Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#librOERy Part 3

OER Project – Peggy O’Sullivan, Instructor

Medicine Hat College (MHC) LibrOERy Project
                                                            October 23, 2015

Influenza virion – photo credit: Frederick Murphy

            This week the LibrOERy team was interviewed by Campus Alberta OER initiative for the Campus Alberta website.  We were asked to provide some background on the project, advantages for students and instructors, importance of OER projects and what excited us the most in regards to our project.

(i)         Description and Goals:

            The LibrOERy project involved the assimilation of open educational microbiology resources into textbook form for 60 first year nursing students at MHC taking CMMB250, an introductory microbiology course. Denise Holt, library researcher, researched the CMMB250 OER textbook material.  I reviewed and assembled the material into chapters to fit my curriculum and lecture schedule.  Our copyright officer, Chelsey Reid helped ensure it fit copyright regulations. The OER draft is now in the hands of Andrea Woods, graphic designer and multimedia developer.  She is assembling the material into a book form that we will post online once the OER text is completed.

     Our goal was to have an OER textbook completed in time for the Winter 2016 term.  We are well on schedule and our OER textbook will be finished several weeks before term starts in January 2016.  We started this project in May 2015.  It quickly become apparent to Denise and I that we didn’t have much time to meet our deadline.  It was a very time consuming project completed under very short timelines thanks to the hard working team members.  We all agree that more time and compensation is necessary for OER projects undertaken in the future.

  (ii)      Advantages to Students:

              The CMMB250 microbiology OER textbook offers students a huge cost savings (approximately $200) and is freely available online.  Students don’t need to purchase an expensive textbook that they’ll only use for one course.

(iii)       Advantages to Educators:   

            As an instructor the OER project gave me the flexibility to choose and assemble lecture material to meet my curriculum rather than having to match my lecture material to a pre-published textbook.  I was also able to include videos, assignments, review questions and animation into my OER lecture notes and chapters, things I couldn’t do using a publishers textbook. 

(iv)      Importance of OER’s

            The great thing about OER projects is that the material will be in the public domain and anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share it.  Not only do my MHC nursing students benefit from our LIbrOERy microbiology text, but anyone around the world can enhance their knowledge by accessing our material.

(v)       What excites us about this project?

            I had a great team working with me on this project.  We are proud of the fact that MHC students can freely access microbiology material and that we are making microbiology available to everyone, everywhere.  We are also proud that we were able to put this project together in such a short time period.

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