The Saskatchewan government is investing $250,000 to support the ongoing development of open education resources at the University of Regina, the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
Open education resources are digital teaching materials like textbooks, workbooks, guides, manuals, as well as audio and visual products that are available online free of charge.
So far, there are 69 open education resource projects that are in development or have been completed in the province’s three largest institutions. In some cases, there has been student involvement in the development and adaptation of these resources.
Since 2015, the government has invested $1.75 million in the development of open education resources, resulting in nearly $8 million in textbook and resource cost-savings.
Advanced Education Minister Gene Makowsky recognizes the benefit of making these educational tools more easily available for students.
“More than 85,000 students have benefited from government’s investment in open education resources programming.”
University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen notes the importance of these resources at the post-secondary level.
“Over the past several years, this program has been invaluable in helping our faculty develop and adopt high-quality, open educational resources that significantly reduce overall textbook costs. At the same time, it has provided unique opportunities for students whose senior undergraduate and graduate papers were included in edited volumes that themselves are now open educational resources for others.”
Officials pointed out as well that post-secondary institutions have increased the profile of open resources at their campuses resulting in more faculty adopting these materials as their primary teaching materials.