Celebrate Open Education Week 2021 With Libraries and Global Campus

The University Libraries and Global Campus have planned a series of virtual events for faculty, teaching assistants and graduate students in observation of Open Education Week March 1-5. 

Open Education refers to "resources, tools and practices that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment. Open Education maximizes the power of the Internet to make education more affordable, accessible and effective." Open Education Week was designed to raise awareness of Open Education and provide a platform for educators worldwide to share their achievements and best practices. 

"We have some excellent virtual programming planned for our Arkansas celebration of Open Education Week," said Elaine Thornton, open education and distance learning librarian. "We invite the campus to join us to learn more about Open Educational Resources (OER). The week celebrates open practices and pedagogy, and explores the important connections between OER, diversity and inclusion, and social justice. Participants will hear from some of our Campus OER Champions who have created course materials for the benefit of Arkansas students and be able to connect with OER advocates from across the state."

The third annual Faculty OER Mingle, co-sponsored by the Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center and Teaching Innovation and Pedagogical Support, is set for Tuesday, March 2. Two sessions are available. From 10-11:30 a.m., U of A OER Creators Share Their Experiences will feature faculty members Claretha Hughes, Russell Sharman and Jingxian Wu sharing their experiences with the Course Materials Conversion Program. From 3-4:30 p.m., U of A OER Team members Lora Lennertz, Elaine Thornton and Scott Wright will present Creative Commons 101, OER Assignments and Pressbook Tours. Registration is required for each session. 

OER, Course Design and More, a session for teaching assistants and graduate students, will be held from 3-4 p.m. Wednesday, March 3. 

The Arkansas Department of Education will co-sponsor OE-ARkansas, a statewide gathering of OER supporters, practitioners and administrators interested in advancing open education initiatives at Arkansas colleges and universities, from 10 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. Friday, March 5. 

Campus is encouraged to view the research guide Explore OER, DEI and Social Justice. Instructors are encouraged to view the virtual OER Petting Zoo on FrameVR with 3D examples of OER currently in use. The zoo can be viewed in a browser or VR headset, and participants can flip through PDF versions of OER textbooks by clicking on the forward and back arrows, or visit the textbooks web page by clicking on the cover. Faculty who view the zoo at the same time can "meet up" in the virtual space. 


Elaine Thornton, open education and distance learning librarian
University Libraries
479-575-4856, oer@uark.edu

Kelsey Lovewell Lippard, director of public relations
University Libraries
479-575-7311, klovewel@uark.edu


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