Celebrating OER Week at Durham Tech

March 6-10 is Open Education Week!

Open Educational Resources (OER) are high-quality educational materials that are available for free in the public domain and can be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed under Creative Commons licensing. These materials can be textbooks, research documents, or instructional tools, among other things.

Durham Tech has already awarded stipends for OER adoption to almost 20 instructors, and the OER Task Force is pleased to announce Spring 2023 stipends for instructors using open educational resources!

Many faculty members may already be using OER in the classroom without even realizing it, so check out the detailed guide to OER (Durham Tech OER LibGuide).

To be eligible to receive a stipend, you must be a Durham Tech instructor who is 1) already using OER in your classes this semester and 2) who did not receive a stipend for OER in Fall 2022. Only one stipend will be awarded per instructor.

The deadline to apply using the stipend application form is Friday, March 31st by 5pm. Once the deadline has passed, the task force will evaluate the applications using the 5 R’s of OER (Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute – see the link for a detailed guide to OER for more info on these Rs).

Keep reading to learn more about OER and faculty should look for more communication from the OER Taskforce in the coming weeks!

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Zero Textbook Cost Pathways for Career and Technical Education: Meeting Today, 5 PM

To celebrate Open Education Week 2022, San Mateo County (Calif.) Community College District and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) are hosting a Zoom-based conversation about Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) opportunities for Career and Technical Education.

"ZTC Pathways, What's Your Plan?" Coffee Talk with ISKME. 3/9/22, 5 - 6 PM EST. Zoom meeting link provided below.

You can join the Zoom meeting here: https://smccd.zoom.us/j/84255431012.

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Reporting from #OpenEd21

I attended #OpenEd21, the online Open Education Conference, from October 18 – 22, 2021. There were many outstanding sessions at the conference. Fortunately, many of the presentations were recorded and made publicly available. I highlight a few of the sessions I attended below.

I recommend scanning the presentation titles on the conference schedule for those that appear interesting and relevant to you. At the page for each presentation, I recommend also following the link to its topic (such as Open Education 101) for more sessions that were on the same topic.

Introduction to OER

  • Cheryl (Cuillier) Casey’s “Getting Started with Open Education” is a great starting point. Her presentation and accompanying slides provide a concise-yet-thorough introduction to understanding, finding and using OER in the classroom.
  • Amy Song of Pressbooks provides a publisher’s perspective in “Finding and Remixing OER: A Practical Introduction.” This session begins to answer two of the most important questions in incorporating OER in the classroom. I include this presentation also in part to acknowledge that effective use of OER can include resources and assistance from organizations that charge a fee for their services.
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Open Education Week, March 7 – 11, 2022

Next week is Open Education Week 2022!

Open Education Week 2022 logo, with O wearing graduation cap

Here are a few links to get you started thinking about Open Educational Resources (OER):

Meanwhile, Durham Tech has earmarked $40,000 from HEERF to support adoption and implementation of OER in the classroom. I am chairing the OER Task Force, which is responsible for allocating those funds. We believe that OER’s proven effectiveness in helping students successfully complete their coursework is one of the reasons expanding OER at Durham Tech is a key component of the Strategic Plan.

Subscribe to the Library blog for more OER posts during Open Education Week 2022!

Open Educational Resources at Durham Tech (and a TLC Presentation on Nov. 3)

Have you heard of Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Maybe you’ve heard they’re “free textbooks.” Maybe you’ve heard that replacing commercial textbooks with open textbooks improves students’ success and retention rates. Maybe you’ve heard that instructors can edit OER, mix them together, or otherwise modify them to align with your learning outcomes. Maybe you know someone right here at Durham Tech who is already teaching using OER.

OER are materials for teaching, training, or research in any form –digital or otherwise– that are in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free access, use, modification, and redistribution by others – either with no restrictions or with limited restrictions.

Expanding OER adoption can be an important tool in furthering Durham Tech’s new Strategic Plan, particularly with respect to Pathways to Student Success:

Ensure that all enrolled students persist, progress, complete a credential or appropriate training, transfer, and secure living wages at equitable rates that meet or exceed regional, state, and national averages.

Students whose classes rely on OER are more likely to remain in those classes and to enroll in more credits over time.

If you’ve followed the Library blog for some time, you may already be aware of Durham Tech’s involvement with Open Educational Resources.

Librarians here attended “OER boot camp” training through NC LIVE in 2018 and have been building support for OER since then, working to help faculty incorporate OER into their courses.

Going forward, library staff look forward to helping instructors expand OER adoption in support of student success.

To learn more about about OER and how we can help, please join librarians Courtney Bippley and Stephen Brooks for their TLC presentation 
Walk the Talk: How OER Adoption Is Integral to the New Strategic Plan (via Microsoft Teams) next Wednesday, November 3, at 2:00 p.m.

Open Educational Resources in North Carolina Higher Education

March 1-5, 2021 is Open Education Week! 

North Carolina, like many states, is moving towards making Open Educational Resources a valid alternative to traditional publisher-controlled teaching resources. 

Open Education Week 2021, showing an O with a graduation cap

Today’s blog post will acquaint you with some of the things NC has been doing with OER and hopefully get you thinking about how you might use them to customize your course content (and make life simpler for students!). 

Check it out! 

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Smithsonian Open Access: Open Educational Images (and a little bit about copyright)

Have you ever desperately needed the 3-D printed hands of Abraham Lincoln or a mammoth skeleton, but just couldn’t find the right file?

Good news, everyone– the Smithsonian has released over 2.8 million images (high resolution, 2- and 3-D) from across its 19 museums and institutions into the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, meaning they are available for anyone to “copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.” 

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What Happens When Students Take Classes with Open Textbooks?

Yesterday I announced that this is Open Education Week and described the characteristics that make a work “open.” I mentioned that Open Educational Resources (OER) in their digital form don’t cost anything and that print versions of OER textbooks are available at far less cost than commercial textbooks. Why is this important? Let’s talk about students’ needs.

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March 2 – 6, 2020 Is Open Education Week

Happy Open Education Week 2020! Open Education is a movement that promotes using free educational tools–such as textbooks–that instructors have the right to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute. These five permissions are known as “The 5 Rs” of Open Educational Resources (OER).

Be on the lookout for more posts about Open Education this week. Today, we will start with an overview of what makes a resource “open.”

What do the 5 Rs mean?

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Spring Library News (You Can Use)

The spring Durham Tech Library newsletter is now available. Features include new staff, OER, Summon tips and tricks, current reading challenges, upcoming Crafternoons, TLC news, and more!