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Washington State University Office of the Provost

WSU Open Education Resources (OER) Policy

Selection of course materials is the purview of the faculty.

This policy provides guidance to faculty in achieving the following outcomes through the development and utilization of zero cost course materials at Washington State University, as deemed appropriate by the faculty member responsible for selecting course materials:

  • improve student success through increased access and affordability,
  • support for faculty in providing a transformative educational experience,
  • deliver on our land grant mission to extend knowledge to broader state, national, and global communities.

This policy is specific to the creation and adoption of open educational resources (OER), intended to replace course materials such as textbooks and online assignment tools, by WSU faculty who employ university resources, either in the form of internal development or grant funds or use of WSU support staff and/or tools. Pursuant to the WSU Faculty Manual, Section IV.H.2 (Copyright Policy), such materials are considered works made for hire and copyright is owned by Washington State University and WSU will not waive its rights in the copyright.

Materials created for WSU courses and using the university delivery platform (currently the university instance of Pressbooks©) will be openly licensed as OER through Creative Commons. It is recommended that the developer select CC BY* as the appropriate license. OER are defined publicly available material that is licensed in such a way as to allow free reuse by others with reuse permissions varying by license type.

In addition, faculty creating zero cost digital course materials with University resources, may elect to publish them as an OER as defined above in which case the stipulations below apply.

OER Policy Statement

Work-for-hire OER materials are published and licensed by WSU through the Creative Commons CC BY license to allow others to adopt, remix, reuse and add to the work as long as WSU and the original faculty developer are credited.  The faculty developer will have the right to use the OER consistent with CC BY licensing standards as noted above. The faculty developer will have the right to be identified as a creator of the work

OER materials shall be used in accordance with the WSU licensing standards; the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998; applicable state and federal copyright laws; accepted best practices of the OER community; and college and departmental policies and academic standards.

OER Procedures and Responsibilities

With the support of University entities with knowledge and expertise in copyright law, ADA accessibility, as well as State and Federal policy, faculty developing or adapting OER material shall assume responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the materials, during the term of use, as the OER materials relate to these areas.

OER Guidelines

Support for OER identification and development

As subject matter experts, faculty are responsible for selecting of course materials and are encouraged to develop and/or adopt OER of equal or greater quality than commercially distributed publisher content currently available for adoption.

Librarians will serve a support role for all faculty wishing to incorporate OER into a course. This support can be the location of existing OER appropriate for the class, how to cite material, assistance with open licensing, and recommendation of repositories and other avenues for distributing and archiving OER.

Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI) will serve a support role for faculty wishing to locate, adopt and/or develop OERs. AOI support team includes instructional designers as well as graphic designers, web designers and technical support staff to provide research, production, delivery and access for OER developers and users.

OER Technical Format

The University recommends that written and interactive digital teaching resources should be published in an appropriate repository or public-access website in order to maximize discovery and use by others and provides this service for OER development. Where OER have been created as part of an externally funded activity, any storage and/or repository locations mandated as a condition of the funding should be used.

About This Document

Created with the OER Policy Development Tool by Amanda Coolidge and Daniel DeMarte, 2016.

*CC BY allows users to share and adapt content. For more information on Creative Commons Licensing visit the Creative Commons website at CreativeCommons.Org.

Washington State University