The event our community looks forward to every spring is just around the corner! This year, Open Education Week will place March 27-31. The goal of this annual event is to raise awareness about the Open Education movement and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide. During our Libraries and OER call this month, we talked about the creative ideas academic libraries had planned for Open Education Week. In effort to help your campus celebrate Open Education Week 2017, check out these six ideas you can bring to your campus!
1. Set up an open textbook display: Using print versions of existing open textbooks (such as materials from the OpenStax collection) is a great way to introduce and demonstrate the quality of OER. If tablet or laptop devices are available, we recommend using them to display online versions of OER. The location of the display is important, we recommend areas with heavier foot traffic such as the library entrance. If student advocates are available to help, invite them to join you; having students engage their peers directly can be a more effective approach to amplifying your message. Having a faculty sign up sheet is also a great way to stay connected with those that express interest and finally, be sure to have a handout available for all individuals you engage with. Handouts can have a call to action for students to discuss OER with their professors during office hours, or have general information on where to find OER and how the library can support education and adoption.
Check out these example handouts:
- Northwestern Michigan College Student Pamphlet
- SPARC OER Factsheet
- UBC AMS “Talk to Your Professors” Handout
- OER Commons OER Factsheet Brochure
2. Organize an OER panel: Creating space for faculty members, instructional designers, librarians and students who have worked with OER to share their stories is a powerful way to put faces to the movement. Hearing the experiences of colleagues working with OER can help encourage others to take steps towards adoption, promotion and creation. For institutions that have OER champions, invite them to join a 60-minute panel discussion. For institutions that may be short on faculty or student champions, try looking beyond your institution. Community Tip: If your library has a strong relationship with your provost, consider requesting their help with publicizing the event.
Check out these examples:
3. Write a blog post, OpEd, or article on OER: Open Education week is a great time to write about the value of OER. Whether these pieces are published on the library website or campus newspaper, written works can be easily promoted in print, email and social media. Open Education Week is also a great time to advertise any upcoming opportunities (such as events or participation in Mini-grant programs) as well as announcing any campus OER news worth celebrating! Community Tip: If Open Education Week happens to take place during your campus’ Spring Break, written pieces are highly recommended.
Check out these examples:
- To ease students’ financial burden, VCU offers faculty incentives to adopt free or low-cost textbook alternatives
- Extreme Makeover: Pedagogy Edition
- University Groups Should Continue To Push Open Source Books
- How the University of Hawaii is solving today’s higher ed problems
4. Host an Open Textbook hackathon: An Open Textbook hackathon is a creative way to involve students in the revision and remix processes of OER. Invited faculty members and senior undergraduate students are tasked with “hacking” materials to create an open textbook intended for use in an upcoming course offering. Invited students should have demonstrated strong understanding of the course concepts and therefore be able to adapt the resources to fit the learning needs of their peers. Community Tip: Free food (and or course credit) is a great way to incentivize students to participate in this co-creation process!
Check out these examples:
- The Cookbook A discussion on the process, pitfalls and successes of hacking an open textbook
- University of Otago Hackpack
5. Host a fishbowl dialogue on OER: A fishbowl is a unique way to convene dialogue between a large number of people. How it works is that there are typically four or five chairs place in an inner circle. The remaining chairs are arranged in concentric circles outside the fishbowl. The moderator introduces a question such as “how have textbook costs impacted you” and the participants in the inner circle discuss it. The audience outside the fishbowl listens in on the discussion. As the dialogue continues, audience members are allowed to tap into the circle, replacing an existing speaker. When the time limit has been reached, the moderator summarizes the discussion. Each participant should leave the experience with newfound knowledge of the challenges and opportunities campus stakeholders face in advancing OER. Community Tip: You may want to begin the conversation with participants from one demographic only such as students or faculty
Check out these organizing tips:
6. Set up a whiteboard display: A simple but impactful option is to set up a whiteboard display near the entrance of the library. Pose a question in the center of the board, such as “Instead of textbooks I could have bought…” and provide colourful sticky notes and markers. This low barrier activity can take participants less than a minute to complete. Be sure to take photos of your display and record the data collected for future use. Another option is to substitute the whiteboard and sticky notes with glass windows and dry erase markers. Overall, this is a easy to set-up and highly visual way to get your campus talking about textbook affordability. Be sure to include a poster or fact sheet nearby with information about OER.
SPARC will celebrate Open Education Week by hosting Successful OER Adoption Models: Academic Libraries Leading the Way, a special webcast taking place on March 29th, from 2-3 EST. The webcast will feature representatives from four SPARC member campuses discussing the topic of OER adoption models. More information on the event including how to RSVP can be found here.
For more information on events and activities your library can get involved in, visit the official Open Education Week website. You can also stay informed and engaged by following @openeducationwk on Twitter and using the hashtag #openeducationwk.