[Video] How an Open LMS Solves Your OER Challenges

Like these machine cogs, an open LMS works nicely with OER venders to solve key challenges.
Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

[Video] How an Open LMS Solves Your OER Challenges

Posted in Pro Tips | June 15, 2017

Do you know the difference between open education resources (OERs) and any other free resource available on the internet? Assuming they are the same can have legal consequences due to copyright infringement.

Click here to learn how to build curriculum with free resources (the right way) from an OER expert.
 

OERs are freely available, open resources that explicitly state how you and your students can use them and want purposes. The operative word here being "open." That means you can reuse, remix, build upon, and share them publicly.

And even though there are a ton of websites dedicated to OERs, the challenge becomes finding and curating them ... unless, of course, you use an open learning management system (LMS).

How an Open LMS Solves Your OER Challenges

 

 

Finding and curating OERs, a process explained in detail in our webinar with Director of Instructional Technology and Digital Learning Fran Kompar, is the biggest hurdle when trying to utilize the amazing free resources available on the web. 

They are scattered on numerous sites, they take time and effort to evaluate, and then you have to figure out what kind of experience you want your students to have with them. Below are three reasons why using an open LMS essentially eliminates these challenges, enabling you to make use of OERs without all the hassle.

An Open LMS Makes it Easier to Tap Into OER Providers

By definition, an "open" LMS works well with other vendors to pull more of what you need into a single place. That means the LMS vendor works alongside content providers to make it easier to access and use their content within the digital learning environment.

So if you use an open LMS, such as Schoology, you have a whole team of people actively searching for high quality content vendors they think you'll love. Integrations with these vendors are built and suddenly you have access to great content all from one place at your fingertips.

Evaluating OERs is Easier with Team Collaboration

One of the hallmarks of any modern LMS is the ability for faculty to share and collaborate together—whether in professional learning communities (PLCs), departmental groups, or curriculum teams. When everyone has access to the same pooled resources and effective tools for coordinating ideas and efforts, evaluating resources and figuring out how to incorporate them in a meaningful way becomes much more manageable.

And if the LMS you're using works well with content providers, you can share OER and other publisher content and add it to your courses just as easily as you would any other resource that's native to the system.

Enhancing OERs with an Engaging Learning Experience

They say "content is king." If that's true, student experience is the kingdom. In other words, great content needs a great experience for it to be effective.

When you can easily pull OERs into an LMS, you're able to weave them into a pedagogical framework of your choosing. Whether that be a blended learning model, group differentiation, or self-paced individualization, the sky's the limit.

Also, it gives you the opportunity to combine integrated and native resources to increase their impact on the learning process. An OER video about WWII, for example, can be embedded into an online discussion within the LMS where students can comment and even post their own remixed versions of the video for a grade.

For more details on exactly what OERs are, the best practices for finding and evaluating them, and how they can help you transform learning, watch our webinar below.

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