Open Education 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 plan, 60x30TX.
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.
Our first webinar in the series, “OER Course Marking in Texas,” was held on March 4, 2020, 3:00 PM CST. Click here to view the recording.
Another webinar, “Open Texas: State Initiatives to Support OER in Higher Education,” was held on July 15, 2020, 2:00 PM CDT. A recording is available here.
In a third webinar, “Open Educational Resource Sustainability,” held on January 27, 2021, we explored what it means for open education initiatives to be sustainable as OER creation, adaptation, and implementation gain increasing traction to support student success. Click here to view the recording.
Open Texas 2021
With over 1,100 registrants, the inaugural Open Texas Conference was a great success! The conference was held virtually on March 11 & 12, 2021, and 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. The program included a stirring keynote address by Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College in Maryland, as well as an eye-opening and heartfelt student panel.
Recordings of the plenary sessions have already been posted on the Open Texas YouTube channel, with more to come in the near future. We hope you’ll check them out!
In spring 2019, DigiTex partnered with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to conduct a survey on OER programs, policies, and practices at two- and four-year public and private, non-profit institutions in Texas. Responses from 100 institutions painted a picture of a growing commitment to OER. They also revealed insights into specific priorities, practices, and perceptions surrounding OER across the Texas higher education landscape. A copy of the final survey report can be downloaded here. DigiTex plans to use these data as a baseline for future, bi-annual statewide OER surveys.
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.
Texas-Specific OER Information & Repository