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Open Educational Resources as Learning Materials: ARL Releases Pre-Pub from RLI 280

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ARL has released a pre-publication version of an article on “Open Educational Resources as Learning Materials: Prospects and Strategies for University Libraries,” which will be featured in the forthcoming Research Library Issues (RLI) no. 280.

In this article, authors Marilyn S. Billings, Sarah C. Hutton, Jay Schafer, Charles M. Schweik, and Matt Sheridan provide an overview of open educational resources (OERs), discuss faculty use of OERs as alternatives to traditional resources, and describe the new Open Education Initiative at University of Massachusetts Amherst including the challenges and opportunities it presents. The authors conclude:

While assessment of student and faculty satisfaction is still under way, preliminary indications are that both groups are very satisfied with efforts to challenge the existing model of expensive commercial textbooks with a model using OERs. One-time savings to students of over $205,000 have resulted from an initial investment of $27,000—and these savings will multiply each time the course is taught. Working with faculty and commercial publishers to promote and facilitate the adoption of open educational resources and other hybrid models places the libraries in an excellent position to uphold their public land-grant mission and to gain support from campus administration, parents, and students.

Marilyn Billings will participate in a related panel discussion, “Ditch Your Textbook: Academic Librarians Inspiring Faculty to Go ‘Open’,” at the ACRL 2013 Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday, April 12, 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the JW Marriott in Grand Ballroom 7-8.

The final version of this article will be published later this month, in the complete issue of RLI 280. RLI is freely available from ARL Digital Publications.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

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