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Monday, October 18 • 1:00pm - 1:40pm
Institutional Transformation Towards OER: Community of Practice, Diversity, Assessment, and Policy

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With the support of a Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) OER institutional grant, Towson University, an institution serving a diverse student population of almost 23,000, is working to expand the use of Open Educational Resources (OER), to understand roadblocks to wider use of OER, and to contribute significantly to the knowledge base on the impact of OER on pedagogy and student success. The university is committed to the affordability and pedagogical benefits of OER use, especially those benefits that relate to equity and inclusion. Consistent with Towson University’s mission, the expansion of OER usage addresses problems relating to affordability and access to education as well as supporting student success. These issues are especially relevant to underserved populations. The project team and its partners—the library, FACET, Office of the Registrar, Office of Technology Services, M.O.S.T., and academic departments—are expanding OER usage through a community of practice model.

The project team leads the assessment of the impact of OER on teaching and learning pedagogies, thus contributing significantly to the field of OER scholarship. Consistent with the conference theme, several components of assessment within this initiative center on employing OER in support of culturally responsive curriculum development and inclusive pedagogy. The project’s goal of designating OER courses in the academic course schedule will permit under-resourced students to select course sections that they can better afford to take, enhancing success of this disadvantaged population.

Panelists will present information about the community of practice, the on-campus and external partnerships that support the growth of the program, the OER designation, and an innovative mixed-methods assessment program for courses participating in Towson University’s OER initiative. The community of practice and partnerships provide the impetus for growth and sustainability. The impending OER designation permits students to select course sections that they can afford and drives a culture of positive peer pressure among faculty to consider developing and using OER in their courses. The assessment approach measures the influence of OER on pedagogy and student success, with a special focus on measures for a) accessibility and cultural relevancy of texts and pedagogies and b) success of nontraditional students. The model as a whole is bringing about solid outcomes that will continue to grow over time.

We look forward to engaging with participants to share this model as well as its successes and challenges.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Understand the contributions of the community of practice and the internal and external partnerships that support OER discovery and usage
  • Consider adapting some components of overall model to their own campuses
  • Plan and design mixed-method assessments of OER pedagogy per se and in the context of equity and inclusion
  • Apply concepts to their own projects, based upon successes, challenges, and lessons learned by panelists

avatar for Mary Slade

Mary Slade

Professor, Early Childhood Education, Towson University

Samuel Collins

Professor Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice, Towson University

Karla Kubitz

Associate Professor Department of Kinesiology, Towson University
Karla Kubitz joined the Towson University Exercise Science faculty in the Department of Kinesiology in 1998. Dr. Kubitz’s teaching interests focus on the psychological aspects of sport and exercise. Her scholarly interests include understanding the psychophysiological aspects of... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott

Professor, Towson University

Patricia Westerman

Assistant Provost, Towson University
faculty development, digital accessibility, trauma-informed pedagogy, faculty mentoring

Alexei Kolesnikov

Professor of Mathematics, Towson University

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How to Join Live Sessions

Live sessions will be held throughout the day. Return to the session page shortly before the start time for a link to join the Zoom room. The join button will only be visible to logged in attendees. See the FAQ for more details.Live session formats include panels, presentations, discussions, and open space sessions. Most presentations and panels are recorded and posted by the next day. Discussions and open space sessions may not be recorded, so make sure to attend live.Note that live sessions begin on time, and the capacity... Read More →

Monday October 18, 2021 1:00pm - 1:40pm EDT
Room B