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Open for UTA Students

Talking to Your Instructors about OER

The final say about what resources will be used in a course usually lies with faculty and instructors, with whom students have unique, direct access. Here's some things to consider before approaching your instructors:

Share OER Examples & Success Stories

Share specific examples of OER that would be useful in courses you have taken. You can refer your course instructors to informational resources, such as UTA Libraries' Introduction to OER, or share stories of other faculty who have adopted free and low-cost resources at UTA.

Share Feedback on Course Resources in Evaluations

Show your instructors you care about this issue by sharing your thoughts on high textbook costs or showing them you appreciate it when they use cheap or free alternatives. One easy way to do this is through anonymous midterm or end-of-term course evaluations.

Inform Yourself

Having a good understanding of the teaching benefits of open and how to adopt and create OER allows students to provide instructors with the right information to support them in adopting open resources and practices. Above all else, remain respectful. Instructors and faculty members are frequently the ones who choose the educational resources used in their courses; however, many faculty have either never heard of OER or, if they have, don’t know how to get started. Here's some facts you could share to raise awareness of open options and the impact they have on students.

    In subjects where traditional textbooks cost $100-$300, switching a single classroom of 100 students to an open textbook can save students up to $30,000.     Open licenses allow faculty to adapt and customize a book’s content. That means faculty can edit an open textbook to fit their class – enhancing student engagement and performance.     Open textbooks are faculty-written, just like traditional textbooks—except that the authors have published them under an open copyright license.     65% of students report that they skipped buying a textbook because of cost. Nearly half of all students say that the cost of course materials impacts which classes they are able to take.

Raise Awareness of Campus Support

Finally, remember that UTA Libraries offer support for educators interested in exploring open education. Instructors who are not sure how to begin can contact their subject librarian or Katherine Willeford for personalized assistance.