OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Increasing Hope through Open Education [clear filter]
Wednesday, October 11

10:30am PDT

Equity, bias and their relationship to OER
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, equity is defined as the freedom from bias or favoritism. Achieving the Dream believes that higher education institutions have an obligation to work toward equity for their students. The development and use of non-biased open resources have the power to create equitable learning experiences for all students. One question this panel will tackle is whether or not the use of OER in higher education environments automatically ensures that issues of diversity and equity are addressed.

The open education movement is heavily rooted in the belief that teachers and faculty have the freedom to develop content that meets the needs of their students. This raises a few questions. Can the implementation of OER exacerbate bias? To what degree is OER content culturally relevant? Does the majority of OER content have a white American male slant? Are we remixing content that unintentionally alienates a particular group of students?

During this session, panelists from community colleges and four year institutions will tackle the tough questions related to the intersection of equity and OER while addressing the ways in which OER can challenge bias.

Session panelists will discuss strategies for creating more diversity in the OER space and exploring success and challenges in developing culturally relevant and relatable OER content. They will also address ways in which colleges can consider issues of equity when designing OER courses and degree programs.

avatar for jean amaral

jean amaral

open knowledge librarian, Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, United States of America
avatar for Francesca Carpenter

Francesca Carpenter

Associate Director, Achieving the Dream
avatar for Daphnie Sicre

Daphnie Sicre

Assistant Professor, Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY
avatar for Brenda Vollman

Brenda Vollman

Assistant Professor, CUNY BMCC

Wednesday October 11, 2017 10:30am - 11:25am PDT

11:30am PDT

Giving All Students a Voice: Word Generation in Our Nation's Toughest Schools
This presentation will briefly introduce the Word Generation program, describe its design features, and share teachers' and students' experiences, with a focus on those that give us hope by better preparing our nation's students as informed citizenry.

At a time in which rhetoric that challenges the norms for civility in public discourse has become commonplace, students in middle schools across the country ”from New York City to Salt Lake City to rural North Carolina ”are reaching for a higher standard. The Word Generation program developed by the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP) offers freely available materials and web-based supports to bring evidence-based debate about important civic issues into the classroom, while at the same time promoting mastery of academic language.

Each Word Generation unit focuses on a challenging issue (e.g., What makes an American? Is the death penalty justified?) and culminates in a debate in which students use textual evidence to argue for their position. Design features such as discussion prompts and argument outlines guide students to develop and support positions and respond to each other's reasoning.

Engaging middle school students in civic debate is not an easy sell to time-strapped teachers. But the program is designed to develop academic vocabulary ”a high priority in middle grades. And teachers who initially doubt their students' capacity to discuss complex social issues at all ”let alone from multiple perspectives ”frequently express surprise at the depth of their students' thinking.

By using academic language as a vehicle, embedding supports for teachers and students, and offering the curriculum as an OER, students from disadvantaged backgrounds at the toughest schools are being given the opportunity to share and strengthen their voice, to respect and build on others' ideas, and to become expert in gathering and presenting evidence ”skills needed for the sustainability of a strong democracy.


Allie Huyghe

SERP Institute

Wednesday October 11, 2017 11:30am - 11:55am PDT

1:00pm PDT

Serving Students: Updates on MCOpen and Montgomery College OER Degrees
Montgomery College's commitment to developing OER (z-degree) options is a desire to increase access, affordability, and success for Montgomery County's diverse population, particularly students who are marginalized or underrepresented. Montgomery College's mission and vision emphasize empowering students to change their lives and being an model of educational excellence, opportunity and success. Through a collegewide initiative MC Open, Montgomery College is providing students with the ability to save money on instructional materials while at the same time decreasing the time to degree completion. The first full semester of promoting z-courses through MC Open resulted in more than 3,400 enrollments in about 200 course sections. In concert with MC Open, Montgomery College is developing General Studies A. A. degree options with funding from Achieving the Dream. The initial General Studies OER degree options focus on two transfer paths with in the program, Psychology and English although students are not limited to those transfer options. The General Studies degree typically serves 9,000 students each semester, but courses within the z-degree impact over 25,000 students each semester because the majority of the selected courses meet General Education requirements for any student.The College hopes that the General Studies OER Degree project will help more students complete degrees by increasing access to affordable, quality material; by using open materials and instructional strategies which target a diverse range of learning styles and interests; by decreasing overall student costs, and by providing model paths for students to complete a General Studies A.A. degree.

avatar for Michael Mills

Michael Mills

Vice President, Montgomery College
avatar for Samantha Veneruso

Samantha Veneruso

Chair of General Studies, Montgomery College
Professor of English, Chair of General Studies, everything #communitycollege, #criticalpedagogy, #eportfolio, #DigPed, #Openped, #equityandsocialjustice.@professorsv

Wednesday October 11, 2017 1:00pm - 1:25pm PDT

1:30pm PDT

Aiming for Equity: Ensuring OER doesn’t exacerbate existing achievement gaps

Overview: In the US, there is desperate need to address inequity in our education system. High poverty-schools account for 25% of all public schools, and in every state, those students complete high school at a significantly lower rate than their peers. This trend continues straight into higher education, where economically disadvantaged students finish their degree programs at significantly lower rates than their peers.

OER has tremendous potential to bring equity to our schools and ensure that all students – regardless of their economic status, location, and background – have access to the same high quality learning materials. But as we push for greater OER adoption, are there ways that OER can exacerbate or entrench existing inequity?

This panel features two higher education experts and two K-12 experts, who will discuss this question and brainstorm how to best position OER as a solution to inequity in education moving forward.


avatar for Erika Aparaka

Erika Aparaka

Graduate Student, University of Maryland College Park
avatar for Francesca Carpenter

Francesca Carpenter

Associate Director, Achieving the Dream
avatar for Manuela Ekowo

Manuela Ekowo

Policy Analyst, New America
Manuela Ekowo is a policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America. She provides research and analysis on policies related to higher education including innovations in higher education delivery, the use of technology, open educational resources (OER), and ensuring... Read More →
avatar for Teresa Mooney

Teresa Mooney

Senior Program Associate, Council of Chief State School Officers
avatar for Ethan Senack

Ethan Senack

Outreach and Policy Manager, Creative Commons USA
As Outreach and Policy Manager for Creative Commons USA, Ethan's focus is on crafting a message and strategy around open licensing, educating decision-makers about its potential, and expanding use of the Creative Commons licenses in the US. Previously at U.S. PIRG, Ethan worked as... Read More →

Wednesday October 11, 2017 1:30pm - 2:25pm PDT

3:00pm PDT

Small Steps to Equity through OER
At our suburban community college outside Seattle, a student population largely composed of refugee, immigrant, and international students forces equity issues to the surface. We believe OER offers hope for our students, making education more affordable and inclusive of their many cultures. We will discuss a set of small, practical strategies we use to enhance equity through OER, piggybacking on existing equity discussions happening at our college.

Since we don't have a single person coordinating OER on our campus and we lack a dedicated funding source for OER implementation, we will show what can be done using creative methods of evangelism and funding. Luckily, we have a strong collaboration between the library, instructional design, the bookstore, and the faculty at Highline College.

Because many of our students don't have reliable access to the internet when off campus, it's important that we also make inexpensive print versions of OER available to students. We will discuss a project in which we compared printing costs from various sources to identify the most affordable and adaptable method for our faculty and bookstore.

We will also discuss department projects, such as how the mathematics department uses a free textbook they provide to students to remove the cost, and how they use it to teach students to be effective and efficient learners. Students scribbling in the book inspired instructors to rethink the curriculum; in effect, blurring the line between OER and open education pedagogy.

OER projects on our campus encompass a wide variety of disciplines such as English, adult basic education, ESL, and philosophy, so all of our librarians are versed in OER and assist faculty with implementing OER. We'll talk about resources we've developed to help us with this de-centralized work.

Our goal is to provide session attendees with ideas they can implement on their own campuses, and we want to hear their ideas also.

avatar for Hara Brook

Hara Brook

Reference Librarian, Highline College
avatar for Deborah Moore

Deborah Moore

Librarian, Highline College

Wednesday October 11, 2017 3:00pm - 3:25pm PDT

Filter sessions
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  • Collaborations in Support of Open Education
  • Critiques of OER and Open Education
  • General
  • Increasing Hope through Open Education
  • Issues at the Intersection of Open and Analytics
  • Issues at the Intersection of Open and Assessment
  • Keynote
  • Models Supporting the Adoption Use or Sustaining of OER in Adult Basic Education
  • Models Supporting the Adoption Use or Sustaining of OER in Higher Education
  • Models Supporting the Adoption Use or Sustaining of OER in K-12 Education
  • Open Education in Developing Countries
  • Open Pedagogy and Open Educational Practices
  • Promoting and Evaluating Institutional and Governmental Open Policies
  • Research on the Impact of OER
  • Showing Gratitude through Open Education
  • Synergies Between Open Education and Open Data Open Access Open Science and Open Source
  • The Economics of Open Education
  • The Ethics of Open Education
  • The Meaning of Open
  • The Politics of Open Education
  • The Role of Faculty in Advocating for Supporting or Sustaining OER Adoption and Use
  • The Role of Instructional Designers in Advocating for Supporting or Sustaining OER Adoption and Use
  • The Role of Librarians in Advocating for Supporting or Sustaining OER Adoption and Use
  • The Role of Students in Advocating for Supporting or Sustaining OER Adoption and Use
  • Tools and Technologies Supporting Open Education
  • Unanticipated Topics
  • What's Next for OER and Open Education