About the UBC OER Champions

UBC Vancouver Alma Mater Society, the VP Academic and Provost, CTLT, and the UBC Library would like to congratulate the faculty and staff for their nominations as UBC Open Education Resource Champions. An open education champion is an individual who has made a significant contribution to the use of open educational resources (OER) at UBC Vancouver. 

OER are defined as teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and also carry legal permission for open use. OER include textbooks, full courses, course materials, modules, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. They reduce student costs for learning materials and enable instructors to modify, edit, or adapt high quality resources to fit their individual teaching goals in order to provide meaningful, contextualised materials for their students. 

The Alma Mater Society (AMS) has been advocating for OER implementation at UBC for years, because of how much it benefits students, which is why we would like to recognize the hard work of those who work in OER at this upcoming event. In the past academic year the average UBC student at spent $1253 on textbooks and other course materials over the school year. This substantial amount, combined with other financial burdens students carry, means that students are forced to sacrifice important aspects of their academic experience to remain at UBC.Seventy percent of students reported going without a textbook or other course resource at least once due to cost. A further thirty one percent of graduate and twenty percent of undergraduate percent of students report that they may have to abandon their studies at UBC due to financial reasons. While “open” is the goal of OER, this does not mean the same thing as “free;” instructor time and efforts are significant costs that go into the development and adoption of OER. 

The members of the UBC Community we wish to honour at this event are true champions of equitable access to education. They not only understand, but dedicate themselves to ensuring that socio-economic standing doesn’t act as a barrier for students being able to access course materials. Each (often unpaid) hour these champions devote towards OER leads to fewer students having to make the choice between accessing course materials and other financial burdens, like buying food or paying for housing.