Faculty member Nancy Pawlyshyn reports on national project to improve student success using open education resources

January 8, 2014

When challenges are great, try something new. That's the core message of a new publication by faculty member Nancy Pawlyshyn and co-authors, in a case study entitled, "Adopting open education resources: A case study of cross-institutional collaboration and innovation," published recently in EDUCAUSE Quarterly Review.

In her paper, Pawlyshyn describes the "messy" work of collaborating across seven institutions to stem the tide of student failure in required courses at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY where she served as Chief Assessment Officer and Associate Provost in Academic Affairs.

Pawlyshyn and co-authors noted that the "key takeaways" from this grant-funded effort (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Hewlett Foundation) described in their case study were:

  • "By leveraging investments in open educational resources (OER) across institutions, universities can both increase the return on investment beyond the initial adoption and benefit their students at scale.
  • Creative use of OER offers tangible benefits in student success and retention, resulting in measurable performance increases.
  • Faculty collaboration, investment in professional development, and the ability to adapt to local conditions are keys to supporting OER adoption at the college level.
  • Sometimes, educational problems are best tackled from outside the institutional hierarchy in spaces that allow innovation to happen."

Pawlyshyn teaches in the Graduate Education programs.