Open Education Week 2019

Celebrate Open Education Week 2019

March 4 – 8

Open Education Week 2019

The cost of post-secondary textbooks has skyrocketed in recent years, 4 times faster than inflation since 2006, adding several thousands of dollars to the cost of a college education. Textbook costs, which are entirely borne by students, have been shown to cause financial stress, to undermine student success and, in some cases, to adversely affect student retention.  As a student-centered, public, urban university, University of Massachusetts Boston is committed to improving the affordability of education wherever possible.

UMass Boston’s program will incorporate and promote the range of high-quality low/no-cost options for teaching materials including the University Library’s paid resources and the use of “Open Educational Resources” (OERs), which have proven to save students across the country millions of dollars while demonstrating solid educational outcomes. OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.

Open Education Week Events

To promote the awareness, training and adoption of OER content Healey Library, eLearning and Instructional Support/IT, Undergraduate Student Government & MassPirg) are hosting three events on campus.

Finding OER Content

Demos by Librarians and Instructional Designers

Tuesday March 5 |Noon to 1:30pm |Campus Center, room 2540


  • Oliver Chen, Associate Dean for Assessment (Healey Library)
  • Iris Jahng, Reference Librarian (Healey Library)
  • Rrezarta Hyseni, Senior Instructional Designer (eLearning and Instructional Support/IT)

Light refreshments will be served.

The Role of OER in Student Success and Retention

Wednesday March 6 | Noon to 1:30pm | Campus Center, room 2540


  • Anthony McLaughlin & Kush Patel – USG
  • Hannah Picknell, Jordan Stewart, Samantha Gibb –  MassPIRG

Light refreshments will be served.

Learn more about OER and search for OER content

Faculty Drop-in Session

Thursday March 7 | Noon to 1:30pm | Campus Center, room 2540

Meet one-on-one with Librarians and Instructional Designers

Light refreshments will be served.

Massachusetts Open Education – Achieving Access for All

An exciting opportunity for the spring semester!

Massachusetts Open Education: Achieving Access for All is a collaborative project funded by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education that is focused on building capacity for open educational resources (OER) across the Commonwealth and we are inviting you to become involved.

Attend an OER regional training event!

We invite you to join your colleagues from across the state to attend one of four regional trainings. Open to faculty, staff and administrators. Faculty who attend will have the opportunity to review an open textbook and receive a $200 stipend.

Training Dates and Locations

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

  • February 1, 2019, Northern Essex Community College
  • February 8, 2019, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • March 12, 2019, Bridgewater State University
  • March 14, 2019, Worcester State University
  • March 20, 2019, Roxbury Community College
  • May 23, 2019, OER Development Day! UMass Amherst

Register for a workshop today by filling out the Workshop Registration Form

Check out this video from NECC faculty on why they moved to OER for their course(s).  In the last four years, these faculty and many others have participated in the Adopt Open project at NECC, which has resulted in a student savings of $1.4 million in textbooks.

Learn more about Massachusetts Open Education – Achieving Access for All

Open Education Week 2017 at UMass Boston

To celebrate Open Education Week 2017, on Thursday March 30th, UMass Boston’s eLearning and Instructional Support organized an event to inform faculty how to help students save money by using Open Educational Resources (OER). Instructional designers, Mish McIntyre and Irene Yukhananov, shared data from a pilot project in Biology 101 where a costly textbook was replaced with OER such as BioBeyond and OpenStax, saving students a total of $59,800.00.

Tara Ashok, professor of Anthropology and Biology at UMass Boston, shared her experience using OER in her Biology 101 class. Thanks to resources such as Echo360, students in Tara’s class were able to learn through a dynamic and collaborative platform which they are also able to access from home through live video streaming recorded in real time directly from Tara’s classroom. Furthermore, Biology professor David Sigmon talked about the importance of OER in relation to UMass Boston’s mission statement in which “a dynamic culture of teaching and learning” is an invitation to provide an “excellent and accessible university education” through affordable learning materials available to everyone.

UMass Boston’s librarians, Jenny Moyryla and Andrew Elder shared open and free resources available through Healey Library. The library offers a variety of resources through the “Open to Us” OER model, through which faculty can find additional resources to include in their classes, free of charge for both them and their students. In addition, faculty members and researchers at UMass Boston have the opportunity to make their research openly available to the world through personal Author Pages on ScholarWorks, the open access campus institutional repository for scholarship and research.

For more information about OER resources available contact

Watch event highlights video:

OpenEd Forum 2015: Opening Minds, Sharing Knowledge

OpenEd Forum 2015 was UMass Boston’s first conference to address open education. It took place on the UMass Boston campus on Friday, March 13, 2015 during International Open Education Week. Over 120 participants attended.

Attendees included UMass Boston faculty, students and alumni, as well as Open Education Resources (OER) community partners, including MA Department of Education (DESE) and numerous higher education institutions from the entire NE region. Provost Winston Langley gave opening remarks and announced funding would be made available to support the development of OER at UMass Boston.

Keynote speaker, Mary Lou Forward, executive director of the Open Education Consortium, provided evidence-based research on the impact of open textbooks for both students and faculty. UMass Boston student and MASSPIRG organizer, Maria Barrow, gave insight into her own experiences with the financial burden of purchasing course textbooks. Inspiring OER pioneers from UMass Boston and beyond shared their work and provided advice for others hoping to do the same.  A workshop on copyright and Creative Commons was facilitated by Charlote Roh from UMass Amherst libraries. The event will serve as a catalyst for developing an action plan and infrastructure to support faculty in accessing and creating OER. Special thanks to Healey Library, College of Advancing and Professional Studies, and UMassOnline for their support.

Access the shared resources and photos from the event.