OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Thursday, October 12 • 11:00am - 11:25am
Doubling down: Bootstrapping an OER program through faculty- and student-focused initiatives at FSU

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Our campus did not have a formal OER program until November 2016. Since then, a team from our Libraries launched two OER advocacy initiatives focused on students and instructors, respectively. This presentation will show how we drew on resources from the broader OER community to "bootstrap" our program in a short period of time. Specifically, we will discuss the formation and composition of our team, the resources we used to plan and develop our initiatives, practical challenges and lessons learned from program implementation, preliminary results from a student survey on textbook affordability, and our plans for future program development.

For our student-focused initiative, we partnered with our Student Government Association to organize two #textbookbroke tabling events during Open Education Week 2017. We provided a number of interactive activities to encourage student participation, including an engagement board and a short survey. With 350 students participating, this proved to be a very effective way to raise student awareness about OER and gather data on the impact of high textbook costs at our institution.

Concurrently with #textbookbroke, our team also implemented an Alternative Textbook Grants program to support instructors in their efforts to replace commercial textbooks with more open, affordable alternatives. Successful applicants received $1000 in grant funding as well as support from our team on material selection, copyright and licensing, and instructional design. Early projections suggest that the first round of grantees could save students up to $41,419 in textbook costs in the first year after implementing their alternative textbooks.

By sharing about the experience of launching these initiatives, we hope to provide both inspiration and a practical roadmap for colleagues at campuses that are just getting started with OER, as well as helpful data and points of comparison for those at institutions with more developed OER programs.


Jeffrey Phillips

Instruction and Learning Services Librarian, Florida State University
avatar for Devin Soper

Devin Soper

Director, Office of Digital Research & Scholarship, Florida State University
avatar for Lindsey Wharton

Lindsey Wharton

Distance Services Librarian, Florida State University

Thursday October 12, 2017 11:00am - 11:25am PDT