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Peer Review

Teaching OER Mathematics

by Jim Kelly


Overall Numeric Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality: 3.75 stars
Effectiveness: 3.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Sep 30, 2013 by Teacher Education
Overview: The focus of this website is to help in the transition from a paper oriented environment to one using OER materials with an emphasis in elementary and secondary school mathematics. The website's material is divided into five major topics: 1. Why OER materials? 2. The learner's environment - a world in change. 3. Mathematics past and present. 4. Exploring OER materials and 5. International mathematics education developments. An emphasis has been placed on linking to other OER materials to cover and expand on each topic.
Type of Material: Open Textbook in an online format, can be dowloaded by chapters or links.
Recommended Uses: Use as a reference for teachers to understand Open Educational Resources (OER), and to help in the conversion from paper/pencil to online. The material can be used to help preservice teachers understand how to use OER math.
Technical Requirements: Desktop or laptop computer, tablets, e-readers. Can be viewed in Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox. Best if viewed using Explorer.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Per the website: The focus of this noncommercial website is to help in the transition from a paper oriented environment to one using Online (Open in most cases) Educational Resources (OER) with an emphasis in elementary and secondary school mathematics.
Target Student Population: Grade School, Middle School, High School, College General Ed, Graduate School, Professional.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: Easy to use and utilizes many sites.
Concerns: This is an evolving resource that grows with user input. It is still under construction.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: Easily used to create student materials.
Concerns: Some links are to sites that provide background information and may not be appropriate for some levels of math. Some of the activities go back as far as 1972. The materials presented are designed for teachers so they can take the material and integrate it into materials for students. It is incumbent upon the teachers to discover the material they need and use it appropriately.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: For the most part, the entire website is link to Open Educational Resources, and all users have to do is click on a link and it will take them to that website. Some websites are familiar to teachers, interactive, and self-contained. There are instructions or "help", they are clear, relevant, and complete.
Concerns: Websites that are linked here vary from simple text to interactive sites. Some websites require plug-ins. There does not seem to be a feedback system available to users.

Other Issues and Comments: The website is still under construction, there are items where no link is active. The site could use more instructional guidance for the user--perhaps a blog associated with the site could provide that guidance.