Academic librarians are pleased with the progress they’ve made in leading their campuses to recognize the value of Open Educational Resources (OER). Now publishers are responding to OER with new learning platforms. It may be time for a new strategy.
For its 2016 Next Wave conference, scholarly nonprofit organization ITHAKA brought together nearly 200 academic librarians, publishers, technology partners, and scholars at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel on November 30 to take a look at what may lie ahead for academia. “The Bigger Picture: How Macro Changes in Higher Education Should Shape Your Strategy” condensed what had previously been spread over two days into one all-day session, with a strong focus on academic professionals’ take on the landscape.
The Open Educational Resources (OER) phenomenon promises access to information with fewer barriers to academics, but the change will be disruptive. As Open Access has created turmoil among peer-reviewed journal publishers, OERs have similarly challenged curriculum. Learning content—from textbooks to course readings, assessment tools, and other material—was traditionally the domain of a few specialized publishers. However, with the advent (and dramatic proliferation) of digital content, traditional publishers have struggled to keep up.
College bookstores are evolving for a future that is based less on textbooks and more on supporting the course material ecosystem, campus services, and merchandise. When it comes to textbook issues, academic librarians and the campus bookstore should work together to give students affordable solutions.
As part of the ongoing celebration of International Open Access Week, Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) and the Greater New York Metropolitan Area Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL/NY) organized a panel discussion on November 2 titled “Leveraging Open Educational Resources in the Classroom and Beyond.”
Last month I enjoyed the distinct privilege of keynoting the Conference for Law School Computing (also known as “CALIcon”), a gathering of legal educators, law librarians, and IT professionals in law put together by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). I can’t say enough in praise of the ever-present spirit of sly spirited fun at this conference.