2013-2014 SD Year Report

My plan for this year’s SD project was to learn more about, and further develop Open Education Resource (OER) materials for math education, particularly as it applied to supporting my Math 052, 053, 072 and 073 online learners. I also needed to further develop my own faculty website.

To that end,

  1. I interacted with BCcampus personnel about undertaking a pilot of an OER Internet Mathematics Assessment System called IMathAS (http://www.imathas.com/). While I was hopeful that this tool might be one that BCcampus could make available on one of its ‘sandbox servers’ to me and my students, BCcampus decided not to pursue this. I then focused my attentions on learning more about and then customizing our math textbook publisher’s (Pearson) online tool, MathXL (http://mathxl.com). I also opened up my online classroom to registered Fall 2013 students the beginning of August to pilot these materials as well as provide interested students with a head start on the fall term.
  2. I learned more about other OER resources. This included BC’s own Open Textbook Project. See http://open.bccampus.ca/. I also explored Pearson’s OpenClass learning environment. See http://www.openclass.com/open/home/index. Pearson also offers OER content via the OpenClass Exchange. I then discovered 2600 math related videos created by a Phoenix Arizona math instructor and released under a Creative Commons Attribution. See http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/37647. I would like to do some personal follow up with this instructor, James Sousa, whom I met at the OER 2012 conference in Vancouver. Salman Khan continues to release OER math videos that I continue to make use of. See https://www.khanacademy.org. I keep on top of developments there.
  3. I updated my faculty website at http://lwebs.ca and developed orientation materials to my online classroom. See http://www.lwebs.ca/index.php/the-online-math-system/. I also created a Google + (social network) site to facilitate interactions with my students and colleagues. See https://plus.google.com/109951803654884423029/posts. NOTE: This latter site is only accessible by my students. I piloted all these orientation materials with students registered in my Fall 2013 sections during my August 2013 SD period. In a future SD project, I’d like to explore ways of using this social networking tool to further engage with my students.
  4. I updated a series of online video orientation materials to my online classroom. See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxJO4Jxq6JYBjMCMvR1oh5g/videos?view_as=public&flow=grid&view=0&sort=da. I would like to create more of these in my next SD as they provide a visual option for learner who don’t do as well with text.
  5. I placed Math 052 Trigonometry paper materials into an online module. See http://lwebs.ca/InterMath/Module14/ Much more development work is needed here before they approach the quality of materials made available by the publisher in MathXL.

I will update my math colleagues about these initiatives at our math meetings. OER is becoming an important provincial and world wide phenomenon (see http://www.bccampus.ca/oer-open-educational-resources/ and http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/world_open_education_resources_congress/#.Uh0ZsRushcY). I would like to learn and share more about these resources in future SD periods.