Open Education Info Center

Faculty: Pedagogy and OER

How can you use OERs in your classroom to improve your teaching? What does it mean to incorporate open pedagogy in your course? Here are some suggestions to make collaboration and sharing an integral part of your teaching.

Is the course development strategy different for a regular course and a course that incorporates OERs?


Depending on your teaching style and learning outcomes you’ve set for your course, your teaching methods may not be too different. For example, you might still want to utilize many of the teaching methods that you use such as action learning, problem based learning and such. You might still want to refer to websites from your Teaching and Learning Centers such the ones listed here.


Of course, there are many exciting ways to teach with OER. You will find some of the methods and cases below.

What is the flipped classroom?


Flipped classrooms are type of classes that utilizes multimedia materials as homework outside the classroom so that in-person classroom time can be used for more interactive learning activities. It is a form of blended learning where OERs can play a big role. You can watch a short video of “What is Flipped Classroom” here.


Where can I find case studies of flipped classroom?


The Flipped Classroom Field Guide lists many successful cases of flipped classrooms. Not all the cases you see here are with OERs. You can take it a step forward and utilize and share learning materials as OERs.



Is there any other way to incorporate “openness” into the classroom?


OERs allow users to reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute. One tool that incorporates these traits are wikis. Chemical Process Controls and Dynamics course at the University of Michigan created a wiki page where each group of students was responsible for a chapter. Graduate TAs and the professor gave feedback to create an open textbook. The whole process of authoring gave students a great learning experience, and the textbook was updated the following year by another group of students. Learning by collaborating and adding to the learning commons is a great ‘open’ teaching strategy.


Another collaborative curriculum and material building happened at TU Delft in the Water Management course. ITB Bandung from Indonesia added local case studies to this renowned course at TU Delft to make the curriculum more suitable for local context. Be creative and take advantage of characteristics of OERs. Make collaboration and sharing the core of your classroom, and you will have open pedagogy to share with others.

What are some of the concerns when making lesson plans based on OER?


Educating your students to have a sound understanding copyright terms is very important. Do review Using Open Licensing section of the Info Center and make intellectual property issues a part of your basic training for your students.



How does "open" affect one's teaching skills?


Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of research on this issue to gauge improvement in teaching skills once the course became “open.” MIT is the first university to aim at opening all courses online, and the faculty survey from MIT is significant in that the survey was administered institution wide. Although dated, this survey shows that participating in OpenCourseWare helped faculty reexamine their teaching and improved course planning. Also, the OER evidence report shows that using OER impacts teaching skills and learner satisfaction in a positive way.