This week is Open Education Week, a global celebration of the open education movement and its impact on teaching and learning. At WPI, we'll be celebrating by highlighting some of the excellent work in open education by our faculty. Each day, we'll be sharing a new story of WPI faculty who are using and creating open educational resources to benefit their students, their teaching, and the global higher education community.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are high quality, freely available learning materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared to better serve all students. OER offer many benefits to teaching and learning:
- OER reduce the financial barrier to student success. The price of college textbooks increased 88% from January 2006 to July 2016. This high cost continues to be a barrier for many students, disproportionately affecting students of less privileged socioeconomic status.
- All students have access to course materials on day one, since OER can be freely downloaded and shared anywhere, including a Canvas site.
- Instructors can customize OER to their needs. OER are by definition shared and licensed with the goal of being reused.
- Authors of OER see the global impact of their work, increasing their visibility in their fields. Releasing OER under an open license that requires attribution ensures that authors will receive credit for their work, while allowing others to share and build upon it.
- OER support culturally responsive teaching and the development of more inclusive teaching and learning materials. Because OER can be freely adapted, they can incorporate more culturally relevant and inclusive examples, language, and other content to be responsive to individual classroom settings.
Are you a part of the Open Education movement? Share your work on social media with the hashtag #OEWeek.
To find out more about Open Education, check out our online guide.