What is it?
This week is Open Education Week, a yearly celebration designed to raise awareness about open educational resources. Open educational resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are free to read and reuse. Examples of OER include videos, problem sets, slides, and textbooks. Faculty often assign OER in order to make their course more affordable for students. By choosing an open textbook instead of a commercial textbook, for example, faculty can potentially save students hundreds of dollars a semester. Another benefit for faculty is it that OER is openly licensed, which means that faculty can remix and build upon the content, customizing the material to meet the needs of their particular class.
UNI OER Initiatives
- The University of Northern Iowa is part of the Open Textbook Network (OTN), a collation of over 600 colleges and universities that has saved students $8.5 million dollars. Read more about the OTN here.
- The OTN maintains the Open Textbook Library where faculty can locate open textbooks with peer reviews. Once you identify an open textbook, the library's Digital Scholarship unit can separate the open textbooks into sections/chapters so they are easier for your students to use.
- Rod Library is now offering textbooks from our collection on course reserves. Books in our collection that are being used as textbooks for 1000 and 200 level courses have been set aside for in-library use only. This means that students can have access to their textbook, free of charge for up to three hours at a time. Find more information on course reserve textbooks here.
- Watch a video of UNI Students' Perspectives on Textbook Costs.
- Open Education Resources collection in UNI ScholarWorks (UNI's institutional repository)