Through alternative licensing that encourages peer contributions and sharing, OER invites collaboration among academics, students, library staff, and institutions. This module addresses the benefits and modes of collaboration, and provides examples of collaborative OER efforts to get involved in.
Watch this video explaining how OER enables pathways for collaboration across stakeholders, toward enhanced course materials and more equitable education for all. You can also download the Open Education Matters video transcript.
Sapire and Reed’s (2001) study showed that academic collaboration on the redesign of open course materials improved the quality of instructional materials--specifically in terms of the materials' ability to scaffold student learning across knowledge domains and to offer enhanced, inquiry-based learning experiences.
Azzam’s (2017) study showed that medical students’ collaborative contribution to Wikipedia articles cultivated core medical competencies, while helping students to build their identities as digital contributors and socially responsible physicians. The study also revealed how students’ engagement with the content led to improvements in the quality of health-related knowledge disseminated in the global public domain.
Petrides et al. (2011) found that collaboration with peers around the integration of an open textbook into a statistics course led academic participants to increase their collaborative practices in subsequent course planning efforts.
Petrides et al. (2008) found that when academics collaborated in the creation of OER, they were more likely to continue creating and sharing content online on a consistent and ongoing basis--suggesting that communities and collaboration play a role in sustaining OER.
With the shared aim of meeting student learning outcomes, academics and library staff can work together on constructing searches and evaluating fit of OER.
Search recognised OER repositories and aggregated content collections to explore what already exists.
If you are an academic, remember that Library staff have expertise in digital accessibility and information literacy. They can review and help align your OER to accessibility requirements and information literacy learning outcomes/objectives.
Listed below is the knowledge and expertise that students, academics, and library staff may bring to the development and implementation of OER.
Here is an example of an OER development process. The groups (student, library staff, or academic) that are involved in each step are identified with a label at the top of the step. In some cases, they overlap across roles to support the OER process, as depicted in the diagram. Although not listed, other collaborators may also play a role in any OER process, such as curriculum advisors, accessibility services, and the campus bookstore.
Library staff bring specific knowledge and skills to the OER curation process, as outlined below.
Text a derivative of “How Libraries can Help”, in CCCOER: Faculty and Librarians Selecting High Quality OER, by Tina Ulrich, licensed under CC BY 4.0
This webinar discusses the four key roles that libraries play in faculty adoption of OER: Researcher, curator, academic, and content creator. It also addresses the tools that library staff use in their OER-related work. You can also download The Library role in OER CCCOER webinar video transcript.
Video from CCCOER, CC BY 4.0.
There are multiple ways to collaborate with colleagues and students on the creation and use of OER. Below are just a few ideas, to get you started.
Wiki Education's Classroom Program is an established program for engaging students in collaborative OER projects. Instructors replace traditional research papers with assignments where students write about course-related topics that are underrepresented in Wikipedia. Students synthesize the available literature, and use tools to add the information to Wikipedia.
Instructors who sign up for the Classroom Program have free access to its tools and to support staff.
Open Textbook Sprints are collaborative writing sessions inspired by code sprints from the software development world. The goal of a book sprint is to create a book from scratch in a very short time frame. The idea is to gather instructors, curriculum advisors, library staff, trained facilitators, and others in a face-to-face environment to write and compile a textbook into an online format.
Reach out to eCampus Ontario to see if there are local book sprints that you can join at your institution. Or see the tools section of this module below for information on setting up your own open textbook sprints.Resource
Below are tips on how to make open textbook sprints productive. As you set up your sprint, keep in mind that an open textbook is not meant to be just an openly-licensed conventional textbook. It is a living text that people will be able to update and adapt to their specific courses and student needs.
The Open Textbook Sprint Checklist is a mashup of material from How To Turn A Great Idea Into An Open Textbook In Just Four Days, by BCcampus, licensed under CC BY 4.0, and How To Collaboratively Develop Open-Source Textbooks, by Free High School Science Texts, licensed under CC BY.
© Western Sydney University, unless otherwise attributed.
Library guide created by Western Sydney University Library staff is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY)