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International Journal of Open Educational Resources

The International Journal of Open Educational Resources (IJOER) is a bi-annual, open access, double-blind peer-reviewed academic publication sponsored by the American Public University System (APUS) and the Policy Studies Organization. The aim of IJOER is to provide a venue for the publication of quality academic research with an emphasis on representing Open Educational Resources in teaching, learning, scholarship and policy.

Current Issue: Volume 3, Number 1 – Spring/Summer 2020

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Editorial

Kristina Clement, Samantha Peter, Hilary Baribeau & Melissa Layne

3 Questions for an OER Leader | Featuring Brittany Dudek

by Hilary Baribeau

IJOER’s OER & Beyond Moderator, Hilary Baribeau, sat down with Brittany to glean her thoughts on COVID-19’s impact on students and instructors. To prevent further spreading of the virus, stay-at-home orders across the globe have forced higher educational institutions to rapidly convert face-to-face courses to a fully online learning format. Experienced in online learning, Brittany shares who instructors should contact first when designing their online courses.

Accessible Open Educational Resources and Librarian Involvement

by Silvana Temesio

In this article, we consider the situation of open educational resources (OER) in virtual environments, taking into account accessibility aspects. We propose the utilization of accessibility metadata through a process in which students and teachers participate in making OER more accessible. This accessibility 2.0 process is a collaborative one that adds metadata to OER in order to make the journey to and from repositories an iterative process of adaptation and improvement.

Bad (Feminist) Librarians: Theories and Strategies for OER Librarianship

by Jessica Yen-Ping Dai, Lindsay Inge Carpenter

As more academic libraries recognize the potential of  (OER) initiatives to impact students’ ability to save money and transform pedagogical models to support student learning outcomes, these institutions may develop pilot programs to test the viability of open educational practices. However, if these institutions use a neoliberal mindset in which libraries are encouraged to “do more with less” or when large projects fall under “other duties as assigned,” questions about the additional labor these librarians undertake remain unaddressed. This article examines OER labor practices by exploring pedagogical models and using a critical and intersectional feminist lens to provide concrete ways for librarians doing OER work to advocate for themselves.

Understanding the Impact of OER Courses in Relation to Student Socioeconomic Status and Employment

by Kim Read, Hengtao Tang, Amber Dhamija, Bob Bodily

The purpose of this study was to measure efficacy of Open Educational Resources (OER) on student academic achievement as well as student perceptions and use of OER, specifically among students of low socioeconomic status (SES). The authors of this study collected achievement and demographic data from students enrolled in 10 sections of an undergraduate course at a private, four-year not-for-profit institution in the Pacific Northwest. 

Emotional Labor in Open Access Advocacy: A Librarian’s Perspective

by Elizabeth Batte

Emotional labor has become a hot topic among academics and with good reason. Emotional labor can be invisible to supervisors but often leads to preventable burnout, depression, or anxiety. This article aims to identify what emotional labor looks like for OER advocates with a focus on librarians, the consequences of extensive emotional exertion, and solutions for the advocate and their supervisor on how to manage emotional labor productively.

Librarian Advocacy for Open Educational Resource Adoptions and Programs

by Megan Dempsey, Alejandra Nann

Academic librarians are resource finders and are always available and ready to assist faculty and students with research help. Now, with the rising cost of textbooks across the country, movements have developed to help students save money through textbook affordability initiatives and open educational resources (OER). This article will address various scenarios and challenges that librarians may face when discussing different options for faculty and stakeholders on campus. It will also provide examples of ways librarians can collaborate with faculty and others in educating them on the purpose of OER and how to incorporate these free, high-quality resources into their curriculum.

A Narrative Review and Conceptual Analysis of OER Perception Studies: Implications for Developing a Situational Scale for Faculty Self-Efficacy

by Teri Oaks Gallaway

A narrative literature review of faculty perceptions of open educational resources (OER) led to the development of an instrument to measure faculty OER self-efficacy. Through the evaluation of extant literature, three central faculty considerations related to ideological, material, and support barriers and motivators were identified. The research examined the empirical literature on faculty perceptions of OER, including the barriers and motivators that are considered. The self-efficacy research of Bandura (Bandura 1977, 2006; Bandura, Adams, and Beyer 1977) was considered as a lens to examine issues that may prevent faculty from attempting to use OER or cause project abandonment when coping skills to address known challenges are lacking.

Open Education Librarianship: A Position Description Analysis of the Newly Emerging Role in Academic Libraries

by Amanda C. Larson

According to the latest Babson Survey, Freeing the Textbook: Educational Resources in US Higher Education, “faculty awareness of OER has increased every year, with 46 percent of faculty now aware of open educational resources, up from 34 percent three years ago” (Seaman and Seaman 2018). While open educational resources (OER) gain traction with faculty who are looking to lower costs for their students and re-engage with their pedagogy, academic libraries are creating a variety of open or affordable textbook programs to help increase the use of OER or low-cost materials as replacements for high-cost traditional materials. Some libraries are creating specific positions to support these initiatives that aim to help faculty who want to adopt, adapt, or author OER. As more of these roles emerge, it raises questions about what the field perceives as the role of an Open Education or OER librarian, and the support that libraries provide OER initiatives. To explore these concerns, I collected position descriptions for librarians whose role it is to support OER initiatives into a corpus. I applied deductive thematic analysis to code it while investigating four main questions: 1) What inspires academic libraries to hire OER-related support? 2) What skills do they anticipate applicants to possess? 3) Where do these positions fit within the organization chart of the library? 4) Is there a standard scope of work that emerges from the corpus? In addition to these four questions, this research also explored the expectations for librarians in these roles to change faculty’s perception of OER through outreach and if they are expected to run burgeoning grant initiatives to launch adoption, adaptation, or authoring efforts at their institution.

Perceptions and Practice of Openness Among Academic Librarians

by Mary Jo Orzech, Samuel Abramovich

Librarians from a multi-institution, public higher education system were invited to participate in an online survey to assess their current practices in support of open access (OA) activities and their attitudes and behaviors related to the use of open educational resources (OER). This descriptive, small-sample survey was conducted after the first year of a multi-million dollar infusion in state funding to “move the dial” in textbook affordability using OER. The results provide insight into librarians’ perceptions of the support for, adoption of, and usefulness of open activities. Open-ended qualitative responses related to the sustainability of an OER program complement and provide additional narrative for discussion. Findings indicate that after the first year of increased support, some librarians are deeply involved in OER activities, while the majority are still in the early stages of learning about OER and are not yet comfortable with offering OER assistance to others. Based on the survey results, a number of innovative ways that librarians are infusing components of openness into their work are described. Suggestions identified relate to additional recognition and rewards for instructors and librarians, training and education, and administrative, staffing, and financial support. The developmental life-cycle for implementing change and measuring impact is also discussed, leading to a call to move forward toward more open pedagogical practices. Challenges are noted and suggestions offered for improvements in OER programs. The study concludes with how other libraries can use these results to inform plans for further adoption of open initiatives at their institutions.

Beyond Saving Money: Engaging Multiple Stakeholders is a Key to OER Success

by Jacqueline DiSanto, Denise Cummings-Clay, Sherese Mitchell, Madeline Ford

This article addresses how the mere development of open educational resources (OERs) and the financial savings are not enough to support OERs as means to academic success. The transition from for-pay textbooks does not end with the adaptation, adoption, or creation of open-access resources; it must also provide broad-ranging support provided for multiple campus stakeholders. This should include, at minimum, comprehensive professional development for academic and library faculty concerning (1) how to review and revise OERs after their initial implementation; (2) training students to be actively engaged in their learning; (3) partnering library and academic faculty to grow, sustain, and expand an OER initiative; and (4) defining academic freedom and accessibility through an OER lens.

Collaborative Partnerships Between State Agencies and Institutions of Higher Education: Working Together to Save Students Money through OER

by Phill Johnson, Josh Hill & Sandra Vigilant

Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) recently collaborated with the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) to engage in two Open Educational Resources (OER) projects designed to educate higher education faculty and staff and to provide affordable access to education for students in Alabama. This article highlights the two grant projects the authors spearheaded, and their impact and relationship with the statewide OER initiative focused on education, promotion, and content development over the course of a year. The first project was a statewide OER workshop the AUM Library hosted. This workshop brought together speakers and researchers from the national and local OER movement, who educated students, faculty, and staff from Alabama institutions about OER. The second project involved the creation and publication of the first open textbook published on the newly formed statewide Alabama OER Commons.

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