|This project was funded by a grant from The Campus Alberta Open Educational Resources (ABOER) Initiative through an investment from the Alberta government in post-secondary open education and involved graduate students and professors from six western Canadian universities working collaboratively to create, evaluate and edit content. First-year Spanish is a high enrollment course across the province, and in North America, Alberta funded this project in an attempt to reduce the financial burden faced by first-year students as they begin their academic journey. Additionally, while most of our students are enrolled in Spanish as an elective, reduced textbook costs promote language and culture learning as a less expensive route for non-core credits. |
I am the project lead, and together we created a digital textbook that is a first-year university Spanish open educational resource (OER). This text meets the requirements of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages while also complying with the current standards established across North America by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The textbook covers the first-semester of first-year university Spanish with continued development of the second semester.
Modules corresponding to the curriculum are based on existing OER, modified OER, and newly created OER modules while paying individual attention to opportunities for inserting Canadian components into the curriculum. The end-point of the completed resource corresponds with the actual break between the two three-credit first-year courses offered at most post‐secondary institutions in Canada. OERs were designed for content delivery, self-testing activities, cultural readings, and readings with audio components to highlight the Hispanic presence in Canada while at the same time celebrating Canadian achievements, values, and history. The resulting materials are integrated into an aesthetically pleasing Moodle platform which is housed by Athabasca University with open access under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike licence.
Unlike printed OERs this open resource is continually being updated and edited as a result of suggestions or contributions from the broader language teaching community. I am completing the second half of the first year curriculum simultaneously and incorporating suggestions as they arrive. The online resources are currently used at a few universities in Alberta as ancillary resources, and as a primary textbook for first-year Spanish offered at Athabasca University.