As we've discussed before, not all faculty members are totally in on Open Educational Resources at this point in time. But as they continue to learn more and more about what OERs are and how they can help learning outcomes in the classroom, those attitudes are expected to change. With that said, there is still a ways to go in the area of faculty education about OERs, as many of these teachers and professors still have misgivings about the entire process. A collection of faculty member's primary concerns can be found here in an article from eCampus News. The main reasons for their hesitancy are fairly simple: faculty members don't have a total understanding of what constitutes "open source" or whether something is copyrighted or not, and they feel that searching for and collecting OERs takes up far too much of their time.
Fortunately for those of them employed by MBS Direct partner schools, we have developed a tool that addresses each of their concerns and creates a simplified option for faculty members looking to easily create their own custom course packs: eText Builder. We've covered the ins and outs of eText Builder on the blog before, but this time we wanted to address those three primary faculty concerns one by one to show why researching and collecting OERs isn't that difficult after all.
1. Not knowing when something is or isn't open source
With eText Builder, MBS Direct utilizes XanEdu's repository of tens of thousands of searchable articles and primary source documents, meaning all of the work that goes into determining whether something is open source or not has already been done for you. Everything available on eText Builder is available to use immediately, so faculty members can log on knowing that anything they collect into one of their custom course packs will be ready to go immediately.
2. Not knowing when something has been copyright cleared
Much like the open source issue, whether or not an OER's copyright has been cleared is not a problem with eText Builder. XanEdu licenses and manages every piece of content put into their repositories connected to eText Builder, so faculty don't need to worry about getting something cleared in order to use it in their classroom.
3. Feeling like researching Open Educational Resources will take too much time
Faculty members are often concerned that researching and collecting OERs for their custom course packs will feel interminable. And while they may have been true in the past, it's not with eText Builder because all of the resources faculty need are there in one easily searchable database. Now, faculty can feel confident that they can collect everything they need to collect in a single sitting.