Open educational resources (OER) – instructional resources made from open materials – are a logical endpoint when discussing open access initiatives.
At UT Libraries, we’re committed to promoting the adoption and creation of OER across campus. Our OER Working Group’s efforts were recently discussed on Tex Libris, and they have included revamping the OER LibGuide and creating a helpful guide for discussing OER with different audiences, among other outreach efforts to raise campus OER awareness.
As we continue to encourage the development and use of OER, we also have to acknowledge associated difficulties, chief among those being lack of funds and lack of time.
These are serious impediments to widespread OER adoption. However, progress is being made to address them. Following the Texas Legislature’s passage of SB 810, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is in the process of awarding its first round of grants to instructors who will be (re)creating courses using only OER.
At a federal level, the U.S. Department of Education announced that its inaugural $5 million Open Textbooks grant award will go to LibreTexts, a UC Davis effort “to develop an easy-to-use online platform for the construction, customization, and dissemination of open educational resources (OER) to reduce the burdens of unreasonable textbook costs to our students and society”.
At Ohio University, a partnership between Ohio University Libraries and the Office of Instructional Innovation, paired subject liaison librarians with OER-interested faculty members to redesign courses to use only OER as part of the Alt-Textbook Initiative. Through a combination of faculty release time and librarian staff time, the Initiative was able to redesign 24 courses for projected student cost savings of roughly $200,000.
By identifying new and creative partnerships and advocating for legislative funding for OER efforts, the open community is working toward sustainable and scalable OER solutions.
Browse existing OER on OER Commons, OpenStax, and the BC Campus Open Textbook/OER Directory.
Share and discover information about OER activities at campuses across North America on SPARC’s Connect OER platform.