From Judy Thomas, Director of Faculty Programs:
October 19-25 is International Open Access Week, and this year carries the theme “Open with a Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion.”
One way the Library pursues equity and inclusion is through promoting the creation of Open Educational Resources. OER are freely available, high-quality learning materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared to better serve all students.
The promotion of OER is based on this fundamental value: the world’s knowledge is a public good. We now have before us an extraordinary opportunity to support affordable learning for all by sharing, using, and reusing educational content and tools. At the University, using open educational resources aligns with our dedication to excellence and affordable access.
The ideal application of an intellectual property license allows for these five R’s of openness:
- Reuse: the right to use the content in a wide range of ways.
- Revise: the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself.
- Remix: the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new.
- Redistribute: the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others.
- Retain: the right to make, own, and control copies of the content.
The rising costs of textbooks have far outstripped inflation, leaving many students with difficult decisions to make about purchasing their course materials. A recent library survey of UVA undergraduates revealed that high textbook costs have a negative effect on the academic well-being of our students; 55% report a negative effect on their personal well-being. Almost a third say that they do not buy the required course materials.
It’s clear that the high textbook costs adversely affect student success.
The benefits of OER go beyond the demonstrable good of affordability. Faculty who use OER have more flexibility in course design and are able to customize the content to create inclusive and collaborative classroom experiences. Innovative assignments using OER can turn students from consumers to producers of knowledge, enhancing their mastery of the course content. Additionally, use of OER can free students from the corporate surveillance practiced by textbook publishers and distributors.
Open Textbook Workshop open to UVA faculty and staff
The Library is sponsoring an Open Textbook Workshop, open to both faculty and staff, to help you learn about open educational resources and discover open textbooks in your field.
Faculty with teaching responsibilities who subsequently write a short textbook review will receive a $200 stipend for their efforts.
The online workshop will be repeated on several dates; please register by clicking on a link below:
- Open Educational Resources — Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Open Educational Resources — Thursday, November 5, 2020, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
- Open Educational Resources — Monday, November 9, 2020, 12:00 p.m. noon – 1:00 p.m.
- Open Educational Resources — Thursday, November 12, 2020, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
For more information about open educational resources at UVA, check out our Library guide to OER.
OA Week for all
Open Access works toward equity and inclusion for all, and helps support initiatives such as Sustainable Scholarship at UVA.