Have you noticed that college textbooks cost more than ever, and the biggest learning barrier to students may be financial? The academic community is responding in kind, and the growth of the Internet is finally making quality educational materials affordable and easily accessible.
The freedom to access, reuse, revise, and redistribute open education resources (OERs) for free online has reinvigorated the learning communities to share these materials. OERs are copyrighted under a Creative Commons license, which allow them to be accessed and redistributed by anyone at no cost. The ability to edit and circulate resources in varied formats is allowing for more creative and interdisciplinary course building, and is increasing opportunities for students to learn.
OERs include various types of course materials (e.g. textbooks, syllabi, images, etc.) that are free to use by teachers and students.
OERs have grown in response to the rising cost of education across the country. Prices for all items increased 21% between 2006 and 2016, but the price of college textbooks increased a whopping 88%. The Student Public Interest Research Groups (SPRIGs) found that the inflated cost of textbooks creates a significant learning barrier, since 65% of students choose not to purchase a textbook due to a financial concern.
Opportunities for Growth
The exchange of openly licensed education materials online is expanding networking and altmetrics opportunities for scholars, and is spreading new ideas and innovations in teaching that benefit students and faculty alike.
To learn more join the Health Sciences Library for a CME accredited event: A New Pedagogy: Open Education and You on March 3rd, from 12-1:30pm in BSB Pathology, Room 414. We hope you will join us. Register for the event here.
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