OERs: Benefits to Academics

There’s a new open education project starting soon in NUI Galway (Jan 2021). We want to hear from interested and enthusiastic NUI Galway academics.

NUI Galway is to provide Ireland’s first OER service and publishing platform for students and staff. The OER platform will create and promote open, free, and reusable OER learning materials.

The main benefit of OERs is the reduced cost of learning materials for students. This is great, but what about academics? What’s in it for academic staff? It turns out that many of the benefits for students have corresponding benefits for academics. Often, academics who use OERs see specific benefits for themselves and their career as well. For example, building an international profile in a specialised area using your own content and getting instant authoritative global reach.

Main benefits

Students
Does not add costs
Provides supplemental learning materials
Helps students choose courses
Better prepared for classes
Academics
Provides flexibility in curriculum
Increases student retention
Builds your own licensed resources
Promotes your work to a global audience

Other benefits include

  • Improved student engagement and success 
  • Immediate and equitable access to resources to all types of learners 
  • Promotes and supports a more student-centred pedagogical approach
  • Access is remote and asynchronous, enabling online learning and supplementing in-person learning
  • Helps support and develop transferable digital skills in students, skills that could potentially contribute to future employability 
  • The multimodality of OERs supports different learning styles, thereby supporting deeper learning and more achievement of the defined learning objectives (LOs) for the particular module or course 
  • Flexible and high-quality learning materials that can be adapted to fit individualised curriculums 
  • Professional contributions of the academic community to teaching and learning in their field. 
  • OERs make learning materials more accessible to all learners, and especially for learners with disabilities or learning difficulties. 

If you would like to hear more, get involved or learn more about why OERs are exciting and useful read about the NUI Galway OER project or sign-up for an OSCG Cafe on Making and using Open Educational Resources at NUI Galway.

Cillian Joy is the Digital Library Developer at the NUI Galway Library, led the funding application, and is managing the NUI Galway OER project.

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