Open Educational Resources: Reduce Cost and Enhance Learning

Image: opensource.comThe steady increase in awareness, adoption and creation of open educational resources (OERs) over the past decade demonstrates that faculty and administrators across the globe are concerned about the high cost of textbooks and course materials. Higher education institutions, as well as government organizations, not-for-profits and consortiums, report that OERs have saved students millions of dollars. As we celebrate Open Education Week 2020, it is well established that OERs help ease the financial burden of students.

Equally important, but often absent from OER discussions, is how the adoption of OERs impacts teaching and student learning. Fortunately, just as the interest in OERs for affordability gained momentum, so too is the interest in open pedagogy. Open pedagogy is challenging to define concisely, but the following description from the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries provides clarity: “Open pedagogy is the practice of engaging with students as creators of information rather than simply consumers of it. It’s a form of experiential learning in which students demonstrate understanding through the act of creation. The products of open pedagogy are student created and openly licensed so that they may live outside of the classroom in a way that has an impact on the greater community.”

One of the best examples of student involvement in the creation of information is renewable assignments. David Wiley, the Chief Academic Officer of Lumen Learning and a researcher at the Open Education Group, has been writing about renewable assignments since 2013. To learn more about renewable assignments, including examples, read David’s 2016 blog post Toward Renewable Assignments:
To learn more about open pedagogy and discover how other faculty have engaged students as content creators, visit The

Open Pedagogy Notebook:
The Open Pedagogy Notebook is authored and curated by Rajiv Jhangiani, Associate Vice Provost, Open Education at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, and Robin DeRosa, Professor and Director of the Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.

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