Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources and Affordable Content
To provide high-quality academic experiences that are responsive to student and societal needs, increasing effort is being placed on how learners are accessing and consuming academic information. Implentation of accessible and low-to-no-cost material in the learning environment is one way to meet these needs.
According to SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), Open Educational Resources (OER) can be considered as teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. 1
There are many reasons to use OER. Here are just a few:
- Affordable - students save money
- Availability - every student has access to the material on the first day of class
- Flexible - redistribute and reuse content
- Customizable - revise and remix
- Up to Date - add the latest research, events, information
- Accessible - can be more accessible than print copies
- Beneficial to All - knowledge can be freely and widely distributed around the world
Open Nebraska (ONE)
Beginning with the Spring 2022 semester, campuses at the University of Nebraska will pilot a new course attribute in for the searchable web-based course schedules. These attributes were proposed to Information Technology Services by the 2020-21 NU Student Regents and a group of Student Government representatives from each campus.
- What is Open Nebraska (ONE)
- How it works at UNO
- More on Open Nebraska
- Open Educational Resources (OER) at UNO
What is Open Nebraska (ONE)
The University of Nebraska is committed to student affordability by supporting faculty in adopting free or reduced-cost digital course materials in their courses. Collaborative efforts for utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) and Inclusive First Day Access eBook programs have saved NU students over $6M as of Spring 2021. The goal is to save NU students $10 million by 2023 through this program. Beginning with the Spring 2022 semester, campuses at the University of Nebraska will pilot a new course attribute in the searchable web-based course schedules.The Course Attribute
The course attribute to increase transparency so that students and their families can determine which UNO courses are using these free and reduced-cost digital course materials at the time of registration instead of learning this information as the course is beginning. The name of these course attributes, as well as the name “Open Nebraska,” was proposed to Information Technology Services (NU ITS) by the 2020-21 NU Student Regents and a group of Student Government representatives from each campus. UNO Student Regent Jabin Moore provided leadership and advocacy in championing this effort.
How it Works at UNOFor Students
- Students can search for courses when they go to register for Open Nebraska courses. This means the course will include no- or low-cost materials OR a low-cost E-Book ( Read more on what each means).
- Students choosing Open Nebraska courses who are taking a full course load can save up to $500 per semester. That's a potential savings of $4,000 over the course of the academic career.
Searching for Courses within the Open Nebraska (ONE) Program
Beginning with the Spring 2022 semester schedule, UNO students will now be able to search for which classes are a part of Open Nebraska as they select and register for specific course sections. Classes that are a part of the Open Nebraska Program use no- or low-cost digital course materials (read more on what each means). Students will see no- or low-cost course material options designated within Open Nebraska, and will also see which courses utilize digital course materials that are under $40.
- Visit the Class Search page
- Select your term, session, subject, and other fields
- Choose "Open Nebraska" from the Programs dropdown menu
- Take note of the course(s) that kindle interest based on your needs
- Faculty wishing to indicate in the searchable schedule that their course section is utilizing OER and/or First Day Access reduced cost digital materials have several options to get started.
- Faculty who HAVE already received a grant from Criss Library or Digital Learning or who have partnered with the UNO bookstore to select a First Day Access eBook will be contacted by these respective offices prior to the start of each semester to confirm their course materials selection and to confirm with the faculty member that the course will be designated as part of the Open Nebraska affordability initiative.
- Faculty who HAVE NOT previously worked with the Office of Digital Learning, Criss Library, or the UNO bookstore but who are already utilizing free or reduced cost ($40 or less total) digital course materials in their courses should start by contacting the Office of Digital Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the verification process for course marking.
The Open Nebraska course attribute will be applied centrally by the Register, with Criss Library, UNO Bookstore, and Digital Learning staff confirming participating faculty/course sections. Departmental schedulers will not apply the attribute as they submit schedule drafts.Faculty Funding Opportunities
Faculty wishing to adopt free or reduced-cost digital course materials can pursue several types of grants at UNO to recognize the time and effort it takes to re-design their course.
- Criss Library offers affordable content grants
- Office of Digital Learning offers online course development grants, which include extra incentives for adopting digital course materials during the online course development process.
Considering Digital Course Materials UNO staff are here to support faculty members who are considering whether or not free or reduced-cost digital course materials are a good option for their course(s).
- Criss Library staffs an OER Librarian, who can assist UNO faculty in searching and identifying high-quality Open Educational Resources (OER) suitable for their courses. Get started with Criss Library support.
- If OER is not an option, or faculty are not satisfied with the free content available for their course, the UNO Bookstore offers a First Day Access program. These eBooks can save students up to 60% off the cost of traditional new textbooks. Get started with reduced-cost eBook adoption at the UNO Bookstore.
- To integrate digital course materials into Canvas, or for assistance in designing digital assignments and student engagement opportunities utilizing digital course materials, please contact the UNO Digital Learning team at email@example.com.
Open Nebraska Courses & Programs
- No Cost Materials: These digital course materials are incorporated into Canvas at no additional cost to the student. No book purchase required.
- Low Cost Materials: These digital course materials are incorporated into Canvas and cost students less than $40. No book purchase required.
- Low Cost E-Book: This reduced-cost eBook is purchased through the campus bookstore and costs a student less than $40.
The UNO Department of Sociology & Anthropology will launch the first Open Nebraska full degree program in Fall 2021. The first undergraduate full academic program to adopt Open Educational Resources (OER) in the University of Nebraska system, the UNO Department of Sociology & Anthropology is committed to student access and affordability.Reduced-Cost Digital Course Materials
The cost of traditional textbooks has increased 88% in the last decade, so much so that 67% of students no longer can afford to buy required textbooks for their courses.
- As the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in 2020, the University of Nebraska aimed to increase student affordability by supporting faculty in adopting free or reduced-cost digital course materials in their courses.
- Collaborative efforts for utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) and Inclusive First Day Access eBook programs have saved NU students over $6 million as of Spring 2021.
- The goal is to save NU students $10 million by 2023.
Open Educational Resources (OER) at UNOKnow your options - Know the Impact of Your Choice
- Standard Textbook Adoption
- First-Day Access
- Affordable Content and Open Educational Resources
Sometimes we are able to get licenses to use eBooks under multi-user licenses. If you’re using this in a class, this can be a cost-effective way to move forward with affordable content. It’s not available for every book, so verify with us that we have or can get it.
The library also houses a plethora of information and various guides and publishing options for OER:
Additional Partners and Resources
- OASIS - OER Search Tool out of SUNY Geneseo that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. Searches open content from almost 100 sources
- eCampus Ontario’s Open Library - Curated collection of top subject areas in post-secondary education with reviews from experts and educators across Canada
- Open Textbook Library - Collection of open textbooks from other sources that include extensive faculty reviews from a variety of colleges and universities. From the University of Minnesota’s Center for Open Education
- OpenStax - Peer-reviewed open textbooks that are created using the traditional publishing process but funded ahead of time by foundations and the OpenStax group. Affordable hard copies available as well as low cost course wraparounds and some free faculty supports
- Lumen Learning - Course content with some faculty resources such as quiz banks
- BCcampus OpenEd - The B.C. Open Textbook Collection is home to a growing selection of open textbooks for a variety of subjects and specialties. Discover open textbooks that have been reviewed by faculty, meet our accessibility requirements, and/or include ancillary materials (quizzes, test banks, slides, videos, etc.)