Experiential Learning and Open Education: Partnering with Students to Evaluate OER Accessibility
This chapter focuses on an open textbook evaluation project undertaken by the Open Education Librarian and a student intern at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). UTA offers a Minor in Disability Studies, an interdisciplinary program with requirements that all students graduating with the minor complete a semester-long, supervised internship in order to apply knowledge and skills acquired in their coursework. In Spring 2017, UTA Libraries initiated a partnership with Disability Studies administrators to provide experiential learning opportunities to undergraduate students interested in gaining experience in publishing and education. The first intern paired with the Libraries on this project was tasked with researching accessibility standards and publishing practices to create evaluation criteria to determine the accessibility of open textbooks available through the Open Textbook Library. This chapter presents the process of creating evaluation criteria, describes the evaluation of a prioritized list of open textbooks, and discusses key findings from the project and recommendations for the creation and use of open educational resources.