Conditions of Use
OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians does a great job of using case studies to provide an overview of OER principles and how-to implement at an institution. The book made sure to go beyond open textbooks and include the entire range of OER... read more
OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians does a great job of using case studies to provide an overview of OER principles and how-to implement at an institution. The book made sure to go beyond open textbooks and include the entire range of OER materials. The book briefly touched on open pedagogy which is becoming more and more common in the field and could use its own Part, but at the time of its writing (2018) was not as common nor are librarians typically driving that development.
Information provided is relevant and accurate. Additionally, the book shares recommendations and best practices throughout.
Each chapter provided context, considerations of the project, next steps, and transparency to the barriers, successes, and failures. The majority of authors and the case studies referenced are still actively involved in OER and the Open Movement. At times, the content would benefit from being updated, so the reader would know how the implemented programs have been successful or modified since 2017. However, the text is written in a way that it would be very easy for the authors to update their chapter as needed.
The text is easy to read as it clarities and provides context for all jargon used.
The text is consistent in the layout of each chapter and the terminology used. However, a slight critique is the lack of consistency in some reference lists where DOI for articles is hyperlinked and in other reference lists the DOI is simply listed.
The text uses appropriate design elements for fonts, spacing, and formatting to facilitate modularity and minimize distractions for the learner.
The chapters provided a logical flow from OER basics to pedagogical implications to advocacy and sustainability to library-supported adoption and creation. This flow mimics traditional OER practices for instructors from awareness about OER to using OER to championing OER and funded for OER creation.
The text interface on a laptop had no distortions. However, when viewing on an iPad, occasionally there were mid-sentence line breaks (seen in Chapter 13's Conclusion paragraph and Chapter 14's Conclusion paragraph). The tables did not distort on either device. The majority of links to outside sources functioned correctly.
There are a couple of misspellings at various points within the book, such as "Reebus Foundation" instead of "Rebus Foundation." Additionally, Chapter 8 had two conclusions and a duplication of the "Government Offices" section.
The book was limited in addressing the digital divide and access. The pandemic in 2020 highlighted the need of stable internet connection to be considered for all students, particularly in OER usage and the ability for download content for later offline viewing. The book did not adequately address this need for digital access and the result of the digital divide.
This book is great for academic librarians new to OER and those looking to implement an OER initiative at their institution. The range of case studies from across the United States and Canada, various institution sizes, and the different staffing models provides librarians with context, resources, and likelihood of what model might work best for their institution. Some chapters like Chapter 10 supply templates of sent emails and MOUs as well as the timeline for communication. Additionally for busy librarians, the introduction to each Part gives a quick summary and overview of each case study, which allows them to quickly identify what is relevant to them.
World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. This book has 12 Chapters and is written for... read more
World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. This book has 12 Chapters and is written for an OER . it has a very good amount of maps, images, and charts. I did not find the problem with the book to be Eurocentric. The chapters on India and China are robust. However, it is more of a survey of “major Civilizations” vs. a true World History. Also missing info about Islam and Muslim scholars, Oceania/Pacific Islands which unfortunately is left out of most World History texts. I may adopt this book but I will have to supplement some areas with other readings which may be okay since there are only 12 chapters and I usually have time to cover 14 chapters in a semester. As far as I can add test banks or instructor resources either so that will be another consideration to adoption but the authors of this text should be commended for producing such a strong work.
Missing some information about Islam and on places such as SE Asia, but the basic information is generally correct.
The book is not up to date in terms of current world history scholarship, as noted above. you can easily find resources to updated
This book is relatively easy to read.
Islamic civilization is not covered well,as Western civilization is covered in much more detail with much sharper periodization and a much greater emphasis on events than other civilizations.
The book could be divided into two books as the chapters could be used independently to supplement other material.
I know it is always a challenge when writing a World History text. One problem that it deals with multiple civilizations encounter with Islam before introducing Islam itself. The books organization works fine.
No significant navigation problems were noted, Graphics are basic but accurate and clear.If making the links to primary sources open automatically into a separate tab to make ease of movement between the sources could take the frustration off from students and assigned to read modules rather than chapters.
No grammatical problems that I could find.
No cultural insensitivity or offensive content was noted.
My school is making a big push in the direction of OER resources and reducing student costs. this will contribute to the project for Arab history and cultures as a full OER textbook.
This book touched on all the expected, high-points of OER, including the research behind OER and its efficacy, raising awareness with stakeholders such as students, administration, & faculty, finding OER resources, building a program, and case... read more
This book touched on all the expected, high-points of OER, including the research behind OER and its efficacy, raising awareness with stakeholders such as students, administration, & faculty, finding OER resources, building a program, and case studies of successful OER programs in higher education. It also talked about the often overlooked topic of Open Pedagogy, and how OER goes beyond open textbooks to include educational models that can change the nature and methods of our instruction. Although this book talks about building a case with stakeholders, I would have liked more specifics and examples on best practices for marketing a new OER program. It did not provide example educational materials such as flyers, handouts, etc. that could be adapted for different audiences, which would have been helpful.
This book gives an accurate overview of existing research, and case studies at academic libraries, which support the best practices and recommendations presented throughout.
This is a hot topic right now, in 2019. While there are many case studies included and referenced in this book that may become obsolete as OER programs change over time, the take home points and lessons learned from the case studies, as well as the research behind OER will remain relevant for many years to come.
The book is written in approachable language.
This book is consistent with industry terminology, and uses consistent terminology within it.
The book includes four (4) larger sections with multiple sub-sections, although it was not formatted in a way that was easy to navigate those sections, or divide into smaller reading chunks. However, the text was not overly self-referential, and therefor could be rearranged into a different format.
The overall organization worked well, going from the basics of OER and the research behind it, to working with stakeholders, to case studies of successful programs. I would have liked it to be broken down into a few more major sections for easier navigation, including working with Students separate from administrators & faculty, and a separate section for equitable access/digtial divide/accessibility considerations, but overall the organization worked well.
The textbook includes a section outlining accessibility best practices for OER textbooks and materials, although ironically the PDF of this open textbook did not meet those accessibly standards and best practices, including appropriate nesting for headings, alt-text for images, matching page numbers, and logical reading order, among others (tested with Windows Narrator screen reader & Adobe accessibility checker). Nor was it formatted in a way that made it easy to intuitively follow the structure of the document.
I found no grammatical errors in my review.
Digital access & the digital divide are briefly discussed, although not much in-depth consideration is given to the fact that many OER resources are not freely accessible to everyone, which is one of the biggest misconceptions of OER that I see currently.
Overall, I would recommend this book as a starting place for anyone advocating for an OER program on their campus, as it has good foundational information and many helpful sources of information for further learning.
Table of Contents
- Section 1: The Case for OER
- Stakes and Stakeholders: Open Educational Resources - Framing the Issues
- What Does the Research Say About OER?
- Section 2: The Pedagogical Implications of OER
- From Textbook Affordability to Transformative Pedagogy: Growing an OER Community
- Creating Opportunities in Open Education: An Exploration of the Intersections of Information Literacy and Scholarly Communication
- Experiential Learning and Open Education: Partnering with Students to Evaluate OER Accessibility
- Course Material Decisions and Factors: Unpacking the Opaque Box
- An Open Athenaeum: Creating an Institutional Home for Open Pedagogy
- Section 3: OER Advocacy, Partnerships, Sustainability, and Student Engagement
- Open Partnerships: Identifying and Recruiting Allies for Open Educational Resources Initiatives
- Getting to Know You: How We Turned Community Knowledge into Open Advocacy
- Advancing Access for First-Generation College Students: OER Advocacy at UT San Antonio
- Student-Driven OER: Championing the Student Voice in Campus-Wide Efforts
- From Conversation to Cultural Change: Strategies for Connecting with Students and Faculty to Promote OER Adoption
- Making the Connections: The Role of Professional Development in Advocating for OER
- Advocacy in OER: A Statewide Strategy for Building a Sustainable Library Effort
- Interinstitutional Collaborations to Forge Intracampus Connections: A Case Study from the Duke Endowment Libraries
- Section 4: Library-Supported Adoption and Creation Programs
- Seeking Alternatives to High-Cost Textbooks: Six Years of The Open Education Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
- From Start-Up to Adolescence: University of Oklahoma's OER Efforts
- A Grassroots Approach to OER Adoption: The University of Saskatchewan Experience
- Bringing OER to the Liberal Arts: An Innovative Grant Program
- Transforming Publishing with a Little Help From Our Friends: Supporting an Open Textbook Pilot Project with Friends of the Libraries Grant Funding
- Closing Reflections
About the Book
We intend this book to act as a guide writ large for would-be champions of OER, that anyone—called to action by the example set by our chapter authors—might serve as guides themselves. The following chapters tap into the deep experience of practitioners who represent a meaningful cross section of higher education institutions in North America. It is our hope that the examples and discussions presented by our authors will facilitate connections among practitioners, foster the development of best practices for OER adoption and creation, and more importantly, lay a foundation for novel, educational excellence.
About the Contributors
Andrew Wesolek, Vanderbilt University
Jonathan Lashley, Boise State University
Anne Langley, University of Connecticut