Open Educational Resources

OTL 603: Technology Tools for Online Instruction

Monica Muñoz's Open Educational Resources Adoption Portrait

Abstract: These open course materials are being utilized in an Online Teaching and Learning course for graduate students by Monica Muñoz at Cal State East Bay. These resources provide students with a variety engaging and free tools and materials that are available through our learning management system as well as journal articles that are free through the Library. The main motivation to adopt free resources is to increase equitable course design and provide space for students to explore tools without the added stress of expenses . With the increase of technology tools being available for free or low cost, Cal State East Bay has been able to join various pilots that allow students to test out various technology platforms.

COOLforED is a service of the California State University-MERLOT program.
Partial funding provided by the State of California, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundationand the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
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About the Resources


Description: I have adopted a variety of free web tools, journal articles, videos and education sites to use for my course. I also used some resources from our library databases that are free and accessible to students along with creating a few videos and content modules of my own.

Formats: Most of the content is presented through CourseArc, Adobe Spark pages and a few Captivate modules. Youtube and instructor created videos are used in this course as well. Educational webpages, PDFs journal articles and interactive tools such as Padlet are offered so that students are introduced to as many different tools as possible. Most course materials and resources can be downloaded to students personal devices with the exception of some interactive websites/games.

Supplemental resources: Students are encouraged to explore different tools and educational strategies so a list of free and accessible tools are provided to students to choose from. 

Cost savings: This course is zero cost to students and has saved an average of $53 per student however, this cost  can increase quickly depending on the tools students choose to explore which is why I have offered free options.

Accessibility and diversity statement: Accessibility of course materials is essential in creating an inclusive course so all videos are fully captioned, all documents are provided in various formats and all images have alternative text. Accessibility best practices such as contrast, descriptive course links and headings have been implemented in this course. Documents are uploaded as plain text, word and PDF formats making it easier for students to engage in whatever format works best for them.

About the Course

OTL 603: Technology Tools for Online Instruction

Description:  Design and construct online environments for teaching and learning. Attention to platform, browser, system differences, and limitations and to synchronous, asynchronous, and web-based delivery systems. Differences among online delivery providers and emphasis on maximum accessibility.

Prerequisites: None

GE credit: This is a graduate level course.

Syllabus available here: Here is a link to the course syllabus. 

Learning outcomes:

1. Evaluate web tools and create original work using the tools of your choice.

2. Interpret and author HTML at a very basic level. 3. Explain the requirements and rationale for making electronic information accessible to people with disabilities.

4. Evaluate web pages for accessibility to adaptive technologies.

5. Identify courses that are suitable for online delivery. 6. Determine the technologies to be used in your online course and demonstrate some uses of those technologies.

7. Analyze course content in terms of online delivery and presentation techniques.

8. Design instructional content for an online course.

9. Develop strategies for learning about and troubleshooting technology.

10. Evaluate appropriate uses of technology in online instruction

Curricular changes:The course objectives stayed the same however I was able to create more diverse module objectives and expand the interactivity of course assignments and activities. Incorporating more technology that students can also use in their courses with their learners was helpful.

Teaching and learning impacts:

Collaborate more with other faculty : Yes, I have been able to collaborate with other OTL instructors. 

Use wider range of teaching materials: Yes, this process allowed me to incorporate many new tools and access software that might not have been available before the pandemic. 

Student learning improved : Unsure, this will have to be measured in coming semesters

Student retention improved : Unsure, this will also need to be evaluated in the future.

Any unexpected results: I did not expect students to share so many additional tools and resources. Moving to online learning across the nation has increased access and awareness to educational technologies.

Sample assignment: Here is a sample 603 assignment and rubric.

OER Adoption

OER Adoption Process

Course materials, specifically software can be incredibly expensive for students so by searching for free products that produce the same or similar results relieves the financial burden from students. Graduate courses cost more than undergraduate courses and offering these courses online with no additional cost of materials allows more  students access to an advanced degree. I chose a variety of tools, articles, videos and engaging content for my course so students have a model for how to utilize technology without making it overwhelming to student.

Student access: Students are able to access all resources through the learning management system, Blackboard Ultra. Students can also access resources through the library databases, YouTube, and CourseArc. 

Student Feedback: Students have provided feedback about the amount of choices they have in this course. By allowing students to  choose the tools and resources they engage with they are able to "choose their own adventure" and make the resources work for them. Being that this is a graduate course I provide resources for K-12, Higher Ed and the private industry so that the information is tailored to their needs.

Monica Munoz

I am an Online Teaching and Learning instructor at the Cal State East Bay. I teach Technology Tools for Online Instruction and Content Development for Online Learning.

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy centers around creating equitable and inclusive  courses that are reflective of our diverse learners at Cal State East Bay. I believe in meeting students where they are at and doing everything possible to support them in their learning. With the courses I teach I try and incorporate exploratory learning as well as problem based learning strategies so that students feel they are leaving the course with strategies they can implement in their own learning environments while bringing awareness to important aspects of course design such as accessibility.