Open Education Week 2022: March 7-11

Welcome to Open Education Week 2022!

Open Education (OE) Week is this week, March 7-11. OE Week puts a spotlight on the use and development of Open Educational Resources (OER), defined as any teaching, learning, and research resources that allow for free use and repurposing by others. Ever heard from students frustrated with the cost of textbooks? Incorporating OER into your courses can have a tangible, positive impact on students’ ability to afford higher education.

There are three primary ways instructors can take advantage of OER: Adopt. Adapt. Create.

Adopting OER

Faculty across campus are adopting OER in their courses. Adopting refers to using an open textbook, assignment, video, lecture notes, diagrams, and so on for classroom use.  

At Cascadia – Math Division Chair Megan Luce reports that over 90% of Cascadia’s math classes use OER texts. Faculty are motivated to adopt OER in order to reduce textbook costs for students. Here is a sample of OER math textbooks used at Cascadia:

At UWB – Physics faculty and students use OpenStax College Physics for BPHYS 114/115/116 and University Physics (Vol. 1-3) for BPHYS 121/122/123

“We use the OpenStax books which come with excellent multimedia resources, good highlighting and annotation tools and a companion homework system. The books are free and the online homework is much cheaper than anything we’ve used previously while providing for better feedback, response types and partial credit. . . The old textbook was expensive and less accessible than videos or other free resources. Now, we can present the textbook side by side with UWB faculty-created videos and public domain resources and have a significant majority of students choose to use the text.”  

Dr. Matthew Gliboff, Assistant Teaching Professor 

At UWB – Computer Science & Software Engineering faculty Dr. Morteza Chini has used Technical Writing Essentials for CSSSKL 511: Technical Writing.

“This course originally did not have an assigned textbook. I used it for students to have some content and knowledge of proper writing style, before attempting to draft their Master’s proposals. [Technical Writing Essentials] made it more convenient for the students to relate to different stages of writing I covered, and why they must go through different stages of writing, in order to produce a superb document. . . They appreciated the many small components such as how to explain graphs and charts, or how to write concisely, why do audience analysis, or how to write scientifically.”

Dr. Morteza Chini

Adapting OER

Adapting OER refers to the process of making changes to already existing open content (this is often also referred to as revising and remixing). 

At Cascadia – Professor David Dorratcague, College and Career Foundations Full Time Faculty, has adapted OER materials that he initially used via a Project I-DEA and Gates Foundation grant several years ago. He continues to adapt, design, and revise these materials within Canvas so his students in Beginning English Communication & Low-Intermediate English Communication classes don’t use a textbook at all.  Everything is accessed via Canvas.

“I don’t feel constrained by a textbook. I get to revise and supplement the content each time I teach it…Designed and revised in Canvas, there are opportunities to pull in other materials online to benefit my students’ learning.”

Professor Dorratcague

At the Campus Library – Adapting OER applies to resources beyond textbooks and course material too! In 2017-18, the cross-campus OER team adapted OER content from a variety of open sources to create a poster with information about how to use and created OER, and distributed copies to faculty on both UWB and Cascadia campuses. In 2020, the team revised the poster to keep the content up to date. 

Creating OER

We invite you to explore these OER developed at Cascadia College and UW Tacoma. 

At Cascadia  – The Cascadia College COL101 Team created the COLL101 Collection, an open source collection of in-house written articles about college success strategies: group work, time management, courage in college, information literacy, course evaluations. The articles were assembled using the Pressbooks platform. For students, the impact is zero cost for these readings, and they are easy to access and read. 

“Being part of the creation of the COLL101 Collection feels really worthwhile: the Collection benefits students, and reflects the collaborative curriculum work done by faculty, deans, campus librarians, and staff. Pressbooks is fun to use too!”  

Dr. Anne Tuominen, Instructional Designer, Cascadia Faculty

UW TacomaDr. Ryan Miller and colleagues created and shared the module Fast Plant Data Analysis in Canvas Commons. This lab exercise helps students analyze data from plants with short generation times. Sharing it on Canvas Commons helps any instructor on Canvas who needs a similar activity quickly implement and adapt this module into their course.
“I just love the idea of sharing resources broadly. It’s both inspiring and selfishly helpful to share, I think. Just imagining that someone else may find the resources useful is very motivating and it also keeps me focused on being transparent and succinct to enable others to use the material and even improve it.” Dr. Miller

UW TacomaDr. Margo Bergman created Quantitative Analysis for Business and Microeconomics for Managers in Pressbooks for several business courses at UWT. These materials have allowed her to make immediate, responsive changes to both students and faculty needs. “[Microeconomics for Managers] has allowed us to use a non-calculus based approach, and still have a textbook, as all of the other textbooks with algebra are out of print. It also allowed me to update examples immediately in response to world events.” – Dr. Bergman

and… Open Pedagogy

Open pedagogy is an opportunity for students to co-create learning materials or open publications with faculty. Students produce new knowledge and participate in scholarly conversations while learning themselves. Students create open and shareable scholarship that others can use and learn from, rather than doing assignments that only instructors will see.

The Library can help you get started:

The Library is your partner in Open Education!

Thank you for engaging with Open Education this week, and contact us any time to talk through your ideas!

Questions? Ask us!
OER Team email 
Open Educational Resources Guide

Your partners in Open,
(Members : Alyssa Berger, Heather Cyre, Denise Hattwig, Suzan Parker, Sarah Bartlett Schroeder, Myra Waddell (Library), and Anne Tuominen (Cascadia College faculty and Instructional Designer)

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