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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Eastman-Mullins

The Future of Teaching is Outside the Textbook: OER and Learning Objects

In teaching and learning, why should textbooks get all the attention? Thanks to Against the Grain for inviting our perspective on Open Educational Resources (OER) and digital learning in the January issue.

Learning content other than textbooks has enormous potential to improve teaching and student affordability, but it needs discovery, trust, and recognition.

"Most libraries support affordable learning through the lens of books — offering textbooks on reserve, ordering eBooks for courses, and advocating for OER textbooks. Yet faculty are teaching with learning content beyond the book. Digital learning objects like videos, podcasts, interactive quizzes, case studies, etc. can have the same impact on student outcomes, are less expensive to create, and are growing in use. Since this content doesn’t follow traditional models, faculty are designing their own materials and sharing ideas in ways that are often temporal and siloed. Lacking a reliable way to find relevant learning resources, faculty often become frustrated and revert to commercial curriculum, placing the costs back on students who need support the most."

See the full issue for more articles on the importance of “wild” content--video, grey literature, learning objects, and websites that are heavily used but often overlooked in scholarly communications.

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