Happy Open Education Week!

Join us in the global celebration of the open education movement for Open Education Week, March 6-10, 2023.

In recognition, the Libraries is hosting events to raise awareness of Open Educational Resources (OER) and introducing faculty who are using the technology for the benefit of their work and their students.


  • OER Faculty Panel, March 7, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Join UT faculty members as they discuss the benefits, challenges, and rewards of incorporating OER into their teaching practices. This event is free and virtual. Register here.
  • OER Tabling Event, March 8, 11:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Stop by the PCL lobby to learn about OER initiatives happening at UT. Ask questions, complete our poll, or just come see what OER is all about.

But first, a primer…

What is open education? The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) defines it as “resources, tools and practices that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment.” Open education expands access to the resources of higher education (like open textbooks!) and enables the sort of collaboration that can engage students in new ways (like contributing to those open textbooks!). 

It won’t shock you that cost remains a significant barrier to the pursuit of higher education. While the biggest costs, like tuition and housing, are generally beyond the reach of most instructors to impact, the cost of course materials is tangible and significant. At UT, students enrolled full-time in the fall and spring semesters can expect to spend $714 per year — and depending on their major, it could be much more. 

Open educational resources, or OER, are learning objects, like textbooks, websites, images, videos, and more, that are generally free of cost AND free of the legal barriers that restrict instructors from customizing them for their students’ needs. Replacing expensive course materials with OER can save a student tens to hundreds of dollars per course. 

Get more information on how high course materials costs impacts students, and contact Tocker Open Education Librarian Heather Walter if you’d like to know more or get help locating OER for your discipline. 

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