Open education improves educational access and effectiveness

It’s Open Education Week! To celebrate this worldwide celebration of open sharing of resources in education, register for the Southern Oregon Open Education Summit on April 24th. Sponsored by Open Oregon, this one-day conference on Open Educational Resources and open pedagogy will include faculty, staff, administrators and students from Rogue, Klamath and Umpqua community colleges, Southern Oregon University and Oregon Institute of Technology.

OERs are an important promoter of equity, reducing the expense of education and increasing access to required materials. Open pedagogy, with its commitment to honoring students’ role in their own learning, offers compelling opportunities to make instruction more inclusive.

What Are Open Educational Resources?

OERs are high-quality instruction materials that are licensed to allow free distribution, revision and repurposing by others. Instructors can replace a high-cost textbook with an existing OER or they can customize an OER, combining chapters with their own work or other resources. OERs not only save students significant money, improving retention, but they also increase student achievement. When students can access materials from the first day of class, course completion rates and grades improve.

What Is Open Pedagogy?

  • Students adding to public knowledge; non-disposable assignments
  • Student agency and autonomy, co-creators of their education
  • Connecting to wider networks in teaching and learning

Open pedagogy gives students a voice in their course content and structure, shifting instruction from a banking model—in which instructors deposit information into student brains—to foster an interactive relationship among students, their peers, and the larger world. Open pedagogy moves assessment away from what David Wiley, a pioneer in open education, calls disposable assignments: “A student spends three hours creating it, a teacher spends 30 minutes grading it, and then the student throws it away.”

Open pedagogical practices increase students’ digital literacy and educate them about best practices in sharing information. Examples include:

  • Creating questions, exercises, or tutorials for other students or for future courses
  • Sharing new knowledge with the community, through websites or work with local organizations
  • Adding citations or content to Wikipedia, improving representation and reducing bias

Southern Oregon Open Education Summit

April 24, 2020, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Rogue River Room, Stevenson Union, Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, OR 97520

Keynote speaker Monica Brown of Boise State University will discuss the power of open resources and open pedagogy to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. Other sessions at the conference will cover locating relevant open content, advocacy for affordable course materials and emerging zero-textbook-cost degree pathways. The conference is open to anyone at RCC interested in making education more accessible, equitable and inclusive—faculty, staff, administrators and students.

Registration is free. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, as will reimbursement for travel. Adjunct faculty are eligible for a stipend for attendance. Contact librarians Felishia Jenkins or Tina Weyland with any questions. Registration link:

Want to learn more about open pedagogy? The Community College Consortium for Open Education Resources (CCCOER) is hosting a webinar on Open Pedagogy with Faculty & Students, April 8th at noon, with faculty and students who have participated in open pedagogy projects.