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Friday, November 21 • 3:45pm - 4:15pm
Adopting and adapting: The higher-education faculty journey of opening education and resources

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Amid the skyrocketing costs of higher education in the United States, open educational resources (OERs) appear to be simple cost saving solutions. However, when viewing the OER movement against the landscape of broader social change, OER looks more like the front edge of a transformational tsunami bearing down on the institution of higher education. Why? Our current systems of higher education are largely built on the competitive paradigms of the industrial era, with aims of concentrating profit; closed access to education is then the means to ensure advantage over competitors. Faculty members who were acculturated into these industrial-era educational models find that their own sense of expertise relies on maintaining the mental model of themselves as authorities and gatekeepers of disciplinary knowledge. It is for this reason that OERs often occur as threatening to faculty - they represent a worldview that knowledge is found everywhere, can be accessed by anyone, and can be enhanced by anyone. In short, OERs undermine the expert model; they represent the emergence of collaborative learning communities that support genuinely student-centered learning. Successfully adopting OERs and adapting one's pedagogy then represents a substantial shift toward student-centered and peer-to-peer learning; this shift for faculty is a profound one.

What conditions must be in place for faculty to successfully transition from a sage to a coach in an educational resource model that is open? We have been exploring this question for the last four years through a learning initiative involving faculty members from the humanities, the natural sciences and engineering. What we have learned is that a robust learning system for integrating OERs has many counter-intuitive characteristics. One set of features concerns the faculty dispositions. Beyond a desire to experiment with alternative pedagogies, it seems that faculty also need to posses authenticity, presence, vulnerability to one's own state as a learner, satiation with the human need for respect, and skillful means for managing conflict. These dispositions also seem to require the presence of a safe and caring community that includes other faculty and students, fairly open lines of communication within this community and the ability to self-organize.

In this mini-workshop, we explore with the audience the experience of deconstructing the expert model to make room for OERs. We also share what can be expected for faculty during the journey of change and what can be done to support faculty in the change process.

Speakers
avatar for linda vanasupa

linda vanasupa

Professor, Materials Engineering, California Polytechnic State University
I'm still learning. Librarians are one of my three favorite kinds of people along with mothers and nurses, so I am looking forward to meeting you. | | I am passionate about what seems to me to be the present moment in our collective history; this feels to me as a shift in human consciousness toward integrating "science" and "humanities" (one might equally say "western" and "eastern" world views or "masculine" and "feminine" energies... Read More →


Friday November 21, 2014 3:45pm - 4:15pm
Crystal Ballroom

Attendees (58)