Open Educational Resources (OER) and the Higher Education Environment

The swiftly increasing cost of academic resources, especially student textbooks and other required course readings, is a well-publicized problem for students at college and university (see the BC Library guide Open Access and Scholarly Publishing: Open Educational Resources).

In an article in this month’s issue of C&RL News, “Open educational resources and the higher education environment: A leadership opportunity for libraries“, co-authors Kristi Jensen and Quill West provide interesting insights into open educational resources (OER). For example, West makes the very pertinent point that OERs are beneficial for more than just saving students money on textbooks:

Open education is a philosophy, a pedagogical shift, and a movement that works to improve educational experiences through adopting learning materials that aren’t locked down by restrictive copyright laws. In a lot of ways open education is about saving students money on textbooks, which helps institutions to meet equity of access missions. However, open education is also about increasing student achievement, inspiring passion among faculty, and building better connections between students and the materials that they use to meet their educational goals.

For the full article.