Tag Archives: Open Educational Resources

The Ames Library Announces Open Educational Resources (OER) Exploratory Grants

The Ames Library OER Exploration Grants

The Ames Library will fund five, two-hundred dollar grants for faculty to explore Open Educational resources (OER) for their class(es). OER are defined as learning resources, teaching practices, and  education policies that use the flexibility of OER to provide learners with high quality educational experiences. OER are either in the public domain or licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities – retaining, remixing, revising, reusing and redistributing the resources. There is increasing OER interest for higher education because they help to reduce educational inequality by removing (or reducing) student costs to access course materials. Large scale studies of OER show lower course drop rates, improved student grades, and better retention. For this grant, materials that are not strictly OER, but are “free” to students, such as library-owned articles, videos, digital archives, and open access materials are also acceptable.

OER can include any of the following:

  • Open textbooks
  • Public domain materials
  • Videos
  • Tutorials / modules / simulations
  • Quizzes / ancillary materials

Our goal with the OER grant is for faculty to explore OER resources, selecting and critically assessing specific materials for inclusion in their courses, and ultimately, to encourage faculty to adopt OERs. We also hope faculty will be able to use the results of these exploration grants to later propose CD grants focused on revising courses or assignments to incorporate OERs.

Requirements

Faculty will be asked to select and review several OERs and/or materials that are free to students that have the potential for integration into a current or future course. OER repositories and search engines can be found on the Ames Library OER LibGuide and the CARLI Open Illinois Initiative site. Your liaison librarian is happy to assist as well. 

At the conclusion of the project, grant recipients agree to participate in a campus panel discussion about materials you discovered and how you plan to incorporate them into an assignment/course. In addition, the faculty member will submit a 2-3 page (single spaced) written report which will include the following:

  • Summary and evaluation of specific OER or free-to-students resources that you discovered 
  • How these materials support your pedagogical goals
  • The class or classes these materials could be incorporated into
  • Reflection on the evolving role of OER in higher education and/or your discipline

Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served, basis and the grant disbursements will occur after the receipt of your written report. Reports are due within five months from initial approval.

If you would like to secure one of these grants, or have any questions, please contact Chris Sweet in the Ames Library (csweet@iwu.edu, x3984).

Open Access Week (October 21 – 27)

The Ames Library joins libraries, museums, scholars, and scientists in celebrating efforts to provide open and equitable access to scholarship and scientific research during Open Access Week 2019.

“Open Access,” according to SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), of which Illinois Wesleyan University is a member, refers to “the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.” While early discussions of open access focused on access to research-based articles, the movement now encompasses open access to scholarly monographs, textbooks, and data sets through related work around “open data” and “open educational resources.” The Ames Library has made a long-term commitment to promoting open access as part of its core commitments to equity, educational affordability, pedagogical innovation, and promotion of our students’ education as content creators and managers of their own intellectual property rights. In the contemporary information environment, an understanding of the commercial environment surrounding one’s own intellectual work, as well as one’s right to manage one’s own copyrights and personal data, is an essential component of a liberal education.

Students and faculty wishing to learn more about open access, to employ open access resources in their classrooms, to share their work through open channels, or to integrate education about open access into their student learning goals, can find resources through the library’s guides to open access resources and open educational resources. You can also make your own work “OA” by contributing it to our digital repository, Digital Commons, which houses the work of IWU faculty, as well as undergraduate research projects, journals and other peer-reviewed work, and more. If you would like to integrate education about copyright, scholarly communications, or the movement toward “open” in science and scholarship into your courses, please contact Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Collections and Scholarly Communications Librarian, or your liaison librarian.