Choi announces new system-wide effort to promote open educational resources

Choi announces new system-wide effort to promote open educational resources

Aviva Okeson-Haberman, MUTV General Manager

UM System President Mun Choi announced a system-wide effort to promote open educational resources in an event held at MU’s bookstore on June 21.

Choi said ten courses throughout the UM system will use open educational resources, which are free teaching and learning materials available online. Open educational resources can include textbooks, videos and lab activities. Choi estimated the ten courses using open educational resources would save students a million dollars.

MU students estimate spending $700 annually on textbooks course materials and supplies, according to a survey of 690 students published in the “Moving Forward with OER at the University of Missouri” report. The Mizzou Store reports that students spend $509 annually.

“I think that students are going to be able to breath easier, not be so afraid of that bill that comes every month on the 15th,” said Taylor Tutin, a member of the Open Educational Resources Interest Group and the chairwoman of MSA’s Academic Affairs Committee.

The UM System will encourage faculty members and instructors to turn their teaching materials into open educational materials by offering incentives ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

In 2014, the Missouri Students Association and the Graduate Professional Council passed a joint resolution advocating for exploring the use of open educational resources.

MSA President Nathan Willett spoke at the event. Willett said Tutin, along with former MSA President Sean Earl and former Vice President Tori Schafer, helped advocate for the use of open educational resource on MU’s campus.

Tutin said Choi’s experience with open educational resources helped result in the new system-wide effort.

Choi was provost at the University of Connecticut when it adopted an open educational resource policy. The school uses OpenStax, a non-profit financially supported by organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This is the same program that the UM system plans on using, said Choi.  

The UM system will establish a working group to increase awareness of open educational resources and incentivize their use. The working group will include faculty, staff and students, according to an UM System Press Release.

“I’m very excited to be a student while this initiative is going on,” Tutin said.

Edited by Isabel Lohman | iplp54@mail.missouri.edu

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