The majority of research has found that OER not only saves students money, but students are able to access their class materials sooner than traditional textbooks, and there are lower withdrawal rates in postsecondary courses with OER (Clinton & Khan, 2019). Levy & Tila (2022) make a compelling argument that care needs to be factored into these benefits as well. Drawing from other educational research, they note that “students are more likely to be engaged, participate, and perform better in a course when they feel that their instructor cares about them.” Furthermore, how do we capture this care while reporting OER impact?
Emphasizing the narrative is a way to effectively encapsulate care when reporting on the impact of OER. At the end of the day your research is telling a story, so intentionally/mindfully taking a storytelling approach to share your findings back with the open community can imbue the readers with inspiration, curiosity, motivation, belief, pride, and spurn them to action. In your efficacy research, reports, presentations, you can start by highlighting the unique features of your approach. Much like in the release preparation guidance provided in The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (so far), it’s essential to craft a narrative that delves into the inception of the idea, the nature of the finished work, and the compelling reasons for generating interest. Essentially, what makes your approach and content different from others?
Be sure to highlight the collaboration efforts of the team working with you and offer pathways for people to learn from and grow on your research. While doing so, we encourage you to think deeply and critically about the stories, rules, representation, and ways of knowing in your day to day interactions, as well as your field. In Making Ripples: A Guidebook to Challenge Status Quo in OER Creation we also highlight the importance of sharing back your learning. As Maya Angelou once said, “when you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
By empowering individuals to share their own stories, we construct a mosaic of knowledge, insights, and viewpoints that collectively contribute to a more robust and powerful story landscape. This approach not only enhances our own learning but also fosters greater empathy, understanding, and constructive change within our communities and society as a whole.