:sync: Inclusion by Building Capacity: Advancing STEM and Multicultural Programs with OER

Authors: Michelle Reed, Bonnie Boardman, Julian Rodriguez
Institution: University of Texas at Arlington
Country: United States

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Higher Education
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Panel


Academic libraries play an important role in advancing the use of open educational resources (OER) in higher education. In addition to connecting communities with information, an increasing number of libraries now provide OER publishing support and services for faculty. This panel presents the results of two OER creation projects supported and funded by such a program. The authors of the OER and an academic librarian will discuss their experiences developing, publishing, and piloting the OER.

The OER project titled ‚ÄúSpanish-Language Television News Production in the United States of America‚ÄĚ (original in Spanish) is the first of its kind focusing exclusively on Hispanic TV news education in the US, a highly neglected area of study. This OER, written in Spanish and containing terminology in English, provides a resource that specifically seeks to explain demographic changes and language use shaping the present and future of US society, all in the context of television news content creation.

To develop the OER, the author spent years researching the topic and carefully developing resource networks that enabled him to create an OER written in Spanish. Creating this online resource presents extraordinary challenges, among these are (1) the lack of research on Hispanic TV news, (2) the complexities of language, (3) the cultural challenges posed by a Latino population that is far from monolithic, (4) the limited number of Latino faculty devoted to Hispanic media, (5) the fluctuating political environment, and (6) a Spanish-language TV industry not used to opening its doors to researchers. A dozen universities from North and South America participated in the pilot in Spring 2020. Most of these universities now have a Hispanic TV news program. Furthermore, these institutions have Spanish-speaking faculty leading these programs and have created a community to improve the quality of Hispanic journalism education.

The second OER project features an engineering professor’s reflection of her path from being introduced to the concept of OER, to exploring three open-source tools (i.e., Pressbooks, H5P, and Hypothesis), to remixing and publishing an introduction to industrial engineering OER, to proposing a Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree to her department and securing approval to begin the process of transitioning other engineering courses to OER. This transformation happened in less than a year. There were many events that influenced this pathway of development, including the lack of availability of an appropriate text, a fortuitous comment of a stranger, and outreach by the university library. A description and timeline of catalyst events, the process of learning to remix in Pressbooks, the pilot process in an introductory industrial engineering course, and the impetus to expand the department’s use of OER will be discussed.

The session will demonstrate how to build local capacity to increase use and creation of OER, how to increase inclusion in open educational practices, and how to facilitate international cooperation.


Inclusion and diversity, OER publishing, Teaching and learning

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Hello and thank you for reading the abstract for this session. We look forward to seeing everyone on November 18th!

Our presentation slides are available in the UTA ResearchCommons. We’re excited about today’s panel- hope to see you there!

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Thanks to everyone who attended our presentation- and thanks especially to my colleagues Bonnie and Juli√°n for sharing their work. UTA Libraries created a video playlist for the Open Education Conference last week that further explores our OER publishing program. You may be especially interested in ‚ÄúTalking OER with UTA Creators,‚ÄĚ which features Juli√°n.

Session recording: