BEAM Lesson Plan

OPEN (December 22, 2011)

About two years ago, I published a blog post on Flipping our Freshmen instruction. The focus of the post was on engaging students in critical thinking in the classroom and delivering and supporting skills outside of class time. The goal of our new curriculum is to help students select sources that are useful to their writing purposes. Our contribution to teaching this complex concept has been widely shared. We’ve received many inquiries, seen multiple reuses, and been cited a couple of times. Finally we are able to share the full lesson plan with you in an OER format.

BEAM Lesson Plan – OER (full file includes the following)

  • BEAM (DLO)
  • Metacognition BEAM (DLO)
  • English 102 Research Activity
  • BEAM Assessment Rubric

Why have we decided to make the lesson plan available in this format?

Four factors influenced our decision.

1. As mentioned earlier, we were noticing a lot of reuse by others in the profession. Most often folks were interested in re-using our digital learning object (DLO) and since we published this with a creative commons license, educators are free to use it without seeking our permission. Some did ask our permission and for that we are grateful as it enabled us to have a conversation with our peers about their reuse. The DLO is only one piece of our curriculum though and we wanted to share more pieces of the lesson plan to enable others to fully incorporate it or build upon it. Publishing the lesson plan as a stand alone, open access publication was more attractive to us than traditional publication models.

2. One of my pet peeves about creative commons licensing is the difficulty in tracking reuse. Lacking a digital object identifier it is labor intensive and haphazard to rely on Google search strategies to track reuse. In our particular situation, reuse of jpg, tracking is complicated by the format, where often the license is ‘published’ with the image not as a separate citation. Publishing the lesson plan in our institution’s repository allows us to better track use, in our case number of downloads. In the future as we see a growth in publication of OERs, we hope that DOIs will be assigned to them so that authors can tell a more complete story of impact and contribution to the field.

3. Some of the cool things we saw our peers doing with our work was taking one piece of our lesson plan, the BEAM learning object, and then re-working it into something new and unique to their students. Our creative commons license enabled this. About 9 months ago it became clear to us that our work was living out the five Rs of open educational resources: retention, reuse, revision, remixing, and redistribution. We originally envisioned publishing our work for retention and reuse flourished because our colleagues could manipulate and tailor the work to their own instructional needs.

4. This leads me to the last factor. About the time that we began researching which repository was best for our publishing needs, opportunities for collaborating with campus partners on open educational resources were developing. Our lesson plan was the most developed of these opportunities, so we decided that our publication would be a good test run of the process and the potentialities. We have been able to test some of the publishing features in our institutional repository, for example the information architecture and metadata. Going forward we will monitor how our lesson plan is reused, document its impact, and communicate with others our work as a model for teaching and learning contributions to the institutional repository.

To wrap up this post (and announcement!) I’d love to know if you are using BEAM in the classroom and how it is going. Leave a comment below or send a tweet using the hashtag #BEAM.


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