September 17, 2011 - Open Access Materials Overview



  • Brief overview of Open Access Materials as a source of materials for instructors to consider in face-to-face, hybrid, and/or online courses.




What are Open Materials?

Open Access Materials are free, high-quality course materials used in on-campus, hybrid and online courses. The goal is for faculty to create and offer freely accessible online materials without expectation of payment - which students can use cheaply or free and other faculty can use free to build on their own needs.



  • E-books created specifically for a class and licensed under Creative Commons or other open source licensing;
  • LMS materials with tests, lesson plans, examples, and reading/activity materials provided free to students and other instructors (like Angel, Moodle);
  • Use of industry-provided lesson plans and resources for teaching (like Microsoft Academy)
  • The Open Course Library which is a collection of expertly developed educational materials;
  • Primary use of links to sources and materials online instead of the requirement to buy books and material; and/or
  • Website-based class materials (ex. StudioBast); etc.


Why use Open Materials?

  • They are less costly for students;
  • Instructors have greater control over the specific order, examples, and exercises to build the curriculum around.
  • Schools do not have to order then return unpurchased or used text materials.
  • They are flexible and customizable - choose specific lesson plans, specific chapters, and even combine resources from different sources to make up a curriculum that meets the needs of your students, accreditation, and evaluation.
  • They allow collaboration for faculty, through shared templates, lesson plans, etc.


Assessment through Open Access Materials

  • LMS systems can help faculty build as-needed assessments (quizzes, assignments, portfolios, collaborative wikis, forum, uploads).
  • LMS systems also offer Assessment interoperability: IMS Content Packaging, SCORM, AICC (CBT), LAMS.
  • Open Access teaching allows instructors to share templates and models for evaluations and expectations.


L.J. Bothell Example
Get to know the basic Open Access Materials use in L.J. Bothell's classes:

  • StudioBast Students: website-based lecture notes, announcements, assignment summaries, materials, resource links, and class/syllabus information.
  • StudioBast E-Learning: Moodle-based LMS tool that works in tandem with the main class websites. Gives students forum, project uploads, quizzes, calendar, communications, grades, etc.
  • Web Authoring Boot Camp: Creative Commons-licensed PDF book for Web Authoring I students.