Hannon Library Celebrates Open Education Week 

The Hannon Library is celebrating Open Education Week from March 7-11th, 2022. Educational and interactive activities related to open education will be available on the 1st floor of the library through the end of the month. In addition, Open Oregon has many events scheduled for March 7-11th, which can be viewed on the Oregon Statewide Events Menu.

The purpose of Open Education Week is to share and learn about open educational practices. One such practice is using Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are resources in the public domain or under a license that permits free use, and can include textbooks, tests, assignments, and more. OER save students money and improve grades, particularly for students who have been historically underserved, such as first-generation students and Pell Grant recipients.

Southern Oregon University has made several strides toward increasing the use of OER on campus. SOU started an OER Advisory Group in June 2021, which is chaired by Holly Gabriel, Open Access & Government Information Librarian. The group’s vision is for SOU to not only be in compliance with Oregon laws, but also to increase OER use to save students money and improve retention. The group has developed a SOU Textbook Affordability Plan.

Over the past several years, the Oregon Legislature has passed several laws promoting textbook affordability and transparency. As a result of these laws, SOU prominently designates course materials as No Cost or Low Cost in the Class Schedule, has a Textbook Affordability Plan, and displays links to the cost of course materials and fees for at least 75% of total for-credit courses at the time of class registration. The OER Advisory Group is proud of these achievements and looks forward to more promotion of open and low-cost teaching materials. 

Students can reach out to ASSOU and have their opinions heard on increasing OER use on campus. Faculty and instructors can apply for and receive stipends from Open Oregon Educational Resources to review open textbooks and adopt OER for their courses. To learn more about OER, browse Hannon Library’s  OER Guide or feel free to contact Holly Gabriel at gabrielh@sou.edu