Various student demographics at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) will benefit from using Open Educational Resources (OER), having an Open Education in place from open pedagogy in general. The faculty survey results indicate that a large percentage of the faculty respondents are not sure what OER are. The survey also indicates that a large percentage of the faculty respondents are willing to try using OER for their teaching. A large percentage of the surveyed Promise Scholar Program students face challenges acquiring learning resources. The challenges even impact the number of units they take and the type of classes they end up taking. While a large percentage of the students who responded are not aware of what OER are, they are open to their use by faculty. They also see the library playing a vital role in supporting OER initiatives by faculty. Most of the students respondents are open to sharing about OER with colleagues and their faculty.

The survey data indicate that the majority of faculty and students are receptive to OER usage for teaching and learning but need more information on what OER are and some examples of how other faculty are utilizing them. The UCSB Library should take this opportunity to engage faculty and see how they can be supported to adopt OER. While some faculty shared that they are using OER, the data indicate that these are a smaller percentage. Those who are not familiar with OER are willing to learn and might look to the UCSB library for support.

The UCSB Library should take this great opportunity to engage faculty, share with them about OER as an alternative resource for teaching materials, and assess how they can support their OER needs. Listed below are the recommendations for the UCSB Library informed by the two faculty and student surveys conducted for this capstone project:

  • Develop an OER informational guide for faculty, students and staff. The guide should include resources of various formats so users can choose the format they want to use to learn about OER.
  • Proactively follow up with all faculty survey respondents and find out what form of support they might need from the UCSB Library should they consider using OER as an option for their teaching materials.
  • Plan workshops/training events for faculty to meet and learn about OER as well as exchange ideas on OER adoption. The Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning (CITRAL) is a strategic partner in planning OER workshops for faculty.
  • Reach out to faculty who have already adopted OER and see if they are open to collaborating and sharing their experiences using OER at faculty workshops on OER.
  • Collaborate with faculty who are already utilizing OER, so they can encourage other faculty looking to adopt OER.
  • Establish an OER Committee will help consistency in keeping up with trends in the OER environment and open pedagogy in general.
  • Look into establishing a grant program for incentivizing faculty to adopt OER.
  • Monitor OER initiatives at other UC campuses for opportunities to collaborate as well as improve services locally.
  • At a later phase, faculty might benefit from the library subscribing to resources for open book creation or publishing  platforms like Pressbooks. Consideration can also be made about a repository for OER depositing.
  • There is need to look at Open Education Policy to guide the initiatives at UCSB. If there is an OER Committee, they can potentially help in looking at an OER policy for the UCSB library.

UCSB students will benefit from OER and open pedagogy, and faculty can gain more control of learning resources while using open licensed OER. They can retain, revise, reuse, remix, and redistribute resources to suit their students’ needs. Utilizing OER helps put the control of education back in the hands of faculty, researchers, instructional designers, and students (SPARC, 2018).

The survey results indicate that a large percentage of faculty is willing to try OER for their teaching. Thus, the UCSB Library has an opportunity to engage faculty and look at various ways to support them adopt OER as an alternative to traditional textbooks. According to SPARC, “Education is the key to advancing society’s greatest goals, from building a strong economy to leading healthy lives. By increasing access to education and creating a platform for more effective teaching and learning, Open Education benefits us all” (SPARC, 2018). The University of California, Santa Barbara enroll students from all backgrounds. The university is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and it has transfer and first generation students. It is fundamental to ensure all students are supported so they complete their studies and grow into productive members of society.



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