The University of New England has joined the Open Education Network (OEN), an alliance of colleges, universities and other organizations working together to promote the use of open educational resources (OERs), especially open textbooks, in higher education. OERs are defined as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.” Unlike traditionally copyrighted material, these resources are available for “open” use, which means users can freely use, edit, modify, customize, and share them. Types of OER include labs, quizzes, articles, assignments, and textbooks.
Course materials may be a barrier to student success if students cannot afford or access needed materials. As a member of OEN, UNE Library Services will collaborate with UNE faculty, staff, and students to collect information about OERs at UNE, and to promote awareness and use of open textbooks and other OERs in academic programs, with the goal of promoting inclusion, equity, and affordability.
The Open Education Network offers a supportive community that advances the use of OERs and practices. It also maintains the Open Textbook Library, a database of over 1178 textbooks in a variety of subjects that are free to use, adapt, and distribute. Housed at the University of Minnesota, the OEN has hundreds of organizational members and is growing steadily. UNE joins other institutions in our region who are members of OEN, including the University of Southern Maine and Bates College.
For more information contact Elizabeth Dyer, Dean of Library Services or Sonya Durney, Scholarly Communication Research and Teaching Librarian.