It's Open Education Week!

The University of Idaho Library is participating in Open Education Week, a celebration of the global Open Education Movement. Its purpose is to raise awareness about open education and its impacts on teaching and learning worldwide. Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness.

Open educational resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources that have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use. OERs include course materials, textbooks, modules, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tool, material or technique used to support teaching and access to knowledge. Open textbooks are high-quality college texts with an "open" copyright license allowing the material to be freely accessed, shared and adapted. Open textbooks are typically distributed online at no cost and can be purchased in print formats at a low cost. On average, using open textbooks in place of traditional textbooks save students 80%.

Use this page as a starting point to learn more about open education, Open Education Week events, and how you can advocate for open educational resources at the University of Idaho.

open education week logo

Open Education To Do List!

  1. Check out the Open Education Week Website.
  2. Follow the Open Education Week hashtag #OEWeek on Twitter.
  3. Watch What Is Creative Commons to learn about open licenses.
  4. Watch this 1 minute video on Open Educational Resources.
  5. Join us for a workshop to Learn about Open Educational Resources (OER) at UI, 12:30 on March 7th.
  6. Check out the Student Textbook Alliance.
  7. If you are Faculty or Graduate Student consider applying for a UI Think Open Fellowship, or mention it to your instructors!

Why use open educational resources?

Every college student knows what it's like to walk into the bookstore and pay $200 for a textbook, or to get pennies back for an expensive book at the end of the term. With today's technology, there's no excuse for textbooks to be so expensive! Textbook prices have skyrocketed four times faster than inflation for the past two decades, and the average UI student spends $1,232 on books and materials each year.

High textbook costs directly effect student success.

  • 65% of students report not purchasing required texts due to cost. (Source: Student PIRGs)
  • 94% of students who had forgone purchasing a textbook were concerned that doing so would hurt their grade in a course. (Source: Student PIRGs)
  • 48% of students take fewer courses due to textbook costs. (Source: Student PIRGs)
  • 82% of students felt they would do significantly better in a course if a textbook was available free online and buying a hard copy was optional. (Source: Student PIRGs)

I'd like to help. What can I do?

If you are a faculty member, consider including open textbooks and other open educational resources in your search for course materials. Student PIRGs has a faculty statement you can sign to state your intent to seek affordable and accessible course materials whenever possible. The Library and the Doceo Center are resources available for faculty considering open educational resources.

If you are a student, consider voicing your support for open educational resources - to faculty, administration, or student government. Student PIRGs has a campus textbooks campaign toolkit that can act as a guide for bringing the textbook conversation to campus.

If you are an administrator or community member, consider supporting the Library and the University as it seeks to create an OER pilot program and initiative.


Open Textbook Library - University of Minnesota's open textbook library is a helpful tool to find affordable, quality textbook solutions with a built in peer-review system.

OpenStax College - an initiative of Rice University & now a non-profit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators.

Project Gutenberg - an extensive digital library of public domain books (e.g. Jane Austen's novels).

OER Commons - a tool to create, share, and discover open educational resources.

Library Guide on OER - a librarian curated guide on everything related to open educational resources.

Contact Us!

For more information on open educational resources, including incorporating them into your courses, contact Rick Stoddart, the Open Education Librarian. | 208-885-2504

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