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Open Educational Resources

OTL 601: Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning

Meg Taggart's Open Educational Resources Adoption Portrait

Abstract: These open course materials are being utilized in a M.S in e-Learning course by Meg Taggart at Cal State East Bay. These resources provide students with multiple ways to engage with free materials that are available through the use of instructor generated content, external websites and our library databases . The main motivation to adopt free resources is to increase student success while lessening the financial burden to students . All student access the open these materials through our learning management system, Blackboard Ultra.

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
Questions? Email cool4ed@cdl.edu

About the Resources


Description: Web content from Journals and other reliable sources can be current up to the day when your subject matter as dynamic as academic technology. It is great for the students that there are so many high quality resources online, and free-of-charge to them.

Formats: My course uses a mix of academic articles, online news articles and/or videos. All content is available through our Blackboard LMS which provides various formats of PDFs, web articles, etc. through the use of the Blackboard Ally tool. These resources can be downloaded to students personal devices.

Supplemental resources: I recommend TED Talks, YouTube, and Linkedin Learn content as supplemental resources.

Cost savings: This course is zero cost to students and has saved an average of $60 per student.

Accessibility and diversity statement: All content chosen was vetted for page accessibility and all uploaded content can be accessed in various formats through the use of the Blackboard Ally accessibility tool.

About the Course


Course Number: OTL 601: Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning

Description:  Incorporate online instructional design and teaching strategies into the design of an online course, including objectives, assignments, assessment, collaboration, and participation. Adapt content to online technology and media. Design to accommodate varied learning modalities.

Prerequisites: None

GE credit: This is a graduate level course

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

Learning outcomes:
1. Identify the requirements for successful online instruction in a variety of settings and for a variety of diverse students and begin to apply these requirements to an online course you design

2. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the Blackboard course management system (CMS) and consider the structure of an ideal CMS.

3. Research, describe and apply a systematic planning procedure which is appropriate for planning online learning experiences.

4. Describe and apply procedures for maintaining learners' focus (motivating learners) in an online learning environment.

5. Describe and apply procedures for providing active and participatory learning experiences in an online learning environment.

6. Describe critical instructional tasks which must be accomplished in all learning environments and describe how those tasks can be accomplished in an online learning environment.

7. Research and explore various kinds of online learning technologies, including their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.

8. Anticipate and develop procedures to deal with potential constraints and barriers to effective learning which could occur in an online learning environment.

Curricular changes: The course objectives stayed the same but content and resources were updated to be more current and relevant.

Teaching and learning impacts:
Collaborate more with other faculty : Yes, this provided an opportunity to work with others in the Online Teaching and Learning department .


Use wider range of teaching materials: No.


Student learning improved : Yes


Student retention improved : Unsure


Any unexpected results: None

Sample assignment: Final Project assignment 

OER Adoption

OER Adoption Process

More than any other aspect, I focused on providing more than one type of media to express the same concept in different ways. Since the first version of this course resources on the web have exploded. Our library has much more available content online, and many more journals. There were no sacrifices to the quality of the course by locating relevant and equivalent, yet often more current substitutes for the former printed materials available.

Student access: PDf format was provided in our Blackboard course site whenever available so that students could either view in a web browser, or download to print.

Student Feedback: It's always an understated blessing for student to not have to purchase costly text books.


Meg Taggart

I teach a couple of courses in the M.S. in eLearning graduate program at Cal State East Bay including Introduction to eLearning and Content for Online Instruction.

Teaching Philosophy: I have a philosophy of learner support and feedback- always challenging them within their individual zone of proximal development.