SPARC Projects

Connect OER

Open Education

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, United States
Official Website @UF

Type: Public 4-Year, Research University
Annual Enrollment: 49,459

  SPARC Member  

OER LibGuide


The University of Florida (UF) is a large, public land grant institution and a member of the American Association of Universities (AAU). Student enrollment is slightly over 50,000 and the university is currently ranked #14 among public institutions in the U.S. News & World Report rankings.
The current state of OER efforts on campus could be described as in a state of flux but steadily moving forward. A university-wide OER Task Force was put in place in 2016 and completed work late last year on developing recommendations for the State of Florida Board of Governors (BOG), the governing body of the twelve state institutions in the State University System. A statewide coordinating committee, which includes several members from UF and the UF Libraries, is now being formed to act on a number of OER tactics that were proposed to the BOG in December of 2016 (details provided in Campus Activities section).
UF also recently hosted a regional workshop of the fourteen member institutions of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) which focused on facilitating discussion and idea exchange about OER efforts among the student government members at the respective institutions.
The UF Libraries are in the process of formally creating an OER Working Group made up of a number of Library faculty members who have done research related to OER’s, including the Scholarly Resources Librarian who has been active in both OA and OER discussions at the regional and national level. The Libraries are discussing a number of initiatives to support OER, but the uncertainty of the direction of the university and state level efforts have delayed progress on those.
The UF Libraries Cataloging and Discovery Services Department, along with the Acquisitions and Collections Services Department, have proactively added OER’s and open access materials to the library’s catalog from such sources as the Directory of Open Access Books, the Open Textbook Library, Open SUNY Textbooks, and HathiTrust to further enhance OER discoverability. There have also been a number of other basic online resources created, including libguides related to OA and OER topics.

Campus Details

Campus Entities Most Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Library Departments Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Academic Subjects With Greatest OER Traction:

Mechanisms to Support OER Included in the Following:

OER Programs

OER/Textbook Affordability Task Force/Tactical Plan

Determine and promote methods to increase the use of open-access textbook and educational resources to reduce costs to students:
1. Improve adoption of existing OER/eText material through the selection and implementation of an OER/eText catalog tool.
2. Implement state-wide PR and marketing efforts to increase faculty awareness as well as coordinate usage, training, and technical support.
3. Select and implement a repository tool to support sharing and adoption of new OER.

Reduce the costs of eTextbooks for students through mechanisms that could include negotiating lower pricing with vendors and providing an enhanced repository for educational material:
1. Recommend adoption of eTexts which can be made available more cheaply than print texts.
2. Negotiate volume pricing through the state system or other consortiums such as Unizin (through its Engage eText platform.)
3. Aggregate eText and OER options into one catalog tool.
4. Leverage and expand library resources to support appropriate use-cases.
5. Implement PR and marketing efforts to support eText adoption. These should be combined with other OER strategies listed.

Program Type:

Duration: 01/2017 - Present

Scope: Affordable course content, including cost-free course content and OER

Primary OER Strategy: OER Adoption

Secondary OER Strategies: OER Awareness, OER Curation, OER Pedagogy, OER Research, OER Adaptation

Program Partners:

Source of Program Funding:

Incentives Offered by the Program:

Other Resource

OER Events

SEC Student Exchange Workshop: Advocating for Open Access to Educational Resources

Jeff Gallant (Visiting Program Officer for Open Educational Resources, Affordable Learning Georgia, University System of Georgia) spoke on OER generally and why it's an important issue in higher education.

Christina Hillesheim (Past President of the Mississippi State University Graduate Student Association) presented on the student government activities as relates to OER and gave a call to action to all students. There was then time provided for Q&A with speakers/librarians and then a small group activity where student attendees and their advisors worked with librarians and speakers on crafting an action item to take back to their respective campuses.

Closing presentation was provided by Dr. Bruce Herbert (Director of the Office of Scholarly Communication at Texas A&M University.

Date: June 22, 2016 - June 22, 2016

Scope: OER (open course content)

Approximate Attendees: 100

Event Summary

OER Resources

OA/OER Libguide

Very basic guide to OER provided as a tab on a larger OA libguide.

Resource Citation:
UF Libraries OA/OER guide. Author Christine Fruin

Point of Contact

Christine Fruin
Scholarly Communication Librarian/Technical and Support Services/Smathers Libraries