Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Changing Expectations of Learning

While saving money on textbooks is important, it is also important to recognize that students invest a lot of time learning new ways to approach course materials when they use open resources.

Carol P. found that using open resources for her English course did affect the way that she studied.  “At first, the freedom from a textbook felt overwhelming. OER requires a more open-minded understanding of the material because the information seems to comes from all sides, instead of from one book that I can open and refer back to as I learn. I find myself expanding and expanding my circle of sources until I tell myself that I just need to stop, go back, and figure out what material is valuable.” While Carol knows that she saved money on her textbook, she notes that she printed a lot more during the course. However, she also notes that, “I may have kept a textbook for a year or two--just in case I might use it for another class--but, experiencing the freedom of searching for information online, will benefit me for the rest of my life.” As Carol points out, students might have to plan to make more decisions about materials when OER are used instead of traditional textbooks. “Using OER, I am challenged to search for information--with all of its broken links, advertisements, and/or technical difficulties--instead of simply opening my textbook. This process requires extra planning and good communication with my instructor. I believe that this better prepares me for the "real world" of managing stress, anticipating glitches, and collaborating with co-workers.”  

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