Open Educational Resources (OER)
UHD faculty and staff are actively engaged in promoting the use and development of Open Educational Resources (OER) as a means for reducing the cost of education and enhancing student success. Through a variety of initiatives, UHD strives to identify and promote opportunities for students to have free "grants of permission" to high quality textbooks, supplemental readings, and course ancillary materials. By minimizing textbook costs, UHD can support students in completing their degrees more quickly and with less debt.
The following is a list of resources and some of the OER initiatives being pursued by UHD's faculty and staff.
UHD OER Initiatives
In 2021, UHD launched a system of section-level textbook identifiers, which are now integrated into the course schedule. This development was in direct response to the 2020-21 OER Taskforce's recommendation, which urged the university to highlight sections that require no-cost low-costtextbooks. Classes are now searchable, using the OER Taskforce definitions, in our semester schedule, via the "course attribute" variable. The definitions of the course section designations are defined as follows:
The "No-Cost Class Resources" (NCR) designation will be used to label courses that use only free materials. Free educational resources are teaching, learning, or research resources that are in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits the free use, adaptation, and redistribution of the resource by any person; and/or educational resources provided to students free of charge, such as via the library and/or developed or otherwise vetted by faculty.
The "Low-Cost Resources" (LCR) designation will be used to label courses whose required course materials (e.g., textbooks, books, online workbooks, lab equipment, website subscriptions, third-party test proctoring, etc.) total no more than $50. [Note: Costs of materials may vary depending on where they are purchased. Our calculation is based on bookstore costs at the time of schedule posting.]
More details and recommendations can be found in the full OER Task Force Report. Please also check out some OER informational videos from Dr. Rob McKee, faculty member and OER task force member: English version and Spanish version.
In addition to the course identifier system, UHD continues to encourage the expansion of OER through the research support offered by the W. I. Dykes Library and through the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence course redesign initiatives. Last, in March of 2021, UHD co-hosted the First Annual OpenTexas 2021 Conference, an ostensibly state-wide online conference that attracted over 1,000 participants from across the globe.
OER Projects on Campus
Here are some samples of what our colleagues are working on. If you know of others, please contact Dr. Michelle Moosally at email@example.com.
- COMM 1304 OER Redesign
- ENG 2313 OER Redesign
- HIST 1305 OER Adoption and Course Redesign
- Social Work Program's Completable Z Major
- CTLE-Sponsored OER Course Redesigns
- OpenEd 2021 Presentation by Drs. Bouhoutsos-Brown and Trufan: What could a future OER, Inclusive and Accessible Science Lab look like?
During the 2021-2022 academic year, UHD is partnering with Rice University's OpenStax to increase the use of OER and related resources by UHD faculty to lower costs for students and create a more equitable educational environment. Through this program, awareness of OER at UHD has increased through presentations to the Faculty Senate and webinars conducated in coordination with the UHD Library. The UHD-OpenStax liaisons (Dr. Ed Cueva, Dr. Rob Austin McKee, and UHD Library Executive Director Pat Ensor) hold weekly meetings with an OpenStax representative to develop strategies and processes to promote greater OER use at UHD. For more information see the OpenStax institutional partner website.
Texas and OER
The State of Texas has a number of regulations and resources relates to OER:
- Senate Bill 810
- Statewide OER program
- Feasibility study: statewide repository
- OER Course Designations
- THECB: Open Educational Resources Texas Repository
- THECB: Open Educational Resources Grant Program (state funded)
- DIGITEX: Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas Online Course, Texas Learn OER
- DIGITEX overview of TX OER landscape.
External OER Materials
In addition to UHD and the state resources, there are a number of sites dedicated to developing and promoting OER resources for faculty and classes: