1) Brief description of your project: objectives, activities, impact

This report details an open educational resources (OER) project undertaken at Notre Dame University – Louaize. The project was led by Dr. Maria Ghosn-Chelala, course coordinator, with support from a colleague on the teaching team. The main goal was to provide openly-licensed rubrics for a multi-section public speaking course (ENL 223) and promoting open assessment.

Objectives and Impact

This project focused on adopting and producing rubrics for use across a multi-section public speaking course. As coordinator, my role involves sharing an open educational resources (OER) vision with instructors and promoting open education practices for the course. Since the course lacked openly-licensed rubrics, the goal of this project was to adopt and/or produce new, openly licensed rubrics. Specifically the objective was to:

  • Adopt and/or develop three rubrics for our ENL 223 public speaking course to evaluate students for their special occasion, informative, and persuasive speech assignments. The rubrics will be openly licensed.

Key to the success of implementing fair and authentic assessment through these rubrics would also be promoting open assessment practices through encouraging peer discussion and assessment. In this light, the project’s impact for Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) is considerable as this practice would be adopted across a multi-section course. Building on this project, I have also begun working with open rubrics for another course that I coordinate (ENL 230 – English in the Workplace).

The development of courses within an OER vision aligns with NDU’s strategic plan Goal I, objective 6: “Introduce Open Educational Resources (OER) for teaching and research” (see http://www.ndu.edu.lb/about-ndu/accreditation/strategic-plan-2015-2020 ). ENL 223 is the second multi-section English language communication course to be piloted in alignment with Goal I of the strategic plan.

The benefits of the project to NDU include having customized, publishable rubrics for a culture of fair and open assessment. Instructors can continue to adapt, improve, and re-share the rubrics.

Activities and Results

I worked with a colleague on the teaching team to conduct a comprehensive search for Creative Commons (CC) licensed rubrics that would be suitable for the ENL 223. After sharing our findings, we decided that we had to create rubrics that would be suitable for the course. We then met to build criteria that would be important in the assessment process in alignment with the course learning outcomes for the speeches given in the course. We conducted research on rubric development and worked following the approach outlined by the Oregon Department of Education and Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research Center, (n.d.).

  • Main Activities: Research on rubric design, rubric development with input of 223 instructors, licensing and publishing of rubrics.

The vision was to have openly-licensed rubrics that would not only be used by instructors at NDU, but that would be used by students to open up assessment. Ultimately the rubrics would be given an open CC license and shared online through Creative Commons for public use.

We had to decide what type of license would be applied to the rubrics. It was important to us that ultimately the public would be able to reuse and improve on these rubrics, but not to commercialize them. Therefore the license we chose was a CC license with attribution and share-alike. The aim is to keep the rubric open and free to use, adapt, and share to encourage development. The selected will be posted with the rubrics as follows:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

In summary, the main results of the project include a comprehensive set of three in-house rubrics for speech assignment evaluation that will be openly licensed. The rubrics are currently being reviewed by the teaching team for feedback before licensing and publishing. One rubric is attached with this project as a sample.

The indirect results of the project are that instructors have been engaged in developing materials for open sharing online, rather than simply consuming OERs or proprietary material (which is more often the case). This shift in culture will be significant for NDU and is pivotal to placing the institution within the OER movement.

Moreover, we are discussing having students help us to further develop our bank of materials for the ENL 223 course, through giving feedback on rubrics to creating sample videos for speeches or course content and openly licensing them. I engaged other instructors in the process. Rubrics will also be piloted for student feedback and ideas. Students will engage in self and peer evaluation, through formative discussions and assessment with open rubrics. They will reflect on whether they have met their goals and will identify what their needs are to move forward. Being well versed in the assessment standards, students will contribute their own work, meeting the standards set in the rubrics, as samples for others to learn from. The next step is to engage students in openly licensing these works.

2) Conclusions, challenges encountered and lessons learnt

In conclusion, the project helped us to add resources (rubrics) to our ENL 223 course that would ultimately be CC-licensed, keeping them open for public use and improvement. The challenges we faced in this project involved lack of availability of suitable openly licensed rubrics under a CC license. We had to create our own rubrics. From this, we learned that it is essential for educators in our position to share the knowledge that we have and to produce knowledge artifacts that can be used within an OER vision. This is how the open movement will flourish. It also places us, regionally and globally, within the context of a highly important movement and provides opportunities for our students to become creators of OERs.

References

Oregon Department of Education and Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research Center. (n.d.) Historical review of microscopic imaging [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0ahUKEwiQv4HVisnZAhXGL8AKHaceBN0QFghQMAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oregon.gov%2Fode%2Feducator-resources%2Fassessment%2FDocuments%2Frubric_development.pptx&usg=AOvVaw0-INFwHZDkQ8RAxOp3TqF-