Monday, April 30, 2018

OER Best Practices to Scale Up - Kiri Dali, Community College Consortium for OER

A recent discussion transpired on the CCCOER community email group surrounding best practices for scaling up OER projects. Because this question comes up frequently for CCCOER members, we wanted to summarize that discussion to share via the blog. The original question came from Jan Jarrell, a faculty member at San Diego City College: Our administration would like to see more widespread adoptions of OER texts and low-cost/no-cost options for students. After attending the Open Education Conference last fall, it seemed to me that this can happen if there is institutional support (i.e., a coordinator or librarian dedicated to OER/Open Access, mini-grants for faculty, etc.). What is your experience? What are the most effective ways for community colleges to encourage/support OER?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

LOERN: A Network to Showcase OER for Language Learning - Community College Consortium for OER

The Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) just launched the Language OER Network (LOERN), a page on our website to list language educators who are creating, using, or promoting open educational resources (OER). Every person featured on the page receives an open digital badge from COERLL. In this effort to acknowledge, validate, inspire, and connect open practitioners, we have already distributed badges to 41 teachers, librarians, and administrators. We built the Language OER Network because we realized that more people than ever have started to understand what we do and are interested in getting involved in their own open projects. We are always thankful to hear from K-12 teachers and community college and university faculty who spend the extra time and energy to find the right open materials to support their students’ language proficiency. The Language OER Network exists to acknowledge this work.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

OEC to Present President’s Award to Mary Lou Forward at the 2018 Open Education Global Conference - Susan Huggins, Open Education Consortium

The Open Education Consortium (OEC) is pleased to announce the presentation of the Presidential Award to Mary Lou Forward, previous OEC Executive Director, at the 2018 Open Education Global Conference in Delft, The Netherlands. The President’s Award is given by the OE Consortium Board of Trustees to an institution or an individual with exceptional contributions to the field of open education serving as inspirational model of engagement and commitment.It’s an honor to present this prestigious Presidential Award recognizing Mary Lou for being instrumental in advancing open education through her exceptional dedication, outstanding contribution, and exemplary service.

Friday, April 27, 2018

A Playbook to Go Open: 5 Steps to Adopting OER - Randy Wilhelm, EdSurge

Advocates of OER boast that in addition to being more affordable, these resources can provide more up-to-date content because digital OER can be updated more frequently than traditional textbooks. When digital learning was in its infancy in the early 2000’s, there were few platforms or tools available to help educators decipher and select quality online content—nor was there a direct need for them. Now, a seemingly limitless amount of robust digital content is available for educators to tailor content to individual students. The Department of Education has its own OER initiative, called #GoOpen, which aims to promote equity for all students to have access to high quality learning materials.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

How an OER Rookie Dove Deep Into a Zero-Cost Textbook Degree Program - Sydney Johnson, EdSurge

The campus is home to several longtime advocates of open and free learning materials. Those professors’ individual efforts got a boost in 2016, when Gov. Jerry Brown passed a budget proposal that would distribute $5 million to selected community colleges in the state to create Z-degree programs, and require all developed materials to hold a Creative Commons license, which allow people anywhere to use and adapt the texts. College of the Canyons was one of the first campuses to receive funds through the effort, and today it is one of 25 community colleges that the state is funding to implement Z-degrees.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Can a For-Profit, Venture-Backed Company Keep OER Free—and Be Financially Sustainable? - Sydney Johnson, EdSurge

From 2006 to 2016, the cost of textbooks increased by 88 percent, more than than nearly any other college student expense—including tuition and fees (63 percent) or on-campus housing (51 percent)—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. New and traditional publishers are trying to offer alternatives such as open educational resources (OER), or freely downloadable and adaptable learning materials. But some providers of OER still ask for fees in return, and that has advocates concerned.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Open Science Training Handbook (ver 1) - Merlot

The Open Science Training Handbook (ver. 1) is intended for anyone who wishes to host Open Science training events or introduce Open Science concepts to discipline-training events, in order to foster the uptake of Open Research practices. This includes librarians, infrastructure providers, research support officers, funders, policy makers and decision makers. The handbook is also meant for all those who have regular or occasional contact with researchers (and other stakeholders) and wish to share their Open Science knowledge, either as part of regular working duties or as extra investment of time.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Battle over college course material is a textbook example of technological change - Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post

A revolution in college course materials is raising questions about cost, access and fairness. Publishers say their high-tech courseware — electronic books glowing with videos and interactive study guides — can improve the quality of learning at a small fraction of the cost of traditional textbooks. But student advocates call for adoption of open-source textbooks that can be downloaded for free, and worry that the same companies that drove up the price of print textbooks are dominating the digital space and will ultimately introduce higher costs there. Now, Congress has stepped into the fray by committing $5 million in the fiscal 2018 budget to support the creation or expansion of open textbooks on college campuses. The money is the first major investment by the federal government in open-source materials and could advance the movement.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fewer Printed Textbooks For Nicolet College Students - KEN KRALL, WXPR

An innovative program at Nicolet College has saved students tens of thousands of dollars in textbook costs. The college has found a way to get the textbook course material online at a free source which students can tap into. Manager of Open Educational and Instructional Resources at Nicolet, Cindy Domaika outlines how it works... open education resources come in a variety of forms, anywhere from textbooks, videos, sometimes entire courses. They're free and mostly come in digital You can do print versions at a reduced cost, but the free versions are digital..." The majority of the material came from, content-rich website where educators from across the globe openly share a wide variety of digital instructional material that is available at no cost.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Can a For-Profit, Venture-Backed Company Keep OER Free—and Be Financially Sustainable? - Sydney Johnson, Ed Surge

Based in Toronto, Canada, Top Hat’s new freemium business plan—referred to as its Open Content Initiative—will replace the company’s former paid options. Previously, low-cost and even free materials on the Top Hat Marketplace were only available to students who purchased a subscription for the platform, which cost $26 for one term, $38 annually or $75 for lifetime access. Now anyone who makes a free account can access to Top Hat Marketplace, a repository of more than 20,000 course materials—nearly 90 percent of which are free and openly licensed. In addition, Top Hat has also made its assessment and homework tools free, allowing instructors to create homework assignments based upon the resources they adopt in the marketplace

Friday, April 20, 2018

Top Hat Makes Access to OER Free - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Top Hat, a company that provides cloud-based teaching tools, has made access to open educational resources free on its platform. Under Top Hat’s old pricing structure, students would have paid $26 for one semester to access Top Hat’s online textbooks, 90 percent of which are OER. Now students will be able to access these resources through the Top Hat platform at no cost. Publishers and ed-tech companies have recently been criticized for charging users to access free OER materials on their proprietary platforms.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Virginia Tech University Libraries crowdfunding for free materials and cheaper textbooks - WDBJ7

Many people can likely remember how expensive text books are in college, but Virginia Tech is trying to solve that. The University Libraries is running a crowdfunding campaign looking for $10,000. The money would go toward giving Open Education Faculty Initiative Grants to teachers so they can create and more openly licensed materials, or open education resources (OER). OER include no-cost, editable alternatives to traditional textbooks and homework software access codes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

University Libraries Seeks to Create Freely Available Learning Materials and Lower Textbook Costs - WVNS

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds in support of faculty who are creating freely available textbooks and learning materials for students. As part of its mission to provide new ways to discover, access, create, sustain, and share information, the University Libraries created Open Education Faculty Initiative Grants to engage faculty in adapting or creating and openly sharing high-quality legally remixable learning resources called open educational resources (OER). OER include no-cost, editable alternatives to traditional textbooks and homework software access codes. The University Libraries provides infrastructure, project management, technical expertise, introductions to potential collaborators, and uses Creative Commons licenses to further allow customization of these materials.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New legislation could expand free online textbooks on Minnesota campus - MAX CHAO, Minnesota Daily

A new federal bill could expand the University of Minnesota’s already growing open textbook program. On March 23, the federal government approved a spending bill that includes $5 million for fiscal year 2018 to help universities integrate free online textbooks. The bill will create a federal pilot program that offers grants to institutions that apply, allowing them to use and invest in free educational materials.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Creating an Open Pathway for the Next Generation of Learners - Wayne Skipper, EDUCAUSE Review

Technically, an Open Badge is a digital image file with additional, non-image data added to the file at the time of creation. The descriptive metadata includes the badge name, the issuer, the earner, and the criteria met to earn the badge. It may also include a URL associated with the issuer, a link to evidence of learning achievement, and the level of alignment to educational frameworks. Open Badges can be issued in a variety of simple ways. Typically, you enter an identifier (usually a learner's email address) into the issuing platform and the badge is sent to that identifier. Badges can also be issued in the Badgr system by scanning a QR code with a cell phone or retroactively through analysis of learner performance data captured via xAPI. With the robust new Open Pathways standard, learners can navigate learning pathways and stack badges to earn master badges, indicating progressive achievement. Perhaps more importantly, Open Pathways allows learners to discover new learning opportunities based on the credentials they already hold.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ohio Consortium Textbook Deals to Save Students Nearly $40 Million a Year - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Students in the state of Ohio could potentially save $39.7 million annually on the cost of their textbooks, thanks to a new wholesale pricing deal. OhioLINK, a consortium of academic libraries across the state's colleges and universities, has secured agreements with four major textbook publishers — John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson and Macmillan Learning — to reduce the wholesale price of e-textbooks by up to 80 percent and courseware by up to 55 percent for member institutions.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

UC Berkeley becomes first university to offer PressbooksEDU to entire campus community - Berkeley Library

For staff, faculty, and students at UC Berkeley, publishing a book just became easier. UC Berkeley has added PressbooksEDU to its suite of publishing platforms that scholars can use to develop and release their works. Anyone with an email address can use the tool to write, edit, and publish digital books that are accessible by people across the globe. This makes UC Berkeley the first university to make PressbooksEDU available universitywide. A new site, UC Berkeley Open Books, will feature openly licensed books by UC Berkeley authors.

Friday, April 13, 2018

UWT library continues to provide expensive textbooks to students - Tacoma Ledger

UW Tacoma’s library has been making textbooks that cost over $75 available to students in all programs across campus since fall quarter 2017. Students can search on the library website to see if their textbooks are held at the reserves desk, which is located on the first floor of Tioga Library Building. Books held on reserve are available to be checked out for four hours at a time. Students and instructors can also request textbooks to be purchased — even those costing less than $75 — and instructors can place personal copies on reserve. Requests for textbooks to be purchased can take two to three weeks.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

TenMarks to shut down operations after 2018-19 school year - Emily Tate, EdScoop

Teachers expressed dismay after the Amazon Education company announced plans to "wind down" its personalized math and writing solutions. The news came as a surprise to K-12 educators who use the program for online, personalized instruction. Teachers responded on Twitter with pleas for Amazon to reverse course, with disappointment about the news and with suggestions for salvaging parts of TenMarks resources. With TenMarks on its way out, Amazon's education offerings have dwindled materially. However, Amazon Inspire, a free library for open educational resources, and AWS Educate, an initiative to teach students cloud literacy and skills, remain among the company's signature efforts to reach students and teachers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Library, student government hoping for solution to expensive book prices - Grace Stark , Daily Toreador

“Some of the results were very humbling to say the least,” John Michael Getz, SGA vice president of graduate affairs, said. “Some people contributed a poor grade in their class to not being able to afford the textbook. That is an awful burden for any student to have.” Some of the students have faced even greater challenges than not fully learning everything there is to learn in their class. The survey found Tech students are struggling to pay for their textbooks in addition to the known expenses of pursuing higher education, he said.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The textbook market exploits students. We shouldn’t accept that. - Gaurav Dahal, Diamondback (student opinion

Traditional textbooks — the ones we are assigned in most of our classes — are unnecessarily expensive. The high cost of textbooks can be attributed to the textbook market, which is structured to victimize students. reports that textbook prices have increased 812 percent since 1978, which is a greater increase than both medical and home prices. This astronomical increase has led to students spending an average of $1,250 a year on books and supplies, according to the College Board. That $1,250 is on top of the cost of tuition, mandatory fees and housing associated with going to college. It's the textbook market and the publishers profiting off students that are to blame.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Celebrating Open Education - TODD BRYANT, Literacy Worldwide

Open EducationEarlier this month, educators, technologists, and learners across the world celebrated Open Education Week, a global event that seeks to reduce barriers, increase access, and drive improvements in education through open sharing and digital formats. Organized by the Open Education Consortium, the event showcases open projects, resources, and ideas and encourages the further creation and dissemination of educational resources. While OEW may have passed, advocates can continue to celebrate and advance open education all year long. Here’s the why and how:

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Open Educational Resources Could Finally Be On the Horizon - Cait Etherington, eLearning Inside

Anyone who teaches at the postsecondary level knows that among students’ most common complaints is the high cost of textbooks. Indeed, at some colleges, textbook cost is contentious enough to warrant a special question on course evaluations. While there was little one could do about textbook cost in a pre-digital era, with digital books now widely available, theoretically, textbooks could be free or nearly free for all students, but they are not.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Scaling Investment in Open Textbooks Through the Omnibus Bill - Lindsey Tepe, New America

For the first time in nearly a decade, Congress has significantly boosted federal education spending through its $1.3 trillion spending bill. In addition to the good news for early education advocates, legislators have done more than increase higher education spending—the omnibus bill also introduces several new programs. One of these new programs aims to address the issue of college affordability in an unconventional way: through targeting the rapidly growing expense of college textbooks. The new Open Textbook Pilot supports projects that create or expand the use of openly licensed college texts with the joint goal of reducing student costs and maintaining or improving student learning outcomes

Friday, April 6, 2018

New federal program tackles spiraling costs of college textbooks - MACKENZIE SMITH, the Conversation

College students will keep more money in their pockets thanks to a new US$5 million pilot program approved as part of the $1.3 trillion appropriations bill that President Donald J. Trump signed on March 23. The new grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, will support the creation or improved use of open textbooks for use at any college and university. Open textbooks are made freely available online by their authors. They can also be changed and combined by instructors who use them in their classes.

Thursday, April 5, 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.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Finding an Open Textbook - University of Houston Libraries

Open textbooks are free, online learning materials with Creative Commons licenses. Many of the open collections or libraries listed below will have links to the same books, but each is likely to have a particular focus and unique items available for adoption and modification.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

OEC Announces the 2018 OE Award Winners of Open Resources, Tools & Practices - Marcela Morales, OEC

The Open Education Consortium is pleased to announce the 2018 Open Education Awards for Excellence OPEN RESOURCES, TOOLS & PRACTICES AWARDS recipients. The Open Education Awards for Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding contributions in the Open Education community. These awards recognize distinctive Open Educational Resources, Open Projects & Initiatives, as well as exemplary leaders in Open Education worldwide. The Open Education Awards for Excellence Committee, populated by educators and open education advocates from around the world, reviews nominations and selects winners.

Monday, April 2, 2018


Congress set aside $5 million for open textbook initiatives nationwide, which would replace high-cost publisher materials with free materials that can be accessed online or downloaded. For years, U.S PIRG and our allies- especially librarians and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)- have been working to raise visibility for the huge savings that open textbooks promise students. Our research over the years has shown that students routinely skip buying textbooks, and that openly-licensed, freely- available educational resources can (and have) saved students millions. Additional research has shown that open textbooks help students do better in class and graduate on time. To that end, we joined Sen. Durbin to introduce the Affordable College Textbook Act, which set the right tone to address skyrocketing textbook costs.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Open Educational Resources (OER): Home - Stony Brook Library

Open Educational Resources (OER) are any type of educational material that’s freely available for teachers and students to use, adapt, share, and reuse. Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world. OER save money, save time, are reusable, improve access, democratize learning and make an impact!