Open educational resources
Open educational resources (OER) are 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.
Resources may include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software and tools, or materials and techniques that are used to support access to knowledge.
This allows users to freely access, revise/remix and share pedagogically appropriate learning materials, thereby providing opportunities for instructors and learners to shape course content and meet the needs of specific learning contexts.
Digital versions of open resources are almost always free and print copies of items such as open textbooks can generally be obtained at a fraction of the cost of a regular commercial textbook.
Open pedagogy takes OER as a jumping-off point to rethink the relationship between teachers, students and knowledge. When teachers and students are able to modify their own textbooks and learning materials, we shift the student emphasis toward contribution to knowledge rather than simple consumption of knowledge.
Teachers and students become learners together, and content becomes a dynamic, always changing category with which we engage rather than a stable set of facts to be mastered. (DeRosa)
Looking for information about copyright?
General information, policies and guidelines with regard to copyright are available through the USask Copyright Office and the Library website.
Homework systems are online tools that can grade questions asked to students as homework, track formative practice, or assess examinations. They are most useful in classes where students are problem solving (i.e. math, chemistry) and need immediate feedback about if they have done the process correctly. They are also commonly used to test recall.
Homework systems can be commercial, student-pay systems or non-commercial (free) systems. For a comparison of the pros and cons of commercial systems, as well as a list of alternatives, please follow the link below.
Funding for open textbook development
Funding is available to support the use, adaptation and creation of open textbooks at the University of Saskatchewan. This funding will be provided for projects involving USask instructors who wish to:
- adapt existing open textbooks,or
- develop supporting resources (e.g. test bank questions, slides, etc.) required to facilitate the use of an open textbook in place of a commercial text.
Applications are now being accepted for this funding and need to include:
- details about the resources to be adapted/developed,
- the course(s) where the resources will be integrated, and
- the projected budget for the project.
Need help with your application?
The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning (GMCTL) is available to work with you and your department to complete your application. Please email Heather Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 306-966-5327.
Resources and articles
- My Open Textbook: Pedagogy and Practice (DeRosa)
- Attributes of Open Pedagogy: A Model for Using Open Educational Resources (Hegarty)
- Write a Wikipedia Article for Law School Credit - Really? (Kleefeld and Rattray)
- What is Open Pedagogy? (Wiley)
- Open Pedagogy Library
- Open Educational Resources for Instructors
- Open Educational Resources for Students
Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning
Contact Heather Ross at the Gwenna Moss Centre if you are interested in finding out more about open educational resources or you would like to begin using them in your course.
Librarians across campus can be very helpful in finding open resources as well as alternatives to requiring students to purchase commericial textbooks.
Staff at the bookstore can assist in making open textbooks available as print on demand books for students.