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What We’re Reading — February 11, 2019

The FireOak team keeps an eye out for and shares the most interesting articles, reports, and case studies related to managing, sharing, and securing information, data, and knowledge. Here are some snippets from what we’re reading right now featuring Open Educational Resources (OERs).

This week: reflections from the University of Saskatchewan on their adoption of Open Educational Resources (OERs).

Reading Now: Knowledge Management, Information Security, Data and Information Management

This book chapter explores how the use of OER (open educational resources) was encouraged at the University of Saskatchewan during the 2017–18 academic year from a grassroots effort rather than from a top-down administrative effort. The benefits and challenges, as well as the obstacles, for this approach are presented.

From the fall of 2014 to the spring of 2018 the number of students using OER at the University of Saskatchewan increased from 5 to over 3,500.

Key Takeaways:

Libraries and other proponents on campus can encourage OER adoption by:

  • Providing leadership in open knowledge — supporting, promoting, creating, or distributing open access publications, open data, and open educational resources.
  • Providing leadership in teaching and learning usine OERs. Librarians can aid in developing “open curricular materials, teaching strategies, instructional designs, and assessments.”
  • Providing leadership for OER systems — many academic libraries have already invested in locally hosted digital repositories that can host OER, so libraries have experience maintaining infrastructure for these systems and can supply and apply this knowledge and expertise.

In addition to the 3 leadership areas in the literature review described above, OER proponents on campuses can encourage OER adoption in the following ways:

  • Continuing broad membership representation and activity on the OER advisory group.
  • Providing targeted professional development training for librarians and other OER support groups on campus.
  • Educating and helping students to advocate to their professors in support of OER.
  • Widening overall institutional adoption by moving from strictly a grassroots approach to an approach where the integration of OER and open pedagogy increasingly gets on the agendas and planning cycles of academic and administrative university units.


Ross, H. M., Lucky, S., & Francis, D. (2018). A grassroots approach to OER adoption: The University of Saskatchewan experience. In A. Wesolek, J. Lashley & A. Langley (Eds.), OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians (pp. 381-397). Forest Grove, OR: Pacific University Press.

Index of What We’re Reading Posts

Categories: Knowledge Management

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