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Open Educational Resources

This guide contains many resources to help with locating, evaluating, and learning more about Open Educational Resources (OERs). OERs include digital learning materials such as open textbooks, full courses, modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments

Textbook Affordability Advocacy

2:10 mins. VaTechLibraries. CC BY 3.0

Many higher education institutions have asked students how they feel about, and what challenges the face as a result of, course material costs. Here, students at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University share their thoughts.

How Can Students Advocate for Lower Cost Textbooks?

For step 1, you're invited to share the word on OER. Some ideas include:

  • Posting on Social Media - Snap a picture, shoot a quick reel, create a thread, or post to any social media of your liking – 
    • @ someone who you think may help  
    • Include #OA and #OER 
  • Talk about the benefits of OER and Zero Textbook Costs (ZTC) courses for you, fellow students or faculty
  • Print a student flyer and post to a campus board.

Here are some examples of social media shares:

We invite you to go beyond these steps and continue to advocate for OER and ZTC courses. 

A number of organizations provide information about OER for students and/or advocate for OER and the benefits that may be realized by students

Advocacy, Librarians, and OERs

Because librarians have these campus connections, they can use the opportunity to increase awareness of OERs among these key stakeholders in higher education and help to create an understanding of their benefits. They can:

  • Help to create institutional support via senate and faculty discussions, whenever they are involved.

  • Address policies that work against OER creation

  • Once  agreement between stakeholders is reached, the can help to create policies and procedures that support OER creation

  • Advocate for institutional assistance for content creation (please see the UMass Amherst example here)

  • Can work with stakeholders in order to secure appropriate funding and can lobby for open textbook creation, distribution and reuse.

Additionally, in regard to creation, given their extensive skill set, librarians can give:

  • intellectual property advice

  • instructional design and pedagogical assistance

  • assistance in mixing or adapting OERs in a wide range of formats

  • providing access to technology via multimedia labs

  • expertise in cataloging and classification

  • housing and archiving OERs via content management systems, and,

  • dissemination of OERs to facilitate delivery.

From University of Toronto - Scarborogh's Libguide