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Cengage Unlimited and OER

Here’s the latest update from Erin Joyner, Senior Vice President of Product Management for Higher Education.

Fernando Bleichmar (chief product officer at Cengage) has written a fascinating article in Inside Higher Ed about the advantages and challenges of OER. Some of his key points: educational resources -- free and openly licensed educational materials -- have the potential to lower costs for students while also offering instructors freedom to customize course content.


But there are challenges:


OER quality is a mixed bag. Much of it is very good, but plenty of it isn’t. For instructors, parsing the quality of OER content and assessments takes time away from the countless other things they have to do to prepare their course.  Forty-five percent of faculty members polled in a recent study said they couldn’t find quality OER resources for their subject areas.


And there's the time involved in keeping OER content current:


...maintaining OER is a full-time job...Instructors... find it time-consuming to update OER based on the latest scholarship.


What's the solution then? Bleichmar believes:


To make the impact of OER really powerful, we must give instructors the power to combine it with technology and instructional design principles.


Cengage Unlimited addresses the cost issue and mature, powerful tools like MindTap and WebAssign make it easy for instructors to combine high-quality curated content with quality OER content.


You can read the whole article here on Inside Higher Ed.