March 1, 2018

Teaching and learning workshops focus on resources to help students save money on their education

Grad students, faculty and staff invited to register for Open Education Resources Week sessions March 5-9
A series of workshops will be available during Open Education Week.

A series of workshops will be available during Open Education Week.

University of Calgary

As the cost of textbooks and learning resources increases, universities are looking for alternative resources to use in the classroom, helping students to save money on their education.

For this reason, open educational resources (OERs) are getting attention on campuses around the world and here at the University of Calgary. OERs are peer-reviewed academic content that has been made available via an open licence, such as a Creative Commons License, and which are useful for teaching, learning and assessment.

“Everything is going digital, I do think this is the future of education,” says Ykje Piera, learning technologies specialist and open educational resources lead at UCalgary. Piera is involved with the university’s OER pilot project and has seen a lot of interest from instructors: “The academic community is buying in. There was no shortage of applications for the pilot project. There is lots of enthusiasm for projects.”

Open educational resources on campus

The university has developed a model for instructors who want to replace textbooks and adopt OERs for the classroom. The Adopt and Adapt model supports student involvement in OER development and shows how an OER can be adopted for under $4,000.

“This is a wonderful model. It’s a good opportunity for students and academics to reclaim their learning,” says Piera. “The process also gives students the chance to learn peer-review and research skills.”

The program provides support for instructors to hire undergraduate students to identify OERs that match course syllabus learning outcomes, and graduate students to peer review those resources.

Workshops available on campus next week

Grad students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to learn about OER best practices in a series of workshops during Open Education Week, March 5 to 9. The workshops will cover a number of areas including publishing, copyright and licensing issues involved in OER development and sharing.