eLearning team attends 2018 MI OER Summit #MIOERSummit


Vince St. Germain, Hunter Bridwell, and Eric Kunnen from the eLearning team attended the 2018 MI OER Summit that was held at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, MI on September 21. In attendance at this event also was Annie Belanger, Jeffrey Daniels, and Matt Ruen from University Libraries, and Genevieve Elrod, Karyn Butler and Susan Strouse faculty Kirkhof College of Nursing.

See also: Nursing faculty publish OER book

This event is all about bringing together open education advocates and supporters for a day of networking, sharing and learning about the uses of open educational resources (OER) at their institutions.

Here is the conference program [pdf].

The keynote address was:

3b496b2d547be3677623693624656284Interrogating Access: Privacy, Equity & Open Education

by Dr. Chris Gilliard, Professor of English and Rhetoric, Macomb Community College, Faculty, 2018 Digital Pedagogy Lab, University of Mary Washington

The advantages of Open Educational Resources often conceal risks, particularly highly consequential risks to the privacy of working class students, students of color, and others from the margins of the student population. Exposing the vulnerabilities of OER to misuse in the contemporary world of surveillance capitalism not only reshapes our understanding of the movement itself, but also serves as a case study of the larger dangers of of “Edtech.”

In addition to a keynote, there were also 18 breakout sessions, including a session by GVSU faculty and staff entitled: “Standing on the Threshold with Faculty-focused OER”.


Pictured left to right: Genevieve Elrod, Susan Strouse, Hunter Bridwell, and Matt Ruen

In the session by GVSU, presenters discussed their process of recently entering the OER world. Rather than a textbook, they compiled a handbook of lesson plans for faculty teaching introductory research. The presenters discussed the creation, collaboration, and dissemination involved in this project as well as their future plans. Genevieve Elrod, Susan Strouse, and Karyn Butler also presented their work at a Kirkhof College of Nursing faculty meeting.

Vince St. Germain, eLearning and Instructional Technology Specialist, captured the following notes from a variety of couple of sessions:

Takeaways from Running an OER Workshop for Faculty

Stephen Finlay – Indiana University-South Bend

Key Take-Aways from the session.

  1. Don’t just talk about the cost benefits.
  2. Use existing Library subscriptions and databases.
  3. The use of multiple OER sources in a course move beyond the confines of a single textbook. Create a suite of resources (there is no one perfect text).
  4. Find a faculty champion. Counter the naysayers with faculty to faculty groups and discussions.
  5. Use more technology. Flip the classroom.

Just DOER it: Designing Renewable Assessments with Open Educational Resources

Marisa Enos – Mid Michigan College

Are your assessments Renewable or landfill? Landfill or disposable assignments are those that a student throws away at the end of the semester.

Use the 5R Open Course Design Framework when thinking about and creating assessments.

  • Reuse
  • Revise
  • Remix
  • Redistribute
  • Retain

Open permits students to learn in new ways. Engage students in their work by making it more meaningful and useful (purposeful).

Hunter Bridwell, Digital Media Developer, captured the following notes during the conference:

Lessons from an OER Faculty Learning Community (305)

Northwestern Michigan College: Sarah Wangler, Mella McCormick

“In this presentation, open to all audiences, the facilitator and faculty learning community members discuss lessons learned about searching for, adopting, and implementing OERs in writing classes as both text and experiential learning as part of a FLC at Northwestern Michigan College.”

Who runs the course, you or the textbook?

  • Teaching philosophy online with OER. “Rethink the values of my discipline” what does that mean in Philosophy? Rethink discourse!
  • Asynchronistic discourse or “intellectual discourse”
  • Get rid of the textbook meant you had more resources.


Description: I practically tore my hair out in trying to find a way to genuinely honor the practice of the Socratic method in my online philosophy class. I soon discovered that the solution lies in viewing the values that are fundamental to your academic discipline in non-traditional ways. This presentation will share with you concrete examples and ideas for doing this in your own discipline including the non-traditional approach of teaching a course without a text hook.

My story challenge:

  • Core value in philosophy: Socratic Method
  • Traditional approach: Verbal dialogue
  • Re-thinking the meaning of dialogue for the online environment: I replaced the traditional verbal dialogue with an on-line intellectual dialogue wherein the instructor primes the “conversation by presenting the students with course content that is paired with probing questions that the student needs to think-through on her/his own first. The course content and probing questions are enriched and enhanced by custom-made video lessons that are designed to push the student’s thinking beyond its status quo by presenting alternative viewpoints, diving deeper into the content and challenging the student to ‘stretch’ her/his thinking.

Non-Traditional Teaching Opportunities: Teaching without a textbook. Replace textbooks with digital and/or audio text materials. Replace a chapter from the text book with alternative resources such as: Ted Talks, YouTube videos, case studies, Khan Academy, Problem Based Learning, Service Learning, Cross-disciplinary projects. Identify a particular topic from your course that students traditionally struggle with Create a custom-made video that explores the topic in more depth and interacts with the student on a more personal level.

Your Story/Challenge:

  • What are the core values in your academic discipline?
  • What are the “standard” or “traditional ways that these values are practiced in your discipline?
  • How can you “re-think” or “re-invent” your discipline values, especially in light of changing technology, changing student needs, and a changing environment?”


Kenda Lake and Tina Ulrich

  • Openwashing- giving something an appearance of open-source and open licensing for marketing purposes, will continuing proprietary practices
  • Derived from “Greenwashing”
  • “Inclusive Access” – co-opt the idea of a library with a fee. No access for perpetuity.
  • Guiding Principles
  • Common values
    • Adding value
    • Giving more than you take
    • Transparency about what you are using and selling
    • Attribution
    • Developing Trust
    • Not Exploiting
    • Defending the commons


Lisa Petrides, Toward a Sustainable OER Ecosystem

  •      Clearly shows the source authoring license
  •      Links to the CC license
  •      Proudly displays OpenStax partner status

Release! & Empower!

  • An appropriate stance for OER advocates when reviewing “OPEN” products from publishers.


“Questions to ask vendors who claim to be “open.”

  • Is the company or organization just using what others have created or are they somehow contributing back to the content provider? Is the company giving more than they take? Contribute
  • Does the average end-user (students & faculty members) know where the content came from? (Attribute)
  • Could the average end user (students & faculty members) easily download and retain the content? (Release)
  • Is the company or organization making it easy for others to expand upon the work to make it available to more learners? (Empower)

Kendra & Tina’s Questions:

  • Do students know they are paying for it and are they given a choice to opt out?
  • Is their marketing in any way exaggerating or obscuring proprietary practices?
  • What value are they claiming to add to the original material?
  • Is the company participating in good faith with the OER community?

Learn more about OER (open educational resources) and the support offered by the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team at GVSU.

The event was organized and facilitated through Michigan Colleges Online.