55: Open Educational Resources at University of Georgia w/ Nick Colvard

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Nicholas Colvard, Lecturer and Academic Coach in the Division of Academic Enhancement at University of Georgia, discusses both the potential economic and academic benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER) and the results of their latest findings re: OER at University of Georgia.

You're listening to enroment growth,university from helic education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to an Roman GrowthUniversity, a proud member of the connect Evu podcast network ImericalsonAVP of marketing, an helics education and we're here today with DoctorNicholas Covart Lectuer, an academic coach in the division of Acedemicenhancement at University of Georgia. Nick welcome to the show, thank you forhaving me so excited to speak with you today and talk about both the potentialeconomic and academic benefits of open educational resources oer before we diginto that Nick. Can you get the listeners a little bit betterunderstanding of both University of Georgia and your rule? There yeah, ofcourse, so the University of Georgia is a land and seagrant institution inGeorgia. It's actually known, as probably the first public university inthe country, for you know an Undergrad education. Currently we have aroundtwenty six to twenty. Seven thousand undergraduates and rolled, maybeactually the number, is getting closer to twenty nine thousand and we have avariety of students or demographics in which make up that Undergrad body. Wealso have multiple graduate level schools or institutions within the theuniversity and a whole suite of faculty disciplines that would addressthose needs for both the land and secrent funding. My role at theUniversity of Georgia or what I'll just say Uga from now on, is working in theacademic division of academic enhancement as a lecture, an academiccoach and I'm specifically the lecturer for our stem or science technology,engineering and mathematics literacies...

...course. So this is helping elevate, allstudents and getting them ready for a stim based major at to complete theirundergraduate career Chere at Uga, and the division of aconemic enhancement ishere to help support students as they enter their college career insurincesuccess and completion, especially for those that may be underrepresented oreven a first gin college student. Nick to start this conversation off today.Can you get the listeners a quick overview of what open educationalresources are and some of the practical and maybe more audatious goals andhopes behind them? Are Okay, so, like Youhad, mentioned, open educationalresources, Ore Oer, our high quality teaching, learning and researchmaterials that are free for people everywhere to use and repurpose, so oer can consist of a text, media or other digital assets, not solelylimited to just textbooks? Oh, we ar materials are licensed in a manner thatprovide users with free and perpetual permission to engage in what we callthe five R activities or five are permissions, and those consist ofretain reuse, revise, remix and redistribute, and so breaking thosedown retain, allows the individual to have the right to make own and controlcopies of the content. So, for example, you can download duplicate, store andmanage that resource to Taylor, to your specific demographic or your specificstudent body, you can reuse it. So the rights on that material are for you touse the content in a wide range of ways. So, for example, in a class and a studygroup on a website in a video, you don't have to necessarily use it forits initial intended purpose. You can...

...again reuse it to fit. The needs ofyour student group revise, allows you to have the rights to adapt, to justmodify or even alter the content itself again, to best encourage your studentsto use that material. For example, if you needed to translate some text intoanother language or provide it in a manner that is approachable to yourstudents, with the socioeconomic background that they mayhave, you will have the right and freedom to do so. Remix is allowing theuser to have the right to combine that original work with other revisedcontent or other materials to greed, something new and so in a sense you canmash it up with other works or material that you may already have personallyand then finally redistribute so. This is giving you the right to share copiesof that original work. Along with your revisions or your remixes with othersand in essence, you're just contributing to the larger work, that'sout there of Oh, we are and helping spread that curriculum far and widesuper appreciate the high level overview to kick us off today. Yourecently coauthor a paper called the impact of open educational resources onvarious students. Success medrics. Can you give us a high level of review ofthe study and its findings regarding Oh e re at Uga, so, like ID mentioned, I'mcurrently a lecture in acanemic coach within division of ACONMIC enhancement.However, during this study I was a research associate within the centerfor teaching and learning at the University of Georgia, and mycolleagues and coauthors on this work, Dr Eddi Watson, who at the time was thedirector of the CTL at Georgia, but is now the associate vice president forquality, advocacy and leap initiatives at the Association of American collegesand universities or AAC EU and Honten...

Park, who at the time, was apostoctoral scholar in the CTL and now a lecture at the Iwa Women's Universityin Korea. The group of US wanted to evaluate how coursis employing oerimpacted student, success, metrics and student academic achievement byDisaggregatinn student performance based upon a few metrics, and what wefirst wanted to break down was those that were federally determined to bereceiving in significant financial aid or essentially federal pilgrantrecipients additi. Additionally, we looked at student, ethnic origin and finally, ourstudy evaluated registration status of the students so part time versus fulltime, students. So using those metrics, we looked at eight large intrajectorylevel courses that span a range of disciplines across the university.Everything from biology to sociology psychology and even history and thosecourses initially going back a few years ago, were approached by the CTLbecause of the large ent populations that were enrolled in them. They had a largeer, an expensive commercialtextbook associated with the curriculum at the time, and the sea t, along withthe faculty involved in those courses, felt that maybe that would be the besttarget to work on employing a or adopting an or to have the broadestreach to the student population here at Uga. And if you wanted to find out somemore information about how that study was done or set up. You can look at arecent publication by Watson, demesi and Clou Sittar in two thousand andseventeen, which looked at that initial setup of this, of kind of recruitingthese different faculty members and disciplines into Adopti, Noer and thenalso faculty and student perception around that. However, our study wasreally looking at kind of a hosthalk...

...analysis and after the fact of thoseadoptions and how that may have impacted stuent performance or Suingrades, so r steady found that average course grades increased for allstudents when owers were adopted and that's great, but it also founddisproportionately increased those grades for pelrecipient students,students of color and parttime students or what we consider kind ofnontraditional students. Additionally, we saw significant decreases in dfwrates or D F and withdrawal grades for those same Cohortos, students andcourses that adopted oer compared to those same courses prior to oeoradoption. Now this is extremely encouraging because we feel like Oh, weare helping to level the academic clanfield for those students that maybe historically underserved in higher education. Now I do want to note thatthese eight courses that had the corresponding faculty membersassociated to him. We only evaluated those courses that had the sameinstructor, pre and Post Oar adoption. So we were working to eliminate facultybias or a potential confounding factor of adifferent faculty member teaching a course with or without ower. So wetried to account for the Faculty member when looking at these courses, so thatkind of narrow down our scope, though there are more courses that do adoptohwe, are here at Uga. We were really constrained by this exact courses thatalso had the that same faculty, Eber teaching them prior to an oer adoption.Now we recognize there are other limitations or assumptions that weremade in our study y. u now again, we are only able to consider students in asingle large aggregate, and that was due to federal privacy regulationsaround student financial aid and that's...

...a federally mandated regulation orPrivacy Law. Some of the courses that adopted AER did have assistance fromthe CTL, and course design and kind of helping them through that process ofhow do you redesign a course with the intention of taking on a new textbookor curriculum, and it's also probable, that the adoption of ower basedtextbook served as maybe a catalyst to further the instructors engagement withtheir teaching, but this is still a great step and better in our understandof how e Ar can impact students. Additionally, thes study only evaluatedend, of course grades. So though, there are number of other course assessmentsthat went into generating those final grades for these respective classesbecause of the nature of the Dataset final grades were the only thing thatwe were able to use to assess student performance.Ultimately, the study suggests that owear speaks to all three of the greatchallenges facing higher education. Today, affordability, retention andcompletion and quality of student learning, Nikats actoally, fascinatingresearch. You mentioned some of the different potential takeways that youcould have weth. Looking at this study and people Ha Hav had those so'mwondering whether, like you mentioned, the oer materials themselves weresimply better and cause the improved impact, some believing that theaffordability of oer resources means that students who can't affode forrd orchoose not to purchase traditional textbooks or actually using textbooksind their course and thes study proves that this is a clear case of pureaccess causing the academic improvement. What's your personal confidence levelthat making course materials more affordable with Oer does indeed improveto utilization? Well, I believe the research speaks foritself here, along with other studies, so not only are sa, but several otherworkout there are showing the positive...

...impact. Oh, we are having on studentengagement, student participation and students success in their courses, theVeriga ways students are able to access and use material allow for that. Thereare studies and student testimonials that speak to this, specifically, wherestudents talk about how they can access their curriculum from their computerfrom their mold devices when they're in a car, when they're in the library,when they're at home and not having a care round or keep track of multiple books or evenlarge textbooks for that matter is allowing for that ease of engagement inthe material. So some students have reported using even the audio featureto listen to their books, like I said on a commute when they're traveling tothat university, especially those nontraditional students that areworking a fulltime job as well so owe ar speaks to the afpormissionattainment gap. There is an expectation that grades are an indicator o studentachievement within corsettings and by simply ensuring that all students,regardless of their need or background, have access to course, materials. Onthe first day of class, the quality and extent of learning appears to beimproved. Thak. You thought talk through some of the studenttestimonials that you have seen and heard firsthand. Can you talk aboutsome of the Faculty perceptions of we are at Uga? I'm curious what some ofthe strongest cases for adoption and nonadoption of open educationalresources are today yeah. So, though, our study down o explicitly look atstudent or even faculty perception around Oer again, I would direct you tosome of the research that is out there. T at that speaks to that and again theWatson Dumesian Klauser in two thousand, and seventeen did look at thatspecifically. But I believe there are many faculty instructors and evenadministration out there that do not...

...yet know whatbut we ar are and by that are skeptical just from theunknown and as we theoer community are working to increase that knowledge base.We will see more and more support for this work across the country and thatspands from two year, colleges to private for your universities andeverything in between, as you increase, people's understanding and knowledge ofwhat this curriculum is, how it's vetted, how it goes through aneditorial process, just like commercial textbooks, then you will see anincrease, support and adoption by a magnitude of the faculty, aninstructors nick any next tepps recommendations for other institutionswho listening today really excited about what they're hearing and excitedabout the promise that we see in your research who are trying to think abouthow to investigate the possibility of moving toward open educationalresources on their campus. I would say you know, look into Oer, give it achance. You owe it to your students to provide a high quality material thatensures affordability, retention, completion and quality of studentlearning for all students again, regardless of their background or theirneed, or their socioeconomic history, provide training, workshops andinitiatives to help faculty understand what owe are are and how they can beginto apply them into their classroom. I would say, find an oear champion onyour campus to help support faculty and administration in that process, so yourequivalent centers for teaching and learning the libraries are amazingpartners, ind resources in this process. If you are curious to see this doneeven on a state widescale, I would encourage you to look at Utah and seewhat they're doing with oer and they're doing this from everything from theprimary education up to higher education. It is extremely encouragingto see the wide range that this can...

...take place and even just recently,Congress approved the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and sothis is HR, two thousand a thrdd and fifty three, and this bill includes,for the first time, provisions permitting o wear as an allowable useof funds for state and local centers for technology and education activities,and so use that, as maybe a springboard or an encouragement to see what youruniversity, your your institution, can do to adopt. Oer and if you start small,that's fine, like Uga did target some of those large classes that are havingthe biggest impact on your kind of introductory level. Freshman Sophomorestudent and then you can start to expand out to some of those morespecified smaller courses with encouragement and increase perceptionor adoption from your faculty nick. Thank you so much for your time today.What's the best place for listeners to connect with you if they haveme followup questions, so my email is Nicholas Dot cobard at Uga Daedu andI'm also in twitter at Nicholas Cohard. I'd be happy to address any furtherpoints of questions or comments that you may have as well. As you know,encourage you to see what other resources are out. There awesome thanksgain so much for joining ut today. Nick. Thank you very much for the opportunityattracting today's new post. Traditional learners means adopting newenrolmant strategies. Keeloks educations data driven enterprise, wideapproach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges, induniversities thrive in this new education, landscape and Helex has justpublished the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook, with fiftypercent brand new content on how institutions can solve today's mostpressing enromant growth challenges download it today for free at Helocs,Educationcom playbook...

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