Open Educational Resources in Texas Academic Libraries
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With the average cost of an undergraduate education reaching an all-time high, academic institutions are increasingly instituting open educational resources (OER) initiatives, which are often led by the library. Many students don’t purchase required textbooks due to their cost, and as a result, may choose to drop a specific course, take fewer courses each semester, or accept a potential lower grade. These barriers can be mitigated with the use of OER, which make educational materials freely available to all. Recent developments in Texas (such as the passing of Senate Bill 810, and the 2018 Texas OER Summit for Academic Libraries) have brought together librarians, faculty, staff, and students to create an OER community in the state and highlighted the need for continued communication and support around OER. Those implementing OER programs often encounter complex and cross-disciplinary challenges, for example, gaining buy-in to start a program, securing funding, campus outreach, technical infrastructure, and more. Join this session to hear how several institutions in Texas are implementing OER programs and addressing these challenges. This panel brings together OER librarians from across the state to share insights from the OER programs at their institutions. The panelists represent different types of institutions and varying levels of experience with OER. In addition to highlighting lessons learned, this panel will compare and contrast how OER programs can take shape in different local contexts. Our tentative list of panel questions include: - How did your OER program get started? Specifically, how did you gain buy-in from key stakeholders? - Describe the structure of your institution’s OER program: does it include a grant program, training, a community of practice, or other components? - What are the high-priority needs at your institution? What areas require the most support? - What are the sources of funding for your OER program? - How is your institution responding to the requirements of Texas Senate Bill 810? - Who do you collaborate with most closely, either within or outside of the library? Who do you wish you were collaborating with, and why? - What are your favorite resources for OER professional development? This panel will be appropriate for those brand new to OER, as well as those with some experience.