Highlights from Seminar 3 (11/3): Pedagogy, Access, and Usability

Hi everyone,

Finally getting around to posting materials/discussion points from our third seminar. Here are the session slides and the rubric we used for the initial activity.

And a brief summary below.

Essential accessibility tips

  1. Choose an accessible theme from the list on the Accessibility Best Practices for the OpenLab document
  2. Check to see if PDFs you post to the site are accessible:
    1. In Adobe Acrobat X Pro, select View > Tools > Accessibility (Alt+V+T+A). The Accessibility Tool pane will be revealed. Select “Full Check.”
  3. Fill out the Alt Text when you upload a photo to the media library

Essential usability tips

A few points we didn’t get to cover because we ran out of time:

  1. Information Architecture (drawn from Nora’s usability study findings):
    1. Balance the amount of content presented
    2. Keep the # of menu items (pages) on your site to between 3-7 (5 is optimal)
    3. Keep consistent language across the site / syllabus / classroom
    4. Use one level of submenu
    5. Make sure links open in new tabs
  2. Student preferences (drawn from Cailean’s study with students using OER):
    1. Students like having everything they need to complete the course in one place (even if that means linking to Blackboard for students to complete an assessment)
    2. Students like when multimedia is integrated into the curriculum
    3. Students like when the course readings are targeted and more concise

Using the Course Profile to organize class discussions

LIB/ARCH2205 Learning Places forum

Nora’s takeaways:


-It’s the only way in OpenLab to create a threaded response where students are replying to one prompt

-Responses don’t get buried by subsequent discussions

-Prevents confusion if you also use OpenLab for formal assignment submission


-Lives on course profile so requires some explicit tech instruction

-No option for grading / replying privately as with posts

Pictures from the card sort activity!

(Click to enlarge)

picture of card sort activity picture of card sort activity picture of card sort activity picture of card sort activity picture of card sort activity picture of card sort activity picture of card sort activity picture of card sort activity picture of card sort activity


Highlights from Seminar 2 (10/20): Finding/Selecting OER & Licensing

Thanks for a lively session last Friday! Download a copy of the seminar slides (including agenda and content covered) and the “Evaluating Content for your OER” worksheet.

Following up on a couple of thoughts:

  • Bring scholarly content into your OER: a lot of journal articles, book chapters, and more is available Open Access via the author’s institutional repository. You can most easily find out if this is the case by searching the item via Google Scholar. Please feel free to ask Monica (mberger@citytech.cuny.edu) for help.
  • Assign digital library materials: you’ll want to create a “permalink” to that material so students are prompted to login with their library credentials when offsite. Let Cailean know if you have questions on this.
  • Example wording for assigning a Creative Commons license to something you’ve adapted:
    1. This work, “90fied”, is a derivative of “Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco” by tvol, used under CC BY. “90fied” is licensed under CC BY by [Your name here].
    2. This work, entitled “Version 2”, by First Lastname, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License is based on “Version 1” [with URL hyperlinked] by First Lastname, under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
    3. See more directions/examples via the Creative Commons wiki

Highlights from Seminar 1 (10/6): OER Fundamentals

Great working with everyone last Friday. It was really interesting to learn a bit more about your motivations behind transitioning to OER. Some included the desire to integrate materials that are more relevant to students’ daily lives, to address textbook costs, to improve course coordination, and access to / dissemination of materials.

Slides from the first seminar are available here.

See the link to the Creative Commons’ search filter that Junior mentioned: https://search.creativecommons.org/

And below documents our notes as we considered what makes a successful OER.

picture of group notes

picture of group notes

picture of group notes

picture of group notes