Celebrating Open Education Week

OE Week conversation cartoonMarch 4-8 is Open Education Week, a week to celebrate open educational resources, tools, and practices that embrace the spirit of open sharing and open access to education worldwide.

Student Government, our ACC Library and Learning Commons, and our Open Educational Resources (OER) Committee are joining together to celebrate Open Education and spread the word about Open Educational Resources (OER) across campus.

What are Open Educational Resources?

According to the Hewlett Foundation, “Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.”

OER materials are available through several respected repositories. One of the best known sources for OER is OpenStax at Rice University in Texas. OpenStax publishes peer-reviewed, open-license textbooks that are free and accessible. Another source for open, peer-reviewed textbooks is SUNY Textbooks (OST) from the State University of New York (SUNY); OST offers peer-reviewed, open texts that can be easily adopted and customized. British Columbia offers  BCcampus OpenEd, which has 270 open, customizable resources available on their site. The materials available through these repositories have a Creative Commons License that allows for open use. For more information, please check out our ACC OER  Research Guide.

Open Educational Resources (OER) save students money on textbooks, increase textbook usage, and support inclusivity since OER materials are fully accessible. OER materials are up-to-date and designed specifically for a course, so they are engaging and help promote student success!

According to a study of 32 community colleges by Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit network of leaders in community college reform, students found OER textbooks “accessible, relevant and engaging.”

Student Government is sponsoring info tables about OER during Open Education Week. Also look for a video in D2L in which students talk about their experiences and enthusiasm for classes using OER.

by Josie Mills, ACC Associate Vice President for Instruction