A recent study found that college textbook costs have increased a staggering 945% between 1978 and 2014. Moreover, research indicates that if students cannot afford course materials, 65% of them will avoid renting or buying texts even though they know it may possibly impact their overall success in the course.
Open Educational Resources (OERs) offer a solution to this problem. OERs are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online with few use restrictions. Examples of OERs include textbooks, tutorials, videos, and lectures. A study at Virginia State University found that students who took courses that utilized OER materials “tended to have higher grades and lower failing and withdrawal rates than those in courses that did not use FWK [OER] texts” (para. 3). Additionally, Wiley argues that involving students in the adaptation and re-sharing of OERs can make learning more public and meaningful for students.
Despite the many benefits of using OER materials, there is still a huge knowledge gap when it comes to understanding and adopting these resources. Faculty may not be aware of the resources available to them or how to determine which materials are the best fit for their classes. The libraries at Davidson College, Furman University, and Johnson C. Smith University hope to bridge this gap with this OER Review Program.
If you're interested in learning more about the program or are ready to talk to a librarian about OERs for your classes, complete the interest form below.
Who is eligible to apply for the OER Review program?
Any Furman instructor, including adjunct faculty, are welcome to apply.
What are the requirements of the program?
There are three core expectations for participants:
What are the benefits of the program?
Participants who complete the program will receive a $250 stipend. In addition, this program will provide guidance on OER identification and evaluation, common obstacles to OER adoption.
Do I have to adopt an OER for this program?
Participants are only asked to carefully evaluate OERs as potential pedagogical tools for their classrooms; adoption is not required.
The OER Review program is sponsored by The Duke Endowment Libraries and administered at Furman by the University Libraries. For questions or concerns about the program, process, or eligibility, please contact us at email@example.com.