Sunday, December 31, 2017

Opening the Curriculum: Open Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2014 - Elaine Allen and Jeff Seaman, OnlineLearningSurvey

Awareness and adoption of open educational resources (OER) has yet to enter the mainstream of higher education. Most faculty remain unaware of OER, and OER is not a driving force for faculty decisions about which educational materials to adopt. The picture does include some promising signals, as results show that faculty find the concept attractive: those who are aware of OER rate it roughly on par with traditional resources, and those who have not yet used it are very willing to give it a try

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Extending the Territory: From Open Educational Resources to Open Educational Practices - Ulf-Daniel Ehlers,, Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning

This article examines the findings of the recent OPAL report Beyond OER: Shifting Focus from Resources to Practices. In doing so, it defines current understanding of open educational resources and open educational practices, and highlights the shift from open content to open practice. The article includes a framework for supporting open educational practices. The conclusions emphasise that open access is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the opening of education, and foreshadows ongoing moves toward changes in educational architectures that promote increased uptake of open educational resources and wider application of open education.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Understanding Open Educational Resources (OER) - Neil Butcher, Commonwealth of Learning

Its purpose is to provide readers with a quick and user-friendly introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) and some of the key issues to think about when exploring how to use OER most effectively. The second section is a more comprehensive analysis of these issues, presented in the form of a traditional research paper. For those who have a deeper interest in OER, this section will assist with making the case for OER more substantively. The third section is a set of appendices, containing more detailed information about specific areas of relevance to OER. These are aimed at people who are looking for substantive information regarding a specific area of interest.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources - Stephen Downes, National Research Council Canada

This paper depicts the sustainability of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in terms of the three models: funding, technical, and content. Discussion and recommendations are focused on the sustainability of OERs and the requirement that we think of OERs as only part of a larger picture B one that includes volunteers and incentives, community and partnerships, co-production and sharing, distributed management and control.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

OER Textbooks Join Day-One Access Programs in Campus Bookstores - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Rice University's OpenStax textbooks are now being made available through digital access programs from VitalSource and RedShelf at bookstores run by Follett and Barnes & Noble Education. These mainstay digital textbook providers allow colleges and universities to operate inclusive access programs in which students are billed for all their digital textbooks and resources at registration. Now these same institutions will be able to include OpenStax content for free or for a "marginal platform fee."

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Cengage Launches OER Product - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Cengage has introduced OpenNow, a digital content platform for general education courses based on curriculum-aligned open educational resources (OER). All content in OpenNow is openly licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY), which allows users to share, adapt, remix and build upon any work, as long as appropriate credit is given. The platform includes content from OpenStax and other OER sources, new open content created by Cengage, plus content previously under a Cengage copyright. "All Cengage content in OpenNow will become open and can be reused, modified and used elsewhere," the company explained in a news announcement.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Rhode Island OER Celebrates First Birthday with Savings of $870K - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Just a year after introducing a project to embed the use of open educational resources into higher education, the state of Rhode Island announced that it has saved students $870,000 in textbook costs. Governor Gina Raimondo kicked off the "Open Textbook Initiative" last September as part of a larger goal to get more state residents to earn a postsecondary degree. All 11 institutions in the state, including Brown University, the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island School of Design, have pledged to support their faculty in making the transition to OER.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Schools Shift to Free, Public-Domain Curricula - Leslie Brody, Wall Street Journal

The Mentor Public School district in suburban Ohio hasn’t bought textbooks since 2012, when it spent more than $1 million on them. Its leaders hope to stop paying for textbooks altogether. They want teachers in this district for 7,700 students to use free materials available online as much as possible. Teachers are cooking up their own classes in economics, government and high school English, without off-the-shelf commercial products.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

References and Citations for All - Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed

“Open citations now!” So concludes a new open letter to publishers from researchers who support making scholarly citations freely available, in the interest of better citation analysis. Advocates of such efforts say that references are a pillar of scholarly work and that being able to understand how articles cite each other shouldn’t require an expensive subscription to a database. In short, just as open-access proponents argue for free access to scholarly articles, open-citation proponents want free access to publication citation data.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Higher education faculty attitude, motivation and perception of quality and barriers towards OER in India - Mishra, Sanjaya; Singh, Alka

The premise of this study is that teachers’ conceptions of the quality of Open Educational Resources (OER) and their attitudes and motivations towards using OER will influence whether and how they use and/or contribute open resources. Understanding teachers’ attitudes, motivations and barriers to OER use and comparing data across institutions may help to identify the issues that influence OER uptake in India. This chapter attempts to answer the following four research questions: How are teachers’ attitudes towards OER situated in the context of teaching and learning? What are teachers’ motivations for using OER and sharing their work as OER? How do teachers perceive the quality of OER? What barriers to using OER do teachers perceive?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Students' Vital Role in OER - Christina Hendricks, Inside Higher Ed

Through creating and spreading open educational resources, students learn more and make an impact on the world, writes Christina Hendricks. When I first started learning about open education and open educational resources about five years ago, I knew OERs were different than other educational resources in that they have an open license, but I thought of them as similar in the sense of being created by instructors in educational institutions. But it’s clear to me now that students also have a valuable role to play in creating and revising OERs, as well as in promoting open education more widely.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

An Introduction to Open Educational Resources - Abbey Elder, SPARC Leadership Fellow

This video is intended to serve as an introduction to OER for college professors. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

OER Adoptions on the Rise - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

The number of faculty members choosing open educational resources over traditional textbooks has nearly doubled in the last year, but awareness over all remains low. More and more instructors are choosing open educational resources over traditional textbooks, a survey of more than 2,700 faculty members reveals. The "Opening the Textbook" survey, published by the Babson Survey Research Group today, reports that the number of faculty members at two- and four-year institutions using OER as textbooks has nearly doubled in the last year -- from 5 percent in 2015-16 to 9 percent in 2016-17.

Open Educational Resources White Paper - Ontario Council of University Libraries (November 2017)

Research conducted for the purposes of this paper demonstrates that OCUL libraries have a strong awareness of OER trends and are interested in supporting programming and staff development in this area. In several cases, libraries have received direction from university administration to investigate opportunities and potential roles for their services. In other cases libraries have already been providing a significant level of instructional, copyright, licensing and technical support to faculty through workshops and research guides.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Assessing the Savings from Open Educational Resources on Student Academic Goals Tarah K. Ikahihifo, Kristian J. Spring, Jane Rosecrans, and Josh Watson, IRRODL

Our study found that most students considered OER to be as good or better in terms of quality and engagement as traditional texts, while also allowing them to put saved funds toward their educational pursuits. As rising costs in higher education affect current and potential students, faculty and students are looking for ways to cut costs where possible. Open educational resources (OER) are a viable option to replace expensive traditional textbooks without sacrificing quality. This article presents the results of a study conducted with students at a Virginia community college who took courses that used OER.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Report to the Joint Budget Committee and The Education Committees of the General Assembly Open Educational Resources in Colorado

Colorado’s Open Educational Resources Council is a statewide body charged by the Legislature and the governor through SB 17-258 to develop recommendations for an OER initiative serving public higher education in the state of Colorado. This OER Council Report to the Joint Budget Committee includes a rationale for state investment in OER, an overview of successful OER initiatives in other states, a description of the current status of OER use in Colorado and structural and investment recommendations for a statewide OER initiative.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Free Textbooks? NJIT’s Open and Affordable Textbook Initiative - Siri Uppuluri, NJIT Vector

Should I buy it or rent it? Can I find it online? Do I even need the textbook for this class? This debate hinges on the central issue regarding textbooks: their cost. A study conducted by the College Board in 2013 found that the average undergraduate student’s budget for books and related supplies exceeds $1,200 per year. In addition, the United States Government Accountability Office, in a 2013 report to Congressional Committees regarding student accessibility to college textbooks, found that between 2002 and 2012, the cost of college textbooks increased by 82%. This is nearly three times the rate of inflation during that same time period.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Faculty Advocate for OER As Movement Grows - Barnes & Noble College NEXT

The recent decision to invest $8 million to provide open educational resources (OER) to students at New York’s SUNY and CUNY colleges, signals a shift in the acceptance of OER in higher education. New York is not alone. Similar programs at Cal State and Georgia’s Affordable Learning Georgia system demonstrate a growing movement, capitalizing on early pilot programs and early adopter tests to firmly establish OER into the academic mainstream. Indeed, research indicates that more than 7 in 10 instructors (71 percent) say they are very, or somewhat, likely to promote use of OER to colleagues, but the advantages OER can bring might also reflect the way the students themselves increasingly want to learn.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Open Education and OER - A guide and call to action for policy makers

ALT has produced this call to action to highlight to education policy makers and professionals how Open Education and OER can expand inclusive and equitable access to education and lifelong learning, widen participation, and create new opportunities for the next generation of teachers and learners, preparing them to become fully engaged digital citizens. Open Education can also promote knowledge transfer while enhancing quality and sustainability, supporting social inclusion and creating a culture of inter-institutional collaboration and sharing.

Working towards a cheap book future - Caleb Hensin, the Pierce Pioneer News

The Open Education Project is a combined effort by students, Pierce faculty, and state legislators to bring cheaper, perhaps even free, options to students when it comes to textbooks. Already, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord campus has one such program up and running: Pierce Open Pathway (POP). All five of Washington’s public universities and The Evergreen State College accept credits from this transfer degree, and saves students costs by allowing a mixture of free resources both online and from the library that teachers can also use for a more customized class experience rather than having to rely explicitly on traditional textbooks.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

College textbooks made more accessible through Netflix-like subscription - Kate Roddy, edScoop

The cost of college textbooks and learning materials just became a little more affordable through Cengage Unlimited — a Netflix-style subscription service that gives students unlimited access to an online database of course materials. Cengage, an edtech company headquartered in Boston, will officially debut the service in August 2018, when students will be required to pay a one-time subscription fee before accessing a dashboard with over 20,000 products across 70 disciplines and nearly 700 course areas. “High costs are limiting too many students from being able to access and succeed in their learning,” Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage, said in a statement.

Macmillan Learning Offers Educators Support for Open Education Resources via the Intellus Platform

Macmillan Learning has expanded its affordable course offerings with new services available through Intellus Learning. Intellus, acquired by Macmillan last year, provides access to the first and only easily curated collection of open educational resources (OER) and academic library materials, enabling educators to easily select and deliver free and low-cost course materials to their students, all through the school’s LMS. Intellus Learning’s taxonomy enables faculty to easily find, filter, and curate any openly-licensed content and academic library content that the institution has already paid to access to create or modify pre-built courses by topic, learning objective, traditional textbook chapters and accessibility rights.

The Business Of Making OER A Standard For Affordable Textbooks - Moodle News

Setting outrageous prices for textbooks is a practice of publishers, but in few cases does the economics seem to justify it. As Wang and Wang argue, learning efficacy could be the way forward for OER to reach the mainstream. Their research demonstrates that the quality of learning outcomes for OER matches that of commercial textbooks, and when measured using rubrics like quality of peer-based discussions, OER even outperforms.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This “open” innovation may indicate the future of learning - CHARLES SOSNIK, eSchool News

There are several terms you should know. Credentialing. Micro-Credentialing. Badging. But the one you should get very familiar with is Open Badges. Today, learning needs to be quantified. Not by time, but by skills and specific experience. And it needs to be verifiable. We also need the ability to display and share those skills, combine them and show how they are applicable to multiple industries. They need to be meaningful and transferable. The technology now exists to power the education system of the future. It is already in use, but in the next 15 years it will completely dwarf our current system of assessment.

Monday, December 11, 2017

OER: The Future of Education Is Open - Lisa Young, Una Daly and Jason Stone, EDUCAUSE Review

OER are "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."

UW Faculty Members Receive Open Textbook Grants - University of Wyoming

Two University of Wyoming faculty members recently received $6,000 in grant funding for the adoption of free and open textbooks, and the creation of open course materials. The OER Initiative aims to provide free and open textbooks to UW students. Textbook costs skyrocketed in the past decade, with an increase in price of over 70 percent since 2006. Many students report that they do not always buy the textbook for a class, even when they know that not having the text will hurt their grade. Others seek creative solutions to cut textbook costs.

Knewton Returns, With New Pitch - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Brian Kibby, CEO of Knewton, said that he felt confident that Knewton’s product would stand out from other offers on the market. “We are the only ones in that world that do what we do,” said Kibby. “That is, use openly available content in partnership with our powerful personalized learning engine.” Kibby added that a core difference between the Knewton product, and others on the market, is that every student is treated as an individual.

New zero-cost textbook classes minimize educational barriers - Pasadena Community College Courier

Recently, Pasadena City College took action to create an easier way for students to take classes without the need of purchasing expensive textbooks. Beginning during the Winter 2018 intersession, students are able to search the course catalog for classes that only use zero-cost textbooks. This applies to not only traditional classes, but also online classes. These classes will utilize only open educational resources (OER) available for free online.