Experiential Learning through OER: Insights from a Student-Written Essay Collection on Identity




Shelton, Sarah A.

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In Fall ’23, I designed my Advanced Exposition class as an experiential learning course where students worked together to produce an edited collection of essays that would be published as an OER book through our university library’s Pressbooks platform. Students collaboratively conceptualized the collection theme and crafted a Call for Papers that they each responded to with an abstract proposal. From there, they wrote their accepted chapters, and the class was scaffolded with workshops, peer reviews, and revision sessions that emphasized the real-world iterative and processual nature of the writing process. Through student reflection and frequent check-ins, it became clear to me that the reality of a publicly accessible published product at the end of this process provided unanticipated productive and unproductive pressures that opened up time and space for students to think about their writing processes in ways that wouldn’t have been possible without the publication aspect—which wouldn’t have been possible without the OER options our library offers. This presentation will delve into the context of the course, the organization and scaffolding strategies employed for the OER published product, student takeaways from working with OER, and both successes and struggles with the project as a whole. Attendees will gain practical insights into implementing similar experiential learning through OER projects in their own courses.