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Revising & Remixing: An Alternative Approach to Open Educational Resources


In early March, educators around the world will be celebrating Open Education Week, an annual opportunity to share their achievements and learn about what others are doing in the realm of Open Educational Resources (OER). We thought this might be a good opportunity for those of us here at UNF to take stock of where we are and where we’ve come from in the realm of OER before charting a course for the future at this institution.

Back in 2018, we first rolled out the OER Initiative as an outlet for faculty to help reduce textbook costs for their students by partnering with a librarian and an instructional designer in CIRT to locate and adopt openly licensed content for use in their courses. At this point, six years later, we have had over 120 faculty participants from 28 academic departments, representing a cost savings of more than $1.5 million for students at this institution.

In 2023, we rolled out a new component of the OER Initiative that allowed faculty to author and publish their own open content for use with their students through the use of the Pressbooks platform. We currently have numerous faculty authoring their own projects at various stages of development here at UNF, and more are coming in every semester. Despite the remarkable success of this new initiative, we recognize that authoring a comprehensive resource from scratch can be a daunting task that only a small handful of people have the bandwidth to undertake.

This may leave some faculty wondering “is there some middle path between simply reusing open content available for use in your courses and writing your own“? It turns out that one of the lesser-known options in the OER landscape involves the ability to adapt or remix content to make it your own. Many openly-licensed resources give permission for users to make edits to the content to be able to fine tune it for your own unique context and the students with which you work. This may involve editing certain chapters, removing parts that you deem non-essential, expanding on sections that need better explanations, or adding interactive components to the content. For faculty who feel like they want to create resources that can be used with their students, but feel like authoring something from scratch is too big an undertaking, the Revise & Remix option of the OER Initiative may be the alternative that is just right for you. By working with CIRT, we can help you locate content that is appropriately licensed for remixing and editing. We can get you started with the tools you need to make edits to this content and publish it for use with your students.

This year’s OE Week celebration in March is the perfect time to start thinking about how you might breathe new life into your courses through the integration of content that you control. Particularly in fields where new information moves quickly, remixing content allows you to make changes whenever you deem it appropriate and doesn’t leave you waiting on a publisher to roll out the newest textbook edition at some unforeseen point in the future.

You might consider joining us for some of our OE Week events this year, March 4-8, to learn more about your options. We also encourage you to check out our OER Initiative page on the CIRT website to learn more about the Revise & Remix option and how you can get involved. You can also reach out to Rob Rose anytime at r.rose@unf.edu to further discuss whether this or other options might be the right fit for you.

Brought to You By
Rob Rose
Rob Rose
CIRT | Instructional Designer