DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Open Education Week 2019

DePaul library celebrates Open Education Week, March 4-8

Open Education Week
The Open Education Consortium, an influential group in the open education movement, hosts an annual Open Education Week across academic institutions. The week is designed to raise awareness of the challenges students and faculty encounter due to unreasonable access constraints and to recognize the innovative programs that have evolved to address these complex issues.

To celebrate Open Education Week this year, March 4-8, the DePaul Library will host screenings of the documentary “Paywall: The Business of Scholarship​” at both the Lincoln Park and Loop campuses. “Paywall” investigates the impact of restrictions imposed by the publishing industry on access, or lack thereof, to research. This is an increasingly important issue both for faculty and for students, who often lose access to most of this information once they graduate. The impact on both lifelong learning and the future of research is significant. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend and to participate in a discussion following the viewing of the film.

Why it matters:

College affordability and student debt are persistent problems in higher education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that tuition and fees rose 63 percent in the decade between 2006 and 2016. Even more alarming, textbook prices rose 88 percent during the same period. Complicating the textbook affordability issue even further are fees students pay to access online homework, quizzes and tests that are behind a paywall. Unlike textbooks, students cannot access the materials after the class has finished or resell the access codes, which average $100 per course.  

Students cope with this financial burden in a number of ways, some of which affect their learning. A 2018 CBS online news article stated 65 percent of students did not purchase a required textbook during their college career. This figure is even higher at DePaul. A student survey conducted by the DePaul Library in 2018 found that 87 percent of the 1,100 students who responded did not purchase a required textbook or course material due to the high cost. 

In the last 10-15 years, numerous open education initiatives have evolved worldwide to address these affordability issues, as well as open scholarship more broadly. The Open Education Consortium is one of the most influential groups in this open education movement. Its mission to advance open education worldwide encompasses materials, as well as scholarly articles and learning communities. 

Open access to scholarly articles is important for students and faculty to engage in the intellectual discourse that is essential for learning and building upon research to solve problems. Paywalls, however, often prohibit the open sharing of these resources. 

Screening dates and locations of "Paywall:"

Lincoln Park Campus
Monday, March 4 
3 - 4:30 p.m. 
John T. Richardson Library, room 207 

Thursday, March 7 
1:30 – 3 p.m. 
John T. Richardson Library, room 207

Loop Campus
Wednesday, March 6
3 – 4:40 p.m.
DePaul Center, Library Collaboratory