Mercy College is a mid-size comprehensive college in the New York metropolitan area. We are members of the Next Generation Learning Challenges grant to produce Open Educational Resources (OER). Our institution provides an affordable education to a community of students who are the first generation to attend college. Providing low cost and high quality OER to our students is a valuable improvement in learning.  The Educase Review Online published a case study of our work here: “Adopting OER: A Case Study of Cross- Institutional Collaboration and Innovation

In this cross-disciplinary project, faculty from English, Math, and Education serve as subject matter experts (SMEs). As an instructional designer, I served to both plan and produce the OER.

OER Round 1

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Our first round of production focused on creating critical reading modules that were delivered through our learning management system. The modules consisted of static web pages, enhanced with images, and multiple-choice questions (see image to left). Upon completing the production, I suspected that, although the content was of high quality, due to its packaging it would be found unappealing by our students. After the first semester a survey validated this suspicion. When asked if the OER modules were helpful, one word summed up students’ attitude. They reported the pages as “boring.”

In our team meeting, I lobbied the SMEs to allow for me to have creative control for the next batch of OER modules. Most were hesitant, but one faculty member agreed. She wrote a script and I did the rest. I filmed her delivering an impassioned lecture. Then, using film editing software I cut together three 5-mintue videos that featured motion titles, images, graphics, music, and a little humor (see example below). The videos were added to our learning management software and paired with the multiple-choice questions. After the semester ended, the students’ attitudes were reversed. They enjoyed the videos, connected to the emotion, and reported that they watched, and re-watched the presentations to ensure they understood. Now the formerly hesitant faculty wish to collaborate with me on new modules.

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