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Should Libraries be Involved in OER Projects on Campus?


November 14, 2019 | 2 min read |

Jessie Ransom, Ex Libris


Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives remain high on the agenda across US campuses. A report released earlier this year by Ithaka S+R surveying faculty members in the United States includes a particularly interesting set of key findings. I strongly encourage exploring this report, as the data and analysis stretches across various aspects of higher education. One of the findings that I thought was particularly surprising is the percentage of faculty that expressed an interest in using OER in their courses, specifically,


“There is substantial interest in use of open educational resources for instructional practices, particularly from younger faculty members. About six in ten respondents are very interested in using open educational resources (OER), and roughly half strongly agreed that they would like to adopt new instructional approaches with OER.” [1]


While awareness of OER and interest in using it has certainly grown over the past several years, the scale of these findings is very exciting. Six in ten faculty making this kind of a statement is something that should not be ignored. Of course, many faculty, libraries, and institutions have already invested in the shift to OER for course materials, or are at least in exploring this option, but there is certainly more room for this shift to grow, especially as more faculty communicate their willingness to move in this direction.


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