31 Communicating with Students
If you’ve adopted OER, library-licensed content, or course reserves in your course(s), it’s important to clearly communicate this to students as early as possible. Below is sample language you may include in your syllabi, which you are free to reuse and revise without attribution. It can be helpful to spend a few minutes on the first day of class discussing course materials and clarifying the options available to students for accessing required resources.
Sample Language for OER
Your textbook for this class is an open educational resource (OER), meaning it is available for free online. You can access the web version of the text from the book’s landing page [link text] or from within Canvas. You may visit the book’s landing page to download the text for free in the format that works best for you (including PDF, MOBI, and EPUB). The OER is openly licensed and DRM-free, so you may also print individual chapters or the entire text without restrictions. If you prefer, you may opt to purchase a professionally bound print version at a low cost from the UTA Bookstore or XanEdu.
Additional templates for syllabi are available for communicating use of other types of free content.
Communicating a Pilot
It is vital to tell your students if your OER is in a pilot period and how content changes may be addressed in the web version during the semester. We recommend sharing this message in the course syllabus as well as in the OER itself. The summary on the book’s landing page is an ideal place for sharing this information, as is the About This Project section. Develop a strategy for communicating with students about any changes that affect the OER and approach this task with transparency and consistency.
The following language about the draft status of your work will appear in the book’s landing page until your book’s publication date:
This open educational resource is currently in development. Please be aware that there might be updates throughout the semester as we continue adding and editing content, testing for accessibility, and incorporating feedback from pilot semester(s). If you need an accessibility accommodation or have questions about the use of this text, please contact UTA Libraries’ OER Department at email@example.com.
New file exports are recommended only between semesters unless you’ve established and communicated a schedule for releasing new content throughout the semester. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter a need to generate new exports after classes begin for guidance on replacing and communicating the new exports.
Consider using the About This Project section in the book’s front matter to share additional information about the project’s progress and how it impacts students. The example below was used in Teamwork: An Open Access Practical Guide during its pilot period.
This guide will help students better understand what a team is and how they can contribute effectively to the success of their teams. In doing so, student experience in the classroom and workplace settings will be more fulfilling, and students will be able to more fully evaluate and understand the team experience and communicate it to future employers. The text is currently in the pilot stage with an anticipated publication date of January 2020. We recommend that you use the Chrome web browser at this time. Please be aware that there might be some cosmetic tweaks throughout the semester as we continue testing for browser support, accessibility, and export type.