5 Myths about Open Educational Resources

Myth 1- Quality does not matter.

OER repositories such as Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) provides over 40,000 materials in 19 different material type categories which include animations, simulations, open textbooks, etc. The OER’s shared to MERLOT can be either peer-reviewed and rated by users. Users can download these resources and customize them for various purposes. In addition, users can also share the customized resources in MERLOT. The entire process to customize and share in MERLOT ensures that the OER is in a high level of quality.

Myth 2- Maintaining is a big issue.

Actually, users can easily find them in some OER repositories. For example, OpenStax has PowerPoint slides available for instructors to download and use in their own classrooms. Instead of creating slides used in individual classes, instructors can quickly revise these slides without installing and learning extra tools.

Myth 3- OERs are likely to make students perform poorly.

In an experimental OER study conducted by researchers from Brigham Young University, Michigan State Department of Education, and Lumen Learning in 2014, students using OER were more likely pass the course than the ones using traditional textbooks. Even these students using OER can achieve higher grades.

Myth 4- Drop rates may increase due to OER.

Since OER enables students to maximize savings, the affordable learning opportunity is offered to students. University of Georgia estimated that it has saved 2 million through the adoption of OER since 2013. Students were used to using traditional textbooks as instructors initially adopt OER in their courses. After using OER, students tend to perceive that what they have read is relevant as well as a best source of information for the topics discussed in class. Accordingly, course drop rates do not increase due to OER.

Myth 5- OER may not be a good option for online courses.

One of the fundamental features of OERs is their openness. These resources are free and can be accessed online anytime and anywhere. Instructors, for example, can use demonstration videos in Khan Academy to explain some important concepts in online courses. Students can also comprehend abstract concepts about ANOVA by using OER such as Visual Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) simulation in their online introductory statistics courses. So OER can definitely be a great option for online courses.

Posted in OER
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