UH Manoa

Getting the Message: OER for Communicology

Getting the Message: OER for Communicology

This is a guest blog post by Jessica Gasiorek, grant recipient and project lead developing OER for the COMG 371 undergraduate course at UHM.

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For most of us, communicating is like breathing. We do it frequently and easily (with occasional exceptions), without worrying about how it works. Despite feeling simple, however, communication is actually a quite complex—and in some ways, amazing—phenomenon: using a combination of sounds and body movements, we are able to change another person’s thoughts, and to take a wide range of otherwise invisible things going on in our own minds, and share those things with others.

COMG 371: Message Processing is a course designed to help students better understand the fundamentals of human communication.  The course addresses two related questions: How does human communication work? And, what happens— biologically, cognitively, and socially—when we communicate? COMG 371 is a required course for both majors and minors in Communicology, and the topics covered in it are often challenging for students.  In this course, students are asked to objectively and scientifically examine behaviors and experiences in their everyday lives (e.g., speaking, listening, making inferences about what others are thinking) that are so routine that they often go unnoticed.

The goal of this OER project is to develop the first sections of a flexible, online, dedicated text for this course. Currently, there is no textbook for the class because there is no single book that addresses all course content, and asking students to purchase several costly academic books (to use only part of each) is not reasonable. However, this means that students currently lack a comprehensive, written resource for this course. This project aims to fill that gap by creating an upper-level undergraduate introduction and explanation of the social and cognitive processes involved in human communication.

Message in a bottle

Given the project’s relatively short timeline, the text being developed over summer 2017 will focus on content covered in the first unit (i.e., approximately six weeks) of the course.  Specifically, this includes:

  • Introducing what “message processing” is and why it is important to study;
  • Introducing fundamental concepts to communication including interactivity, media, messages, and codes;
  • Providing a summary of common definitions of communication (used in contemporary texts in the discipline) and;
  • Introducing a “message processing” definition of communication which focuses on communication as a process of creating understanding;
  • Introducing the two extant theoretical approaches to modeling human communication, the code model and the inferential model.

This covers foundational concepts and theories required for success in the rest of the course. It also represents the area of course content for which there are the fewest other suitable resources (e.g., other OER content, academic articles or book chapters) available for students. We hope that having dedicated materials for this course should significantly improve students’ experience in COMG 371, and their learning (i.e., comprehension and retention) of course material.

Project Lead

Jessica Gasiorek profile image

Dr. Jessica Gasiorek

Jessica Gasiorek is an assistant professor in the Department of Communicology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her research addresses message processing, social cognition, and issues related to communication and aging. Her published work includes both empirical articles and book chapters on communication accommodation theory, communication and aging, and communication in multilingual medical contexts. She can be reached at gasiorek@hawaii.edu

Posted by Billy Meinke in Grant Projects, OER, UH Manoa
An Open Physics Database for Students Learning with OER

An Open Physics Database for Students Learning with OER

Two main components are crucial for one's success as a physics student: access to proper studying resources, and developing problem solving skills. Beginning in 2015, the UH Mānoa Department of Physics and Astronomy has used the OpenStax College Physics OER textbook for their introductory physics courses, which is freely available online under a Creative Commons license. This eliminates the cost of purchasing a text book, and allows access to course materials for everyone; a print textbook also available to those who wish to purchase it.

About the Database

Particularly in physics, solving problems by working through to the solution is a key process of learning. We are building a physics database (pdb) of practice and assessment problems to pair with the Openstax College Physics textbook. The pdb will be open source, with the goal of providing a quality and free resource to students and faculty that others can extend or build on. Ideally, the problems in pdb will be randomized and mutable so that they are unique in methods of solution and time. This will help foster critical thinking, and reasoning in physics.
One of the main aspects of physics that is truly exciting is how mathematics is used to accurately describe the reality around us. It was Newton who first described gravity with a thought experiment. He considered firing a cannon from a very tall building, and eventually if fired with enough force, the cannon ball was sent into orbit around the Earth. Indeed, it is this falling motion in gravity that holds the planets and our solar system together. The planets are literally falling around one another! Problems in pdb will be algebraic and complementary to the content structure of the OpenStax College Physics text. Students will learn Newton's laws of motion, kinematics, work and energy relations, uniform circular motion, linear momentum and collisions, statics and torque, rotational motion and angular momentum.

Concepts in Physics

To give an example of the knowledge areas the pdb will focus on, here is a classic example of conservation of angular momentum. The concept is demonstrated by an ice skater who controls their speed by extending or pulling in their arms. When the skater pulls in his or her arms, their moment of inertia is decreased.

Thus, in order for angular momentum L to be conserved, if a skater changes shape by extending or lowering their arms, their rotational speed must decrease or increase, respectively.

ΔL = 0

The two videos below demonstrate this phenomenon. Conservation of angular momentum is applied to solving many physics problems. Examples include those involving orbiting planets, gravitation, motion of atoms and subatomic particles.

Chris, a graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii Manoa, demonstrates conservation of angular momentum.

Mechanical engineering junior at the University of Hawaii Manoa, Ana, demonstrates conservation of angular momentum.

Our goal is to create the physics database of problems to serve as a free resource for students and teachers that are using the Openstax College Physics book. OER can greatly offset costs for students, and we hope to provide a quality problem solving component to match.

Project Leads of the Physics Database of Problems

Dr. Mark Slovak

Mark H. Slovak is an observational astronomer in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, specializing in cataclysmic variables. Involved with STEM/OER initiatives for several decades, he has been recognized for his outstanding undergraduate teaching in both physics and astronomy. An early adopter of OER e-texts for physics (and astronomy), he is currently engaged in efforts to provide additional ancillary OER materials, including a non-proprietary database of physics problems and exercises. He can be reached at mslovak_at-hawaii-dot-edu

Christina Nelson

Christina graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a B.S. in Physics and a minor in computer science in the Spring of 2017. Motivated by a deep passion to learn and discover what nature is telling us through physics, she plans to continue her academic career in graduate school at McGill University, Montreal. Her main interests are experimental particle physics, the fundamental constituents of matter and their interaction, the very early Universe after the Big Bang; quantum mechanics, how matter on the smallest scale relates to matter on the largest, the role of a conscious observer; and computer science applications to physics analysis such as Monte Carlo simulations, machine learning, and algorithm optimization.

For more about this project, see their project page: College Physics

Posted by Christina Nelson in OER, Open Textbooks, Student, UH Manoa
2017 UHM OER project awards! And a new look at oer.hawaii.edu

2017 UHM OER project awards! And a new look at oer.hawaii.edu

We’re excited to announce the 2017 UHM OER project awards!

Each project will receive funding up to $5,000 to create an OER textbook or course, or develop instructional tools to support existing OER adoptions on campus. The selected projects come from a broad group of colleges and departments at UHM, representing diverse interests and applications for OER at the Mānoa campus. Several of the courses moving to OER are offered at other campuses throughout the UH System, providing a unique opportunity to collectively improve learning content.

The projects will develop their OER this beginning this month, with plans to share the outputs to the UH System OER Repository by the end of fall semester. These materials will be shared with a Creative Commons (CC) license for faculty and instructors throughout the UH System to reuse in whole or in part. All supporting software for the OER projects will licensed as free software and shared via Github as applicable.

A list of the projects (in no order):

  • College Physics
  • Contemporary Online Instruction Simplified
  • Human Nutrition*
  • Math 111 + 112
  • Musubi: A New Approach to Japanese Language and Culture
  • Message Processing: The Science of Creating Understanding
  • Practical Meteorology
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Siblaw Taraw: Tales of Enchantment from Barlig
  • The Animator’s Companion – Essentials
  • The Open Constitution

We’ve started a page on this site for each project, with more details about what’s being built:

http://go.hawaii.edu/shj

Be sure to subscribe to the UH OER blog to keep up with the progress!

A link to the original call for proposals can be found here.

*The Human Nutrition OER project began as a pilot in December 2016)

By the way

You may also notice some changes in the style and construction of oer.hawaii.edu, including a new landing page. We’re working to make our resources as usable as possible, so please get in touch if you notice anything our of the ordinary. Mahalo!

Posted by Billy Meinke in Grant Projects, OER, UH Manoa

Next steps for OER at UH

Over the last few years, Sara Rutter has done a fantastic job promoting OER adoption at the Manoa campus and supporting the OER community across the UH system. The UH community colleges have done amazing work themselves, with Leeward Community College and Kapiolani Community College leading the way with OER/Zero-cost textbooks, OER Fellowship programs, and broad creation/adoption of OER by instructors and faculty at their campuses.

We’ve had success at the Manoa campus as well, with the Department of Physics and Astronomy now a year-and-a-half into their adoption of the OpenStax Physics textbook in their PHYS 151 and PHYS 152 courses. Other adoptions of OER to replace costly commercial textbooks are imminent, but it will take a great deal of work to get there.

Creative Commons staff 2013

Although I’ve been in the role for several weeks now, I’d like to officially announce that I am now the OER Technologist for the UH Manoa Outreach College. I come into this role from the Distance Course Design and Consulting (DCDC) Group, an innovative digital design arm of the College of Education at UH Manoa, where I managed online program and course design projects. Before that, I worked for Creative Commons (CC), the global non-profit whose licenses have liberated over a billion digital works through open copyright. At CC I supported hundreds of institutions with open licensing their educational content as OER, and fell more deeply in love with free software and open practices.

I have big plans for OER at Manoa and throughout the system. Most of my time will be spent between advocacy and platform, meaning that I will be championing the use of OER in courses, and working on an OER platform for the UH system. One of the incredible benefits to working with OER is that they can be adopted, revised, remixed, and shared with others, but unfortunately, useful technology for OER revision hasn’t matured as well as the community would like. I am now working with UH ITS to spin up an instance of the WordPress-based publishing platform called Pressbooks.

Global leaders in the OER space such as BC Campus, OPEN SUNY, and Lumen Learning have all found success using Pressbooks, and I have high hopes for this platform and it’s ability to allow faculty to import OER and make it their own.

BC Campus Physiology and Anatomy open textbook

There will also be some changed to the oer.hawaii.edu website, but the core pieces will stay the same. The UH OER Repository will continue to accept OER submissions and ratings, and this blog isn’t going anywhere.

For those of you with whom I have already worked, I look forward to collaborating further. And if we have not yet met, I look forward to working with you for the first time 🙂

Billy Meinke headshot

Sincerely,

Billy Meinke

wmeinke@hawaii.edu

Posted by Billy Meinke in OER, UH Manoa

Open Access events at UH Manoa Oct 19-23

The UHM Library and the Office of Faculty Development and Academic Support present Open Access Week at UHM from October 19-23, 2015.Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 9.49.46 AM

Learn about and share your experiences with open access — the free,
immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and reuse those results as you need. Join us for presentations on Creative Commons licensing, open government resources, author rights and more.

Sara Lee, manager of UH Manoa’s ScholarSpace, has created an exciting schedule of events that highlights the range of scholarly endeavors that flourish in an  Open Access environment.

Register for events at
http://www.fmp.hawaii.edu/summary/OpenAccessF2015.html.

 Check out the open access news and events in our Scholarly Communications LibGuide.


Creative Commons Licensing | Monday, October 19, 12:30-1:45pm – Kuykendall 106 | Register now >

Join our panel to get an overview of Creative Commons, using CC licenses in OER, and walk through an example of a CC licensed product that incorporates other CC licensed materials.
With: Billy Meinke (College of Education), Sara Rutter (Outreach College), Richard Rath (English and Digital Arts and Humanities Initiative)


Make Your Work Open in ScholarSpace | Tuesday, October 20, 11:00am-12:00pm – Hamilton Library 306 | Register now >

Learn how to submit your work to ScholarSpace. Participants are encouraged to bring in digital copies of author manuscripts, accepted for publication, that have been peer-reviewed and are ready for final submission to the publisher.
With: Daniel Ishimitsu (University of Hawaii at Manoa Library)


Open Government Resources and Government Funded Open Mandates | Tuesday, October 20, 1:30-2:45pm – Hamilton Library 301 | Register now >

Learn about open access government created resources and efforts requiring the results of government funded research to be made open access.
With: Gwen Sinclair (University of Hawaii at Manoa Library)


Launching an Open Access Journal | Wednesday, October 21, 9:30-10:45am – Kuykendall 106 | Register now >

Hear perspectives on developing and distributing an open access journal.
With: Pam Wilson (University of Hawaii Press), Kathleen Luschek (former Senior Production Coordinator, PLoS)


Open Collaboration with GitHub | Wednesday, October 21, 12:30-1:45pm – Kuykendall 106 | Register now >

Learn how the Digital Arts & Humanities Initiative at UH is using GitHub as a tool for collaboration.
With: Richard Rath (English and Digital Arts and Humanities Initiative)


Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Author Rights | Thursday, October 22, 9:30-10:45am – Kuykendall 106 | Register now >

Learn about managing author and co-author rights, reusing copyrighted materials, reading and negotiating publishing agreements, and reusing your own content.
With: Debora Halbert (Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs)


Learn How to Contribute to Wikipedia | Thursday, October 22, drop-in 12:00-4:00pm, Hamilton Library, Room 306

Join us for a workshop on contributing to Wikipedia–getting an account, adding pages, and editing pages.
With: Thumy Webb (Library and Information Science)

Learn more about open access at
http://guides.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/scholarly_communications.

Posted by Sara Rutter in Creative Commons, Faculty Leaders, Humanities, OER, Open Access, Open Access Week, UH Manoa

Open educational materials replace all undergraduate textbooks at the University of Maryland University College

UMUC announces that they have replaced all undergraduate textbooks with OER and other no-cost (to students) digital resources for this Fall semester.  By Fall 2016, graduate materials will also be cost-free to students.  This move was to save students money but also to change teaching to avoid relying on materials locked away in static textbooks.  Read, http://www.umuc.edu/globalmedia/embedded-digital-resources.cfm .

We can do this at the University of Hawaii–contact oer@hawaii.edu to discuss further.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER, UH Manoa