Recently, my school hired a librarian to focus on Open Education Resources (OER). The librarian is available as a technology coach to any faculty to help explore OER content for their subject area. The school has used the tagline ‘Open for Learning’ for the OER initiative. As part of my exploration of the ISTE Standards for Coaches, I wanted to find an effective way to engage with this librarian and the school’s OER team to help with developing new material for my courses.
The OER team at my school recently held a conference on Open Education Resources (OER) to educate faculty about open teaching resources for community colleges. The conference agenda was as follows:
- A Brief Introduction to Open Education
- Finding, Evaluating, and Using Openly Licensed Materials
- Implementing Open Pedagogy
- Integrating Open and Freely Available Resources
The conference gave me a great opportunity to engage with colleagues at my school as well as research OER content for my courses on SQL, Java, and C# programming. With guidance from my librarians, I found the following resources on the OER commons web site:
There is a lot of material behind these links – and a good amount of work for me to figure how best to integrate the resources into my courses. I decided to start small, and focus on a single lesson plan and/or assignment. My mobile programming course (CSD 230) uses Android Studio to build applications for Android mobile devices – phone or tablet. All of the code in Android Studio is written in the Java programming language, and it is assumed in Chapter 1 that the student is proficient in Java programming.
The prerequisite for the CSD 230 course is the CS 143 Computer Science II Java course. However, some students took CS 143 sometime in the past and do not remember how to program in Java. I want to use content from OER to offer students a way to get up to speed with their Java skills before diving into programming Android devices. I also want the students to produce quizzes or assignments that can be used in future courses as a Java refresher.
The Java Tutorial listed above is a perfect tool to help students brush-up on their Java programming skills. The tutorial allows the students to run Java code in a browser-based development environment.
If students feel that they are familiar with a particular topic, then can use the test exercise to quiz themselves on various topics. If they struggle with any exercise, they can go back to the main lesson plan and follow the lesson plan for a specific Java topic.
I plan on sharing the lesson plan for this assignment with my OER librarian as well as other instructors at my school. I will then use the feedback from these ‘coaches’ to improve my courses. If all goes well, I will post the module to Canvas for other instructors to review and make improvements and use the new course in the Fall quarter of the next academic year.
- Dozier, T. (2007). Turning Good Teachers into Great Leaders. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept07/vol65/num01/Turning-Good-Teachers-into-Great-Leaders.aspx
- DuFour, R. (2007). Professional Learning Communities: A Bandwagon, an Idea Worth Considering, or Our Best Hope for High Levels of Learning?. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ775771.pdf
- Lieberman, A. (2010). Teachers, Learners, Leaders. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/summer10/vol67/num09/Teachers,-Learners,-Leaders.aspx