It’s Open Education Week!

This week is Open Education week – a week to celebrate everything being done in Open Education and Open Educational Resources (OERs). This week is different than Open Access (OA) Week, which is in October, but you can use OA publications in creating your OERs, for example! As many of you know, UND has been a real leader in this area.  A few happy notes on this:

  1. We have saved our students just under $11 million since we began the program in late 2015 (on an investment of under $300,000 total, from all sources).
  2. We have had multiple faculty participants in every single UND College and School – which is just amazing!
  3. Over 90 faculty members have participated, and teach over 90 different, unique courses (and often multiple sections thereof), with OERs.
  4. We have received funding from a broad array of sources, ranging from internal sources such as Student Government, the Office of the Provost, Extended Learning, College of Arts & Sciences, and others to NDUS to state sources (thank you, Senator Beadle!) to donors to the Northern Plains Heritage Foundation and more.
  5. We have support from top administration AND grassroots – from Presidents and Provosts who taught at UND AND used OERs to do so, and also from Student Government, which gave us $75,000 toward funding OERs, and which has repeatedly advocated for OER support at all levels.  In addition to all this, I should mention that our OER Working Group has membership including faculty members, staff (instructional designers, an advisor, librarians, etc.), and student government.  Everyone is involved!
  6. UND sponsored, organized, and held the FIRST ever Statewide OER Symposium in 2016, and has helped to organize several since, under the auspices of NDUS,  UND faculty have presented several times, to great acclaim!

Before COVID, we held a number of events on campus, featuring guest speakers (Dave Ernst of the Minnesota Open Education Network, Gerry Manley of MERLOT, Megan Wacha of the CUNY Open Education coalition), our own faculty who have adopted and created OERs, and a screening of the movie “Paywall:  The Business of Scholarship”.  Since March 2020, we have held statewide symposia via Zoom. 

We have also offered 6 rounds of funding for faculty to adopt OERs, and thanks to Provost Link, now have a floor of at least $25,000 in annual funding to continue this work (and we may well get additional funding from our other sources, as noted).  This is the first time we have had confirmed, stable base funds at UND for OERs.  We will be sending another Call for Proposals soon, timed so that faculty may work on their projects over the summer.  Watch out for those proposals for OER adoption!

We also keep all OERs that UND faculty have created or substantially edited in a section of our UND Scholarly Commons. Take a look and see what UND faculty have created!  As well, UND and NDUS have both funded faculty research fellowships for OERs.  Lately, we’ve become heavily involved in regional and national OERs initiatives, working with NDUS, WICHE, MHEC, a national coalition with representatives from each state (I’m the one for ND), the National Academy of Sciences, and others.  It is great to see OERs growing! 

We have a number of research guides to help, if you are interested in learning more about OERs and related topics – try our guides for Open Educational Resources, Open Educational Resources for Medicine and Health Sciences, Open Access, Publishing Strategies, Scholarly Publishing, and Scholarly Communications.  If you’d like to learn more about any of these topics, feel free to contact your subject librarians, or Stephanie Walker (stephanie.walker@und.edu)!   

Meanwhile, please take a look at some of the many free webinars and educational offerings, from Creative Commons.