Skip to main content

Open Education Week March 10-15

Everyone knows that textbooks are expensive. Students spend an average of $1,168 a year on textbooks and course materials, which is comparable to a quarter of the cost of tuition at a typical public university and nearly three-quarters at a community college. The week of March 10 – 15 is Open Education Week, a global event to raise awareness of the benefits of free and open sharing in education. Open education refers to the use of “open educational resources” (OER), which are academic materials and practices that are free – meaning no cost – and open – meaning that everyone has the legal permission to use, adapt, and share the content. Imagine textbooks that students can access free online, download and keep forever, and obtain at a low-cost in print. Imagine course content that educators can tailor to fit their teaching style and distribute legally to students anytime, anywhere. Today’s technology makes all of this possible, and open education is making it a reality. For example, librarians at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Temple University have worked with faculty to replace expensive textbooks with customized alternatives incorporating OER and other free resources, saving students more than a million dollars to date. If you want more information on how to find open educational resources for your classes please visit or email the Assistant Dean for Collection Management and Scholarly Communication, Beth Bernhardt at