Using Targeted OERs to Develop Core Academic Skills in the Disciplines
- Nathan Whitley-Grassi, SUNY Empire State College
- Lisa D’Adamo-Weinstein, SUNY Empire State College
- Sophia Mavrogiannis, SUNY Empire State College
- Daniel McCrea, SUNY Empire State College
- Brett Sherman, SUNY Empire State College
- Mildred Van Bergen, SUNY Empire State College
Empire State College
Using Targeted OERs to Develop Core Academic Skills in the Disciplines is a project that will serve the goals of both Open SUNY and SUNY Excels, specifically the creation of open-source shareable learning resources, the development of modularized content, and the design of innovative resources aimed at improving completion rates of at-risk, nontraditional, and first-generation learners. The project team will use multiple assessment methods to identify 1) “high-risk” courses in three popular disciplines (business, human services, and the natural sciences) and 2) the core academic skills that students need to cultivate to be successful in those courses. A team of academic support and educational technology professionals will then collaborate to design a collection of 8-10 digital learning objects or open educational resources (OERs) focused on these core academic skills across the target disciplines. Each of these interactive learning objects will include a pre-assessment, a brief interactive video tutorial on a core academic skill as applied within one of the disciplines, and a learning activity and post-assessment that will enable students to earn a digital badge. The team will collaborate with faculty to integrate the project’s OERs into courses, both to increase success rates and to demonstrate how better to support students in preparing for the challenges of work in their disciplines. We will share lessons learned in the development process so the project can then be scaled up at SUNY Empire State, across Open SUNY, and at other system campuses.
For students who attend Empire State College (ESC), there is often a significant gap between prior formal educational experiences and their enrollment at ESC. The OERs in this project bridge gaps between former educational preparation and common expectations for college-level learning. In addition, the OERs provide supplemental instruction for students who need a refreshers in common skill areas. Currently, our educational technologists are attempting to share the OERs via Open SUNY. In addition, a video is in production that will mirror some aspects of the CIT conference presentation that outlines the development process.