Year of Open 2015-2016

The “Year of Open” is a joint effort by the University of Texas Libraries and Faculty Innovation Center to raise the profile of open content on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, in the city of Austin and the surrounding area.

Higher Education in the New Digital Ecosystem

Randy Bass, Georgetown University, challenged us to think forward by answering the question "If we were inventing higher education right now, what would it look like?" what would it look like by 2030?  This approach helps us identify what we value, how research on learning could be effectively applied, how to address global challenges and changing demographic of students, and deisgn for the digital ecosystem.  What would we keep, change, or eliminate? 

Performing, Communicating and Rewarding Reproducible Research

John P.A. Ioannidis, Standford University, discussed the ongoing debate about how to make research efforts more open, widely shared and reproducible. Both theoretical work and empirical evaluations have suggested that there are several aspects surrounding reproducibility where improvements in current research practices are possible. There is also substantial variability in the way these practices are adopted or not across different scientific fields. He covered the current landscape and future prospects of reproducibility in research efforts.  Watch now

Open Textbooks: Access, Affordability, and Academic Success

As skyrocketing costs are increasingly impacting the perceived value of a college degree and negatively impacting retention and graduation rates, what can be done to mitigate financial pressures for students in the academy? 

View the presentation slideset

Dr. David Ernst created and manages the Open Academics textbook catalog — a single source for faculty to find quality openly licensed textbooks — and he and his colleagues are also developing a toolkit to help other institutions interested in starting their own open textbook initiative on campus. brings his extensive background in education to his roles, including 14 years of teaching and a PhD in Learning Technologies. He has notable presentations on open textbooks for TEDxKyoto in Kyoto, Japan, and TEDxUMN in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

The Future is Now and It’s Open!

Dr. David Wiley shares his definition of Open and how Open Educational Resources [OER] can have a positive effect on learning, and the approaches instructors can take to move towards Open inside their courses.  One way is to eliminate "disposable assignments" within a course.  Those are the assignments that students complain about doing and faculty complain about grading because they don't add value to either them or the world.  After the semester, the student simply throws it away.  David posed the question "What if we replaced those with activities that added value to the world?"

Speaker Series

Randy Bass - May 10, 2016
John P.A. Ioannidis - April 15, 2016
David Ernst - November 15, 2015
David Wiley - September 29, 2015

Open Educational Resources

The Year of Open events focused on OER as a pathway for exploring how we can enhance and improve learning within our classes. 

What is OER?

Where can I find Open Textbooks?