The high cost of educational resources and textbooks create a serious obstacle to the accessibility and affordability of a post-secondary education. Traditional educational resources also present barriers to innovation in pedagogy and curriculum design. Fortunately, Open Educational Resources (OER) are a viable solution to both these problems, since they can be accessed for free online or printed at a fraction of the cost of a traditional textbook. They can also be edited to better fit the curricular or pedagogical goals of an instructor.
In British Columbia, OER have been funded by institutions such as the provincial government, a number of universities and colleges, and other organizations. Though there has been quite a concerted effort within the open community to promote the creation of open resources, widespread uptake at post-secondary institutions has not followed.
Student support and advocacy for OER is important to:
- ensure that OER gain or continue to build momentum on campuses,
- bring together community members, and
- push for the adoption and creation of resources.
This toolkit provides information on how interested student societies/associations as well as individual students can successfully advocate for greater OER adoption on campus. Primarily designed to serve post-secondary students in Canada working to support open education, we hope this toolkit will be useful to students from any country.
Greater OER adoption results in:
- an increase in the amount of student dollars saved,
- pedagogical benefits in the classroom, and
- benefits to society more broadly.
This toolkit explains the benefits of OER and provides guidance on how students can help promote OER adoption.