From digital film making to ESL flipped classrooms to free e-texts, Walla Walla Community College is truly engaged in using Open Educational Resources (OER). David Walk, Dr. Rosemary Reigle, Steve May and Courtney Kress Van Slyke are all using OER for teaching. Most interesting is the diversity in how they’re being used.
Reigle and May are both using Creative Commons licensed materials in their classrooms instead of traditional textbooks. Reigle uses this content in her online English 101 and 102 courses. May is using an OpenStax Physics textbook for the third year in a row and has no interest in going back to a high cost traditional physics book. He states three reasons why: 1) [the textbook] ..adequately covers the concepts, 2) e-Versions are free and a PDF is free to download and print, and 3) the e-Versions are loaded with embedded applications and links. He says, “I can’t wait for OpenStax to come out with more texts in the subjects I teach. Astronomy is in the works!”
Walk’s Art 170 Fundamentals of Digital Film Making course and Project I-DEA (which Kress Van Slyke is an instructor) not only use non-traditional resources but also take OER out of the classroom. Obviously, the nature of filmmaking is likely to take students outside the classroom but Walk also shares a number of OER specific to filmmaking bringing awareness to the students that open resources exist. Using a different approach, Project I-DEA changes things up by using a flipped classroom model where students use classroom time for practicing and applying what they’ve learned online (at home) rather than the other way around. This allows students to use the in-class time in a more personal way; getting guidance from instructors on those topics with which they are having trouble or finding themselves stuck.
As you can see, open educational resources have found a places at Walla Walla Community College. It will be exciting to hear about future courses and projects the college takes on.
*Walla Walla’s Water & Environmental Center image is used with permission from ALSC Architects.