Open education news from Las Vegas conference

Open education conference news

Students making their own textbooks with open content!
(Afnan-Manns, Mickelsen and Medrano, Paradise Valley Community College, US).

This talk on open education from Paradise Valley Community College (http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/) was a nice example of students being involved in open educational activities and gaining many benefits. Library staff worked with students to provide them with digital literacy skills to search for open educational materials and content on the internet, and then worked with them to evaluate the quality and critically appraise the content. These skills themselves are critical today for our information-driven society and are important for all university leavers to grasp.

Open Education

How did they change their courses?

They replaced face-to-face lectures on international business with interactive sessions supplemented with lectures. Through this, students became curators of their digital information and compiled an open textbook to replace an existing recommended text. Why do this? It seems that with high fees, the prospects of students buying expensive course books is a barrier to them enrolling and taking courses in the US. Also in some subjects, the books cannot keep up with say medical advances, current affairs and global activities. This is where open education has the advantage of being continually shared and added and updated on the internet.

How were the teaching sessions structured? Students formed teams and each decided upon a book chapter, e.g. product life cycles, globalisation etc. They then searched for OER and retrieved a bundle of good quality materials. As their text book chapter contribution they reviewed the OER with a summary, wrote keywords and a headline. The chapter was correctly cited and referenced to attribute the OER. Students produced their work in Blackboard on a WIKI so could view each others work and provide comments.

The work was monitored by library team and module academic Dr Morano. As he commented, the wealth of material retrieved by the students was amazing, and found new items and information that he couldn’t have possibly read. Also, the module was brought alive by real-time events and news.

Open education practices – the downside?

As always, new advances take an investment of time, and open education practices are no exception. Time was required to up-skill the students in digital literacy, and time was needed to encourage them to write WIKIS and comment. Dr Morano to transfer from a diactic content delivery to more interactive teaching sessions, which were backed up by lectures. This resulted in changes to module assessment because learning outcomes were not static year on year and changed with the nature of the resources found. This would have implications for writing examination questions early in the year before content was delivered.

The upside!

Through being involved in open education and by becoming partners in learning, the business students learnt practical skills of managing information, and experienced team-working and working collaboratively in an on-line environment. Their test scores improved, although the longer term impact on enrollment or retention where “text book-free” courses are seen as a popular choice remains to be seen.

 

Biomedical Science and How to Use a Pipette

Biomedical science pipetting
Image: Microscopy open educational resources.
 
Creative Commons BY SA.

Content Authors:                     Level:

Dr Graham Basten                                 School, College, University, General interest

OER Features: (bundle of 7 resources)

Biomedical science resources: Different Types of Pipette

Biomedical science resources: Pi-Pump Pipette

Biomedical science resources: Micropipettes

Transcript of videos PDF file

Transcript of videos Word file

Multiple choice quiz PDF file

Multiple choice quiz Word file

OER Description:

In the biomedical science laboratory, the pipette is a fundamental piece of equipment that is used routinely for the dispensing of liquids, and pipetting is a skill that takes time to acquire and perfect. There are very few procedures in the laboratory that do not require the addition of a liquid or a solution at some point, from applying stains in histology, to carrying out a spectrophotometer assay.

There are several different types of pipette and each is used in a different situation. You might only require a quick and rough application of a liquid for example to wash a stain off a histology glass slide, so a plastic pipette would suffice. However, if you were performing an assay that was going to give you accurate numbers for the concentration of say glucose in the blood, then a more accurate type of pipette such as a micropipette would be required. Other procedures for example genetic techniques might require the pipetting of tiny amounts would also require very small volume micropipettes to use.

These OERs are a series of 3 videos by Dr Graham Basten explaining the three different type of pipettes and when it is appropriate to use them in the biomedical science laboratory. The other resources include a full transcript of all 3 videos and a short set of multiple choice questions written by Biomedical Science students for release as open educational resources (OERs).

Biomedical Science Laboratory Photographs

Image: Laboratory safety open educational resources
Creative Commons BY-SA (3.0)

Content Authors:                            Level:

Dr Viv Rolfe                                                       School, College, University, General interest

OER Features:

Laboratory safety photo gallery on Flickr

Spectrophotometry photo gallery on Flickr

Microbiology photo gallery on Flickr

 

OER Description:

We have uploaded three sets of biomedical science laboratory photographs onto FLICKR for your use and reuse.

The first is a set of images relating to laboratory safety. In the lab the understanding and compliance of health and safety procedures is hugely important for the safety of the individual and others working there. Here is a bundle of photographs illustrating safety signage, protective equipment and waste disposal equipment that you can use and reuse in either your own studies or to compile your own educational resources.

The second set relates to the use of the spectrophotometer and illustrations of a simple assay that we conducted as part of one of our other open educational resources. The photographs for example illustrate how to correctly place a cuvette into the machine, obtain readings, and how to prepare the relevant samples for an assay including a blank, standards of known concentrations and unknown samples.

The final set is relating to microbiology.

Feel free to use these biomedical science resources under the following Creative Commons license terms:

BY – by means please attribute us – De Montfort University HALSOER Project

SA – means if you adapt, crop or alter the images, please share alike – or share back what you have developed.