Document Type


Publication Date

June 2017


Sacred Heart University (SHU) has launched a university-wide Open Educational Resources(OER) initiative with three goals in mind – reduce the cost of textbooks for students, increase access to course materials, and strengthen pedagogical effectiveness. SHU has made appreciable headway in the short span of one and a half years by formulating a vision, defining the goals, developing a plan of action, and implementing a pilot study to integrate open textbooks in two math courses. Although it is a nascent initiative, this presentation summarizing the lessons-learned will make a useful contribution to the OER academic discussion . The presentation will describe the following aspects of the strategic process:· The process mechanisms that contributed to building an institutional approach, and an honest look at the challenges· Innovative approaches used to build awareness and advocacy , and enhanced access to OER materials · Establishment of a collaborative taskforce (comprising the provost, Office of Digital Learning, SHU library, and faculty champions) to design and implement a plan of action, including policies and incentive structures· The evidence-based methodology employed to establish a baseline, using survey data about faculty and student perspectives · Emerging results from a pilot study in which open textbook was selected and adopted in two math undergraduate courses, and the instructional design elements that aided pedagogical effectiveness. Important take-aways for the attendees will be strategies that contribute to effective OER integration – namely, an understanding of challenges in private institutions, a list of concrete process mechanisms, valuable insights from survey results, and replicability in other institutions.


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