Online Learning Consultant

My OER projectsDaniel Opperwall

Fostering Engagement: Facilitating Online Courses in Higher Education
High Quality Online Courses
Humanizing Virtual Learning

What prompted you to become involved in OER?

OERs are a great way to share knowledge within my professional community. They create opportunities for other practitioners to learn in structured ways from our expertise and research here at Waterloo without cost and with minimal barriers to access. This not only raises the profile of our university, it also encourages professional units at other institution to create similar training and development resources that we can benefit from in turn.

What excites you most about your OER project?

I have contributed to three major OERs here at Waterloo in the last three years, namely "Fostering Engagement: Facilitating Online Courses in Higher Education," "High Quality Online Courses," and "Humanizing Virtual Learning." It's energizing to think about readers and learners using these resources to up their online teaching game, and to imagine the improvements in student experience and instructor job satisfaction that can result. It's great to know that these resources are there for everyone, free of charge, to use as much or as little as it helpful for a given person.

A lot of instructors are hesitant about OER. Do you share those hesitations? How do you address them?

Creating an OER is a great option for sharing knowledge and teaching materials when you are simply looking to help as many people as possible learn the subject matter. Sure, some projects are better suited to traditional avenues or monetization, but a lot of what we create as educators isn't intended to generate royalties for us but simply to help those who want to learn a subject, starting with our own students. In many cases, creating an OER can simply amount to doing some extra planning and set up to convert the work you'll be doing for your own students anyway into something that can benefit students across the globe as well.

Can other instructors interested in OER reach out to you?

Yes, at

University of Waterloo

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