Reading for Second Meeting

Hello Everyone! I found this article way back after our first meeting. As a student, I am learning more about open education and what it means. I have never used hypothes.is and I am enjoying it so far. It is nice to see a platform where others are able to contribute their thoughts and include different text. Since we are sharing among each other readings, I found this one. I hope you all enjoy reading it. See you all in the next meeting!

9 thoughts on “Reading for Second Meeting

  1. Laura Spinu

    Hi everyone,

    And Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing all of you next week. I am adding my reading suggestion in reply to this post, so they can all be grouped together and found more easily. I have selected a really short article for us to consider, however, the topic seems quite important to me and I am very interested in getting your input on it.


    Veletsianos, G. Open educational resources: expanding equity or reflecting and furthering inequities?. Education Tech Research Dev (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09840-y


    1. Dorina Tila

      Hi Laura, thank you for sharing this article. It is interesting and has made me think of these three questions shown in the end of the article: 1) who creates OER; 2) who is and who is not represented in OER; and 3) who is cited in OER? Asking these questions would help us understand whether OER is closing the equity gap and being inclusive… as it is more than providing zero-cost access. I wanted also to discuss in our meeting about the last statement in this article “Our efforts for more equitable and inclusive futures need to address not just other people’s OER, but also our own contexts.” Does this mean that we have to focus also on how our own OER or open assignments are equitable an inclusive?

      1. Laura Spinu

        What a great question, Dorina. I did not realize I had not read that last line so carefully until you asked about it. My two readings of this statement: (1) similar to your own thoughts, I take our own context to refer to certain internal limitations such as implicit bias that might prevent us from being equitable or inclusive, or (2) perhaps the way in which our own backgrounds and external limitations may place us in a position of limited impact within the OER ‘field’ – is our work overlooked, do we have access to (or, for that matter, availability for) OER training, do we feel comfortable calling out bad, inequitable practices, does our research integrate a variety of resources (in my case, for instance, experimental participants of different backgrounds) and so on.

        1. Shawna M. Brandle

          These are such great questions, and such a great article! The questions of who creates/works in and on OER are very important. For example, the people who can do the extra work of OER on top of their regular work, are people who are either compensated for it (in money, in time, or in some other institutional currency), or have the security to do it. So absent funding, adjuncts and part-time faculty will have less time to devote to OER, because it’s not their job, and they’re already being paid so much less than their work deserves. If you then cross-reference the extra work with the invisible additional service burdens born by minoritized faculty (Tricia Matthew’s Written/Unwritten on this is a great book, and in KBCC”s library!), then the people who “can” do OER is even more limited. And what does that result in? Limited perspectives that get into OER- if it’s all the same type of people doing it, then voices are left out. At CUNY, and at KCC (statistically, the least ethnically and racially diverse faculty in CUNY), that can mean that our OER work doesn’t look or sound like our students. This is an issue that exists outside of OER as well, and I appreciate this article’s call to remember that OER are not magically immune to it.

          One exercise is really useful (I think). Do a Google image search for “Professor” (or hug, or scientist) and see what comes up. Then do the same search, but set the advanced search parameters to “free to reuse” (this searches only explicitly openly licensed content). What do you see?

    2. Thomas L. Rothacker

      I love that you found such a recent and topical article, Laura! Thank you. It is so important to look at all of what we are talking about with OER’s and Open Education even more so now due to the pandemic and the limited resources and accessibility that our students may or may not have.

      The other mention from this article that I have to quote is ” A critical and equity-seeking adoption and examination of OER materials is necessary in order for practitioners and researchers to further dismantle some of the structural inequities that OER may reproduce.” I have been working out of an OER for a couple of years (one of if not THE only one for teaching Theatre) and many holes exist. It is a mediocre book that I feel was cobbled together without a lot of analysis and thought. I feel strongly that anyone who is committed to making OER’s as volatile and equal to textbooks in print needs to go through the same editing process.

  2. Emily Torres

    Students who go to college not only pay for tuition, but they have to pay for books, transportation, and more. For some, it is already difficult to pay a semester’s tuition. Especially during COVID-19 many works lost their jobs or weren’t able to work as much. This leads to a domino effect which the next step would be not having enough money to pay bills and keep up with your education. One point that was in the article, was that sometimes students cannot get the book on time because they might not have the money to buy the textbook. It creates a barrier that will leave the student behind in the course. This is just one of the many thoughts I had while reading the article. See you all soon!

  3. Dorina Tila

    I am not sure if this reply went through.

    Thank you for sharing this article. It is identifying several interesting topics of conversations, such as: different forms of openness (open data, open research, open textbooks, open access to courses, etc.). However, as an economist I have some questions about the different openness. Things are not created for free and they cannot be free. For the good of the society, we may have what we call public goods that can provide free access. For example, if funding is procured, textbooks and several resources can be created and the marginal cost of each additional individual using them is zero. They have high fixed cost, but no additional cost to use them. I can see this being free or open to everyone and it is viable. Such examples include OER, open assignments that we are creating, etc. However, providing free or open access to courses which are recurring services and cost increases as more people use it, it is not viable to be free. Now, I am going back to the article that mentions the Open University. It started with free when it was small but now it states “it can no longer cover the full cost of its operation from government grants and there is now a range of different fees to be paid.” So, as a person, I would love to create or live in a world that provides openness to everything, but as an economist, I have to recognize that some plans are not able to be viable in the long run.

  4. Emily Torres

    The article Jill shared about open access to scientific articles made me think more about the importance of how it will help both students and faculty in the long run. I never realized how important it is to read and have the advantage of reading published research or any science-related paper. In the article, it pointed out that some papers have a long list of citations, but the paper isn’t high quality because only some can read it. . In contrast, if there were more people exposed to reading the paper then it will probably create a more high-quality advantage to both the reader and author. You can say it is another form of barrier to students because some scientific articles aren’t free. Sometimes I would look through different websites because some would ask me to pay to read the article. It is something I find to be a struggle sometimes when writing research papers.

  5. Thomas L. Rothacker

    Emily, Thanks for posting this most helpful article. I like that it is short and simple and breaks down all the different terminology about Open Education all the forms it can take. I really enjoyed all of the examples and history from around the world.

    “An essential characteristic of open education is the removal of barriers to learning…” This quote is sticking with me. Barriers can be defined by so many things but the first that always comes to my mind is financial. I have to keep reminding myself that CUNY Community Colleges were FREE tuition before the early 1990’s!


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