER) are fairly new and follow open-source software (OSS) and open access (OA) as vehicles for making higher education more accessible for all students (Hylen, 2020). OERs support the UAGC purpose to “transform the higher education landscape and make it accessible for everyone, no matter their background or circumstance” in that these learning materials provide long-term access to useful educational resources.

In the GEN 101 Open Education Resource (OER) Study, the team has created Open Education Resources for GEN 101 that will allow faculty to update and refresh as needed, allowing the course to stay fresh and modifications to be minimal. The OER is in many forms – podcasts, videos, articles, infographics, worksheets, and more- since resources continue to be developed. The GEN 101 OER is aligned with each week of the GEN 101 course and allows students to review them not only during the course but also once they have finished.

GEN 101 faculty were recruited to participate, and over ten percent signed up to use the resources in their courses from February through March. Each faculty member received an orientation on the resources with strategies demonstrated to use them in the course. In some cases, HTML announcements were created for ease of use.

Conference invitations have been received from the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the Online Learning Consortium Innovate Conference, and the Teaching Colleges and Community Worldwide Online Conference.

The diverse research team, led by Dr. Teresa Leary Handy, GEN 101 Program Chair, consists of Dr. Connie Lower, GEN 101 Faculty Member; Matthew Galloway, Manager of Student Care; Jennifer Dunn, Curriculum Writing Consultant, and Harla Frank, Associate Faculty member have created numerous resources that are public facing on the UAGC Hub.

 HylĂ©n, J. (2020). Open educational resources: Opportunities and challenges. 

OER Equity Blueprint. (n.d.). DOERS3. 

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