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OER (Open Educational Resources) @ USNH

Last week I had the pleasure of attending ATI, the theme of this year’s ATI was “Camp Open”. ATI brings together academics and technology professionals on all of our USNH campuses to talk about technology in the world of higher education. Having last been in school in 2011 for my master’s at GW, I can say I learned a lot. Much of the talk was about embracing OER (Open Educational Resources) and taking advantage of developing and changing tools and resources. I had the ability to teach about resources for video and audio creation including iMovie and Audacity in addition to lots of other site(s) that exist for the sharing of creative commons licensed materials. As the cost of text books has grown sky high see one of our keynote presentations from Rajiv Jhangiani one of those slides shows the cost of inflation of text books. It was incredible to see and analyze. I was trying to reflect on how much I spent on books during my time in both undergraduate and graduate school. I know that a. I still submitted a lot on paper through 2011 (kind of surprising right?) and our materials did not come cheap, so Open Educational resources were an exciting thing to learn so much about beyond what I knew – from PressBooks to using Wikipedia as a teaching tool (it’s not so bad!).
In Inside Higher Education just reported today about some of the things the University of Utah is attempting to do to to help encourage use of OER and create more transparency in courses. Throughout the presentations we were encouraged to go for the “Low Hanging Fruit” in the article they note –
“One of the first things the team did was ask instructors to provide information about their course materials, including costs, by the time registration opened so that students knew, in advance, the name of the book and its cost. That information helps students make choices, and gives the bookstore enough time to get the books in stock by the first day of classes, Mower said.”
They’ve also started to offer free consultations including ones that cover –
Publisher price negotiations
Library-licensed e-books and journal articles
Streaming media licensing and file management
Custom course pack publishing
Copyright permissions
Fair use book chapter or more on eReserve
Books or films on reserve
Fair use film clips on university’s Canvas learning management system
On-demand printing and support for self-authored content
Finding older editions to minimize costs to students
A buyback program with multi-year adoption options
Inclusive access implementation and management
OER discovery and integration

We’ve covered some of this during our ATI sessions, but I think the OER team can do more to encourage this kind of training across campus in alignment with what fits with Academic Technology. I’m excited to see how I can continue to support our OER resources on campus after learning about the possibilities.

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