Open Education Week @ Iowa State University

Open Education Week @ Iowa State University

March 9 – 13, 2015 is Open Education Week. As ISU’s Scholarly Communication Team, we are leading this year’s conversation on campus through our this blog. Open Education Week provides a week-long opportunity to discuss the Open Education movement, to investigate ways to decrease the cost of educational resources, and to advocate for innovative updates in teaching and learning. The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition introduces the topic below:

Open Education (from SPARC)

What is Open Education?

Open Education is the critical link between teaching, learning, and the collaborative culture of the Internet. SPARC supports policies and practices that advance the creation and use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) –academic materials that everyone can use, adapt, and share freely.

What are Open Educational Resources? 

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OERs can be textbooks, full courses, lesson plans, videos, tests, software, or any other tool, material, or technique that supports access to knowledge.

Why are Open Educational Resources important?

Technology creates an unprecedented opportunity to expand access to knowledge. Yet, our systems for communicating knowledge still have many of the same cost barriers and use limitations present in the pre-Internet, print-based world. This is especially true for educational resources. The cost of college textbooks has risen rapidly, forcing many students to forgo required materials due to expense. Digital alternatives have offered little financial relief, and are typically sold on a subscription basis with heavy restrictions on access. Moreover, traditional publishing systems too often discourage, rather than enable, the adaptation or improvement of content for the classroom.

Educational materials are both an important output of the scholarly research process and, in turn, an essential part of educating tomorrow’s scholars. SPARC believes that OERs are the ideal model to leverage the digital environment to unlock the full potential for education.

Check back all week for more information and resources related to Open Education!

For general information:

Read more from SPARC:


To contact a Scholarly Communications Librarian to learn more about Open Education:



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