We continue our celebration of Open Access Week.
We’ve mentioned open access journals and ebooks which are great for researchers. But what about the regular student? The high cost of textbooks can be a financial burden on a student. The university—and the library in particular—can help.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. (Wikipedia)
Open educational resources include open access textbooks. Academic libraries can work with university administration and faculty to develop a policy of creating a repository for open access resources including textbooks.
One notable OER initiative is PDX Open from Portland State University Library. With support from their university, the library is facilitating the publishing of open access textbooks using their Digital Commons platform from bepress.
The Open Textbook Library provides access to around 200 open textbooks from the Open Library Network of participating academic libraries such as Purdue, University of Arizona, and Virginia Tech. You can search or browse their collection of complete textbooks.
Here are some great resources to learn about OER:
- Creative Commons: Education – CC license information for OER.
- Edutopia: Open Educational Resources – A great list of OER resources.
- OER Commons – Share and search for lesson plans, activities, and courses.
- SPARC Open Education – Describes the what, why, and how of OER.