Today kicks off International Open Access Week, and this year’s theme is, “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity.” Open Access Week is a time for the international community to work together to take significant steps toward making openness the default for research. This is the first of a series featuring work being done at the UVA Library toward an open future.
From Judith Thomas, Director of Faculty Programs:
One way to build structural equity into support for student learning is by embracing the precepts of the global Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, built on the understanding that the world’s knowledge is a public good and that all deserve equal access to a high-quality education. We now have an extraordinary opportunity to support affordable and inclusive learning by creating and sharing open educational content and tools.
The UVA Library’s support for OER aligns with state mandates for open and affordable course materials as well as with UVA’s dedication to excellence and affordable access. We are committed to helping build the infrastructure — both technological and human — to support open education now and into the future.
Copyright licenses for open content allow for:
- 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 benefits of using OER licenses extend beyond affordability; they offer faculty more flexibility in course design and the ability to customize the content to create classroom experiences in which all students feel like they belong. Innovative assignments using OER can change students from consumers into producers of knowledge, enhancing their mastery of the course content and freeing them from the corporate surveillance practiced by textbook publishers and distributors.
Programs and resources the Library has created to support and promote the use of open educational resources include:
- An Open Educational Resources (OER) guide, which compiles information from a wide variety of sources to help faculty find and use open content.
- Workshops and information sessions which cover a range of topics related to OER (or see the full Library calendar for events beyond November 2021).
- The new Affordability and Equity grant program to support the adoption, adaptation, and authoring of open resources.
In addition, a member of the Library’s OER team, Bethany Mickel, is participating with a group of UVA Spanish language faculty in the 2021-22 Institute on Open Educational Resources of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.