Dhipinder Walia from Lehman College adopts English 121: English Composition
TELL US WHY YOU CHOSE TO ADOPT OPEN RESOURCES, WHAT DID YOU USE BEFORE?
I remixed and developed an open educational resource for two reasons. The first is a selfish one. I have been teaching for eight years now, and after every single class, I search the halls for a colleague to share my experiences with. Whether it is to say how well an article worked in generating a conversation about analysis and literacy or how awfully boring a reading was both for me and my student, I want to talk about. OER then became a way to develop that community. I’m able to share what works with a global audience, and through applications like hypothes.is I’m able to show my students and colleagues how my teaching pedagogy has transformed over the years. The second reason I think is a more traditional one, anthologies become outdated fast. An anthology with articles about the value of technology in writing won’t be a must-have text for very long. Anthologies are also not as valuable to a student if the text is not a real life representation of the work they did in the classroom. Having a blog with a bunch of OER resources mixed with my old and current syllabi is useful (I hope) for my students because they’re a part of it.
WHAT HAPPENED THEN? HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO SWITCH OVER?
I thought I would develop a course blog with links to various wikis and open textbooks and be well on my way to a finished OER design. Instead, I realized in order for this OER to be long term, I needed to consider my blog a living, breathing thing that would grow and shift as I grow and shift and as composition and writing grows and shifts.
WHAT WAS THE REACTION FROM YOUR STUDENTS?
I think my students appreciate not having to buy a textbook. Many of my students, past and present, love that the blog belongs to them in some way. I have students who are able to go back to a writing exercise they posted and remind themselves of rhetorical strategies used so they can complete a biology assignment. I also have students who share the link to our blog to other students in need of more writing support. Again, OER really tapped in to the “communal” aspect of a classroom. It became a shared space that we all trekked through on our own and together.
This is an OER I created for an INTRO to Creative Writing course. It’s a series of podcasts created by advanced creative writers: https://soundcloud.com/user-495582924