Dr. Sean Fitzpatrick is actively promoting Open Education through many of his academic instruction endeavours. One of the projects he was steering last year, in in addition to customizing textbooks and recording open tutorials, was funded through the Open Access Learning resource fund. It allowed for supplementing questions into a homework question bank, that not only matches exactly what Sean teaches in his class, but can also be accessed by all UofL Calculus I students for free.
See below for the update on the project.
What course is your intended resource for?
Math 1560, Calculus I
How far into the project are you?
Completed, as of August 31, 2018, although there will be some future tinkering.
How did/ does the OA learning resource creation go?
Excellent. The goal was to create a library of online homework problems that correspond to the OER textbook for the course. I was fortunate in that the Math 1560 textbook is a derivative of the APEX Calculus open textbook, and someone else had already created a question bank at another institution.
The existing questions were a little out of date, so most of the work consisted of going through those problems, one by one, updating and improving the code as needed. In a few cases we needed to make problems from scratch for a topic that was not already covered.
Do you have any recommendations for future applicants?
Apply now, before the fund disappears! And be picky about the students you hire.
What is needed to maintain your resource?
Not much. As the resource is used, faculty might discover typos, or bugs in the programming for a particular question. I can make those corrections as they arise. We might supplement with additional questions over time, since there are a few topics where we could use some more questions.
What license will you release/ have you released the resource under? Why?
We did not add a license. This was maybe an oversight. But the problems are written for the WeBWorK homework system and won’t work elsewhere, and most people using WeBWorK are willing to share freely.
Also, most of the problems are derivative works, and I don’t think there was a license included with the problems we based ours on. The license should be up to the original author.
If the resource has been put to use already, what’s the feedback from the instructors/ professors and the students?
I didn’t have any complaints from students! I don’t think we’ve surveyed them specifically on the homework questions.
As the primary user of the resource, I enjoyed having a smaller, targeted set of questions to choose from, instead of the main problem library that comes with WeBWorK. It saves a lot of time to not have to look through hundreds of problems to select a homework set.
Are you planning to measure the impact of the resource somehow?
Oh, probably. But first somebody has to find me some extra time.
Do you consider sharing the resources with the greater OER community in Canada? (BC Campus , for instance, has a repository for academic teaching materials that includes ancillary materials, where your materials could be made accessible)
Everything is already available on GitHub for anyone in the world who wants to use it.