Open Educational Resources (OER) are digital teaching and learning materials that are free for faculty and students to use. Not only can OER materials save students money, but because they are free, they may also increase student access to required readings, films, etc. This has the potential to have a very positive impact on learning outcomes. However, according to Opening the Curriculum, a 2014 study funded by The Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson, “The most significant barrier to wider adoption of OER remains a faculty perception of the time and effort required to find and evaluate it.” The Scholarly Communications Committee and our campus librarians can make this task a little less daunting.
As you know, every academic department has a librarian liaison. Your liaison can help you identify high quality open educational resources as well as materials available through library subscriptions. Contact your librarian liaison to help you identify course readings or videos. Your liaison may be able to create a list of potential alternatives if s/he is provided with citations of the works you’re currently using with your class. Since these alternatives will be free to the students, you will be saving them money while ensuring that all students have access to the material regardless of the their ability and willingness to purchase the items.
The Scholarly Communications Committee has compiled a guide to OER resources for faculty interested in exploring the topic further.
Best wishes for a successful semester.
Matt Sylvain & Allison Cywin, Co-Chairs of the Scholarly Communication Committee
Committee Email: email@example.com