UMass Amherst Selected to Participate in Institute on Open Educational Resources

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected as one of 73 institutions to participate in the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2022-23 Institute on Open Educational Resources. Theresa Dooley, Open Education Librarian, will be leading the UMass Amherst team, which includes Jennifer Friedman, Associate Dean for Research and Learning, UMass Amherst Libraries; Sam Sharp, Learning Commons Supervisor, UMass Amherst Libraries; Jonah Carlson, Student Services Coordinator, University Without Walls (UWW); and Dan Cannity, Instructional Designer and Faculty Support Coordinator for Instructional Design, Engagement and Support (IDEAS).

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching materials released with an open license, which allows for their free revision and redistribution with attribution to the creator of the original work. These materials help to combat the rising costs of textbooks which are often a barrier for student success.

According to AAC&U, this yearlong institute “supports educators in launching, expanding, or hastening campus adoption of free and affordable instructional materials.” The institute began with a two-day virtual kickoff event in July of 2022, and will conclude with a capstone closing event on July 13–14, 2023.

With its participation in the institute, the UMass Amherst team’s first goal is to understand the current landscape of OER usage on campus.

“The institute provides a framework for shifting our Open Education initiative to a more strategic and collaborative approach,” says Dooley. “I’m proud of the team we’ve created and the goals we’ve set. Through the combined efforts of students, faculty, and campus partners, we will be creating a sustainable infrastructure to support long term change and the constant evolution of the open education movement.”