The Evolution of the Practical Application of OER in a secondary school setting :async:

Delaina Tonks (Mountain Heights Academy), Sarah Weston (Mountain Heights Academy), Emily Andersen (Mountain Heights Academy)

Mountain Heights Academy (formerly The Open High School of Utah,) established in 2009 by Dr. David Wiley, was the first secondary school to implement a fully OER curriculum. The school hired educators as instructional designers to create online OER content for all courses available in grades 7-12. The school has created and released over 100 courses.

Initially, the school publicly released those whole courses through Moodle. Common Cartridge initially provided access to those who did not use Moodle. With the decline of Moodle, the Learning Management System, it was no longer effective to release entire courses that were only accessible to those who used the same LMS.

Six years later, the school shifted focus to teacher training and professional development by using an OER Passport so that educators could learn about Creative Commons licensing, properly attributing OER, where to find CC-BY pictures, how to involve students in the OER creation process (we call this Next Gen OER,) and how to publicly release appropriately-licensed artifacts in OER Commons. To date, Mountain Heights Academy teachers have released several hundred standards-aligned artifacts. The school will continue to have teachers release a minimum of two artifacts annually.

Today, the school is evolving and the focus has once again shifted to fill a glaring gap in OER in general; the lack of "how-to artifacts:" Leadership OER, Teacher Competency OER, Instructional Design OER, and Ed Tech OER. The purpose of these types of artifacts include providing a roadmap for those interested in implementing and mastering the use of OER. Anyone can review our guides to implementation and skip the evolutionary process we experienced.

Extended abstract: OE_Global_2021_paper_47.pdf 📄

Presentation Details

UNESCO OER Action Area: Building capacity
Format: Pre-recorded Presentation
Language: English


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Just talked about this with my supervisor as I work as a student OER program assistant, so watching this was such perfect timing! Here at Utah State, we are curious about broadening our OER efforts and sharing our experience/knowledge/materials with secondary and technical schools in our valley, and even the state. Although our work is for the university, we know OER can benefit so many other schools and settings outside of USU. It is amazing knowing that this is being done, and bonus that it is in Utah!

Creation is so important. I cannot remember the amount of times throughout high school and college teachers mentioned they did not like certain sections in the material they adopted into their course, so they had to work around the material itself. I appreciated your practical approach in educating and empowering the educators to create OER for their courses to foster a beneficial educational experience.

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Thanks Maddie-- I credit USU with the origin of OER in Utah. David Wiley was there prior to his stint at BYU. The OER roots there run deep!