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Open Educational Resources (OER) Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
13.21 Vice President, Academic Senior Advisor, Educational Equity Executive Council May 25, 2020   May 25, 2020 May 2021
  1. Purpose
    1. NSCC is committed to broadening access to higher education and to improving the opportunity for all students to achieve equitable outcomes as prescribed by the College’s Educational Equity Policy and the NS Accessibility Act.
    2. The purpose of this policy is to ensure equitable access to high quality, cost-efficient and inclusive learning resources in support of student success and to promote innovation in teaching and learning.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all Employees and Students associated with Nova Scotia Community College.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Adopt an OER Adopt an existing OER "as is" by downloading it, printing it, or linking to it.
Create an OER Develop material by creating original content and/or compiling with other resources.
Learning Outcomes Formal statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or demonstrate in order to receive a pass mark in a course. (from NSCC grading policy)
Open Education Open Education encompasses resources, tools and practices that are free of legal, financial and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared and adapted in the digital environment.” (SPARC*)
Open Educational Resources (OER) “OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.” (Hewlett Foundation)
Open Pedagogy “Open pedagogy, also known as open educational practices (OEP), is the use of open educational resources (OER) to support learning, or the open sharing of teaching practices with a goal of improving education and training at the institutional, professional, and individual level.” (BC campus)

A set of pedagogical practices that include engaging students in content creation and making learning accessible to all. (Iowa State University: The Open Pedagogy Kit)
5Rs Open Educational Resources are governed by the “5 R” principles:

Retain: An individual or an institution may make and own copies of the OER they create, but the object is still shareable under a specific open license.

Reuse: The OER content can be reused in other ways and without limitations.

Revise: The OER content can be revised, adapted, and/or modified to meet the institution’s needs.

Remix: The content of two or more OER can be revised and combined in new and creative ways.

Redistribute: New, revised, adapted, and modified OER must be shared back to the public under the open license, which in most cases will be Creative Commons.
Open License A standardized way for copyright owners to grant permission for access, use and distribution of their copyrighted works, subject to stated restrictions to accessing, using, repurposing, reusing or redistributing creative works. Creative Commons licenses are one form of open license.
Creative Common (CC) License A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted "work". A CC license is used when an author wants to give other people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they (the author) have created.
  1. Policy
    1. NSCC encourages the use of open educational resources, adhering to the 5Rs, in order to increase innovation in teaching and learning while ensuring access to high quality and cost-efficient learning resources.
    2. Faculty will be supported to identify, adopt, adapt and create learning resources that meet quality standards and are responsive to their unique teaching and learning environment.
    3. OER Selection
      1. OER selected for inclusion in courses must:
        1. Align to program and course learning outcomes.
        2. Meet established criteria.
        3. Be developed and used in accordance with College policies.
        4. Meet requirements and/or standards of accrediting and regulatory bodies.
      2. All OER must meet accessibility requirements as legislated in the Nova Scotia Accessibility Act (Bill 59).
      3. Different learning resources may be selected for different offerings of the same course.
      4. All learning resources are documented in the Course Tentative Workplan.
    4. Cost of Learning Resources
      1. NSCC is committed to minimizing the costs of learning resources.
      2. Wherever possible, the cost of textbooks will not increase by more than 10% from the previous year.
    5. Use of OER
      1. The use of OER must comply with the terms of the open license assigned to the content.
      2. All OER used in NSCC courses will be documented in the textbook and OER list and published in the shared OER Repository.
      3. NSCC will provide support and resources to Faculty, Employees and Students to assist with the identification, adoption, adaptation and creation of OER.
    6. Roles & Responsibilities
      1. Faculty
        Faculty are responsible for the identification, adoption, adaptation and creation of OER and to ensure selection follows criteria and quality standards established by NSCC.
      2. Academic Development
        Provide support to ensure OER meet established quality criteria and align with course and program outcomes.
      3. Academic Chairs
        Approve exceptions to the 10% cost differential.
      4. Faculty Working Groups
        Engage in peer review for newly created OER. Peer review is not required when adopting an OER as is.
      5. Teaching Commons Team
        Provide support with open pedagogy and integrating OER into teaching and learning practice.
      6. Copyright Office and Libraries
        Provide support and resources to assist with the discovery, curation, selection, adaptation, creation and publishing of OER.
      7. MAS and Bookstore
        Maintain the cost of textbooks
      8. Educational Technology
        Support in the education, use and integration of OER in the learning management system.
  1. Policy Supports

41.21 Educational Equity Policy (login required)
74.01 Intellectual Property Policy (login required)
71.01 Use of Copyright Materials Policy (login required)
NS Accessibility Act
13.22 OER Procedures
Course Textbook Ordering Form
OER Workflow Chart
Learning Resources Selection Criteria

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