Seneca OER ETAC sub-committee terms of reference
The Seneca Open Educational Resources (OER) Sub-Committee will promote awareness, develop recommendations and guidelines for the integration and sustainability of OER across the curriculum. We will encourage adoption and adaptation over building of new open educational resources.
Enabling flexibility and customization in course materials. Faculty are able to dynamically modify or replace materials as well as include multi-modal components when available.
OERs are often inherently easier to make accessible. Although traditional textbooks have come a long way in terms of accessible versions, it can still be difficult to find a fully accessible copy in a timely manner. OERs are usually digital and, if not already, can often be made fully accessible in a shorter period of time.
Increasing the affordability of course materials is another important benefit. Rajiv Jhangiani and Robin DeRosa cite some startling statistics about the rising costs of education in their presentation, “Open Education: Serving Social Justice & Transforming Pedagogy”:
While OERs won’t erase student debt, it can ease some of their yearly costs.
OERs might also improve student performance. Evidence has found OERs can benefit a student academically. In the same presentation, Jhangiani and De Rosa cite 13 peer reviewed studies with almost 120,000 students that found using OERs in class leads to the same or better result 95% of the time.
The number of benefits easily support further investigation into the adoption and use of OERs at Seneca.
The introduction of the current Academic Plan refers to long-held Seneca principles, including:
“... “build an Academic Community dedicated to student success in which all involved are striving for academic excellence.” The principle of “flexibility without compromise” was introduced and since that time has guided administrators, faculty and staff in their day-to-day activities to support student learning.”
It is our belief that promoting OERs at Seneca supports these principles.
The OER sub-committee has been featured in the Academic Newsletter:
Ad-hoc, as-needed basis
Initiatives included the Changes to Your My.Seneca Default Course Menu.
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