3. Place Support for Instructors and Institutions

In today’s world, a digital solution is only as good as the support behind it. Technical and customer support are key but, to really embrace digital materials, instructors need the support of teams that focus on application and training as well.

4. Highlight Learning and Teaching Expertise

Content and technology are important but are only part of the equation. We have to be able to look at the entire learning experience in order to have OER reach its full potential. Instructional designers, subject matter and teaching experts and authors, look beyond just the course materials and can design solutions that facilitate excellent learning experiences.

There are many areas where OER could benefit from the support of partners with a deep understanding of the learning experience and a deep history in content development and technology. Many in the education industry feel we can and should play a role in the transformation around us. If we can help, we should.

Good content doesn’t need to be proprietary, and giving users the freedom, flexibility, and authority to change content to meet teaching and learning needs, all while saving money is a good thing. That is why Cengage has launched OpenNow, new digital course solutions that make it easy to work with and use open educational resources (OER). The cost per student, per course starts at just $25.

Why publishers are trying to push the #oer movement forward in #hed

Our goal is to make higher education more affordable for learners but, importantly, we are also contributing content to the community. Whether that’s full texts, assessment questions, or modified OER that may be clearer, more accurate, or current, we know that giving back is as important as using, if not more. All of our contributions include a Creative Commons license (CC-BY).

Although it’s an exciting time and there remain many unknowns, I’m encouraged. The conversation the education community is having around equity, access, outcomes, and taking control of teaching and learning–all matters that OER has an integral role in solving–are issues that I’m personally passionate about and fortunate to work for a company that wants to contribute.

About the Author:

Cheryl Costantini is the vice president of Content Strategy for Cengage.

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