The Accessible French Classroom: OER, Equity, and Innovation for New Teaching Practices  (Roundtable / In-Person)


Special Session
French and Francophone / Professional and Pedagogy

Kathryne Corbin (Haverford College)
kaco@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

Aurelie Chevant-Aksoy (Santa Monica College)
aure@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

The shift to innovative teaching practices, including the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and previously unknown technologies or platforms, has been steadily motivated over the past years by the rising cost of textbooks and the unstable financial situations of students, but has been notably accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasingly, instructors have fresh materials widely available online at their disposal. Moreover, the relevance and authenticity, in addition to the accessibility, of conventionally published materials is often called into question. As a result, instructors increasingly turn to OER and to other course formats to meet these needs.

In this panel, presenters share how they use OER and other innovative teaching practices in French and Francophone language, literature, and culture courses. They discuss how these new materials and practices create active student-centered learning experiences that favor an accessible learning environment, and explain how this work has impacted their pedagogy. Participants may demonstrate how they successfully implemented OER as the main material for a pre-existing course, presenting supplementary materials they incorporated alongside OER. They may also introduce new class formats to adapt to our students' population (such as heritage speakers of French or Spanish speakers, etc.) and their current demands. Instructors may address challenges that arise from using OER and innovative (technological) tools and curriculum. Participants will provide links to useful materials and databases and offer practical tips for planning and assessment to better connect curriculum and pedagogy to students’ needs.

In this roundtable, presenters share innovations in their French and Francophone language, literature, and culture courses in the past few years, highlighting for example Open Educational Resources, innovative technologies, or new platforms. As universities strive to become more accessible, raising awareness of diversity and equity, OER have become increasingly popular in the classroom. This, and other pedagogical innovations, are in part also a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also given the rising costs of traditional textbooks (and especially in the case of language classes, the workbook), which often makes an increased burden on students with modest financial means. Not only are OER more accessible, but their content is also more authentic and more up-to-date, allowing instructors to pivot more quickly and incorporate supplemental materials.

Participants in this roundtable will share how OER and other recent pedagogical innovations have impacted their pedagogy. Presenters will share how new materials and practices create accessible, student-centered classroom environments. In the case of OER, it would be especially helpful for participants to demonstrate how they implemented OER as the main textbook for a pre-existing course, presenting any supplementary materials they incorporated alongside the OER. Instructors will also address any challenges. Finally, instructors will provide links to useful materials and offer practical tips for lesson planning and assessment to better connect curriculum and pedagogy to students’ and departments' needs.