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Open Education Week: Spotlight on Open Educational Resources (OER) at SFU

Open Education Week 2019
Published March 4, 2019 by Hope Power

Open Education Week (March 4-8) is being celebrated across the globe this week with a goal to “raise awareness and showcase impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide.”

Here at SFU, the Library and Teaching & Learning Centre are pleased to announce the good news that the Open Educational Resources (OER) Grants program has resulted in significant savings for students on textbook costs over the past 3 years. Since this program launched in 2016, we estimate that over 6,160 students in 35 courses saved over $1.2 million dollars in textbook costs as a result of projects funded via these grants! For more details, see the Third Year Summary Report.

In addition to saving SFU students money, the OER Grants program aims to foster open and innovative pedagogy. Faculty wishing to redesign a course to integrate OER as primary course material may receive small grants of up to $5000 as well as in-kind support services from the Library and TLC. Application dates for 2019 will be announced soon - stay tuned!

What are open educational resources (OER)?

So what exactly are open educational resources (OER)? These include any teaching and learning materials that have been made freely available and are openly licensed with legal permissions to use, adapt, and share their content. Examples include open textbooks, videos, lesson plans, quizzes, learning modules, full-length courses ... and more!

What are some benefits for teaching and learning?

Consider using open textbooks or other OER in your classroom in order to ...

  • Save your students some money while supporting their academic success. To find direct evidence of the impact of commercial textbook pricing on students at SFU and across the province, follow the Twitter hashtag #TextbookbrokeBC ​​ ​​​​​The choice to use OER promotes affordable access to higher education and helps to remove financial barriers impacting student learning and academic success. 
  • Develop highly customized learning resources and experiences for your courses. The choice to use OER gives you freedom to adopt, adapt or develop high-quality learning resources that can be easily customized to suit your unique subject areas, course learning outcomes or teaching needs. And unlike traditional textbooks, OER can be freely updated and modified by you, your students and other collaborators as well. Learn more about open pedagogy, a set of teaching approaches and practices made possible through the use of OER in the classroom in the Open Pedagogy Notebook.

How to get started with using OER?