03/24/2014 - Open Education Week (March 24-28)

Open Education Week is celebrated internationally as a week to highlight educational resources that are designed to be used freely by faculty and students anywhere in the world.  Open Educational Resources (OERs) are educational materials that are specifically designed by their creator/s to be openly available, and are often licensed to be re-used, re-mixed, and re-distributed.  Open is not just about low cost (though that is an important benefit of using OER) but about the ability to take what others have created, customize it for your specific educational needs, and then share your creation with others.

This year, OU Libraries, the History of Science Department, and the OU Writing Center will highlight both the creation and use of OERs by faculty and students:

Presentation: HTML-based eBook for Engineering Solid Mechanics

Dr. Kurt Gramoll’s presentation covers creating a specialized platform and content to support students in his engineering courses, providing students a free textbook for his courses. The presentation is Monday, March 24 at 3 PM in Devon Energy Hall, Room 220.

Open Textbook viewing tables:

If you have never seen a free textbook now, is your chance.  Come view open textbooks adopted and written by OU faculty between 11 AM and 1:30 PM.

  • Monday March 24th  Engineering Quad
  • Tuesday March 25th   in the Union
  • Wednesday March 26th in the South Oval (weather permitting)
  • Thursday, March 27th in Bizzell Memorial Library, First Floor Reference area

Waffles for Writers

The OU Writing Center will host their monthly Waffles for Writers with a focus on how to create and use open educational content.  Open discussion topics will include Wikipedia in the classroom, finding open images for teaching and publication, open licensing options, and open textbooks.  Waffles for Writers will take place Wednesday, March 26 from 9 - 11 AM in the OU Writing Center, Wagner Hall.

Women in Science Wikipedia Edit-a-thon


To celebrate Women’s History Month and Open Education Week, participants are invited to gather together to edit and create Wikipedia entries on notable women in the history of science.  The event is Thursday, March 27 in Bizzell Memorial Library, First Floor Reference area.  It is sponsored by the OU History of Science Department, the OU History of Science Collections, OU Libraries and the OU Writing Center.

Why is Open Education important?

It is the ever increasing cost of textbooks and materials for students that is now pushing the OER movement forward.  Textbooks and learning materials cost students approximately $1,100 per year.  According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 in 10 students didn’t purchase a textbook because it was too expensive.  Through OERs the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced.  OERs also give instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the “perfect” textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources.

If you want to know more, you can contact Stacy Zemke, and check out these OU Libraries resources