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Open Educational Resources: Open Education Week

A "getting started" guide overviewing open, editable, and lower-cost textbooks and open teaching & learning resources for faculty, students, and librarians.

Open Education Week Schedule

The Virginia Tech celebrated our 4th Open Education Week 2017 March 27-31, 2017. Read the Blog post.

* MONDAY 3/27 Opening Reception and SGA Exhibit Opening - Newman Library, 2nd floor Commons

Open Education Week 2017 exhibit


EVENT RECORDING + Event handout + links discussed in presentation * TUESDAY 3/28 9:30am-12pm (Eastern) Seven Platforms You Should Know About: Share, Find, Author, or Adapt Creative Commons-Licensed Resources

Platforms include: VTechWorks, Merlot, Open Textbook Library, OER Commons, Odyssey, Overleaf, and Pressbooks /Rebus.


EVENT RECORDING * TUESDAY 3/28 3:30-5pm (Eastern) The Potential of Open Educational Resources: Virginia Tech Faculty & Student Panel Discussion

Panelists include faculty adapters and authors of Open Educational Resources (OER): Jane Roberson-Evia (Statistics), Mary Lipscombe (Biological Sciences), Stephen Skripak (Pamplin), Anastasia Cortes (Pamplin). Publishing expert Peter Potter (University Libraries), and students Mayra Atiles (Doctoral student, Engineering Education), and Jonathan De Pena (Senior, Finance) also join the panel. Moderated by: Anita Walz (University Libraries)


See VT Libraries' official Open Education Week 2017 page for a full list of events, including events:


Why Open Education Week?

- the cost of college textbooks rose by over 800% between 1978 and 2014 [1]
- the average annual cost (2014-15) of required textbooks and supplies is $1,200/year [2]
- 65% of students decided not to buy a required textbook because of the cost [3]

We care about student success. Let's explore what we can do to improve student access to required learning materials.

Event Archive: 2014   2015  2016

Open Education Week 2016

Research Presentation: Are textbooks too expensive for students? A first look at a survey of 300+ Virginia Tech students in national context.

What we mean (and don't mean) when we say "Open Education"

Keynote Presentation: Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener of the NOBA Project  View event video 

Project Showcases

SGA Open Education Awareness Campaign

That I May Share: Approaches to sharing original learning materials

 Click here for full descriptions of Open Education Week 2016 events

Open Education Week 2015  View Blog post

Student Government, Academic Affairs Committee Kickoff SGA Academic Affairs Committee explored students' textbook buying experiences, practices, and habits. View event tweets

Lecture/Discussion: "Get Creative (and stay legal): Copyright Compliance with Open Licensing, Creative Commons, and Open Educational Resources" View event video

Led by: Anita Walz, University Libraries. This session was designed to introduce educators and authors to conceptual and useful aspects of open licensing of content, Creative Commons licenses, and Open Educational Resources. The session introduces open licensing and Creative Commons, rationale behind open licensing and the sharing economy, how (and why) to openly license, where to archive, and will provide guidance on finding, properly attributing, remixing and using openly licensed resources. Session examples included openly licensed works for teaching & learning, presenting, and publication.

Student Panel Discussion View tweets from 2/23

Led by: Hannah Thomas (Class of 2016), Chair, Student Government Association Academic Affairs Committee

The SGA Academic Affairs Committee reflected on what they learned from their Kickoff Event and on their experiences buying textbooks, the impact of textbook prices, and their thoughts about the prospect of open educational resources, open textbooks in particular.

Panel Discussion "Authors, Adopters, and Adapters of Open Educational Resources: Considering the Possibilities for Faculty Teaching and Student Learning" View Event Video

Panelists: Dr. Peter Doolittle (Assistant Provost for Teaching & Learning, Professor, School of Education, and Executive Director of CIDER), Dr. Greg Hartman (Associate Professor, Mathematics, Virginia Military Institute), Mr. Heath Hart (Instructor, Mathematics, Virginia Tech), and Mr. Mohammed Seyam (Doctoral Student, Computer Science, Virginia Tech).

Introduction by Julie Speer, Associate Dean for Research & Informatics. Opening remarks by Anita Walz, Assessment, Open Education & Online Learning Environments Librarian.

Mohammed Seyam discussed the value of openly licensed material as a student, research, and graduate assistant. Heath Hart reflected on his adoption of an open educational resource and a (subscribed) online textbook in, “A Rousing Success and an Unmitigated Disaster.” Greg Hartman discusses his experiences authoring open-source (CC BY-NC) textbook, “APEX Calculus” Peter Doolittle discusses the open education movement from a teaching and learning perspective, moving beyond just content into process. Presentations are followed by audience and panelist discussion.

Open Educational Resources for Instructional Designers View Event Video

Led by: David Ernst, Chief Information Officer (College of Education and Human Development, Univ of MN) from the University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library.

Instructional Design faculty, staff and students from across the University joined fellow instructional designer, Dr. Dave Ernst, now Chief Information Officer of the College of Education and Human Development at University of Minnesota to explore rationale and possibilities for incorporating open educational resources instructional design philosophy and work. 

Discussion topics included: 
- Open and OER - what it is and what it isn't
- How to attribute OER

- Finding, vetting, and retrieving OER 
- Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open textbooks as a solution to student affordability issues
- OER as a solution for copyright complexity
- Unique contributions to supporting faculty by the instructional design community
- Supporting faculty adoptions of open educational resources

Open Educational Resources workshop for Librarians View Event Video

Led by: Kristi Jensen Program Development Lead for the eLearning Support Initiative (Univ of MN University Libraries) from the University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library. 

Kristi Jensen discussed the importance of and possible areas of involvement for libraries and librarians in open textbook and open educational resource initiatives. Learn more about open textbooks, open educational resources (OER), and how library employees in many different roles can support the exploration of open educational resources and open textbooks.

Kristi discussed:
- Open and OER - what it is and what it isn't
- How issues of affordability can impact student academic success
- Open textbooks as a solution to affordability issues
- Identifying barriers to adoption of open textbooks and how to help overcome those barriers
- Supporting faculty adoptions of open textbooks

Open Textbook Adoption Workshop for Virginia Tech Faculty (Requirements for $200 stipend include: application, workshop participation, and written review of an open textbook.) Event presentation

Led by: David Ernst, Chief Information Officer (Univ of MN College of Education and Human Development) from the University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library.

Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and provide faculty with content that can be customized for their course. Open textbooks are full, real textbooks, used by many faculty across the country, and licensed to be freely used, edited, and distributed. After the workshop, you will be asked to write a short review of an open textbook. Your review will benefit other faculty considering open textbooks. Stipends of $200 will be given to faculty for their participation and written review.

The Open Textbook workshop is a project of the University of Minnesota's Open Textbook Library

Open Education Week 2014

Faculty panel discussion: Exploring Innovative and Open Educational Resources View Event Video

Panelists include: Dr. Clifford Shaffer, Professor of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Dr. Benjamin Jantzen, Asst. Professor Philosophy, Virginia Tech, and Dr. Bruce Mahin, Professor of Composition and Music Theory, Radford University 

Questions? Please contact Anita Walz: arwalz at

What is Open Education?

Open Education is an international movement focusing on adopting, adapting, and authoring educational resources freely and openly so that others may use, customize, and share them. Open education aims to reduce access barriers to education. Open Education includes freely available and openly licensed open educational resources, also known as OER.

OER Defined:
"OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license [such as a Creative Commons license] that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." (c) Hewlett Foundation CC BY

Within higher education, Open Educational Resources tend to include:
- Open textbooks (free and openly licensed/Creative Commons licensed textbooks which allow others to customize, reproduce, and share without Copyright concerns)
- Textbook alternatives (free and openly licensed text, video, images, simulations, practice questions, open software selected by educators to match course learning objectives and preferred pedagogy)

For more information about Creative Commons and open licensing, please see our Creative Commons page

For more information about OER and to learn how OER are being used by students and educators, see our OER Overview page


Literature and Logic regarding OER

Empirical Research on the impact of OER Adoption / John Wilton and the Open Education Group (U.S. Focused) (2015)

Adopting OER: A Case Study of Cross-Institutional Collaboration and Innovation / EDUCAUSE Review (2013)

The logic of OER: "Adopting OER is Better for Everyone Involved" / David Wiley (2015)

The Cost and Quality of Open Textbooks: Perceptions of Community College Faculty and Students Proponents of open educational resources (OER) claim that significant cost savings are possible when open textbooks displace traditional textbooks in the college classroom. . . 

Fixing the Broken Textbook Market: How Students Respond to High Textbook Costs and Demand Alternatives (2014)

VIDEO: Supporting Students to Succeed with Open Education (Lumen Foundation)

VIDEO: Get Inspired [making education more affordable] (OpenStax)

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