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OER at Work

Two students talk while walking down a pathway. Oregon State is committed to affordable learning for students.

Textbooks are way too expensive, and Oregon State is creating change

College textbooks are way too expensive, and Oregon State — with its faculty leading the way — is on a mission to make college more affordable and accessible for students. With the support of the OSU Open Educational Resources Unit, an increasing number of OSU instructors are adopting, adapting and authoring no-cost and low-cost course materials.

A photo of two people working at a desk and looking at a computer.

OER at Work: Ditching traditional textbooks for a true ‘companion’ to learning

Cut down on chapter length. Get rid of drawn-out, technical explanations. Connect the text directly to the coursework. Oh, and make it free to every student who needs it. Those were a few of the goals Lara Letaw established when she set out to write a textbook on software engineering.

A closeup of someone sitting at an open laptop with a phone in their hand

OER at Work: A book on keeping information private that’s available for all to read

In the introduction to the textbook she authored on digital security, Oregon State University associate professor Glencora Borradaile writes in part that they want the book “to be accessible to any curious person.” This means that the information within can ideally be understood even by those without a background in cryptography. But the desire for it to be “accessible” is twofold.

OER at Work: Expanding access to learning on all fronts

For a number of years, Oregon State assistant professor Marit Bovbjerg grew increasingly frustrated with the traditional textbook options for her introductory epidemiology courses. Then, a solution. “I wrote one myself,” she says. Now she’s an OER Champion in the state of Oregon for her impressive efforts.

OER at Work: Open textbook is ‘a much more interactive resource’

John Selker is a distinguished professor in Oregon State’s Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering. He and an international colleague are tapping into the wealth of open educational resources through OSU Libraries. Learn about the process, benefits and challenges of implementing OER in his course.

A humpback whale breaches and soars in the air above the ocean. Holly Campbell teaches an ocean law course for Oregon State and uses an open textbook.

OER at Work: Authoring a marine law open textbook was ‘straightforward and seamless’

Oregon State researcher and instructor Holly Campbell says the process of authoring an open textbook on marine law “was very straightforward and seamless,” and she advises her faculty colleagues to not hesitate in implementing open educational resources in their classes.

Photo of Erika Wolters, assistant professor in Oregon State University's School of Public Policy, who has edited and adopted open educational resources in her courses.

OER at Work: Open textbook increases affordability, up-to-date information

“The ability to edit the open source text allows my colleague and I to provide updated information instantaneously. With rapidly changing environmental policy issues in the West, this is needed to stay up-to-date.” – OSU School of Public Policy assistant professor Erika Wolters

A pair of hands rest on a laptop. OER

OER at Work: A positive impact that spans the globe

Nearly 3,000 users spread across every continent except Antarctica have perused Rorie Solberg’s open textbook, Open Judicial Politics, in its first year of existence. That single data point illustrates the broad impact of OER, which have endless benefits for students and faculty alike.

A photo of the facade of the U.S. Supreme Court building. Open educational resources

OER at Work: A volume of original research on judicial politics

Rorie Solberg, an associate professor in OSU’s School of Public Policy, worked with colleagues Jennifer Segal Diascro and Eric Waltenburg to develop a freely available resource that introduces students to the political science research process. Solberg recently discussed the development process, how students are using it and more.