Open Educational Resources to Support STEM Teaching and Learning in Adult Education (OER STEM)

As the national economy expands in areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), the teaching of this content has become vital for adults to succeed in the workplace. AIR developed new and innovative ways to improve the teaching of STEM content to adult education students using open educational resources (OER). Although OER are available online, the sheer volume of resources and the fact that many are geared toward children or college students poses challenges to adult educators for using them with low literate adult learners.

To address these challenges, AIR provided professional development to master teachers of adult education to identify, use, evaluate, and share OER. In addition, AIR developed three online courses to train adult educators on STEM OER and conducted a training on how to train others using those courses. An important basis of this training was developing an understanding of the Five R’s—retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute—to create a pool of OER for adult math and science instruction.

Key Findings

  • Adult educators need time and training to effectively incorporate OER into instruction.
  • Adult learners need support in using and learning from technology.
  • There are limited numbers of OER available for specific use in adult education.

In this video developed by AIR for the project, adult educators, students, and Johan Uvin, OVAE Acting Assistant Secretary, discuss the value of Open Educational Resources, and how this growing body of high-quality, no-cost, modifiable tools can be used to enhance the teaching of science and math in adult education and to engage adult learners.