Building Knowledge and Practice through Supporting OER Adoption and Use

ISKME’s OER Commons network unites teachers with a curated collection of over 30,000 open educational resources (OER). Providing access alone, however, does not empower teachers to integrate OER into K-12 classrooms and other settings. To address this critical need, ISKME has – since 2006 – provided professional development (PD) workshops and supports for teachers, with a goal of fostering more seamless resource integration and enhanced knowledge sharing and collaboration.

In following up on the successes and further development needs of the PD model, ISKME recently conducted a survey to explore use practices of 83 teachers who had participated in its PD workshops. Key findings include:
  • Evidence of OER creation and use among teachers who have attended a PD workshop. Nearly all (95 percent) teachers surveyed had used OER within their classroom since their participation in the workshop. The most prevalent ways that teachers used OER was to enhance their own learning and to prepare for lessons.
  • Increased participation in collaborative curriculum development activities. From sharing and modifying materials with colleagues, to soliciting feedback from students and other teachers, a greater percentage of teachers reported that they had participated in these collaborative curriculum development activities post-training than they did pre-training.
  • An increase in modification and adaptation of curriculum materials when OER is introduced. A comparison of teachers’ curriculum use behaviors prior to and after participating in the workshop revealed that a greater percentage (from 66 percent before the workshop to 88 percent after) of teachers engaged in remixing and modifying materials since their participation.
  • Evidence of OER as a mechanism for enhanced teaching and learning. The majority (65 percent) of teachers surveyed reported that the use of OER materials in their courses impacted their teaching, and specifically in providing access to and ideas around new activities and content outside of their school’s prescribed curriculum resources.
On the whole, our analyses revealed that the OER professional development workshops have supported teachers in creating, using, sharing and reusing OER. In moving this work forward, ISKME will expand its PD model by creating an online training module, and working directly with districts to enable larger groups of teachers to collaborate and share around open educational resources.
Read more on ISKME’s OER research: