Open Educational Resources

OTL 608: Critical & Contemporary Practice in eLearning Design and Technology

Lacey Garza'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 Lacey Garza at Cal State East Bay. These resources provide students with a variety of ways to engage with free materials that are available through certain vendor's and our library databases . The main motivation to adopt free resources is to increase student success. The learning outcomes of the course are not be covered in any single textbook and this subject matter changes rapidly. Most student access 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

About the Resources

Description: CSU East Bay Online Campus offers a special grant with a purpose to provide support and encourage faculty to adopt Open Educational Resource (OER) to their courses and save students money. The grant helps alleviate the financial burdens for students and make higher education inclusive.

Formats: There is an alternative format statement and instructions posted in the course. The required materials have more than one format (PDF hyperlink or direct website link), students can choose the one they prefer. Interactive learning module's activity provides alternative activity formats.

Supplemental resources: Each module 1-7 has an affiliated interactive learning module with a purpose of materials, annotated bibliography and interactive activity to support the course and module learning objectives and module assignments. There is a class course resource wiki that students contribute scholarly resources that enhances their knowledge of that module’s topics.

Cost savings: This course is zero cost to students and has saved an average of $85 per student.

Accessibility and diversity statement: Accessibility of course materials has been verified. All videos have captioning and all documents and images in the course are fully accessible with the use of the Blackboard Ally tool. 

About the Course

Course Number: OTL 605: Educational Planning and Development for Online Programs

Description: It is essential for eLearning professionals to keep current in the field. Activities included but not limited to career outlook analysis, labor data analysis, gap analysis, critical issues examination, and in-depth discussion and implications surrounding the eLearning design and technology.

Prerequisites: OTL 601/851 and one of the following courses: OTL 602/852, OTL 603/853, OTL 604/854, OTL 605.

GE credit: This is a graduate level course

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

Learning outcomes:
1. Analyze changes of online learners profile and changes to the eLearning design, technology, and/or administration over the last 20 years.

2. Draw conclusions on current research, recent innovative ideas, and/or best practices about eLearning.

3. Explain how teaching strategies, learning theories, technology adoption, and design methodologies contribute to the development of quality online curriculum in recent years. 

4. Formulate a strategy on implementing a successful online program based on recent eLearning developments.

Curricular changes: I was able to find course materials to support the course objectives.

Teaching and learning impacts:
Collaborate more with other faculty : Yes, I was able to work with other instructors and designers in the M.S. in eLearning program.

Use wider range of teaching materials: Yes, I was able to integrate various types of media and content

Student learning improved : Yes

Student retention improved : Unsure

Any unexpected results:N/A

Sample assignment: Here is a  sample assignment and rubric. 

OER Adoption

OER Adoption Process

OER materials help alleviate the financial burdens for students, make higher education inclusive for all, and inspire effective teaching and learning for online and hybrid courses. Most of the required materials are published within the past five years and reflect current research and data with zero cost for students. Materials are published by government contributors, industry-leaders of course design, national and global databases, and research studies to support the course and module learning objectives and assignments.

Student access: All content is checked each semester to ensure students have access to all links, PDFs, videos, etc. As long as students have an active NET ID they can obtain access to all linked journal articles through the library databases.

Student Feedback: There has not been specific feedback regarding the affordability of this course but with the high cost of tuition for graduate level courses, students are relieved to know they are not required to spend any additional money once they have registered.

Lacey Garza

I am an eLearning Specialist at the Cal State East Bay. I support the redesign and curriculum development of the M.S. in eLearning courses.

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy is learner-centered and focuses on personalized learning experiences that support a holistic perspective. I am interested in the Influences and Contributions of Perennialism on the Continuous Development of e Learning Ecosystems.