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Open Educational Resources - MLA Advocacy Priority Area

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The Michigan library community recommends that the Michigan Legislature support Open Education Resources (OER).

Michiganders deserve equitable access to learning opportunities! The use of open education resources (OER) in colleges and universities impacts the success of students and makes obtaining a college degree more accessible for all.

While Michigan is ahead of many other states in its support of open education, state-supported efforts have largely focused on K-12 education. The adoption and use of quality OER also impact students at colleges and universities across the state, as well as the work of the academic libraries on those campuses.

  • The use of OER is an extension of broader open access efforts to provide equitable access to resources through libraries.
  • The use of OER in college and university courses lessens the burden of seeking copyright permissions for materials used in course reserves for academic libraries and university faculty.
  • The availability of quality OER impacts the affordability and accessibility of higher education and the success of students.
    • Textbooks costs have more than doubled in the last fifteen years, and surveys find that up to 2/3s of college students never buy the materials required for their courses.
    • Expensive textbooks and required course materials can also extend the time to graduation for students. A survey sponsored by Florida Virtual University in 2018 found that 42% of students took fewer courses and 22% dropped a course due to high textbook costs.
  • OER provide more context and adaptability for local learning needs, a critical flexibility that traditional textbooks do not provide.

The Michigan library community supports state assistance that provides support for the implementation of programs or services which reduce the cost of required educational materials for colleges and universities.

 

 


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