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Affordable Textbook Program

Professional Learning Community Modules

Module 1: Getting Started

Objective: Introduce the “what” and “why” of OER




Meeting Activities:
  1. Welcome and overview of course / grant / program
  2. Introductions. “What course are you teaching and why have you decided to make this change”?
  3. Discussion: based on pre-work readings and video:
    • The David Wiley video describes the big “Why” of OERs. What are your feelings about “Openness” versus the traditional system of Copyright and Intellectual Property?
    • Consider the free materials you currently use in your classes. Do these materials meet the definition of OER? Why or why not?
    • How might teaching with OERs benefit your students? (in addition to cost savings)
    • How might it benefit you?
    • What is it that you really want students to get out of your course?

Module 2: Finding and Evaluating Open Educational Resources

Objective: Identify relevant OER and evaluate using appropriate criteria

Pre-work: Finding OER
  1. Read “Repositories and Search Tools” from The OER Starter Kit. 
  2. Visit your library's OER research guide: 
Pre-work: Evaluating OER
  1. Readings from The OER Starter Kit:

Identify one or two potential OERs for adoption or adaptation using the OER Discovery Worksheet as a guide.


  1. Did you have any particular takeaways from the readings?
  2. How hard or easy was it to find OER on your topic?
  3. Did you find OER that fit most of the criteria on the Evaluating OER Checklist?

Module 3: Teaching Without a Textbook / Open Pedagogy


Pre-work: Readings:
Pre-work: Examples:
  1. Can you think of ways to incorporate open pedagogy into your course? What kinds of assignments might you use?
  2. Do you have a department or community with whom you can discuss open pedagogy?
  3. Do you think your department or colleagues would be supportive of non-traditional grading or assignments? 
  4. How would you handle licenses and privacy for student created content? 
  5. How do you feel about your technical expertise when it comes to creating open content?

Module 4: Copyright and Open Licenses

Objective: Understand how to legally use, adapt, and remix library and OER resources.
Objective: Ability apply or select appropriate Create Commons licenses. 


  1. Why are open licenses important to OER?
  2. What is the difference between open licenses and open access? 
  3. How could you incorporate the following material types into your course? What are the restrictions on posting or sharing?
    • Article from a library subscription database (JSTOR, EBSCO, etc).
    • Chapter from an OpenStax textbook.
    • Book from the open textbook library with a CC-BY-NC-SA license.
    • Book owned by the library. 
  4. Would you be comfortable sharing your work under an open license? Why or why not? 
Additional readings and resources: 


Module 5: Universal Design / Accessibility

Objective: Evaluate course materials for accessibility
Objective: Apply principles of accessible design to course materials

  • Who benefits from universal design?
  • What resources are available at your institution to help with accessibility?
  • As participants to bring a PDF or word doc they use in class. use the built-in accessibility tools in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. OR, use these examples to correct accessibility issues as a group:
  • Note that the built in accessibility tools do not catch everything! Make sure to look for:
    • Logical title / heading use
    • Built in numbered lists
    • Image alt text
    • Table headings
    • URL formatting
Additional resources:

Module 6: Faculty Panel / Ambassadors


  1. Why did you switch to OER materials?
  2. What impact has OER had on your teaching? 
  3. Have your students provided feedback on your OER textbook? 
  4. What were the challenges of switching to OER?
  5. What suggestions do you have for someone interested in learning more about OER? 
  6. Have you found an OER solution for all your courses, or just some? Did you find it easier to adapt some kinds of courses? 

Module 7: Creating OER

Objective: Learn about tools and principles for OER creation