Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources (OER) are defined in the Texas Education Code, Section 51.451 as “teaching, learning, or research resources that are in the public domain or that have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use, adaptation, and redistribution by any person. The term may include full course curricula, course materials, modules, textbooks, media, assessments, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques, whether digital or otherwise, used to support access to knowledge.”
DigiTex facilitates the creation, adoption, and use of Open Educational Resources across Texas through such services as research, professional development and training, and events. OER has the capacity to contribute to cost savings for students and support learning outcomes, while also helping Texas to meet the goals outlined in its higher education strategic plan, Building a Talent Strong Texas.
Professional Development & Training
Texas Learn OER
We are pleased to announce the launch of Texas Learn OER, a set of openly licensed modules for faculty, staff, and administrators. We contracted with Carrie Gits, Head Librarian and Library Services OER Team Leader at Austin Community College, to adapt for a wider audience modules she created for ACC as a part of her capstone project for the 2018-19 SPARC Open Education Leadership Program. Texas Learn OER includes information on understanding OER; open licensing, including Creative Commons; finding and evaluating OER; accessibility; adapting, creating, and sharing OER; and OER policy and practice in Texas.
DigiTex offers webinars and other professional development opportunities to support faculty, staff, and administrators working in OER policy and practice. Our current series is entitled Hot Topics in Texas Digital Higher Education.
For past webinars, please view the slides below. Click each slide to access the recording.
With two conferences now in the books, the annual Open Texas Conference is still going strong! The inaugural Open Texas Conference was a great success, with over 1,100 registrants and was held virtually on March 11 & 12, 2021. It was co-organized by the Texas Digital Library, the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and co-hosted by the University of Houston-Downtown and Houston Community College. Attendees from all over Texas and beyond had the opportunity to network with other OER advocates and explore some of the great work that their colleagues are doing with OER. Recordings of the sessions are available on the Open Texas YouTube channel.
In 2022 the Texas Digital Library, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and DigiTex again came together to co-organize the 2nd annual Open Texas conference, which also met virtually from September 21-23. Spanning three full days with 96 speakers, 1,076 registrants from 25 states and 4 countries, and a variety of presentation formats, there was something for every practitioner of OER. Stayed tuned for recordings of the conference sessions, coming soon!
In 2019, DigiTex began partnering with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to conduct a biennial survey on OER programs, policies, and practices at postsecondary institutions across the state. The second survey, conducted in 2021, informed our most recent report, Advancing an Ecosystem for Open Educational Resources. With 111 colleges and universities responding, analyses of the survey data — and a comparison to data from Open Educational Resources (OER) in Texas Higher Education (2019) — reveal an ever-expanding OER landscape in Texas and help inform future statewide activities to support Open Education.
Featured as a part of Open Education Week 2022, OERigin Stories: Pathways to the Open Movement explores the history of six women of color working in the Open Education movement. Ursula Pike, DigiTex Associate Director, created the project as part of SPARC’s Open Education Leadership Program.
For the history of the project, please read Ursula’s post on the DigiTex blog, Creating My First OER. Ursula has also created a video overview of the project, which can be accessed here.
OER in Texas
Why Use OER?
Our newest case study in the series Best Practices in Texas Digital Higher Education, “Creating and Adopting Open Educational Resources at Colleges and Universities Across the State,” showcases three excellent examples of OER usage across the state of Texas. As you seek to promote and adopt OER at your own institution, we hope that you will find this resource useful.
Organizations, Repositories, & Initiatives
Although not an exhaustive list, the following organizations, repositories, and initiatives provide further information about OER creation, adoption, and use, as well as open licensing.
Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources ♦ Creative Commons ♦ MERLOT ♦ OER Commons ♦ OER Knowledge Cloud ♦ Open Education Global ♦ Open Textbook Library ♦ OpenStax ♦ Skills Commons ♦ STARLINK
Texas-Specific OER Information & Repository
- State Legislation on OER in Higher Education: SPARC OER State Policy Tracker
- Texas Digital Library’s Getting Started with OER: Free Webinar Series
- Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings (a living guide)
- OERTX Repository