Providence College was pleased to host SPARC’s Director of Open Education, Nicole Allen, who gave a talk entitled OER and Solving the Textbook Cost Crisis on Monday, January 23rd. View the slides from the talk here.
Allen described the current state of the textbook market, described how this is hurting students both financially and academically, and outlines some concrete examples of how open textbooks and OER can mitigate the problem. The talk concluded with some helpful, concrete steps for librarians and faculty interested in setting the default to “open.” Suggested steps include: when you can share, do share; change the default- consider using OER first for teaching or presentations, and then explore other options; support faculty as they work to adopt, adapt, and create OER; and, make “open” your mission. Allen’s talk was attended by a mix of librarians, administrator, and faculty. The event was recorded and a can be viewed here.
In addition to presenting this talk, Allen also attended a meeting of recipients of the OER mini-grants awarded by the Provost’s office. Faculty grantees come from Education; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Psychology; and Finance. The library and the Center for Teaching Excellence will work closely with these faculty as they adapt their syllabi to include OER. More information on the progress of this initiative will be shared as it develops.