What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?
They’re teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER can be textbooks, courses, lessons plans, videos, software, lab notebooks, or any other material that supports access to knowledge.
Why are they important?
Traditional print textbook costs have risen at triple the rate of inflation over the last ten years, even though technology has created new opportunities to bring these costs down. Students often end up paying more than $1,000 a year for textbooks that are used only for one course and become outdated quickly. OER are an alternative to traditional textbooks that can help to lower student costs for higher education.
How can undergraduates support the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) at Miami University?
Ask your professors about using OER in the courses you are enrolled in!
Visit the Creative Commons Education web page at http://creativecommons.org/education. There you can watch videos, read case studies, and get up to speed on ways we can solve the problem. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) also maintains a web page with extensive information and resources about OER at http://www.sparc.arl.org/issues/oer.
Get involved with OhioPIRG Students
Ohio Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Students is an independent, statewide student organization that works on many issues of concern to students, including the high cost of textbooks. At the OhioPIRG Students’ website at http://ohiopirgstudents.org/ you can get involved in making textbooks more affordable by signing the Textbook Rebellion Petition (http://ohiopirgstudents.org/campaigns/oh/make-textbooks-affordable) or even starting a PIRG chapter on Miami’s campus.
Get involved in Open Education Week
With support from CELTUA and the Miami University Libraries, a group of 16 Miami faculty members, students, staff, and librarians have been exploring issues surrounding OER. Open Education Week takes place March 9 – 13, 2015, and the group is looking for students to help make the week a success. Kirsten Fowler serves both as ASG Secretary for Academic Affairs and as a member of the group exploring OER. To get started, email Kirsten about your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow the conversations on Twitter
Follow @miamiuoa, @miamiulibraries, @R2RC, and @SPARC_NA to keep up with ongoing developments about open access and OER. #oaweek