Keynote: Open education in North America: learning from our mistakes and sharing our lessons

Abbey K. Elder (Open Access and Scholarly Communication Librarian, Iowa State University) 

Abstract: Over the past two decades, the increasingly unsustainable cost of textbooks has led to individuals and institutions working together to make access to course materials more equitable for all learners. The open education community has grown over time, and we have developed norms and practices that empower us to look beyond access as our main goal. Discussions about equity, accessibility, pedagogy, and affordability have come together to make the open education movement stronger in North America, particularly in places where these lessons have been taken to heart. International scholars like Maha Bali in Egypt and Glenda Cox in South Africa have shown that the work being done in North America is not unique: the same practices have been reused, remixed, and improved upon by practitioners around the world. In this keynote presentation, Abbey Elder, Open Access Librarian for Iowa State University, will discuss how the strengths and weaknesses of the early open education movement have pushed OER programs around the world to new heights, with examples from her own institution and others.

Abbey Elder is the Open Access and Scholarly Communication Librarian at Iowa State University. Her scholarship explores ways we can uplift and support instructors who are new to open access publishing and OER. Abbey’s handbook for instructors, The OER Starter Kit, has been used in professional development programs around the United States and has been followed by an accompanying set of worksheets in The OER Starter Kit Workbook published earlier this year.