Writing materials

Auburn University’s Writing Department Launches Open Educational Resource

AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) – Academic Writing here at Auburn University has released its new Open Educational Resource, or OER, which contains a variety of worksheets and handouts on many writing-focused topics.

The link to the OER can be found here.

“We have long been known locally and nationally for our high-quality ePortfolio resources,” said Christopher Basgier, director of University Writing. “I am delighted that our OER includes an expanded menu of materials and that these materials are accessible to different users.”

In addition to resources on ePortfolios, the OER contains resources to help anyone with topics such as editing, proofreading, literature reviews, and more.

The OER is the product of a collaboration between University Writing, the Provost’s Office Communications and Marketing team, and the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM), which spanned several years. Basgier and Amy Cicchino, Associate Director of University Writing, initially conceptualized OER when they realized that faculty and students alike could benefit from the many materials University Writing had created for its workshops over the years. Marisa Singh, communications and marketing specialist at the Provost’s Office, coordinated the project and recruited John Walker, information technology specialist at the OCM, to build the OER infrastructure.

Once the design was established, Graduate Program Assistant in Academic Writing Katharine Brown served as project manager and oversaw the efforts of the newly assembled team to work on preparing and publishing the materials. : Miller Writing Center consultant Ved Soni and undergraduate academic writing program assistants Heesun Yoon and Mark Smith.

“I enjoyed working with Ved, Mark and Heesun preparing hundreds of documents for publication in the OER,” Brown said. “Through their efforts, writers and educators inside and outside the university will be able to use University Writing materials in accessible formats.”

Katharine, Mark, and Heesun plan to present this achievement at the 2022 Global Society for Online Literacy Educators conference. In the summary of the conference, they highlight how the OER process has enabled them to “actively participate in the ongoing discussion about equity in education”.

Not only are the OER resources beneficial to all in terms of the materials presented, but the format was carefully considered to ensure that it was accessible to all. Use of academic writing Accessibility and Inclusion Guide, the OER team repackaged the Academic Newsroom material into a new template and checked all materials for accessible headings, alt text, and high contrast colors. All resources are also available in Word and PDF versions to help users with different devices and communication needs. All materials include a Creative Commons license that permits non-commercial recirculation and reuse with attribution. University Writing welcomes feedback via a poll at the top of the OER page.

Students who would like advice on using OER material during the writing process are encouraged to make an appointment with the Miller Writing Center. Teachers who would like advice on adapting OER material for their courses are invited to set up a consultation with Basgier or Cicchino.