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By: Laura Damron |
June 12, 2019
Eric Werth, Ed.D.,
professional development manager at the University of Pikeville, has been
selected to participate in the Open Education Group’s Open Educational Resources
(OER) Research Fellowship program sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett
Foundation. OER may be freely used, edited if desired and shared with others. During
the one-year fellowship, Werth, along with a select group of other
professionals working in higher education, will participate in research
addressing the impact of OER on the cost of education and student success
outcomes, usage patterns and perceptions of OER. Another focus of the
fellowship will be open pedagogy, a learning strategy where students create OER
themselves, thus contributing to the education of others.
As a result of
the fellowship, Werth will have the ability to apply OER research on UPIKE’s
campus to benefit students and faculty. Through expanded OER utilization, more
students will have free digital access to course content traditionally found in
textbooks, which reduces cost for students and provides them a greater chance
for success in the classroom. OER utilization provides faculty with a greater
ability to customize course content and see enhanced student performance.
Werth views the
fellowship as an opportunity to collaborate with a network of professionals
studying the benefits of OER and bring best practices to UPIKE.
“The OER Research
Fellows program will provide me the ability to work with others around the
country seeking ways to improve student success and retention,” said Werth. “What
I learn through my own research and that of other fellows has the potential not
only to benefit UPIKE, but also students throughout the Appalachian region.”
Werth has spent
most of his career researching and implementing innovative teaching and
learning approaches. His research experience spans two decades, and his work
has been published in peer-reviewed publications as well as by organizations
dedicated to enhancing the teaching-learning dynamic. Werth’s presentations to
professional societies, universities and other organizations often focus on
leveraging technology in teaching and learning.
Prior to assuming
his current role at UPIKE, Werth served as the university’s teaching and learning
coordinator. He joined UPIKE in 2016 after relocating from Nampa, Ida., where
he was a faculty member and directed the Center of Online and Blended Learning
at Northwest Nazarene University.
After earning his
bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in microbiology, Werth
obtained his Doctorate in Education specializing in curriculum and instruction.
He also holds a secondary teaching certification and taught in the K-12 system
for several years.
Werth will join
OER fellows at the 16th Annual Open Education Conference in Phoenix
in October as well as interact with them virtually throughout the fellowship