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OER for Student Success and Equity Symposium



Join us virtually on May 25th, 2023 for a day to reflect on and celebrate the progress made in Louisiana in creating, adapting, and adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) in support of student success, affordability, and equity.

Symposium Agenda

May 25, 2023

All times in Central time zone. All sessions via Zoom. 

9:45-10:00 AM: Symposium Welcome

10:00-11:00 AM: Keynote: Centering Student Success and Equity in OER Programs -- Regina Gong, Associate Dean for Student Success and Diversity, University of San Diego

11:05-1:30 PM: Lightning talks


Lightning Talks Agenda & Descriptions

All times in Central time zone. All sessions via Zoom. 

11:05 AM: Megan Lowe, "You Got an OER Friend in Me: Serving as the UL System OER Expert"

  • At the beginning of 2023, I was named the OER Expert for the University of Louisiana System (ULS). It is my job to facilitate to develop professional development on and promote the use of OER within the system. My presentation will talk about some of the things we have in the pike on that front. 
  • Slides

11:15 AM: Allen LeBlanc, "Dazed and Confused: My first six months with OER librarianship"

  • Just getting started with OER? Confused about what to learn or where to start looking? Feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew? Overwhelmed by the amount of information out there? Me too! In this lightning talk, I’ll be walking through a very candid take on my first months as an OER librarian at an academic library. I’ll point to resources that were (and weren’t!) very helpful in getting to know the field, how we started building our program from the ground up, and what pain points I experienced. This session will be far from an OER 101/OER Bootcamp, and will instead focus on resources, tools, and tips that helped me get up to speed.  If you are new to the game, or if you’ve got someone in your department who is, stop by and we can talk through some recommendations that helped me, and—who knows--they might even help you too! 
  • Resource list

11:25 AM: Sumita Roy, "Benefits of Using an Open Textbook"

  •  Using OER resources has benefitted my classroom instruction in several ways. One of the problems of teaching a writing course in an HBCU is that most students do not have access to a textbook. The market prices are prohibitive. Some universities offer book voucher options, but it has limited success. Thus, typically, assignments are not completed in time, test scores are low, students show waning interest in lessons, and learning outcomes are low. Some students either drop out, or fail.  In my first semester of using an OER textbook this semester has thus far reaped some benefits. I used the LOUIS sponsored Open Textbook Strategies for Effective Business Communication authored by our cohort group. It was designed to support students enrolled in Dual Enrollment and Professional Communication courses in Louisiana.  My methodology was to use this as the standard textbook in my online Technical Writing course. Since there is considerable overlap between business and technical writing, the book sufficed with additional supplemental materials. I supplemented materials on technical writing from other OER resources.  While the course is not completed yet, and I do not have definitive statistics, it is worthwhile to share some positive features in the ongoing process. There are no complaints about not having access to a textbook from students, test scores are average, with some students scoring high, a higher percentage of students are participating in the quizzes and tests, and the drop- out rate has reduced. The interactive components of the Pressbook have increased student engagement.

11:35 AM: Esperanza Zenon, "Using Open Education Resources to Support an Online Dual Enrollment Chemistry Course"

  • This presentation will focus on the development and utilization of openly licensed materials (OER) to support a dual enrollment online chemistry lecture-lab combination course developed as part of the Interactive OER for Dual Enrollment project funded via the Open Textbooks Pilot grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education. This presentation will allow attendees to share their knowledge and experience with open content and open pedagogy. They will also share strategies and tools for creating content and curriculum that is inclusive of all learners. Attendees will also discuss opportunities for funding dual enrollment projects that they are aware of or have utilized.
  • Slides

11:50 AM: Maya Banks, "An Examination of OER Impact on Student Academic Performance at Southern University and A&M College-Baton Rouge"

  • The rising cost to attend college is one of the most pressing issues affecting higher education today. According to reports by the U.S. Public Research Interest Group (PIRG), high textbook prices can deter students from purchasing required course materials and negatively impact their academic experiences (Senack, 2014). Many universities are adopting open educational resources as a solution to lower costs, promote success and retention, and reduce soaring student loan debt. Public higher education institutions in Louisiana were given a mandate from the Louisiana Board of Regents to implement OER as an alternative to expensive course materials. This research aims to find whether there is a measurable impact on student academic performance attributable to the adoption of open educational resources or affordable educational resources for students at Southern University-Baton Rouge. The study seeks to determine whether the use of OER/AER course materials has a significant impact on student withdrawal and completion (grade C or higher), when compared with the same courses using non-OER course materials.  To organize this study, the Cost, Outcomes, Use, and Perceptions (COUP) framework will be used. Given that philanthropy, state policy, and federal legislation are actively promoting the development and adoption of open educational resources, examining OER impact will provide much-needed empirical evidence that fills a gap in the research literature.
  • Slides

12:00 PM: Jerry Parker, "Developing World Language Proficiency through the Open Educational Resources and the Knowledge Development Model"

  • As argued by Adams (2017) the landscape of learning and knowledge is changing rapidly and the idea of what are knowledge and facts is being challenged daily in incredible ways. Further, learning in higher education is increasingly taking place more often in virtual spaces. Responsive designs to virtual learning environments to address these changes offer challenges and opportunities for innovative approaches to teaching and the enhancement of learning. This presentation will demonstrate tactics to teaching world languages through integrating Open Educational Resources (OER) and using the Knowledge Development Model (Adams, 2017). Recent developments in artificial intelligence (e.g., ChatGPT, GPT-4, Magic 3D) have changed how we teach online. Each day teachers must re-evaluate the purpose of our teaching and the methods and approaches that we deem appropriate. As it relates to World Languages, this conversation centers on teachers’ ability to advance our students forward in how we teach and progressing their level of linguistic proficiency. This presentation will show how Open Educational Resources can be leveraged to grow proficiency beyond the constraints of the traditional publisher. In utilizing the Knowledge Development Model in combination with OERs, world language courses have the opportunity to accelerate student learning through integrating non-traditional tools such as websites, videos, and social media posts into each lesson. This presentation will show how such tools can be normalized into online courses and further student understanding. 
  • Slides

12:10 PM: Amelia Brister, "Learn with podcasts! Creating Podcast Lectures to Enhance Dual Enrollment Students’ Engagement with History"

  • Creating Podcast episodes to enhance student engagements is easier than you think! Join Amelia as she discusses creation of OER licensed podcasts embedded in LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network created OER CHIS 1113 World Civilization I course. This session will include topics on time management, building the dream team, narrowing episode focus, preparing for the target audience, and lessons learned. This project was made possible through the Louisiana Board of Regents eLearning Innovation Grants Program and is still in progress. 

12:20 PM: Marty Miller: "Under Construction: An Overview of the Development of a Visual Literacy OER and Its Potential Applications Across the Curriculum"

  • This Visual Literacy tool was inspired by my involvement in the LOUIS Interactive OER for Dual Enrollment project, 2021-2022.  The need for such a tool was revealed through analysis of four semesters of student visual literacy survey results.  This tool is meant to help students refresh and hone their visual literacy skills, while at the same time reducing their reliance on prompts. This presentation will discuss how both Merrill’s First Principle of Instruction and Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy were utilized to structure the tool as well as choose H5P activities that will meet these goals.  Examples of these H5P activities will be highlighted. It will also explain how this tool can be applied to other disciplines, such as World Languages, Mass Communication, and other fields of study that utilize visual elements to enhance student learning.  I will also discuss the preliminary evaluation process and potential use in online courses.   
  • Slides

12:35 PM: Brian Sherman, "Applying Open Pedagogy in Creating a Freshmen Seminar Textbook"

  • This session will explore how freshmen seminar courses can be a playground to explore open pedagogy to create renewable assignments that are engaging and empowering. Using this student-centered approach to empower students as content creators, freshmen seminar instructors can encourage students to create openly-licensed freshmen seminar textbooks that can be shared and built upon in subsequent cohorts. Having students create textbooks based on their own experiences adds extensive value that not only captures multiple voices, but enhances efforts to facilitate equity, access, and learning. Applying open pedagogy provides a path for colleges and universities to not only provide agency to freshmen voices, but also creates opportunity to explore how freshmen experiences change over time.
  • Slides

12:45 PM: Manyu Li, "OER and open pedagogy in computational social science for Louisiana colleges: Progress and challenges"

  • There has been a global trend to conduct social science research using data science methods, such as big data, network analysis, etc. This interdisciplinary area, Computational Social Science (CSS), requires learners to first have foundational knowledge in coding and data analysis. To help Louisiana social science college students to catch up with the trend and to fight against to fear of mathematics, statistics, and computation, interactive OERs with open pedagogy were developed. This presentation will share the progress and challenges of the development and implementation Rapport-building, Equitable, Learner-centered, Authentic Computational Social Science (RELACSS) beginner program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and two other Louisiana colleges. During the talk, the developer of RELACSS will share design methods, the open pedagogy, and the structure of RELACSS workshop, and future plans. Specifically, a series of data analysis lessons was developed using the R Shiny App and will be demonstrated using minimal technology (only a web browser is needed). The audience will be able to follow the demonstration and see the various functions of the lessons, including 1) interactive codes that students can follow and run in real-time with the instructor, 2) hints and solutions that are designed to help students learn problem-solving skills, 3) real data set that incorporates inquiry-based learning, and 4) embedded practice questions that instructor can use to check in to students' understanding during the learning process. 
  • Slides

12:55 PM: Adronisha Frazier, "Integrating Learning Analytics with OERs"

  • As a Louisiana State University doctoral candidate, I am interested in completing a three-paper dissertation on open educational resources (OERs). In my first paper, I provide a comprehensive literature review on student perceptions of OERs in science disciplines. In my third paper, I explore a framework that supports postgraduates in selecting and implementing OERs in microbiology courses. In my second paper, I focus on using learning analytics in biology courses that use OER textbooks to assess student success and inform course design. Learning management systems, Canvas and Moodle, allow educators to access student profiles and utilize data metrics to inform instructor feedback, interactions, and course design. However, one of the limitations I found in my study is the inability to determine direct OER usage. I am unaware of existing platforms that allow instructors to access student participation variables with OERs, see how students access the OERs, or determine how often students access the OERs. The instructors must utilize student feedback from survey instruments and interview protocols to explore variables such as OER access and usage frequency. Therefore, having a direct association between a learning analytics system and OERs would allow additional studies, such as exploring if OER usage influences students' grades on quizzes, assignments, and discussion board responses. This learning analytics system for OER implementation must be equitable and address data privacy concerns.
  • Slides

1:05 PM: Elizabeth Robertson Hornsby, "Leveraging AI in Open Educational Resources for Equity and Student Success"

  • This presentation will explore how Open Educational Resources (OER) can be used to promote equity in education through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The presentation will begin by defining OER and AI and their importance in promoting equity in education. It will then discuss how AI can be used to personalize learning experiences for students from diverse backgrounds and how OER can be used to provide access to high-quality educational resources for all students regardless of their socio-economic status. Finally, it will provide examples of how OER and AI have been used successfully in other educational contexts to promote equity.
  • Slides

1:15 PM: Jared Eusea, "Using MyOpenMath: An OER Assessment Tool"

  • This presentation will give an overview of using an OER assessment tool: MyOpenMath. This is a free and open homework and testing system with a primary Math focus, but with some Physics and Chemistry options, as well. Participants will gain an overview of how to copy promoted courses, create assignments, change settings, and more – all easily done to allow faculty to start using it immediately in their courses to supplement student learning. The presentation will also demonstrate the ease of integration and functionality in Canvas.


If you have any questions, please contact the Emily Frank, Affordable Learning Administrator at LOUIS. 


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Funding and Attribution

The contents of this website were developed via a grant for the Interactive OER for Dual Enrollment, which was funded by the Open Textbooks Pilot grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. 

The Call for Proposals description is an adaptation of the Call for Proposals from the Open Education Conference, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.