Open education week offers scholarship opportunity

Weekly Schedule: This has all the events for open education week. This is the fourth year Open Educational Resources has been modified to fit into Washburn University's community.

Alyssa Storm

Washburn University will be promoting open education resources week next week, March 2 through 6.

Open education week is an international awareness week to inform the academic community about what open education is and how it can be accessed.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation defines Open Educational Resources as teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing.

OER includes course materials, textbooks, videos, tests and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge. OER are online, easy to access and always free to use by yourself or in a classroom setting.

“Open Educational Resources can be easier to get in a practical sense; for instance, not having to order a book and wait for it to arrive,” said physics professor Brian Thomas. “It is a better way for students to get correct information by possibly making your course materials cheaper.” 

Students can access any OER at any point in time – it works throughout the whole year.

There are textbooks, videos, podcasts, scholarly articles and much more that are available for use. Licenses allow for full printing access to all articles. 

“There’s just a lot out there so I’m trying to educate the campus community about it,” said Amanda Luke, open access librarian at Mabee Library. “Once you know about it you can use it and explore it and even add to it.” 

There are hundreds of websites and topics that are offer OER, but it might not go in depth as much as it is needed for some upper level courses. Thomas uses what is called a “hybrid” in his classes.

“I also like using a ‘hybrid’ model, where some resources are open, but some are not,” said Thomas. “That allows me to lower cost but still get functionality that isn’t possible for me to reproduce.”

Along with a week’s worth of fun activities, there is a chance to win a $250 scholarship that will be going on throughout the week. It is a six-picture story contest; there will be six different images and students will write a one-page story, including the pictures into the story in some way.

For more information on OER week events visit https://libguides.washburn.edu/open/OEWeek2020

For more information about OER visit https://libguides.washburn.edu/Open.

Edited by Adam White, Jason Morrison, Wesley Tabor, Abbie Barth