Saturday, March 31, 2018

Follett Contracts with Stony Brook University to Operate Virtual Bookstore and Campus Stores - Follett

After a national competitive bid process, Follett was chosen as the vendor that would offer the best programs and opportunities for students to save on the overall costs of course materials. Cost-saving options include a textbook rental program that saves students up to 80 percent compared to buying new books and a varied selection of ebooks and other digital learning technologies that help promote anywhere/anytime access to needed materials. Follett will also offer affordable open educational resources content and courseware by Lumen Learning. "We're excited to work with Stony Brook University to serve their students, parents, alumni, fans, faculty and staff," said Clay Wahl, President of Follett Higher Education. "Follett's focus is on providing cost-effective course material options while enhancing the Stony Brook University campus experience and driving student success. Customers can expect our campus and online stores to deliver great products and celebrate the unique spirit of the campus."

Friday, March 30, 2018

OPEN, a SUNY Cortland Partner, Helps P.E. Teachers Across America - SUNY Cortland

A grassroots organization of teachers helping teachers — specifically in physical education — has a key partnership with SUNY Cortland, including a number of alumni and faculty. Aaron Hart M ’99 is the executive director of OPEN, the Online Physical Education Network, a public service of BSN Sports and U.S. Games. OPEN is a free service that uses a network of 42 national trainers to provide curriculum support and professional development experiences to physical education teachers across the country. To date, OPEN, which officially launched in March 2015, has seen more than 33,000 teachers download lesson plans and resources that have reached 17.5 million students.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Efforts ongoing to lower textbook costs at Iowa State - K. Rambo, Iowa State Daily

Some at Iowa State are working to make textbooks more accessible for all students. Heather Dean, course materials manager at the Iowa State University Bookstore, is a three-time winner of the Excellence in Course Materials Management award from the Independent College Bookstore Association for her efforts in textbook affordability at Iowa State. Dean’s passion for textbook accessibility stems from her time as a student at Iowa State, where a textbook can run as high as $347.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Two UMD courses will have free online textbook access in the fall - Christine Condon, DBK News

Two University of Maryland biology courses will be among many in the University System of Maryland to offer students free online textbook access next year with the help of a system grant program. BSCI201 and 202, introductory courses in human anatomy and physiology, will use a free, open-source textbook from OpenStax beginning in the fall, said biology professor Sara Lombardi. To make the switch, university lecturers for the courses received a $1,500 grant from the Maryland Open Source Textbook initiative, which offers grants to encourage faculty to utilize open educational resources. The grants were announced March 6.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

MERLOT Updated for Mobile OER Hunting - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

MERLOT, the granddaddy of open educational resources developed by the California State University system, has entered its third decade of operation with a new facelift. The project, as always, provides a gateway to OER. But with its newest release, search functionality has been expanded and coding has been done using responsive web design to make it mobile device-friendly.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Skyepack Harnesses Open Educational Resources to Offer College Course Material to Students for Just $35 - Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside

While traditional textbook publishers have been hiking their costs in recent years, a Purdue-affiliated company is changing that story. Skyepack works with professors to curate their educational material for their course. With the help of open educational resources, they aim to provide it to students for just $35.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Event shows students benefits of open educational resources - Sergio Medina, San Antonio College Ranger

On small white erase boards, a question read, “What would I do with the money I had to spend on textbooks?” Using a marker, liberal arts freshman Mackensie Villareal wrote down “bought my child more school supplies and save for Christmas.” This was the scene at Alamo Open’s textbook awareness event March 7 in the courtyard west of Moody Learning Center. It was part of OER Awareness Week. The event was coordinated by Phillip Anaya, open educational resources and digital coordinator of the Alamo Colleges, and volunteer Carrie Warren.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

One Example of a Nonprofit Moving to Scale through a Collaborative Network - Derrick Rhayn, Non-Profit Quarterly

Last week, the Department of Education (DOE) announced a national partnership focused on OER with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), a California-based nonprofit whose mission is to improve the practice of continuous learning, collaboration, and change in the education sector. The partnership focuses on enhancing and expanding the #GoOpen network, an Obama administration initiative geared towards supporting “states and districts choosing to transition to the use of openly licensed educational resources to transform teaching and learning.”

Friday, March 23, 2018

University of Alberta Advocacy group pushing for open access educational resources - Andrew McWhinney, the Gateway

A group on campus is trying to create a world where paying for textbooks is a thing of the past. The open educational research advocacy group’s goal is to spread awareness of open educational resources (OERs) on campus. OERs are teaching materials that are freely available and published with an open license, which means they can be reused, revised, remixed, retained, and redistributed at no cost. For instructors, this means they can pick and choose elements from various places in order to create a completely customized course as opposed to relying on a textbook.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Open Educational Resources (OER) - UT Dallas Eugene McDermott Library

Open Educational Resources (OERs) can be defined as "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." [1] David Wiley [2] states that the framework of OERs is based on the five Rs of Openess:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

$1,200 per year on books? Open education resources offer alternatives to expensive textbooks - St. George News

Textbooks play a big part in the cost of higher education. Students pay an average of $1,200 per year on books, and expense that’s usually paid directly out-of-pocket, not with scholarships or financial aid. The cost for textbooks has risen 90 percent in 18 years. The Consumer Price Index for textbooks has increased at a higher rate than that of new home prices and medical care. The high cost of books has forced many students to reconsider purchasing the materials, even if it meant that going without the textbook could hurt their grades.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

New Framework Offers Way to Validate OER Commitment - Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

A new report proposes a framework by which open educational resource initiatives — and particularly those promulgated by for-profit organizations — can be measured. "Toward a Sustainable OER Ecosystem: The Case for OER Stewardship" has three purposes according to its authors: to help make sure "the OER community's values can be maintained as the movement scales"; to gauge the practices of "new entrants" to the OER field (especially those out to make money from it); and to build educator confidence in participating in OER, including those who contribute their own materials and may be uncertain regarding its use by for-profit publishers.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Free e-textbooks every student can access and afford - Myra Salcedo, Mesa Journal News

Enter Open Educational Resources (OER) and open textbooks, key online sources for free textbooks for students. As a faculty member, I would like to be paid for my work. However, if I can save even one student from dropping out of class due to the lack of affording a textbook, I will create that textbook, uncompensated. This is because I am a first-generation graduate. I left home at the age of sixteen when my family wanted me to work in retail rather than going to college. I made it. Now, I need to pay it forward. This does not mean that I will not write books for publication or compensation. It means that those books will not be textbooks. Equal education for everyone means affordable education. I am preparing to develop a free textbook, which I have been told is an arduous process. If it does not take away from my current classes, then I am ready. Some student organizations (at other universities) are offering stipends to teachers who write textbooks.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

In Search of OER’s Future and Edtech’s Missing Evidence at SXSW EDU - Jeffrey R. Young, et al, EdSurge

Monday marked day one of Open Education Week, and speakers at a panel used the opportunity to discuss the potential for open educational resources as an alternative to increasingly unaffordable textbooks—as well as the challenges and misconceptions that the open movement still faces. Panelists started by drawing attention to Austin Community College, where students are advised to budget at least $1,200—about a third of tuition costs—for textbooks. While OER was presented as one way to ease course material costs, other challenges remain, starting with understanding and awareness of what the term means. “‘Open’ is not the same thing as digital,” said Nicole Allen, director of open education at SPARC, an academic coalition that advocates for open sharing and resources. “And open doesn’t only mean ‘free.’”

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Five examples of how higher education is changing with technology - Business and Finance

Both inside and outside of Ireland universities are experimenting with handheld and mobile computing, earning badges before degrees, game-based learning and virtual reality. Technology is changing all parts of the university experience, from the way students are reached during recruiting, how they fill out their forms when enrolling, and once on campus (or not) how assessments are conducted and the way they sign on and access resources in the library 24/7. Open educational resources are helping to take this level of robust resource to the underserved parts of the world. All these are in line with UNESCO guidelines aimed at helping the world’s populations move from exclusion to empowerment, a set of values always held by the Irish as well.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Teaching and learning workshops focus on resources to help students save money on their education - U Calgary

Oopen educational resources (OERs) are getting attention on campuses around the world and here at the University of Calgary. OERs are peer-reviewed academic content that has been made available via an open licence, such as a Creative Commons License, and which are useful for teaching, learning and assessment. “Everything is going digital, I do think this is the future of education,” says Ykje Piera, learning technologies specialist and open educational resources lead at UCalgary. Piera is involved with the university’s OER pilot project and has seen a lot of interest from instructors: “The academic community is buying in. There was no shortage of applications for the pilot project. There is lots of enthusiasm for projects.”

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Red Hat Honors Instructors Who Champion Open Source Education

For the second year, Red Hat is honoring the work of higher education instructors who are committed to teaching the open source development process to their students. The majority of honorees are past participants in Professor’s Open Source Software Experience (POSSE). Launched by Red Hat in 2009, POSSE is a cultural immersion in the tools and practices of open source communities, designed for instructors looking for ways to bring their students into active participation in those communities. These workshops are made possible through National Science Foundation grants awarded to Drexel University, Nassau Community College and Western New England University, and by Teaching Open Source, a member project of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Corporations such as Red Hat and Google provide support through Teaching Open Source and their participation in POSSE workshops, which are co-taught by members of the academic and open source communities.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Guide to Good OER Stewardship - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Interest in open educational resources -- freely accessible and openly licensed learning materials -- is booming. But while OER’s growing popularity with faculty members has delighted supporters, it has also attracted the attention of commercial publishers. Macmillan Learning, Cengage, Pearson and McGraw-Hill have all recently introduced products that incorporate open educational resources into platforms that also include proprietary material. The development of these products has sparked concern among some OER advocates, who question whether OER that you pay to access is really still open. But publishers say they are adding value by making it easy for faculty members to adopt OER, by helping them find the best content and enhancing it with supplementary materials such as homework and exam questions.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Geneseo uses funding to investigate more digital educational opportunities - Malachy Dempsey, the Lamron

As the administration attempts to further the Geneseo Strategic Plan 2021, faculty and staff have explored methods to implement more digital learning tools. Members of the college community have embraced such moves with open, but cautionary feelings. With funding from the first stage of the Strategic Plan, Assistant to the Provost for Digital Learning and Scholarship and professor of English Paul Schacht has spearheaded digital learning in various areas. The office is working with Milne Library to help professors understand and utilize online resources, Library Director Ben Rawlins said. The funding will also allow certain faculty members to study how other colleges approach the digital world, according to a Feb. 15 news posting on the college’s website.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Growing textbook prices a problem on the rise - Molly Browning, Pasquino

For some college students, textbook prices are a heavy weight that they can’t always afford. Potomac State College business student, Zoe Sypolt, stated she budgets $500-$1,000 for her text books each year. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the price of textbooks has risen from January 1977 to June 2015 by a 1,041 percent increase.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

‘Z-degree’ gives students textbooks for free - MAURA LERNER, STAR TRIBUNE

At Minnesota state colleges, students spend an average of $1,000 a year on textbooks alone. But in Brainerd, they can earn a two-year degree without paying a penny for books. Central Lakes College has joined a growing national movement to ditch pricey textbooks in favor of material that can be found online for free. This semester, it launched one of the state’s first “Z-degrees,” meaning that all the required readings—in this case, for an associate of arts degree—are available at zero cost to students.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Maximizing student futures, minimizing college debt - Dorey Diab, News Journal

College debt is out of control. Forbes Magazine reports that the class of 2016 had an average student loan debt of $37,142; and that 44 million students and graduates now hold more than $1.3 trillion dollars in debt for their education, which is greater than the credit card debt. In Ohio, the average is $30,239 per student borrower. North Central State College is currently leading a consortium of 16 institutions in Ohio, including The Ohio State University, to explore the viability of students using Open Educational Resources — online instructional materials instead of being required to purchase expensive textbooks. This change could provide tremendous savings to students across the state. Early projections show students could save $14 million each year.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Textbook prices impose challenges for students: College looking for alternatives to increase affordability - Jane Collins, Lafayette Student News

Dean of Libraries Anne Houston and others in the administration recently decided to take on the issue of rising textbook prices and alternatives to traditional textbooks in order to provide equal opportunities for all students. “We feel that the best way to level the playing field for all students is to make textbooks affordable to all, and the best way to do that is through the development and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OERs),” Houston said. OERs are free online textbooks and other class materials developed by faculty and shared freely on the Internet. According to Houston, OERs require faculty to modify their syllabi, and it’s not always an easy transition, but she is hopeful to start this transition at Lafayette where applicable.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Amazon's Newest Hire Could Have a Big Impact on Online Open Education Resources - Leigh Buehler-Rappold, American Public University

In an effort to expand its workforce, Amazon has hired Candace Thille to work with its Global Learning Development Team and create an innovative learning workplace. Thille is a pioneer in learning science and open educational delivery. The details of Thille’s new position are still being worked out, so it is difficult to say exactly what she will do at Amazon. However, considering Amazon’s business relies heavily on data analytics and unremitting experimentation, it makes sense that this giant retailer would look to a learning scientist to advance its workforce training.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Oregon State University - Open Text / Materials State Upload Requirements

Oregon’s House Bill 2871 requires faculty to indicate clearly when a course section uses exclusively open textbooks or other low-cost and no-cost course materials. If you use open educational resources (OER) in your class, you are required to share that information with students. There is an established compliance process in place at Oregon State that relies on the OSU Beaver Store's textbook information upload system.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

UBC Library to support faculty in creating open textbooks and open educational resources through 1-year grant project - michelle blackwell, University of British Columbia

UBC Library Digital Initiatives is pleased to announce a 1-year, TLEF-funded project to promote the creation and use of open textbooks and open educational resources (OERs). Starting in May 2018, up to 5 grants of up to $1,800 each will be available to UBC faculty members interested in creating or adopting open resources to replace commercial materials in their courses. Funding will support faculty in developing open textbooks and OERs through sub-grants with dedicated Library staff support.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Milner Library celebrates Open Education Week, March 5-9 - Colleen Rice, ISU News

Open Education Week is an annual event celebrated by universities, libraries, and K-12 schools around the world. The goal of Open Education Week is to raise awareness of free and openly-licensed classroom materials. These materials are referred to as Open Educational Resources (OER) and can include peer-reviewed textbooks, videos of lectures, assignments, lesson plans, and any other learning device that are freely available online and are licensed so others can reuse them.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Here’s what Russian hackers and textbook publishers have in common - the Denisonian

Americans are fiercely protective of their freedom to exchange ideas and information in public discourse, without outside intervention. Yet, textbook publishers breed miniature monopolies, in effect constructing huge financial barriers to swaths of information. Students shell out $1,168 every year on books and materials, according to the College Board. Many students can’t afford that kind of outflow, some just barely. “I worked all summer and a majority of all the money I earned from working was used to buy one semester’s worth of textbooks,” Kate Zimmerman ‘20, said. Publishers compete for professors, who may or may not care how much students pay for books. Sounds like a monopoly, doesn’t it? That’s because essentially, it is. But some colleges in California are fighting back with open educational resources.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Introducing the BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide

The BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide is a practical reference for writing and publishing an open textbook. This guide provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, and publishing of an open textbook as well as the importance of copy editing and proofreading. Copyright, open copyright licenses, and the differences between citation and attribution are discussed. Most of us don’t have a publishing background, so we are offering what we have learned throughout the process as common-sense tips to get the job done, in a realistic fashion. Using the BCcampus Open Education Authoring Guide as a framework, all of the internal processes used and experiences gathered by BCcampus Open Education project managers during the first phases of the B.C. Open Textbook Project have been added. Sections about the adaptation and adoption of open textbooks and how to use Pressbooks have been removed and added to separate guides.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Open Education~I - Anirban Ghosh, the Statesman

Open licences are the outcome of an effort to protect the authors’ rights in an environment where the content (particularly when digitised) can easily be copied and shared without permission. Open licences seek to ensure that copying and sharing should happen within a structured legal framework that is more flexible than the automatic all-rights-reserved status of copyright. They allow permission to be given accurately, while relaxing the restrictions of traditional copyright. They allow for more flexibility in the use, reuse and adaptation of materials for local context and learning environment, while allowing authors to have their work acknowledged. In this context, OER means teaching and learning materials for which copyright has expired or for which copyright has been explicitly withdrawn by the author. Open licence does not mean that everything is open. Quite simply it gives us the right to use and at the same time impose certain restrictions.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Hancock takes steps to save students big money on textbooks - KASEY BUBNASH, Santa Maria Sun

Allan Hancock College political science professor Jessica Scarffe has long been frustrated by the ridiculous prices of textbooks required for many college courses. The costs have been steadily rising for many years now, she said, and the increased rates are significantly outpacing that of inflation. “I just was disturbed to see students, especially in the demographic of our population, paying $200 for a textbook,” Scarffe said.