OER in University Language Courses

By | May 24, 2022

Jenny Ceciliano, Senior Instructor II of Spanish and Coordinator of First-year Spanish at Portland State University, was recently invited to give a keynote at the faculty retreat for the Institute of World Languages at the University of Virginia and also led a workshop.

Jenny is a 2021 OER Champion. She has developed and implemented an OER program for Beginning Spanish at PSU, centering the student experience, and informed by principles of adult education and second language acquisition. With over 20 years’ experience teaching language to adults, Jenny has earned master’s degrees in Spanish and Educational Leadership and Policy, and she is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy. Her current research interests focus on adult pedagogy and DEI in world language courses.

Jenny’s keynote abstract:

Open Educational Resources (OER) offer incredible advantages in language teaching and learning. Implementing an OER curriculum can result in benefits that go far beyond controlling costs for students, which is itself a significant step toward improving equity. Drawing on your own experience and expertise as language educators, as well as the contributions of collaborators around the world, it is possible to build a curriculum customized for your unique student group. With thoughtful design, your program can help students achieve desired learning outcomes not just in language acquisition, but also in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). In this talk, I will give a brief introduction to OER, its general benefits and drawbacks, and its specific application to world language teaching at the university level. I will also share my own experience designing and implementing an OER textbook and curriculum for first-year Spanish at Portland State University, including my challenges and successes. DEI, adult education, assessment, and second language acquisition are all important pieces of the conversation. Whether you are in the first stages of brainstorming ideas for implementing OER, or you already have a few chapters written, it is my hope that you will be able to identify practical next steps in your process, which you will bring to the afternoon workshop.

Jenny’s workshop abstract:

For this workshop, each participant will focus on concrete, actionable steps relevant to the current stage of their own process. Some examples may include articulating learning outcomes, determining assessment methods, creating a project timeline, and exploring available online resources for a specific language and level. I will share collected resources, as well as examples of assessment plans and learning outcomes. By the conclusion of the workshop, all participants should feel that they know where they want to go next and how to get there.

Link to keynote slide deck

Link to workshop slide deck