Digital Scholar Bytes: Open Education Week

Open Education Week (March 4-8) is “an annual celebration and opportunity for those working in Open Education to actively share their achievements and learn about what others are achieving worldwide.” Open Education is a part of the larger open access or open source movement whose goal is to create more access to and collaboration with information.

A tablet leaned against a stack of books

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free or openly accessible learning materials, which includes textbooks, lesson plans, videos, and even full courses. They are written by faculty and subject matter experts. The licenses on OER allows you the flexibility to adapt and edit the materials to suit your course and learning outcomes for your students. With the immediate access provided by OER, students can get started using the materials right from the start of class and refer back to the material long after they may have sold back a traditional textbook.

Increasing Student Retention and Engagement

Open Pedagogy is a way of looking at pedagogy and courses that would invite students into the production and creation of information and not just the consumption of it. Open Pedagogy makes use of Open Access and OER materials and looks at assignments where students add to the knowledge openly available by creating or editing course material or editing Wikipedia pages. Learn more about Open Pedagogy from the Open Pedagogy Notebook.

See all the events that are a part of Open Education Week here.

Open Education at Catholic University

Screenshot of the filters on the search results page of SearchBox with the "Open Access" filter selected

The Library’s SearchBox searches our catalog and many databases at once, including Open Access databases such as the Open Textbook Library and the newly added LibreTexts for OER and the Directory of Open Access Journals for Open Scholarship. To see Open Access materials specifically in your search results, use the filters in the left column of the search results page.

To find more OER and other openly available media, see our OER Research Guide. This guide has more information about Open Education and recommendations of more places to locate and start using OER for your courses. Please also don’t hesitate to reach out to your subject librarian for assistance.

Additionally Open@WRLC works to investigate and determine how the Washington Research Library Consortium can incentivize and support faculty in the creation and adaptation of Open Textbooks. You can see upcoming workshops and recordings of past events to learn how to get involved in reviewing Open Textbooks and learn from fellow faculty members in how they are making use of OER in their courses.

The deadline for the 2024 Open@WRLC Course Transformation stipend has been extended until Friday, March 8, 2024 11:59. Awardees will receive $2000 to convert a course from traditional, commercial textbooks to OER for either the Fall 2024 or Spring 2025 semester. Get more information and apply at



Research & Instruction: Online Teaching Resources

New to teaching online? The first thing to learn is that it is different than in-person teaching and instructors who follow the same playbook as they did for in-person teaching risk not connecting with their students. Become a pro at online teaching and start by exploring some available resources.

Intro to Library Research

Screenshot of the landing page of the Intro to Library Research tutorial

Introducing our updated Intro to Library Research tutorial. This tutorial includes visuals and quizzes and covers the entire research process from developing a topic and keywords, to search strategies, to evaluating and using resources. Each section focuses on a different aspect of searching and can be used to refresh skills or teach them from the beginning.

Center for Teaching Excellence Guide to Online Teaching

Upgrade your online teaching skills with our latest certificate, tailored for new and experienced educators. This self-paced training covers essential topics like course design, student engagement, and effective assessment, all in just 2-4 hours.

Key Highlights:

  • Experience the new Cardinal Learn by Brightspace.
  • Earn a certificate to add to your teaching portfolio.
  • Not about technical platform training, but focused on online teaching pedagogy.

Enrollment Steps:

  • Log in to Brightspace with your CUA credentials.
  • Go to the “Discover” tab.
  • Find “How to Teach Online” and click “Enroll.”
LinkedIn Learning Online Teaching

You can also learn more about teaching online from LinkedIn Learning using self paced videos and courses, such as the new course Learning to Teach Online from Oliver Schinkten. While there see if there are other courses or videos that can supplement your courses and learn how to use them in your classes.

OER Workshops and Stipend

Open Educational Resources or OER are free or openly accessible materials such as textbooks, lesson plans, videos, and even full courses. Using no-cost or low-cost materials advances educational equity and directly impacts student retention and academic success. 

Learn more about finding and using OER at a virtual session in collaboration with the Center for Teaching Excellence next week on Tuesday, February 13th at Noon, register here to get more information.

Tablet in front of a stack of books

Additionally, as a member of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), you are invited to apply for a 2024 Open@WRLC Course Transformation stipend. Awardees will receive $2000 to convert a course from traditional, commercial textbooks to Open Educational Resources (OER) for either the Fall 2024 or Spring 2025 semester.

The stipend program is designed to promote a community of advocates among partnering institutions, create incentive to add to the availability of open course materials, and provide monetary support to acknowledge the time and effort required for curriculum redesign when adopting OER. Apply at Proposals are due March 4.

Learn more at the information sessions on Wednesday, February 14 at 1:00pm or Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 1:00pm. The website also provides details about the program, a timeline, and additional resources.


New Exhibit: Deity

On display now in the May Gallery for Spring 2024 is Deity, showcasing the work of Hadrian Mendoza, a potter and lecturer in CU’s Department of Art. Mendoza is a graduate of Mary Washington College (VA) and studied at the Corcoran School of Art (DC). His work is in the permanent collections of museums in Cambodia, China, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.

Bulol 1 by Hadrian Mendoza
Bulol 1 by Hadrian Mendoza

The 19 pieces in this exhibit, created between 2009 and 2023, explore subjects such as the Bulol rice terrace god from the Philippines, balance in sculpture, and functional objects that include vases, tea sets, and sake sets.

“Since discovering the material of clay, I have always been inspired by cultural objects found in the Philippines during precolonial times. I felt that it somehow connected me to my past, and it was a way to channel energy through my work. This exhibition displays a collection of pieces inspired by the Bulol rice terrace god, a cultural icon that originates in the Ifugao region of northern Luzon, Philippines. The idols are carved wooden figures that are believed to protect the Ifugao rice terraces and bring an abundance of crop yield. I have always weaved this theme into my works as they have transformed through the years, in which I have recreated them as my own distinct interpretations. The faces of these pieces evoke a mute voice and stoic gaze, with minimalist gestures and a vibrant aura.”

Come visit and view this collection in person in Mullen Library and learn more about Hadrian Mendoza’s art at

Learn More About Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free or openly accessible materials such as textbooks, lesson plans, videos, and even full courses. With OER, students will have immediate access to course materials and will be able to reference them after the course is over. Without going through the traditional publishing process, materials can be updated more quickly and you can easily adapt them to your specific course. See the Library’s OER guide for more information and reach out to your library liaison for help in searching for OER to use with your courses.Open@WRLC logo

If you’re interested in how OER can inform retention efforts, improve classroom experiences, assist our most vulnerable students, and respond to DEI challenges, join the Washington Research Library Consortium’s Textbook Affordability Working Group at one of our upcoming Fall 2023 presentations. These presentations will also cover how instructors and faculty can take advantage of the $200 OpenTextbook Library Stipend Review opportunity!

  • October 11th, 2023 @ 1:00 PM: Evaluating OER: Different Tools and Resources
  • October 26th, 2023 @ 12:00 PM: How OER Enables and Aligns with DEI Values
  • November 8th, 2023 @ 1:00 PM: OA vs. OER, and CC Licensing

Learn more and register here! Open@WRLC Upcoming Events

Library Tours and Research Help

Welcome back to campus students!Flyer advertising the Mullen Library Tours from Tue 9/5 to Fri 9/8 at noon

Tour Mullen Library

Next week, Tuesday, September 5th through Friday, September 8th at Noon, join us in the lobby to get a short tour of Mullen Library and learn about the resources we offer!

Acing Research

Throughout September we will have sessions on different aspects of research to help you get started on your assignments and to introduce you to how we at the library can help you ace your assignments. Join us in-person in the Mullen Library Instruction Room to get tips, answers for your questions, and set up for success!

Register at:

Flyer advertising the Acing Research workshops throughout September

Intro to Mullen

On Tuesday September 5th at 3:00pm or Wednesday September 6th at 6:00pm come and get an introduction to all of the library resources available to you here at CUA.

Research Process

On Tuesday September 12th at 3:00pm or Wednesday September 13th at 6:00pm we will cover how to approach the research process from developing topics to finding and using resources.

Using Keywords

On Tuesday September 19th at 3:00pm or Wednesday September 20th at 6:00pm join us to learn more about how to identify effective keywords for your searches and how to use them in library databases