free the textbookLast week we celebrated Open Education Week, an annual worldwide event to raise awareness of the Open Educational Resources (OERs) movement and the opportunities that OERs create for teaching and learning around the globe. So, you may be wondering …

Who is doing open education?

We are! Universities worldwide are creating and using OERs. Land grant universities in particular are taking on the creation of OERs as a part of their mission to educate and share research with the public and K-12 schools that might need access to materials for high-achieving students. The OER Commons is a great place to see what is out there and search for items that others are creating.

How is Oregon State University involved in this movement?

Through the Division of University Outreach and Engagement we now have an Open Education Resources and Emerging Technologies unit that works with faculty to turn their research into learning modules that can be shared across a spectrum. Our definition of a learning module is a package of instructional materials that is presented in a multimedia format, includes one or more learning objectives, focuses on a particular subject with the appropriate materials, may contain an interactive assessment and provides an educational opportunity for a learner in a self-directed format.

Why would faculty be interested in partnering with us?

Faculty members are experts in their field and we believe that expertise should be shared with others at a level that they can understand. Think about getting K-12 students excited about your field at an early age! Creating learning modules allows learning to occur outside a classroom and allows the learner to individualize their instruction. A simple module can be used in K-12 settings or first-year university courses as an introduction, in subsequent courses as a refresher and made available to the public as subject-specific knowledge.

Do you have an idea for a learning module or an open access textbook that you think would be great to share?

We have instructional designers, graphic artists, multimedia programmers and others who can help you turn your idea into a learning module that you can use and can be shared with others. We can also help you work through a Creative Commons license that explains how others are allowed to use the modules.

Give me a call or shoot me an email and let’s share!

Dianna Fisher
Oregon State Ecampus
Director, OER and Emerging Technologies

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2 thoughts on “Free the textbook

  1. I want to concur with Dianna, and add in that Extension is particularly fertile ground for development of OERs. Extension programming often produces short lessons and activities, that with some assistance could be ported to flexible, mobile learning objects delivered online. In addition to the services that Dianna offers, Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC) can also assist in development of these modules. WE look forward to cooperation with the OER program at OSU. It is very exciting stuff!

    –Jeff Hino
    Extension Learning Technology Leader


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