Open Education Week is a global movement to raise awareness and demonstrate the impact of open education. Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) defines open education as “resources, tools and practices that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment.” University of Houston Libraries fully supports the use of open educational resources (OER) and providing open access to scholarship.
Together with the UH Office of the Provost, we are moving the OER initiative forward. In the past year, we have hired an open educational resources coordinator to lead the planning, implementation, and assessment of the UH OER program. We have created the Alternative Textbook Incentive Program (ATIP) to incentivize faculty members who adopt, adapt, or create an open textbook for use in their courses. We want to mitigate the high costs of textbooks for students as much as possible; the estimated first-round savings from the ATIP program is approximately $200,000. We are also conducting a survey to learn more about UH faculty who are using OER but are not involved with the ATIP program.
We have created a new repository for UH scholarship, Cougar Research Open Access Repositories (ROAR), which provides safe, long-term storage for data and scholarship produced by the UH community and allows it to be widely available to researchers around the world. With our faculty’s continued support and engagement, we can create and provide more services that benefit our students and scholars.