Miami celebrates Open Education Week

Graphic says Free the textbooks

"Flat World Knowledge: Open College Textbooks" © and used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Miami University celebrates International Open Education Week March 7-11 with the goal of raising awareness about free and open educational opportunities that exist for everyone.

“Education is essential in advancing society, and the technology of the Internet allows us to expand educational opportunities in ways that were previously impossible,” said Jen Waller, university librarian.

Open Educational Resources are defined as teaching, learning and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers and that also carry legal permissions for open use. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that they improve educational access and student learning outcomes. Additional information is available online.

Because Miami students spend thousands of dollars on textbooks every year, the open educational resources committee is focusing on these open resources to reduce the cost of higher education.

Charged by Provost Phyllis Callahan, the committee is seeking to develop a strategy to implement open educational resources at Miami with the understanding that utilizing open textbooks in even just a few courses could provide significant cost savings to students.

The committee includes co-chairs Jen Waller and Jennifer Bazeley (both librarians); Kurt Hugenburg, psychology; Carl Dahlman, global and intercultural studies; Sarah Thacker, university bookstore; and Alex Cary, undergraduate student representative.

The committee has been working on a faculty grant program; an operating budget; and resources required to support the creation, delivery, use and maintenance of open educational resources.

Miami joins Open Textbook Network

In support of this goal, Miami University Libraries recently became members of the Open Textbook Network. It promotes access, affordability and student success through the use of open textbooks. Members of the network share expertise and promote best practices so that all institutions may benefit, and it has already helped to save students in member institutions $1.5 million in textbook costs.

Open Textbook Network experts will be coming to Miami’s Oxford campus on May 10 to lead a faculty workshop about open textbooks. Faculty members interested in attending this workshop should contact Jen Waller ( or Jennifer Bazeley ( for more information.

Take a survey

If you are a faculty member already using an open educational resource or other free course materials, the committee wants to know. With the cooperation of the provost’s office, the committee has developed a short survey to assess existing usage on campus and to establish a baseline for future assessment efforts. This brief, two-question survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete.