From Start-Up to Adolescence: University of Oklahoma’s OER Efforts
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In February, 2013, University of Oklahoma (OU) president, David Boren, issued a letter to all OU faculty members highlighting the high cost of textbooks, expressing his strong “support for the move to open access materials in teaching and research,” and a charge to carefully “evaluate whether our textbooks and course materials add value to the educational experience equal to their cost to our students.” President Boren’s letter also announced the imminent hiring of one of the nation’s first full-time librarians dedicated solely to OER. This case study describes OU’s OER initiatives – from Boren’s letter to the present – with a specific focus on the Alternative Textbook Grant, which in 2017 was on track to save students over $1,000,000 in textbook costs. Case study sub-topics include grant program development, strategies for outreach and adoption, program funding, and resources. The chapter is practical in nature and discusses how the program has matured from its infancy as a start-up initiative to its current evolving – and sometimes challenging – “adolescent phase.” Authors include Stacy Zemke, OU’s first OER Coordinator; Cody Taylor, OU’s OER Student Assistant for three years and now an Emerging Technologies Librarian at OU, and Jen Waller, who took over the OER Coordinator role in May 2016. This collaborative authorship provides a case study that examines OU’s OER initiatives – including its struggles – from the people who have been directly involved with establishing, growing, and developing it.
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