WCET's 29th Annual Meeting
Beyond OER Implementation: Why Sustainability and The Learning Model Matter

Speaker: Peter Smith, Orkand Chair, Professor of Innovative Higher Education Practices, University of Maryland University College
Speaker: Kara Van Dam, Vice Provost, University of Maryland University College
Moderator: Carol Gering, Director of eLearning & Distance Education, University of Alaska Fairbanks

This presentation will update the WCET community on the continuation of UMUC’s OER initiative (2015 WOW Award winner), including the completion of OER adoption across graduate courses. In the initial implementation, we sought to improve access and reduce costs for students—objectives that have been achieved. Students in 2016 did not have to spend $19 million that they would have had to spend previously, and had access to all the learning resources needed with a click of a mouse. Our focus in this presentation, however, will be on how we plan to meet the challenges of sustainability, and better integrate our approach to OERs with our learning model.

Sustainability is complicated. Complex resources require considerable time and effort to design and integrate. Regulatory compliance and accessibility are key to quality. Building a taxonomy and database for OERs is key to efficiency and effectiveness.

Our learning model has moved away from “covering content” to preparing competent and confident professionals, students who know and can do. A project-based and competency-driven model impacts how learning resources are designed and deployed.