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

Project Objectives

  • Transforming the content of MIS 201 from traditional content to OER and adopting high quality open educational resources
  • Implementing and promoting Open Educational Practices (OEP) in my daily teaching
  • Applying Open Assessment and open Badges

Activities

  • Transforming the content of MIS 201 from traditional content to OER and adopting high quality open educational resources:
    • Searching for & Identifying CC licensed resources (books, lecture notes, cases, images and videos)
    • Adopting: Replacing a high-cost textbook with a free, low-cost, or open access alternative.
      I will be using existing OER as primary material for my MIS 201 course.

      • Some examples of activities include the following:
        – Searching for material through:

        • Open textbooks
        • OER directories
        • Google advanced search
        • Creative Commons Search

– Transforming my resources by reusing, revising and remixing OER. Then sharing it on OER commons open Author.
I found the following open textbook via Saylor.org: https://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Information%20Systems.pdf licensed under CC BY.

Also there is an interesting open course that I found via oercommons:
http://www.oercommons.org/courses/management-information-systems/view resources are licensed as CC BY, CC BY NC and CC BY NC SA.
In addition to many other supplementary material.

  • Implementing and promoting Open Educational Practices (OEP) in my daily teaching
    • Employing teaching techniques that introduce MIS students to online peer production communities such as Wikipedia and youtube.
      I will be using many types of online tools to promote collaboration and encourage my students to embrace the culture of sharing.
      Examples of online tools are: Google Docs, Blogs, Wikis, discussion forums.
      The use of Google docs and Google apps in general encourages collaboration and sharing.
      As for Blogs and wikis, I will use the free online ones although Blackboard LMS used at NDU does have Wikis and Blogs.

Discussions are a good way to encourage students to think critically about your coursework and interact with each other’s’ ideas. You can create discussions around individual course lessons or for your course in general. As a first step, my students can use Blackboard discussion board to interact with each other and share ideas.
Implementing OEP involves empowering learners as co-producers of content on their lifelong learning path.
Being an open educator will help a lot in implementing and promoting OEP. In addition to Learner-centered teaching through OER.

  • Applying Open Assessment and open Badges
    • Evaluating students’ abilities in ‘real-world’ contexts by examining real life cases.
    • Working in groups on writing, revising, and presenting a report to the class.
    • Encouraging students to create portfolios of their projects
    • Using rubric for students self-assessment
    • Open Badges are a simple and powerful way to prove an achievement and there are sharable across the web. In my MIS course, I can issue open badges to students who complete an assessment about searching for and using OER and using collaborative tools. 

Impact

  • On a personal level, this project taught me a lot, especially in terms of becoming an open educator applying OEP in my daily teaching as well as it will grant me exposure to the online Open Education communities.
  • On the course level, I will have the opportunity to use up-to-date teaching materials.
  • On the institutional level, since the upper management is committed to OER as a part of the university strategic plan, NDU will be able to make strategic decisions regarding open education practices that differentiate it from other institutions in the region.
  • On the students’ level, they will not have to pay for books in addition to being in engaged in the process. They will get up to date material at no cost.

2) Relevance of the project for you and for your institution

This project gave me the chance to apply what I learned about OER, and to use innovation in education. For me, the project relevance includes having the chance to be a part of this world wide growing movement. Being identified as open educator and exposed to the OER communities.

MIS201 will serve as an exemplary course in the department of computer science, where I teach. Moreover, my students will benefit from high-quality, free and nontraditional resources.

For my institution, as stated before, OER is a part of NDU’s strategic plan, although there are still no official policies and standards at the university level, we hope that in the near future policies, standards and procedures will be implemented.

3) Main results of the project

  • Delivering high-quality up to date material (books, lecture notes, videos) to students for free. Thus, improving the way with which the course is given.
  • Promoting the culture of sharing
  • Engaging the students with the learning process

4) How these results will be used in your teaching

These results will be used in my teaching by applying Open Education Practices in my daily teaching. Being an open educator and promoting openness in my class will encourage my students to use online tools and embrace the culture of sharing. In addition to applying OEP, I will implement Open Assessment and open Badges.

5) How these results will be promoted within your university

Conducting a workshop or a symposium to showcase the work accomplished in MIS201 will be a good idea. Also having a panel discussion and letting the students give their opinions will serve in promoting the results. It is worth to mention that such work has been already done by the faculty of humanities who already applied OER in teaching some of its courses.

6) Conclusions, challenges encountered and lessons learnt

To conclude, this project added a lot to my knowledge. Although it has a very promising future some challenges encountered include the following:

  • The need for OER policies and strategies at the institutional & national levels.
  • Finding high-quality relevant OER material.

The lessons learnt are that OER is not only getting free material, it is an innovative way of teaching and engaging students and promoting the culture of sharing.

6) Authors’ bio

Brigitta Kassis
Part Time Faculty Member
Department of Computer Science
Faculty of Natural & Applied Sciences
Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon