To celebrate Open Education Week 2017, on Thursday June 30th, UMass Boston’s eLearning and Instructional Support organized an event to inform faculty how to help students save money by using Open Educational Resources (OER). Instructional designers, Mish McIntyre and Irene Yukhananov, shared data from a pilot project in Biology 101 where a costly textbook was replaced with OER such as BioBeyond and OpenStax, saving students a total of $59,800.00.

Tara Ashok, professor of Anthropology and Biology at UMass Boston, shared her experience using OER in her Biology 101 class. Thanks to resources such as Echo360, students in Tara’s class were able to learn through a dynamic and collaborative platform which they are also able to access from home through live video streaming recorded in real time directly from Tara’s classroom. Furthermore, Biology professor David Sigmon talked about the importance of OER in relation to UMass Boston’s mission statement in which “a dynamic culture of teaching and learning” is an invitation to provide an “excellent and accessible university education” through affordable learning materials available to everyone.

UMass Boston’s librarians, Jenny Moyryla and Andrew Elder shared open and free resources available through Healey Library. The library offers a variety of resources through the “Open to Us” OER model, through which faculty can find additional resources to include in their classes, free of charge for both them and their students. In addition, faculty members and researchers at UMass Boston have the opportunity to make their research openly available to the world through personal Author Pages on ScholarWorks, the open access campus institutional repository for scholarship and research.

For more information about OER resources available contact elearning@umb.edu.

Watch event highlights video: