Open Education as a lever for social justice and equity – Exploring the many on ramps of Open STEM education

“The Open Education Ecosystem can be thought of as a roundabout where educators and researchers enter into a high-impact landscape through many different on ramps, including Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Data, Open Science, Open Pedagogy, or any of the many aspects of Open Education Ecosystem. Here we describe these common on ramps, transitions, and intersections between different facets of the Open Education landscape and more importantly how Open Education can be leveraged to promote social justice and equity in STEM education.

Open Educational Resources (OER) save students millions of dollars, but the potential impact of these resources extends far beyond promoting equity through cost savings (Dembecki, 2022). Instructors often join the conversation about Open Education by using OER and quickly realize that OER are actually a launching point into higher-impact pedagogical practices. Before getting into using these resources to promote social justice and equity and engaging in Open Education more broadly we need to understand what OERs are and are not.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are not simply defined as any resources freely accessed on websites nor are they solely free textbooks. They are specifically freely and publicly available teaching, learning, and research materials where Creative Commons licensing enables retaining, remixing, revising, reusing, and redistributing the resources (5Rs, Wiley). The term OER is often used synonymously with free, but OER are much more than an alternative to standard physical and digital texts. OER can include software, datasets, teaching modules, laboratory exercises, research methods, computational scripts and workflows, study guides and test banks, and much more. At the very least, implementing OER in a course reduces the cost burden of education for students enabling all students to afford course materials. In addition to cost savings, OER can promote student success and in some cases even more so for students from minoritized populations thus extending equity beyond reducing cost (Colvard, Watson, and Park, 2018). The benefits of using OER are not the OER themselves, but what you can do with them. Adapting and remixing OER enhances the learning experience and promotes social justice and equity through resource modification. OER can be modified to achieve:

greater alignment to content, context, and cognitive level 
accessibility and ease of use
flexibility in pedagogical approach 
contextualizing for local or cultural relevance
prioritizing and promoting minoritized voices…”

Close to open—Factors that hinder and promote open science in ecology research and education | PLOS ONE

Abstract:  The Open Science (OS) movement is rapidly gaining traction among policy-makers, research funders, scientific journals and individual scientists. Despite these tendencies, the pace of implementing OS throughout the scientific process and across the scientific community remains slow. Thus, a better understanding of the conditions that affect OS engagement, and in particular, of how practitioners learn, use, conduct and share research openly can guide those seeking to implement OS more broadly. We surveyed participants at an OS workshop hosted by the Living Norway Ecological Data Network in 2020 to learn how they perceived OS and its importance in their research, supervision and teaching. Further, we wanted to know what OS practices they had encountered in their education and what they saw as hindering or helping their engagement with OS. The survey contained scaled-response and open-ended questions, allowing for a mixed-methods approach. We obtained survey responses from 60 out of 128 workshop participants (47%). Responses indicated that usage and sharing of open data and code, as well as open access publication, were the most frequent OS practices. Only a minority of respondents reported having encountered OS in their formal education. A majority also viewed OS as less important in their teaching than in their research and supervisory roles. The respondents’ suggestions for what would facilitate greater OS engagement in the future included knowledge, guidelines, and resources, but also social and structural support. These are aspects that could be strengthened by promoting explicit implementation of OS practices in higher education and by nurturing a more inclusive and equitable OS culture. We argue that incorporating OS in teaching and learning of science can yield substantial benefits to the research community, student learning, and ultimately, to the wider societal objectives of science and higher education.


MetaArXiv Preprints | The impact of open and reproducible scholarship on students’ scientific literacy, engagement, and attitudes towards science: A review and synthesis of the evidence

Abstract:  In recent years, the scientific community has called for improvements in the credibility, robustness, and reproducibility of research, characterized by higher standards of scientific evidence, increased interest in open practices, and promotion of transparency. While progress has been positive, there is a lack of consideration about how this approach can be embedded into undergraduate and postgraduate research training. Currently, the impact of integrating an open and reproducible approach into the curriculum on student outcomes is not well articulated in the literature. Therefore, in this paper, we provide the first comprehensive review of how integrating open and reproducible scholarship into teaching and learning may impact students, using a large-scale, collaborative, team-science approach. Our review highlighted how embedding open and reproducible scholarship may impact: (1) students’ scientific literacies (i.e., students’ understanding of open research, consumption of science, and the development of transferable skills); (2) student engagement (i.e., motivation and engagement with learning, collaboration, and engagement in open research), and (3) students’ attitudes towards science (i.e., trust in science and confidence in research findings). Our review also identified a need for more robust and rigorous methods within evaluations of teaching practice. We discuss implications for teaching and learning scholarship in this area.

2022 Open Education Conference: Open Access Monographs for Teaching and…

“Welcome to the 2022 Open Education Conference! This is the nineteenth year the conference community has gathered, and we look forward to seeing you virtually on October 17-20. Register now or apply for a scholarship to attend. If you’re already registered, activate your account to start building a schedule….

As international funders make welcome moves towards OA publishing models, it is crucial to ensure the benefits and opportunies remain equitable, communal and accesible to the broad academic community. The Open Book Collective is currently registering as UK charity with the aim to address these issues and our online platform is scheduled to launch in summer 2022. This talk will describe our work and its importance in the current OA landscape.

The OBC will host an infrastructure and revenue management platform for the support, access, distribution and promotion of OA academic books.

We have developed the OBC and platform in consultation with librarians, publishers, and researchers, via a series of interactive workshops and reflective sessions.It will enable stakeholders explore, discover, access and support OA books from a range of leading publishers and infrastructure providers via high-quality integrated metadata and a fully searchable catalogue. In a bid to think beyond the Book Processing Charges that can sustain inequity in academic publishing, we offer a choice of flexible subscription packages, through which patrons can choose to support individual publishers and schemes, or indeed the entire collective. Whilst our major stakeholders are be librarians and publishers, the catalogue and metadata functions will be freely available to everyone. We also provide space for OA publishers to display their current and forthcoming books. Our mission is to build and maintain a sustainable infrastructure to support the publication, discovery and distribution of OA books via a range of flexible subscription packages, and make it easy for OA books to be delivered to libraries. The platform assists librarians in easily assessing OA content for local and global relevance, and comparing the offerings from different publishers in one place. The OBC is guaranteed to remain not-for-profit and anti-monopoly….”



Home – Open Educational Resources Advocacy Toolkit | LibGuides at CAUL – Council of Australian University Librarians

The OER Advocacy Toolkit was created as part of the CAUL Enabling a Modern Curriculum OER Advocacy Project. It was designed as a reference to support academic librarians in advocating for the creation and re-use of open educational resources (OER) at their institution.

The Toolkit contains:

practice-based ideas

for communicating with and advocating to OER stakeholders such as academics, librarians, teaching and learning committees and university executives.


Laughter and Lightbulb Moments: Why I Love OER Project Resources for History | Teacher2Teacher

“In the past, I’d been discouraged by how my history students seemed to consider themselves “answer hunters.” It felt like they just wanted to know which page of a textbook had the “answer,” when I knew they were capable of much more rigorous critical thinking. I wanted to find ways to amplify skills and literacy practices that would make the course more relevant. When I was invited to pilot the OER Project World History Origin Course in its beta year, I thought I might get a new activity or two out of it. But OER Project ended up being so much more for my students and me. …”


The Book Costs How Much??? Textbook Cost & OER Awareness in Political Science | Journal of Political Science Education

Shawna M. Brandle (2022) The Book Costs How Much??? Textbook Cost & OER Awareness in Political Science, Journal of Political Science Education, DOI: 10.1080/15512169.2022.2104164



Introductory level political science courses are a near-universal experience for undergraduate students in the US. Despite the wide occurrence of introductory courses, and the increasing attention paid to student loan debt, the cost of the teaching materials for introductory courses has largely been ignored in political science. This paper brings together several data sources to show how political science has not been attentive to textbook costs and highlight one possible solution, Open Educational Resources (OER), which has the potential to increase access to political science for all students.


Open For Antiracism Program | CCCOER

The Open for Antiracism (OFAR) program – co-led by CCCOER and College of the Canyons – emerged as a response to the growing awareness of structural racism in our educational systems and the realization that adoption of open educational resources(OER) and open pedagogy could be transformative at institutions seeking to improve.  Although many institutions have published impressive statements decrying racism, calling for change, and putting equity into their strategic plans, these haven’t always been translated into teaching practices that directly affect students.


Copyright: for learning, teaching, and research ( A guide) | Library & Cultural Services at University of Essex

Copyright is relevant whenever you are copying or sharing creative work. This includes publishing academic works, creating educational resources, uploading a thesis to the Repository, sharing images online, and more. This guide helps you to understand copyright and its relevance to your work and study at the University of Essex.

How to be FAIR with your data. A teaching and training handbook for higher education institutions

This handbook aims to support higher education institutions with the integration of FAIR-related content in their curricula and teaching. It was written and edited by a group of about 40 collaborators in a series of six book sprint events that took place between 1 and 10 June 2021. The document provides practical material, such as competence profiles, learning outcomes and lesson plans, and supporting information. It incorporates community feedback received during the public consultation which ran from 27 July to 12 September 2021.


This handbook underwent a community review from 26 July to 12 September 2021. We are grateful to all contributors for their valuable, much appreciated feedback.

We would like to extend special thanks for their extensive and thorough review and contribution to: Romain David, Hervé L’Hours, Karsten Peters, Esther Plomp, Muriel Swijghuisen Reigersberg, Francesco Varrato, Niklas Zimmer

Furthermore, we would like to thank: Esther Asef, Bill Ayres, Noemi BC, Fay Campbell, Leyla Jael Castro, Julien Colomb, Philipp Conzett, Antica Culina, Stefanie De Bodt, Vilém D?d, Julian Dederke, Mary Donaldson, Christina Elsenga, Jeanine Finn, Vinciane Gaillard, Marjan Grootveld, W H, Simon Kerridge, Ilja Kocken, Ellen Leenarts, Allyson Lister, Lachlan MacLeod, Izaskun Mallona, Paula Martinez Lavanchy, Janice Masud-Paul, Joke Meeus, Gene Melzack, Megan O’Donnell, Lisanna Paladin, Limor Peer, Robin Rice, Jürgen Rohrwild, Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Gabriele Schwiertz, Yasmeen Shorish, Shelley Stall, Alexander Steckel, Liz Stokes, Annette Strauch, Ádám Száldobágyi, Rick Thompson, Christophe Trefois, Enrique Wulff, as well as everyone who contributed anonymously.

OER Capability Toolkit – Simple Book Publishing

“The OER Capability Toolkit aims to provide educators a fundamental understanding in the use and creation of OER. This book provides a higher education Australian perspective and content is broken down into five parts: Defining Open Education and OER; Understanding Open Licensing; Finding and Evaluating OER; Adapting, Creating and Sharing OER; and Open Pedagogy, Principles and Practices. Each part features interactive elements culminating in a final exercise that enables educators to reflect on their own course curriculum to include OER and think about how open pedagogical principles can be introduced in their own teaching practice….”


2022 Open Distance and e-Learning Virtual Conference

“One of the most exciting aspects of research on open distance and e-learning (ODeL) is that there is still so much to be discovered. Despite an exponential increase in research on ODeL worldwide and in South Africa over the past decade, researchers are still not only scratching the surface of the possibilities that beckon in this vital field, but are also grappling with the complexities of ensuring effective teaching and supporting student success and retention. There is vast scope for inquiring minds to set a research agenda in ODeL and generate findings that can help shape people’s futures for the better….”


» How College Students Are Improving Wikipedia

“Some of that information has been added by college students from New England, written as a class assignment. Wiki Education, a small nonprofit, runs a program called the Wikipedia Student Program, in which we support college and university faculty who want to assign their students to write Wikipedia articles as part of their coursework.

Why do instructors assign their students to edit Wikipedia as a course assignment? Research shows a Wikipedia assignment increases motivation for students, while providing them learning objectives like critical thinking, research, writing for a public audience, evaluating and synthesizing sources and peer review. Especially important in today’s climate of misinformation and disinformation is the critical digital media literacy skills students gain from writing for Wikipedia, where they’re asked to consider and evaluate the reliability of the sources they’re citing. In addition to the benefits to student learning outcomes, instructors are also glad to see Wikipedia’s coverage of their discipline get better. And it does get better; studies such as this and this and this have shown the quality of content students add to Wikipedia is high.

Since 2010, more than 5,100 courses have participated in the program and more than 102,000 student editors have added more than 85 million words to Wikipedia. That’s 292,000 printed pages or the equivalent of 62 volumes of a printed encyclopedia. To put that in context, the last print edition of Encyclopedia Britannica had only 32 volumes. That means Wikipedia Student Program participants have added nearly twice as much content as was in Britannica. …”

New study explores how open educational resources transform teaching & learning | Achieving the Dream

“Open educational resources (OER) are freely available, open-source learning materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared to serve all students. Using OER in higher education makes college courses not only more affordable for students, but more personalized, dynamic, and responsive to their lived experiences.

Based on promising findings from the multiyear OER Degree Initiative, ATD and SRI Education have conducted a study to examine whether the use of OER can transform teaching and learning and how open content can enable more equitable, culturally responsive teaching practices.

Teaching and Learning with Open Educational Resources presents the findings from this study. It is the first report of its kind to look extensively at how instructors are using OER to advance equity in the classroom….”

Teaching and Learning with Open Educational Resources (OER) | Achieving the Dream

“Based on promising findings from the multiyear Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative, ATD and SRI Education have conducted a study to examine whether the use of OER can transform teaching and learning and how open content can enable more equitable, culturally responsive teaching practices.

Teaching and Learning with Open Educational Resources is the first report of its kind, presenting findings from this study and examining how instructors are using OER to advance equity in the classroom….”