By Faculty and For Students: Supporting Open Educational Resources, Part One


About the Webinar

Open Educational Resources (OER) might seem like a win/win for students and faculty alike, but adoption isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. For example, some texts may not lend themselves to being printed out — the subject matter may dictate an interactive design, or one that is heavily image-driven. And, while the creation of low-cost textbooks and curriculum support is recognized as important, how is the information community dealing with the challenges of ensuring currency and quality? How do we ensure equal access for all in a world of differing access to technology?

In the first session of this two-part webinar, a panel of experts will address some of the key challenges, including: How can you successfully drive buy-in by your undergraduates? What design elements are most likely to engage them? What indicators of use should you be measuring, how, and why?  How can you support faculty members who are interested in developing these materials?

Confirmed speakers include Perry Collins, Scholarly Communications Librarian, and Micah Jenkins, eText Coordinator, University of Florida, Anita Walz, Assistant Director for Open Education and Scholarly Communication Librarian, Virginia Tech, and Apurva Ashok, Program Manager, Rebus Foundation.

Note: In response to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, NISO understands that staff at an increasing number of organizations are working remotely. During this unique situation, we are allowing registrants to share the sign-on instructions with your colleagues so that they may join the broadcast directly, irrespective of where they are located.

Event Sessions

Impacts of OER Flexibility: Understanding, Navigating, and Leveraging the Flexibility of Open Educational Resources


Anita Walz

Assistant Director of Open Education and Scholarly Communication Librarian
Virginia Tech

Open educational resources (OER) are inherently flexible and participatory. They offer up-front permission to freely adapt, transform, host, and share in a diversity of formats, usually with attribution. While often thought of as merely free (gratis) resources OER are increasingly viewed as doorways for expanded and free (libre as in liberty) participation, creativity, customization, and broadened access from, by, and for their makers, adapters, and user communities. The potential and realities of flexibility in authorship, format, hosting location, and content can be both maddening and exhilarating. These realities may however serve as an opportunity to shift one's paradigm, reflect on purpose and ethics regarding content and learning, and as an opportunity to seek further skills to address practical OER challenges in one's already-busy day to day work and life. Primarily for an academic librarian audience, but also of interest to information scientists and those interested in standards, this presentation will cover contributions and challenges presented by the flexibility of open educational resources. It will focus primarily on the current OER landscape, standards and tools, creator practices, and strategic approaches for finding and leveraging OER and enabling others. Listeners, participants, and speakers will have opportunities to share their knowledge and interact during this presentation. 

Creating Resilient OER in Times of Crisis


The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated accessibility and affordability issues endemic to higher education. Open Educational Resources (OERs) have long been seen as solutions to these problems, but many questions remain. What exactly is an OER? Where can you find them? How are they made? This talk will review different types of OERs and sources for locating them. Mainly, it will focus on creating high-quality, resilient OERs that meet the needs of the current moment. We will demystify the open publishing process and explore how its flexibility allows for creating innovative, inclusive, accessible learning materials. We’ll also identify the people involved and suggest ways of effectively engaging stakeholders to build the foundations for sustainable OER work.

Building and Sustaining OER at a Large University


A range of stakeholders including the library, press, and teaching-focused units at the University of Florida have been involved in promoting and creating open educational resources (OER) over the past decade. How have these partners worked together fruitfully, and how have OER initiatives progressed more recently? This presentation will focus on concrete ways in which we have tackled three major areas--assessment, professional development, and publication--with an emphasis on building replicable, sustainable workflows. We will provide examples of lessons learned and productive failures, as well as solutions and plans for iteratively improving our work to support students and instructors.

Additional Information

  • NOTE: NISO members automatically receive sign-on credentials for this event as a member benefit. There is no need to register separately. Check your institutional membership status here.

  • Cancellations made by August 5, 2020 will receive a refund, less a $35 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.

  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the webinar via e-mail the Friday prior to the event. (Anyone registering between Monday and the close of registration will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.) Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the NISO office if you do not receive login instructions before the start of the webinar.

  • If you have not received your Login Instruction e-mail by 10 a.m. (ET) on the day before the webinar, please contact the NISO office at for immediate assistance.

  • Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the webinar. You may have as many people as you like from the registrant's organization view the webinar from that one connection. If you need additional connections, you will need to enter a separate registration for each connection needed.

  • If you are registering someone else from your organization, either use that person's e-mail address when registering or contact to provide alternate contact information.

  • Speaker presentation slides and Q&A will be posted to this event webpage following the live broadcast.

  • Registrants will receive an e-mail message containing access information to the archived recording within 48 hours after the event. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.

For Online Events

  • You will need a computer for the presentation and Q&A.

  • Audio is available through the computer (broadcast) and by telephone. We recommend you have a set-up for telephone audio as back-up even if you plan to use the broadcast audio as the voice over Internet isn't always 100% reliable.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your system is properly set up before each webinar begins.