Intersections of Open Educational Resources and Information Literacy
Mary Ann Cullen, Alpharetta, Georgia
Elizabeth Dill, Hartford, Connecticut
Copyright Year: 2022
Publisher: Association of College and Research Libraries
Conditions of Use
This OER text addresses a wide array of topics, including introducing the concepts of OER and open pedagogy, copyright and licensing in OER, searching for OER, and evaluation criteria. In addition, several of the authors relate their experiences... read more
This OER text addresses a wide array of topics, including introducing the concepts of OER and open pedagogy, copyright and licensing in OER, searching for OER, and evaluation criteria. In addition, several of the authors relate their experiences with creating OER, using it in a class, and the impact on student learning. This diversion points to a move away from rote learning in traditional education and towards mindful, self-directed learning facilitated by faculty utilizing OER. OER is open and the texts do not have a cost for students, which is a major boon to students who would be otherwise unable to succeed in college due to high textbook costs. The authors note that most of the discussion around OER addresses cost and access. However, OER provides opportunities for improved learning, including allowing students to direct their learning, make connections in learning, create content, and develop information literacy skills that will serve them well. OER could also provide for the differing learning styles of students. In addition, OER allows faculty to utilize resources and materials that are more inclusive and diverse in viewpoint, something which is impossible with a traditional textbook.
The only omission in this text that I can see is that accessibility of OER for the disabled is not even mentioned until page 43. Accessibility is important for all students in higher education, some of whom may have undiagnosed disabilities or not wish to disclose them. I also spotted some accessibility issues with the text itself.
This text is a compilation of chapters written by different authors from a variety of viewpoints. I see no obvious biases, and in fact, the variety of viewpoints and topics represented points to an effort to make the text as diverse as possible. The only errors I can find in the text have to do with accessibility of the text itself, specifically the screen reader reading order. When I used a screen reader to read the text, the by-line at the bottom of the title page reads before the title that is at the top of the title page. This is not a problem for me, but it may be for a disabled student who depends on a screen reader.
OER is relevant as a format, because it bypasses one of the major barriers in higher education and that is the cost of textbooks. It also allows for greater agency on the part of students who may have a voice in its content and benefit from improved learning beyond rote memorization.
The content of this OER text is timely, but not so much that it will be out of date quickly. It would be a great text to support a library science class on information literacy or OER, or as a reference for a librarian, because the chapters cited current examples and literature. Each chapter can stand alone as an essay or be combined with other resources. One of the advantages of OER is that the underlying text can remain the same, but the examples, exercises, and lessons can be updated as needed for changing interests and needs.
This OER text is written in easily understood and accessible language and provides for adequate explanation for specialty terms within the text.
This OER textbook is consistent in the message about the importance of open education and OER in higher education and information literacy. By using an OER textbook with the possibility of more diverse viewpoints, the students are not limited to information in a traditional textbook. The students have the opportunity for improved learning, learn how to create content, and gain invaluable information literacy skills.
This OER text can easily be broken up into smaller parts that stand on their own. However, the combination of chapters provides readers with a unique blend of viewpoints and stories about OER and information literacy.
The text is divided into sections: 1) Foundations (chapters 1 thru 3), 2) Teaching Info Lit with OER (chapters 4 thru 6), Part 3 Librarian Support of Open Pedagogy / OER (chapters 7 thru 10), Part 4 Social Justice / Untold Stories (Chapters 11 and 12), Part 5 Student Advocacy (Chapters 13 and 14), and Part 6 Spring the Love: Training Future Advocates and Practitioners (Chapters 15 thru 17). The divisions of the sections make sense in the overall context and are progressive, beginning with chapter 1, which provides an introduction to OER and open pedagogy for readers who may not be familiar with the concepts, and ends with a section on training future OER advocates and practitioners. The forward does accurately state that some chapters could have fit into more than one of the sections of the text. The authors also talk about Creative Commons licensing, sites for accessing OER, and criteria to use in evaluating OER for class use.
The text is mostly free of significant interface issues, including distortion of images and charts. However, some of the text did not render correctly, as some lines of text are missing either the top or bottom half of the line. The text is still readable, though. An example is on page 39, third line from the bottom of the page. The other interface issue I noticed is accessibility. The PDF is mostly accessible, but the screen reader reading order is incorrect. I also did an accessibility check of the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro and 3 minor issues came up. The headlines for each chapter are in a sans serif font, but the chapter text appears to be Times New Roman, which can be problematic for some screen readers.
The text contains no known grammatical errors.
I found reading this OER text with differing perspectives on OER and information literacy to be a breath of fresh air. Adopting OER in higher education serves to reduce the students’ costs for textbooks as well as expand opportunities for improved learning and engagement with the coursework. In addition, faculty adopting OER have more freedom to assemble a more diverse array of materials to support the course that utilizing a traditional textbook.
Overall, I feel like this book is a comprehensive overview of many of the issues in OER and higher education. If you are passionate about information literacy or OER, then this book is for you. However, a quick accessibility check in Adobe Acrobat Pro revealed a few minor problems, but the bigger problem was the screen reader reading order is not logical. However, overall, this OER text would make an invaluable addition to academic library collections or for librarians teaching information literacy or involved in OER at their institutions.
A very timely text on the natural blending of Information literacy and Open Educational Resources. This book is divided into six parts that will walk the reader through the beginnings of this partnership up to the prospects of future advocates.... read more
A very timely text on the natural blending of Information literacy and Open Educational Resources. This book is divided into six parts that will walk the reader through the beginnings of this partnership up to the prospects of future advocates. Each chapter can stand alone, but work together to provide an overview of the important part librarians play in bringing OER to the forefront. I enjoyed reading perspectives from differing authors and their experiences and there is something here for both the novice and the more experienced user of Open Education.
I found the information to be unbiased, accurate and error-free. A read through of the authors shows the overwhelming amount of expertise that is being tapped into throughout this text.
There is no doubt that Open Education will be relevant in the future as will the task of keeping students and faculty skilled in the art of navigating Open Educational Resources. I do not see this text being obsolete within a short period of time. The format makes for an easy update if need be.
The first chapter was born out of the reasoning that some readers "may be new to the concepts of open education, open educational resources, open pedagogy, and information literacy. Key Takeaways that clarified points were offered in some chapters. All while being an appropriate read for those in higher education.
This text was consistent in its mission to drive home the importance of Open Education. Chapters are in an appropriate order and chapters are, for the most part, short and easy to read. The only minor inconsistencies were in how individual authors chose to wrap up their sections, some did conclusions while others offered key takeaways. It would have been nice to have key takeaways from each author.
As someone with a reasonable amount of knowledge regarding OER, I appreciated the variety of authors and being able to skip around and read those areas of interest without having to do so in order. The layout was easily defined and generally good overall.
Each of the six parts were clearly defined as to what would be included in them as well as who the author was. The arrangement is logical, but as stated in the foreword "most chapters could easily have fit into two or three different sections...".
There we no interface issues with downloading this text on the computer or iphone. Navigation was actually smoother on my phone than on the computer. The only other option available besides PDF was the option of a hardcopy which I found a little pricey at $100.80 for an ALA member.
I truly enjoyed reading the differing experiences of the authors and reread chapters more than one time. There were no noted grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors.
I did not come across any cultural or gender bias in this book. There was nothing insensitive and it was nice to see parts dedicated to social justice and equity.
Very excited overall about this book. If you have a passion for the intersecting of Open Education and Information Literacy, you will be also.
Table of Contents
- Part 1: Foundations
- Part 2: Teaching Info Lit with OER
- Part 3: Librarian Support of Open Pedagogy/OER
- Part 4: Social Justice/Untold Stories
- Part 5: Student Advocacy
- Part 6: Spreading the Love: Training Future Advocates and Practitioners
- About the Authors
About the Book
"The present volume is timely not only because it models creative and effective strategies to advance both open education and information literacy, but especially because it poses critical questions and urges practitioners to go well beyond questions of access to and the use of information. It demands reflection on what is being accessed (and what is not), who is gaining access (and who is not), who is providing access (and who is not), and what the goal is of this access (and what lies beyond access)."—from the Foreword by Rajiv S. Jhangiani Information literacy skills are key when finding, using, adapting, and producing open educational resources (OER). Educators who wish to include OER for their students need to be able to find these resources and use them according to their permissions. When open pedagogical methods are employed, students need to be able to use information literacy skills as they compile, reuse, and create open resources. Intersections of Open Educational Resources and Information Literacy captures current open education and information literacy theory and practice and provides inspiration for the future. Chapters include practical applications, theoretical musings, literature reviews, and case studies and discuss social justice issues, collaboration, open pedagogy, training, and advocacy. The book is divided into six parts:
- Teaching Info Lit with OER
- Librarian Support of Open Pedagogy/OER
- Social Justice/Untold Stories
- Student Advocacy
- Spreading the Love: Training Future Advocates and Practitioners
Chapters cover topics including library-led OER creation; digital cultural heritage and the intersections of primary source literacy and information literacy; situated learning and open pedagogy; critical librarianship and open education; and developing student OER leaders. Intersections of Open Educational Resources and Information Literacy—which went through an open peer review process—informs and inspires on OER, info lit, and their many iterative convergences. It is available as an open access edition at https://bit.ly/ACRLOERInfoLit.
About the Contributors
Mary Ann Cullen is an associate professor and Associate Department Head at Georgia State University’s Alpharetta Campus. She has been involved in the open and affordable educational resources movement since 2013, when she participated in the adaptation of an OER text for an introductory English composition course. Since then, she has assisted faculty with OER adoption and grants, and presented about librarians’ roles in OER at ACRL, the Distance Library Services Conference, and a Carterette Series webinar. She has been recognized as an Affordable Learning Georgia Featured Advocate and co-edited the Fall 2020 special edition of the academic journal, Library Trends, “OER and the Academic Library,” with Elizabeth Dill.
Elizabeth Dill is the Director of University Libraries at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. As an instructor of university-level theater classes, she assigned OER, facilitating open pedagogy. She has also used her librarian role to advocate for OER. Dill has presented at national and international conferences on Open Educational Resources. Dill co-edited the Fall 2020 special edition of the academic journal, Library Trends, “OER and the Academic Library.”