Open Education Week is March 4th – 8th, and one excellent way to celebrate is by attending this virtual panel. This is an opportunity for faculty to learn about OER Commons, a repository for Open Educational Materials (OER) and 3 exciting textbook projects at UMass Dartmouth. Open Educational Materials are teaching and learning tools such as textbooks, tests/quizzes, and classroom activities that are available free of charge. At UMass Dartmouth we have an OER Creators program through which 3 open textbooks were created in 2023. The textbook projects are E-Commerce and E-Business by Shouhong Wang, A Guide to Analyzing Arguments in an Academic Setting by Jackie O’Dell, Joshua Botvin, and Yuan Zhang, and Women’s & Gender Studies by Catherine Gardner. Each author will give an overview of the book they created. This panel will also include a demo of OER Commons by Repository Coordinator Rachel Oleaga. We welcome faculty who are curious about OER, open publishing, digital texbooks, open repositories, or who are just interested in the topics covered by these free textbooks. Register here: https://schedule.lib.umassd.edu/event/12057953?hs=a
The ROTEL Grant Project Team has partnered with Rebus Community to offer five (5) online webinars of approximately 1 hour each per year on topics related to Open Educational Resources (OER). The following professional development opportunities are available courtesy of the ROTEL federally funded open textbook project and the OER Professional Development Committee. Please share these monthly virtual sessions broadly with your OER community and others you wish to have join your OER community. These virtual sessions are intended to enhance the skills and knowledge of those who are currently adopting/adapting/creating OER resources. However, these sessions will also be useful for those who wish to adopt/adapt OER materials. All sessions will be recorded.
Reserve your spot today by filling out the registration form!
Once you have registered, you will receive a Zoom link one week prior to the workshop.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Open Publishing
Friday, February 23, 2024 | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM ET
In this session, we’ll discuss how Rebus’ open publishing differs from traditional models by keeping diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind throughout the production cycle. Working with the principles of DEI is critical to creating valuable resources, and can have impacts beyond improving the quality of the OER. We’ll highlight how creators in Massachusetts have adopted this approach in their projects.
OER & Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Friday, March 8, 2024 (Open Education Week) | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to teaching that asks us to make our classrooms accessible from the start. While doing so can be fairly time intensive, the rewards make it worthwhile. UDL is a key approach to help us achieve the goal of greater inclusion in our teaching, especially with OER. At this session, we will explore the basics of UDL and how OER can help us make strides towards inclusive, innovative teaching and learning experiences.
Interactive OER with H5P
Friday, March 29, 2024 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET
With the shift to digital learning in online classrooms, we are reminded about the potential OER can provide to better engage with our students. This session will introduce H5P, a free tool that lets you create interactive content for your textbooks. We’ll look at the range of content types in H5P, see examples from published textbooks, and highlight other tools you can use to make dynamic OER.
Accessibility and OER
Friday, April 19, 2024 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET
One of the major goals of the open education movement is to ensure that learning materials are available and usable widely. Accessibility can be a barrier to widespread OER use and adoption, and is often an afterthought to many textbook publishers. In this session, we’ll explain what we mean by accessibility, remediation, and the work this entails. We’ll provide a set of small but simple ways for you to ensure that your learning materials meet accessibility standards
Creating OER with Students
Friday, May 17, 2024 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET
Student voices need to be central in OER projects, especially considering that they are the final users of these materials. In this session, we will showcase a range of OER that have been co-created with students. We will consider the following questions: Where can students join the publishing process? What conversations around ownership, copyright, licensing need to be had? How can this experience be enriching for students?
by Emma Wood
One of the tenets of Creative Commons (CC) licensing is sharing your work with others. Creating free materials for the students in your course is valuable, but providing those materials for other educators to adopt and potentially remix helps to build the existing library of free and accessible learning tools. OER repositories store and link to materials that you can use, but you can also upload and display the worksheets, textbooks, quizzes, etc. that you have designed.
OER Commons is a well-known repository that provides a single point of access to a vast collection of openly-licensed teaching materials. New within the past few years, all Massachusetts institutions of higher education have their own page or “hub” where their OER authors can upload teaching materials. This allows institutions to showcase and share the OER work of their faculty in one convenient location.
The UMass Dartmouth OER Commons Hub has started to grow. For example, our group page hosts a Women’s and Gender Studies textbook by Catherine Villanova Gardner and a textbook for E-Commerce and E-Business by Shouhong Wang. Both resources are robust and support a full course without financial or other access barriers for students. Gardner’s resource offers 11 chapters covering topics such as intersectionality and feminist movements with the incorporation of colorful images and links to videos. Wang’s textbook fills a gap in the available OER on electronic commerce by providing a much needed update to the freely available options. The resource is organized into six chapters and is simple to follow and download. Both authors have the unique ability to update and change their teaching materials as they see fit.
Please consider sharing your openly licensed materials in our OER Commons hub. OER Commons offers an Open Author tool to streamline the process of creating and sharing OER. I welcome any questions about the creation or adoption of OER and UMD’s OER Commons hub.
by Emma Wood
The inaugural OER Adoption cohort at UMass Dartmouth was formed last year and resulted in significant cost-savings to students. The cohort, an example of campus collaboration, was established with stipends from the Provost’s Office, logistical support through the Office of Faculty Development (OFD), and expertise from the Claire T. Carney Library.
The premise of the cohort is simple – Faculty apply to be part of the group, attend workshops to learn more about openly licensed teaching materials, and commit to replace a traditional textbook with a free or low-cost option in one of their courses. For example, Prof. Yuni Kim of the English Dept. participated and decided to use two books of zero cost together in one of her courses: Modern World Literature Compact Edition and Invitation to World Literature.
Among the benefits of OER for faculty, are the flexible permissions given by the Creative Commons licenses the materials carry. We tend to think of the parameters of traditional copyright as restrictive while CC licensing offers a range of uses, including the ability to tailor and update material. The opportunity to remix or alter course materials is especially appealing when covering subjects that change rapidly.
The OER advantage to students is compelling. The price of textbooks has increased swiftly, and around 64% of students report that they have made a decision to forego purchasing a required textbook due to cost. Consequently, students without the textbook often find themselves earning a low grade or even failing the course. Still others may drop a course because of textbook cost or choose to take fewer courses.
If you find yourself dissatisfied with your current textbook or concerned about whether all of your students can procure the material, consider exploring the OER options in your subject area. The second OER Adoption Cohort call is live now through the Office of Faculty Development and accepting applications online through 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 15, 2023. Questions may be directed to Emma Wood, Scholarly Communication Librarian or Dr. Jay Zysk, OFD Director.
What is OER Adoption? There are quality OER options (openly licensed textbooks and teaching materials) available for many subjects that are ready to be “adopted” and incorporated into your class.
Where do I find resources to adopt? Openstax is one of the prominent names in openly licensed textbook publishing, but there are many other resources. Start here: https://guides.lib.umassd.edu/oer
The Open Education Conference is hosted annually to share information about open educational resources, open pedagogy, and open education initiatives. This conference celebrates the tenets of open education and promotes learning experiences that are inclusive to everyone, regardless of their background.
The conference was previously held in-person for sixteen-years but is now virtual event. OpenEd23 will be held November 7-9, 2023 online.#Opened23. For more information, check out the attendee guide, and take a look at preview videos of the keynote speakers can be found on the conference website.
There is still time to Register now to attend.
The Scholarly Communications Committee has reconvened, and we look forward to posting content to apprise the UMass Dartmouth campus community and beyond of news and opportunities that surround Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Access, research, and publishing. We will keep a pulse on noteworthy developments in the creation, publication, dissemination, and storage of academic research.
To start, here are a couple of new UMD links to check out:
Provost’s OER page – Promotes the use of OER on campus, lists campus initiatives, provides data about the benefits of OER, and recommends links for finding OER.
Scholarly Communication LibGuide – A library guide that introduces the concept of Scholarly Communication and presents useful resources.
You are invited to attend the 2nd Annual Northeast Regional OER Summit at University of Massachusetts Amherst on May 31 – June 1, 2018. This 2-day event is part of a multi-state collaboration for open education in the northeast region.
The conference welcomes new and experienced OER (open educational resources) advocates offering the opportunity to learn and share effective practices in awareness building, implementation, collaboration, strategy, and research.
Visit the Northeast Regional OER Summit site for conference details, including registration, costs, schedule, and more.