It’s Open Education Week from May 1-5, 2021! First launched in 2012, Open Education Week is a celebration that aims to raise awareness about and highlight open education efforts around the world.
What do we mean when we talk about “Open Education”? It includes resources, tools, and practices that are free of legal, financial, and technical barriers and that can be fully used, shared, and adapted in the digital environment.
Expanding educational opportunities is more possible today than ever before. You can easily find information online on virtually any topic , faculty can connect with students on another continent almost as easily as in their own classroom, and educational resources of all kinds can be shared worldwide at little to no cost.
At the heart of Open Education is the promotion and use of Open Educational Resources (OER): teaching, learning, and research materials that are free of cost and access barriers. OERs provide an alternative to costly textbooks and allow faculty to engage in new modes of teaching. OERs are also either in the public domain or published under a license that allows them to be freely used or adapted by anyone and shared with others.
Claremont Librarians and Library staff are actively involved in supporting a variety of Open Education efforts at the Colleges, including the following:
- Offering opportunities for faculty and instructional staff to learn more about Open Education. In 2019 we worked with the Center for Teaching & Learning to provide an Open Education Fellowship for 7C faculty and instructional staff.
- Establishing and maintaining a publishing platform, Pressbooks, for faculty to adopt, adapt, or create their own OER and providing training on how to use it. Barbara Junisbai (Associate Professor of Organizational Studies, Pitzer) and her ORST 100a students created this open book for their social justice praxis course with the help of our Scholarly Communications & Open Publishing Librarian, Jennifer Beamer.
- Incorporating Open Education tools into remote teaching and learning. For instance, Jennifer also worked with several 5C faculty in fall 2020 to incorporate hypothes.is into their instruction. Hypothes.is is a collaborative annotation tool that can be used to analyze and add open comments to digital course readings. In doing so, it engages students by encouraging an open exchange of ideas and perspectives on course materials.
- Working with students and student groups to advocate with faculty and administrators to adopt OERs as alternatives to costly textbooks.
- In 2020 we celebrated Open Education by visiting each of the 5Cs to get talk with students about how they handle the high cost of textbooks
Learn more about Open Educational Resources on the Library’s website, or contact Scholarly Communications & Open Publishing Librarian, Jennifer Beamer.