Opening History Education:
An Introduction to Open Educational Resources
Michelle Reed, @LibrariansReed
Open Education Librarian | UTA Libraries | 2.21.17
Openness is the only means of doing education. If there
is no sharing, there is no education. Successful educators
share most thoroughly with the most students.
- David Wiley
“Be a champion of a cause and don't give up.”
- TJ Bliss
“Research provides the foundation of modern society. Research leads to
breakthroughs, and communicating the results of research is what allows us to
turn breakthroughs into better lives—to provide new treatments for disease, to
implement solutions for challenges like global warming, and to build entire
industries around what were once just ideas. However, our current system for
communicating research is crippled by a centuries old model that hasn’t been
updated to take advantage of 21st century technology.”
- Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
“Isn’t it amazing that
what serves social justice
also serves effective pedagogy
and is empirically supported?”
- Rajiv Jhangiani
How much does it cost
your students to purchase
required in your course?
The average student budgets
$1,249 - $1,364
on textbooks and course
materials in 2015-16.
Source: College Board
63.6% 66.5% Not purchase the required textbook
49.2% 47.6% Take fewer courses
45.1% 45.5% Not register for a specific course
33.9% 37.6% Earn a poor grade
26.7% 26.1% Drop a course
17.0% 19.8% Fail a course
In your academic career, has the cost of required
textbooks caused you to:
Estimates, Spring 2017
Course Sections Students
HIST 1311 13 146 $100 $189,800
HIST 1312 15 146 $100 $219,000
Total student expenses per semester for 2 required history courses: $408,800
“Open Educational Resources 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. OER include full courses, course materials,
modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any
other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to
- William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The U.S. Constitution
“The Congress shall have the power…to promote the
progress of science and useful arts, by securing for
limited times to authors and inventors exclusive Right
to their respective writings and discoveries.”
Article 1, Section 8
Copyright (Section 106)
Copyright protects “original works of authorship” that
are fixed in a tangible form of expression:
• literary works
• musical works
• dramatic works
• pantomimes & choreographic works
• pictorial, graphic, & sculptural works
• motion pictures & other audiovisual works
• sound recordings
• architectural works
Copyright is a bundle of rights
Rights are held by the OWNER of the work (not
necessarily the creator/author). Owners may:
• Reproduce - Make copies of their works publicly or privately.
• Adapt - Prepare additional works derived from their copyrighted work, (aka,
• Distribute - Disseminate copies of their works, to the public by sale or other
transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, lending.
• Perform - Perform their work publicly (at location open to the public or to
persons other than close family and social acquaintances).
• Display - Display their work publicly (applies to all works except sound
recordings and architectural works).
Length/Term of Copyright
• Life of author plus 70 years
• Joint work – 70 years after last surviving author’s death
• Works made for hire – 95 years from year of first
publication or 120 years from year of creation, whichever
• Works published before 1923 are in the public domain
• Copyright slider to determine whether the work is in the
public domain -
& the Public Domain
• Purpose and character of the use:
including whether such use is of a
commercial nature or is for
nonprofit educational purposes;
• Nature of the copyrighted work:
Fiction vs. Non-Fiction. Creative
• Amount and substantiality of the
portion used in relation to the
copyrighted work as a whole; and
• Effect on the potential market for
or value of the copyrighted work.
More open access publishing
A change in how we allocate spending
Improved completion rates
Ownership of course content
New partnerships and collaborative opportunities
Open Textbooks, Open Pedagogy
“I’ve spent some time talking about open pedagogy at several universities this Spring, and in each of those
presentations and workshops, I have usually mentioned The Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature, an OER
anthology that my students and I produced last year for an American literature survey course I taught. When I talk
about the anthology, it’s usually to make a point about open pedagogy. I began the project with the simple desire to
save my students about $85 US, which is how much they were (ostensibly) paying for the Heath Anthology of
American Literature Volume A. Most of the actual texts in the Heath were a public domain texts, freely available and
not under any copyright
restrictions. As the Heath
produced new editions (of
literature from roughly 1400-
1800!), forcing students to buy
new textbooks or be irritatingly
out of sync with page numbers,
and as students turned to rental
markets that necessitated them
giving their books back at the end
of the semester, I began to look in
earnest for an alternative.”
- Robin DeRosa
OER in Texas
Require disclosure of OER as textbook
& searchable list of OER only courses
Establish OER grant program
to encourage development of OER only courses
Conduct feasibility study
of statewide OER repository
Source: http://www.openaccesstextbooks.org/pdf/2012_Florida_Student_Textbook_Survey.pdf Slide from David Ernst’s “Open Textbooks” presentation at University of Texas at Arlington: https://www.slideshare.net/djernst/university-of-texas-at-arlington-72016692
Syllabi for History 1311:
Of the People (3rd ed), new = ~$60 (Used $45, Rent range: $25 – 50) Autobiography & Other Writings, new = $11 (Used $8, Rent range: $5 – 10) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Blight), new = $22 (Used $16.50, Rent ~$10)
~$100 v $0
Syllabi for History 1312
American Promise, new = $71.50 (Used $54, Rent range: $30– 50, digital $36.71) American Crucible, used = $30 (rent $16)
~$100 v $0
American Promise (digital edition) = $36.71
Note: These numbers are a rough estimate used in a hypothetical scenario.
What do you know about copyright? Today we’ll discuss four facts about copyright.
Fact 1: Copyright is a legal right granted by the US Constitution. It was intended as a limited-term monopoly to incentivize creation and innovation.
Fact 2: Copyright is automatic when a work is fixed in a tangible form.
These categories should be viewed broadly. For example, computer programs and most “compilations” may be registered as “literary works”; maps and architectural plans may be registered as “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.”
Some things may not be protected by copyright: ideas, symbols, ingredients and processes (recipes), ideas, phrases, names, titles, and slogans. However, other types of IP may apply (e.g., trademark, patent, or trade secret). Also, government documents are in the public domain.
Copyright happens automatically and without any further action on your part when you fix an idea in a tangible form. Example: lyrics on a bar napkin. Making the copyright ownership and status of work easily visible is a good idea but not legally required. Registration is a procedural necessity in order to litagate a copyright claim but this can be done at any point and costs money. It would indicate to the court that you were aware of your ownership rights and intended to protect them. But again, not necessary to establish copyright; the act of expression brought the copyright into existence.
Fact 3: Copyright is a bundle of rights that can be debundled.
Rights may be transferred in whole or licensed collectively or individually. Exclusive rights must be transferred in writing.
Fact 4: Copyright lasts a really long time-- continues beyond creator’s death.
The Disney influence: Steamboat Willie (1928) - set to expire in 1984 - 1976 changes set new expiration at 75 years (2003) - 1998 changes set new expiration at 95 years (2023)
Two additional considerations are very important: public domain and fair use. Fair use is a balance of four factors. The only way to *know* if your use is fair is to take it to court. See Fair Use Checklist: https://copyright.columbia.edu/content/dam/copyright/Precedent%20Docs/fairusechecklist.pdf More on public domain: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm University of Kansas offers a great copyright decision tree: https://openaccess.ku.edu/copyright-decision-tree
OER are free for anyone to access and include permission to engage in the 5R activities. Frequently communicated via CC license, which provides alternatives to “all rights reserved” copyright. More at http://creativecommons.org/about
Let’s practice. Slide from David Ernst’s “Open Textbooks” presentation at University of Texas at Arlington: https://www.slideshare.net/djernst/university-of-texas-at-arlington-72016692
Open Textbook Library: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/
Open Textbook Library: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/BookDetail.aspx?bookId=206 OpenStax: https://openstax.org/details/us-history
Free, not open: http://library.uta.edu/usmexicowar/index.php
Use the advanced search option. Some sites with “open” content are not licensed with Creative Commons but include licensing language that allows for less restricted uses. For example, http://www.freeimages.com/
Much more information on finding open and affordable course content: http://libguides.uta.edu/oer/educators
Source: Sarah Faye Cohen. “Barriers to Open Textbook Adoption.” April 29, 2016. http://www.slideshare.net/thesheck
Read more about the project at http://umwdtlt.com/open-textbook-pedagogy-practice/ Current anthology: https://openamlit.pressbooks.com/ In the spirit of open = sharing, work on revision of the anthology has been picked up by the Rebus Community. Info here: https://forum.rebus.community/topic/66/lit-the-open-anthology-of-earlier-american-literature-lead-tim-robbins-graceland-university
SB No. 810 introduced by Lois Kolkhorst
Portions of these slides have been reproduced or modified from “Ethical Conduct of Research: Stewardship of Digital Information” by Ada Emmett and “Copyright & Scholarly Communication: The Digital (and Ethical) Difference” by Jennifer Church-Duran and Ada Emmett.
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