From March 4–8, McMaster University Library is celebrating Open Education Week, a global event to raise awareness about how Open Educational Resources (OER) can help make education more affordable and accessible to learners world-wide.
OER include teaching, learning and research resources, such as textbooks, assignments, modules, and syllabi that are freely accessible, openly licensed and can be used, shared, or repurposed by anyone, anywhere – free of cost, technical, or legal barriers.
In support of Open Education Week, Library staff have created two displays located in the lobbies of Mills and Thode Libraries. The displays include a number of high-quality open textbooks recently acquired by the Library courtesy of eCampusOntario, a not-for-profit educational organization funded through the Government of Ontario.
The textbooks, from eCampusOntario’s extensive Open Textbook Library, cover a range of topics including Canadian history, environmental biology, marketing and mathematics, among others. They are available in both hard copy and digital formats and can be borrowed or accessed by students and faculty through the Library’s catalogue. McMaster’s first open textbook, Essentials of Linguistics by Dr. Catherine Anderson, is also part of the library collection.
Other Open Education Week activities at McMaster include:
Free Your Course: How going Open can work for you and your students, March 4 @ 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., University Club (West Room)
Catherine Anderson, teaching professor in McMaster’s Department of Linguistics and Languages, and Digital Pedagogy Specialist Anastassiya Yudintseva will discuss how their OER, Essentials of Linguistics, broke free from the constraints of an expensive commercial textbook, and how they collaborated to create this unique resource, the first of its kind to be created at McMaster. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited; registration required.
Five Faculties, Five Days of Open: Open Education Week Faculty Drop-in events
Faculty are invited to learn more about finding, using and creating OER for their courses at a series of drop-in sessions to be held at locations across campus. Donut Monster donuts provided!
- Faculty of Humanities, Monday, March 4, 2:00 pm-3:00 pm, LRW 2001
- Faculty of Science, Tuesday, March 5, 12:00 pm-1:00 pm, BSB 337
- Faculty of Engineering, Wednesday, March 6, 2:30 pm-3:30pm, JHE A114
- DeGroote School of Business, Thursday, March 7, 1:30 – 2:30 pm, DSB 421
- Faculty of Social Science, Friday, March 8, 10:30 am-11:30 am, LRW 1003
Trivia Night at the Phoenix, March 5 @ 7:00 p.m., The Phoenix Crafthouse and Grill
How much do you know about OER? Join OER experts for a fun-filled trivia night at the Phoenix. You can put your knowledge to the test, learn a thing or two, and maybe even win a prize!
Join the Open Education Week discussion! Follow #OEWeek on Twitter.
Visit the Library's Open Education Week page for event details and to learn more about Open Educational Resources.
More about OER
According to research by eCampusOntario, the cost of textbooks has risen 88% over the past decade and 65% of students have chosen not to buy textbooks as a result.
There are a number of advantages – for both students and faculty – to using OER. These resources are generally free or low in cost and can be accessed online and/or easily downloaded for later use, making it possible for all students to access the materials before classes begin. They are also flexible and allow faculty to use, modify, or adapt existing open textbooks to suit the needs of their course. Software is available to help faculty create or adapt open textbooks, or to co-create a textbook with their students.