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Open Educational Resources (OER) are "teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions" (UNESCO). For more information, please see "Why choose OER?" below.
Faculty incentive program
We are pleased to announce that the WU Library, in partnership with the Faculty Development Committee, is making a fund of $3,000 available to promote the adoption and use of OER among Woodbury faculty. Applications are being accepted for six awards of $500 each for faculty members who commit to replacing required texts costing more than $100 new for existing OER in one or more classes they will teach in the coming semester.
Here's a brief introduction to OER and the incentive program:
Obligations with an incentive award include: 1. Meet at least twice during the remainder of the semester with a member of the
project team to discuss OER options. 2. Work with project team to finalize and briefly report on plans for OER replacement before the new semester. 3. Submit a copy of a syllabus for the upcoming semester including the newly selected OER. 4. Financial awards will be distributed thereafter.
5. Meet w/project team member to discuss assessment at least twice during the semester.
Students stand to benefit from this initiative by virtue of reduced educational costs (more than 150 different texts were required for WU classes in fall 2020, some costing more than $100, $200, or even $300 new). Students frequently choose not to purchase required texts because of costs even in the face of concerns that their grades will suffer as a result, and that material costs impact which and how many classes they take (Senack, 2014). Making use of OER is a positive step toward addressing these concerns and demonstrating that students’ issues are important to the university community.
Faculty who adopt OER frequently report these materials having opened to them a “broader range of teaching methods” and an increase in “learners’ satisfaction with the subject…interest…[and] experimentation with new ways of learning” (Weller, et al.).
When faculty adopt OER they reinforce the viability of these resources in higher learning at a time when the trail is still being blazed, and contribute to the establishment of greater bargaining power for post-secondary educational institutions vis-à-vis traditional publishing houses.
See the "More resources" tab for more in-depth information.