Open Educational Resources Summit to inform, share best practices

Several campuses are hosting networking-friendly simulcast events, and the in-person summit includes an optional lunch session and hands-on workshop.
three adjacent green circles, each with one white letter inside, O, E, R, with the words "open educational resources" below

Penn State's first Open Educational Resources Summit will be held March 23 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, and online via MediaSite Live in conjunction with simulcast events at more than a dozen Penn State campuses.

Credit: public domain

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s first Open Educational Resources (OER) Summit on Wednesday, March 23, aims to educate participants University-wide about OER, share updates from the provost-charged OER task force, showcase examples of OER in practice, and encourage active creation of OER content at a hands-on workshop. The summit supports the University-wide OER Task Force to support teaching and learning and the strategic foundation of enabling access to education.

Hosted by the University Libraries in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, on the University Park campus, and co-sponsored by Penn State Outreach and Online Education, the OER Summit also will encourage interactive participation via MediaSite Live at simulcast events hosted at several Penn State campuses. Online registration for participants at all locations is now open.

Simulcast events will be hosted at the following Penn State campus locations to enable local OER networking and conversation:

  • Abington: Room 202 Woodland Building
  • Altoona: Room 202 Eiche Library/Learning Resources Center (LRC)
  • Behrend: Room 112 Reed Union Building
  • Beaver: Room 103 Ross Administration Building (RAB)
  • Berks: Room 145 Thun Library
  • Fayette: Room 114 Eberly Building
  • Greater Allegheny: Room 119 Frable Building
  • Harrisburg: Room 106 Library
  • Hazleton: Room L-12 Library
  • Lehigh Valley: Room 2nd Floor Conference
  • Mont Alto: Room 215 Library
  • Schuylkill: Room 102 Ciletti Library
  • Shenango: Room 105 Sharon Hall

Nicole Allen, director of Open Education for the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), will offer keynote remarks. Allen is considered one of the leading issue experts on college textbook costs and an established leader in the OER movement. She has worked with college students on OER grassroots campaigns, including a cross-country "Textbook Rebellion" tour to dozens of college campuses, and has urged thousands of professors to sign a commitment toward adopting open textbooks.

Next steps for OER at Penn State will be addressed via updates on and futurecasting of Provost Nick Jones’ Penn State OER Task Force. Task force members were charged in February 2015 to develop approaches for systemically implementing OER to support teaching and learning and also contribute to President Eric Barron’s agenda for student access and affordability. The task force is chaired by Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications.

During the Summit’s “Showcase of OER Champions” session, five early adopters will describe their efforts to reduce costs and make course materials more available.

Following the morning’s sessions, in-person participants will have the opportunity to join a lunch conversation at University Park facilitated by Barbara Sherlock and Alex Yin of the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment will ask participants to help chart the future of OER at Penn State. Topics may address participants’ current use of OER, aspirations for and obstacles to its use, and moving forward with OER and affordable course content. The working lunch session has limited space and will be available on a first-come basis.

An afternoon hands-on workshop at Pattee Library’s Knowledge Commons, conducted by Julie Lang, instructional designer with Educational Technology Services, will illustrate a variety of resources, tools and techniques available to help get OER content creators started. In addition, University Libraries copyright and publishing and curation experts will offer one-on-one consultations.

For more information about open educational resources at Penn State and the OER Summit, contact Penn State OER Task Force members Ann Snowman, head of Access Services, University Libraries, or John Shank, head librarian, Penn State Berks Thun Library.