Optimizing OERs for Optimal ICT Literacy in Higher Education

Optimizing OERs for Optimal ICT Literacy in Higher Education

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3949-0.ch020
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Increasingly, faculty realize that the importance of digital resources, not only for textbooks but also other materials that can be accessed online. Of special note are Open Educational Resources (OER). These freely available digital resources may be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed as set forth by the content's creator's license. A solid ICT literacy foundation provides a broad academic base for their effective access and use. Discipline-specific ICT literacy offers students the opportunity to gain and practice in-depth knowledge and skills within one academic field. The first step in integrating ICT literacy is to examine program and course student outcomes, and then determine how technology tools fit into the kind of learning faculty want students to experience, aligned with learning objective and supported by the institution. OERs can include such technology tools and guidance on how to use them. The chapter will provide examples of ICT-enriched ways to integrate OERs into the curriculum to gain and demonstrate competency, using engineering education as an example.
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Textbooks can serve as a good starting point or reference tool for students. However, to address the various academic needs of students, as well as to affirm the richness and depth of the knowledge, skills and dispositions in curricula, teachers should complement and supplement textbooks with other resources in various formats. Of special note are Open Educational Resources (OER). These resources are usually digital in format, and are freely available at little or no cost. Just as importantly, they may be used without additional written permission; in fact, they may be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed as set forth by the content’s creator’s license (Wiley, 2014). Open Educational Resources (OER) offer a myriad of relevant learning objects to help students gain the knowledge needed to succeed.

Faculty can use OERs in several ways:

  • Instructional aid;

  • Introduction to concepts;

  • Discussion starters: e.g., case studies, articles, videos;

  • Required or optional reading to deepen understanding;

  • Activity: e.g., simulations, drill and practice, research, production;

  • Assessment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Literacy: The ability to access, evaluate, use, manage, communicate and generate information.

Collaboration: The process of sharing resources and responsibilities to create shared meaning and attain a common goal; interdependent cooperation.

Infrastructure: The technological system to support telecommunications (e.g., facilities, cables, equipment, services, etc.).

Assessment: Evaluation of a behavior at one specific time under one specific condition.

Instructional Design: A systematic analysis of training needs and the development of aligned instruction.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy: The ability to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create, communicate information purposefully, knowledgeably, technically, and ethically.

Open Educational Resources (OER): Free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes.

Digital Resource: Usually an electronic document.

Digital Literacy: The ability to assess, use, manage, share and generate information effectively and purposefully using digital technology.

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