Open Educational Resources and the BLC

The issue of affordability continues to challenge higher education.  One way libraries are working with their faculty to address this issue is through the development of open textbooks and other educational resources. On Tuesday, September 29th, the Boston Library Consortium [BLC] hosted David Ernst, Chief Information Officer of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota and Executive Director of the Open Textbook Network to discuss the ways in which libraries are working collectively with faculty and instructional design experts to overcome barriers to the creation of and use of open educational resources.  His keynote address was video taped and is available HERE.

Following David's presentation, representatives from four of the BLC member libraries made brief presentations discussing the initiatives they are currently engaged in to develop open educational resources, particularly open textbooks.  Margaret Cohen and Dr. Kristen Botteman-Beutel from Boston College discussed the "Affordable Course Materials Initiative" and Jeremy Smith from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst presented initial results from their "Open Education Initiative" which has resulted in savings to students of almost $1.4M since its inception in 2011.  We also heard from Eleta Exline and Jennifer Carroll from the University of New Hampshire and Kathy Labadorf from the University of Connecticut on programs they are putting in place to provide grants to faculty to work with subject librarians, instructional design staff and experts in teaching and learning to develop affordable course materials for their students.

We ended the day discussing ways the BLC can further facilitate the growth or OER across the member libraries. Stay tuned.