2017 Open Access Week

2017 Open Access Week – a few Open Educational Resources from the CARLI OER Task Force

Open education and open access aren’t the same thing, but in the spirit of OPEN some information about Open Education during this year’s Open Access Week (that’s now: October 23-29, 2017).


Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these resources – to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives." – SPARC

Open Education encompasses resources, tools and practices that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment. Open Education maximizes the power of the Internet to make education more affordable, accessible and effective” – SPARC

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” – William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Open? Affordable?

Open and affordable are also not the same. All that is open is affordable, but not all that is affordable is open.  Steven Bell of Temple University gave a webinar for the CARLI membership this past May, “Is that OER? Making Sense of the Current Textbook Affordability Landscape."

There are misperceptions about open resources.  SPARC released on Wednesday, OER Mythbusting.  This publication states that it “addresses the top seven myths about OER in North American higher education, as voted on my more than 100 faculty, librarians, students and other members of the OER community.”

Additional reports and survey results of interest:

2016 National Report from the Babson Group
Opening the Textbook: Open Education Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2015-16

From the executive summary, “Most higher education faculty are unaware of open educational resources (OER) – but they are interested and some are willing to give it a try. Survey results, using responses of over 3,000 U.S. faculty, show that OER is not a driving force in the selection of materials – with the most significant barrier being the effort required to find and evaluate such materials. Use of open resources is low overall, but somewhat higher for large enrollment introductory-level courses”

Florida Virtual Campus, Office of Distance Learning and Student Services
2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey: Results and Findings

There are seven key findings from this survey.  
“Key finding 1 The high cost of textbooks is negatively impacting student access, success, and completion. The findings suggest that the cost of textbooks is negatively impacting student access to required materials (66.6% did not purchase the required textbook) and learning (37.6% earn a poor grade; 19.8% fail a course). Time to graduation and/or access to courses is also impacted by cost. Students reported that they occasionally or frequently take fewer courses (47.6%); do not register for a course (45.5%); drop a course (26.1%), or withdraw from courses (20.7%).”

Association of Research Libraries, SPEC Kit 351
Affordable Course Content and Open Educational Resources, 2016

From the SPEC Kit description, “This SPEC Kit explores the degree to which ARL member institutions advocate, support, and develop affordable course content and open educational resources (ACC/OER). This study gathered information on ACC/OER initiatives at the institutional level and the role of the library in these initiatives.”