Thursday, May 31, 2018

Montana Board of Regents prepare for lean legislative session in 2019 - KEILA SZPALLER, Missoulian

Pamela Benjamin, a coordinator with TRAILS, or the Treasure State Academic Information and Library Services, said the cost of textbooks has become untenable for students, and a 2014 study showed an estimated 65 percent of students will forego textbooks. "That is not good," Benjamin said. "This is a problem not just for the students, but for student success and those institutions that are trying to support that success." TRAILS is a shared service that leverages buying power to purchase journals and databases, and Benjamin said it's positioned to support free online access to learning materials, or "Open Educational Resources." She said an estimated 82 percent of students said they would do "significantly better" with free online textbooks.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

High textbook costs sending college students elsewhere during studies - ZOE SEILER, JACE NEUGEBAUER, LAUREN WADE and K. RAMBO;

Dylan Miller spent $495 on college textbooks at the University of Northern Iowa — $167.50 for a linear algebra textbook alone — this spring semester. He might have used the books once a month, perhaps. The internet? Used it close to two hours a day. So why does he still buy textbooks? “That’s a great question,” said Miller, 20, a sophomore from Homestead studying actuarial science. “I will not be buying textbooks next semester.” A lot of college students are trying to avoid textbooks costs that range from around $20 for a book on writing grant proposals to $400 for a physics book, a spring IowaWatch/College Media Journalism Project revealed. Some rent books, saving an average $29 per book depending on the subject. They also rely on information they can find on the internet, sometimes as a first reference.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

26 Organizations Join The Linux Foundation to Support Open Source Communities with Infrastructure and Resources - News-Journal

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced the addition of 22 Silver members and 4 Associate members. Linux Foundation members help support development of the shared technology resources, while accelerating their own innovation through open source leadership and participation. Linux Foundation member contributions help provide the infrastructure and resources that enable the world's largest open collaboration communities.

Monday, May 28, 2018

College Textbooks in New York State Becoming More Affordable - SUZY GARCIA, Kicks 1055

Governor Andrew Cuomo is making it easier for New Yorkers to attend college these days, by earmarking $8 million for students’ textbooks. It's an attempt to reduce the expense of books for State University of New York ,and City University of New York students, according to a press release from the Governor's office. Textbooks can cost hundreds of dollars each with some classes requiring more than one, then multiplied by several classes, and that's in addition to the cost of classes! It really is cost prohibitive for many hoping to attend college. This looks like it will certainly help. The Open Educational Resources Initiative is what this allocation is being called, and it’s making textbooks and other lab materials available by giving students the ability to download these materials, edit them and share them with others.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

New York Doubles Down on Open Educational Resources - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

Officials at the City University and State University of New York had a pretty narrow focus for how to spend the more or less out-of-the-blue $8 million investment that New York State's politicians decided to make last year in open educational resources: get more professors to create more OER-driven courses serving more students. "We essentially sent money out to campuses with the goal of spending it wisely to grow enrollments in OER courses," says Carey Hatch, associate provost for academic technologies and information services at the SUNY system.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Open Educational Resources and Moodle: Everybody Wins - Moodle News

Last April, the open worlds of EdTech and Educational Resources (OER) met in the UK’s Association for Learning Technology-organized OER18 Conference. With a premise with educational connotations, as well as political, the two-day Bristol meet-up not only helped showcase advances and innovative practices in OER across academic levels, it also brought scrutiny to some of the promises of “openness,” such as inclusivity and social impact.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Where Are All the Faculty in the Open Education Movement? - Jasmine Roberts, EdSurge

Open educational resources (OER) are gaining increasing popularity. And as an active member in what advocates define as the “open education movement,” I frequently hear about the growing dissatisfaction of textbook costs and pedagogical concerns among faculty about outdated course materials. When I attend professional gatherings on open education, however, instructors like myself are often the minority. Yet open educational materials impact faculty and students alike, and many instructors are using these resources today. So why are there so few practitioners actively involved in increasing open education?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Missouri S&T helps students save money on textbooks - Sarah Potter, Missour S & T

With the rising cost of college textbooks adding to many students’ debt load, the University of Missouri System is encouraging faculty to explore using more affordable and open educational resources – low-cost or freely accessible, openly licensed text or media for teaching and learning. The UM System initiative – known as Affordable and Open Educational Resources, or AOER – has encouraged Missouri S&T professors to switch to less expensive or even free textbooks. “Students feel that the books are just too expensive,” says Dr. Cesar Mendoza, associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at S&T. “There are semesters where some of them cannot afford them, especially those students that are self-supported.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ed Department rolling out free digital textbook program - Jarrett Carter, Education Dive

The U.S. Department of Education plans its first effort to expand access to free, open digital textbooks and materials for colleges nationwide with a $5 million federal appropriate, The Washington Post reports. The money will support development or expansion of open peer-reviewed academic materials under an intellectual property license that allows free use. A recent study by the Babson Survey Research Group showed that the share of college instructors using open educational resources (OER) grew from 5 percent in the 2015-2016 academic year to 9 percent the next academic year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Textbook Alternatives Take Hold at Community Colleges - Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed

A high-profile affordable textbook program wraps up in Arizona having doubled its original goal, and other institutions share similar successes. Institutional funding for a high-profile affordable textbook initiative in one of the nation’s largest community college districts is on track to run out as scheduled this spring -- but the program exceeded the district’s expectations by a wide margin, and efforts will continue in a new form. Meanwhile, a Michigan community college is on schedule thus far to meet an ambitious goal for 70 percent of its instructors to be exclusively offering open educational resources in their courses by 2020.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Columbia College is eliminating book costs, fees for adult students - Ian Nickens, KOMU

Adult classes at Columbia College are now going to cost just one fee for courses, and that fee covers everything. Starting in the 2018 fall semester, evening and online undergraduate students will only pay $375 per credit hour for classes, and that includes books. "We found a way to essentially negotiate in bulk with the publishers," said Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple. "The college itself is buying the textbooks and we're passing those savings along to the students." Columbia College calls this new way of charging tuition "Truition." The program is meant to give students who are also balancing a job an easier way to afford their education. "Truition applies to all the other students we have across the country who are generally coming part-time and for whom fees and books are significant costs and barriers to going to college," Dalrymple said.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

State of the Commons - Creative Commons

The past few years have been transformative for Creative Commons. In 2015, we set out with an ambitious new strategy to nurture a vibrant, usable Commons powered by collaboration and gratitude. Our ambition is fueled by our technology projects and an energetic and productive global community. Each of CC’s initiatives works in support of this goal, unleashing the potential of the Commons through the work of our committed global communities. In 2017, we hosted our largest Global Summit yet, organized by our community and supported by new sponsors and donors. With your guidance, we redesigned the Creative Commons Global Network in a massive, collaborative, international process, and we built new online infrastructure to support this unprecedented expansion of the movement for sharing. Our new engineering team shipped the CC Search beta and established new partnerships to expand our reach. We launched an exciting certification program, meeting demand for the course from librarians and educators around the world. We fought against the TPP and for copyright reform in Europe, and helped national governments adopt open education policies.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Free textbooks? Federal government is on track with a pilot program - Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post

Open-source textbooks have emerged as a cost-effective solution for cash-strapped college students. They can download the material free or print copies for a nominal price. (Scott Anderson/NewsTribune via AP) The federal government’s first major investment in the free use of textbooks remains on track, Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday in a letter examining a pilot program by the Education Department. Congress designated $5 million in the fiscal 2018 budget to support the creation or expansion of open-educational resources: peer-reviewed academic material released under an intellectual property license that permits free use. The money is an outgrowth of legislation Durbin introduced in the fall.

Friday, May 18, 2018

SubNetwork eLearning and Open Education

UNIMED has just launched the SubNetwork on eLearning and Open Education. Building on recent projects in this field such as OpenMed, UNIMED proposes the creation of a SubNetwork on eLearning and Open Education, with the aim to contribute to ongoing online learning developments, and to support our members in their efforts to further enhance and promote innovation in teaching and learning. The SubNetwork will engage with university departments, academics, researchers, librarians, practitioners and learning technologists, primarily related to the following areas: e-learning infrastructure, e-learning methodology and pedagogy, blended learning, innovation policies and strategies, online learning environments and tools, learning analytics, improvement of learning experience, Open Educational Resources and MOOCs, digital literacy, game-based learning, virtual classrooms and laboratories, virtual exchange.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

KubeCon 2018: Action Call Issued To All Of World’s Open Source Developers - João Marques Lima, Data Economy

The conference itself mirrors the extraordinary growth of the developer community in the last few months. For instance, just 18 months ago in Berlin, Germany, less than 800 people attended the event. This week, more than 4,300 developers came together under one roof in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kearns took to the stage while Beyoncé’s “Who runs the world” song played in the background, also alluding to another important achievement in the developer community: more and more women are coding, especially thanks to open source practices. “The future of cloud is in every one of our fingertips and open source allows every one of us to participate in that,” said Kearns. “Open source is more than stats, its potential [to change things]. At the end of the day, we ultimately want choice and control.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Are Etextbooks Affordable Now? In a bid to gain market share, publishers have slashed the cost of digital textbooks - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

New print textbooks can still cost students hundreds of dollars, but the cost of etextbooks is falling fast, according to data from etextbook distribution platforms VitalSource and RedShelf -- both of which work with all major publishers. Since 2016, the average price of etextbooks on VitalSource has fallen by 31 percent, from $56.36 in 2016 to $38.65 in 2018. Some areas, such as mathematics, have seen more drastic change, said VitalSource. In 2016, the average math etextbook cost $79. Now it’s $39 -- a decrease of almost 50 percent. RedShelf confirmed a similar price drop. In 2015, the average etextbook cost $53.11, the company said. Now it’s $39.24.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

U Pitt Big List of OER - University of Pittsburgh

Open Educational Resources (OER) are any type of educational material that are freely available for teachers and students to use, adapt, share, and reuse. This University of Pittsburgh Library list is a great open metasite.

Monday, May 14, 2018

COC Grad Wins First-Ever Student OER Award in Netherlands - SCV News

Natalie Miller, a College of the Canyons graduate, was awarded a 2018 Student Award on Tuesday, April 24 by the Open Education Consortium for her essential role in the success of the college’s Open Educational Resources program. OERs are teaching and learning materials that have been released in the public domain or under an intellectual property license as a no-cost alternative to costly commercial textbooks. A current student at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, Miller was honored at an awards ceremony held at the Museum Prinsenhof in Delft, Netherlands.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Students want to know textbook prices earlier to help with registration - MASON CARROLL, Daily Texan

With the school year coming to an end, many students are already looking to next year and next year’s textbooks prices. However, Texas law prevents students from seeing their textbook prices until a month before school begins. State House Bill 33 allows students to see class material and the price of textbooks 30 days before classes start. SB 810 was passed last legislative session and requires professors to submit open education resources course material.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Myths, realities and results in today's classroom - Barnes & Noble College, Education Dive

The core benefits of open educational resources (OER) are decreased costs for students, as well as increased access and engagement. These benefits address some of the central challenges facing higher education. So, why isn’t that translating into more widespread adoption of OER? After thousands of conversations with faculty across the U.S., Barnes & Noble Education (BNED) has pinpointed three central concerns related to OER adoption: awareness, change and choice. The concerns are valid, but OER can provide meaningful answers and solutions for teaching and learning. To dispel some of the OER myths and questions that often arise, here are the realities, based on faculty feedback and results.

Friday, May 11, 2018

College Promise Initiatives Encouraged to Incorporate New Strategies - Jamal Watson, Diverse Education

Martha Kanter, the executive director of College Promise Campaign, said that the national, nonpartisan initiative to build broad public support for funding the first two years of higher education is having an impact. Kanter said access to college was virtually free for many years, but things began to change after Word War II. She said the rising costs of an education, coupled with a litany of other programs including homelessness and food insecurity, have contributed to the challenges that many college-going students face. Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream, said College Promise efforts vary from state to state. “These programs take different forms,” she said, adding that many institutions have embraced Open Education Resources, which allows free access to digital textbooks and other resources for students working to earn full degrees.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Pennsylvania House passes bill that would create online career resource center - YourErie

Harkins’ bill would call on the state departments of Education, Labor and Industry and Agriculture to collaborate in developing and maintaining the online database. It would function as a clearinghouse of information on educational and career options, available career and technical education resources, and data and statistics on employment opportunities and compensation. “Students in today’s fast-changing career landscape need to keep up with the latest opportunities and demands involving high-skill, high-tech jobs,” Harkins said. “My bill would help equip our new generation of job seekers with the information they need to compete and succeed. Helping Pennsylvanians get good jobs is in line with our Democratic Plan for PA, and that starts with helping them make the right choices as they prepare to enter today’s modern workforce.”

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Opinion: Open Educational Resources Bring Huge Cost Savings. Here Are 4 More Ways They Benefit Students and Teachers - the 74 million

I was immediately excited that CUNY’s 500,000 students — many of whom can’t afford to spend an average of $1,250 per year on expensive textbooks and other supplies — would be saving money. So my colleagues and I spent the past year working together to bring OER to scale throughout our public higher education institutions. And we’re thrilled by our expectation that by next fall, CUNY students will have saved $8.1 million thanks to OER. But the impacts at CUNY have gone far beyond economics: These open resources are revolutionizing teaching and learning at our institution. Here are four powerful effects that aren’t just about cost savings.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A New Study Found OER to Match and Even Outperform a Commercial Textbook - Henry Kronk, eLearning Inside

A new study conducted by researchers at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, Canada examines the performance of students using open education resources (OER) in both print and digital formats compared to a traditional textbook from a commercial publisher. The study found that students using OER spent less time overall studying for the class while scoring comparably with those who used a commercially published textbook. The news is encouraging considering the cost of educational materials has drastically increased in the past decade. As reported recently by Student PIRGs, it has risen nearly four times the rate of inflation in the U.S. What’s more, as many as 65% of students don’t purchase all of the educational materials assigned by professors because of their high cost.

Monday, May 7, 2018


Deadline for inputs 1 June 2018. Further to the adoption of Resolution 44 ‘Desirability of a standard-setting instrument on international collaboration in the field of Open Educational Resources (OER)’ at the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference, a draft UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) text is currently being prepared. This open invitation is to call for inputs on the above-mentioned draft text.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Seven Platforms You Should Know About: Share, Find, Author, or Adapt Creative Commons-Licensed Resources - Virginia Tech

Creative Commons licenses allow no-cost access, redistribution, remix, and reuse with attribution. This session is for faculty (and others) who want to know about no-cost platforms which enable sharing, finding, creating, and/or adapting of openly licensed or public domain resources. This session features live demos by expert users or creators of a selection of no-cost (some freemium) platforms and/or collaborative communities, including: VTechWorks, Merlot, Open Textbook Library, OER Commons, VT’s Odyssey learning object repository, Overleaf, Pressbooks, and Rebus Community for Open Textbook Creation. This event was offered during Open Education Week 2017.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Call for Proposals: Open Education Southern Symposium

University Libraries and the Global Campus are now accepting proposals for the Open Education Southern Symposium, which is set to take place Oct. 1-2. This call is open to all organizations, including colleges and universities of all sizes, community colleges, special libraries and any others involved in open education and open pedagogy. Proposals should fall into one of three categories: presentations, panel discussions or lightning talks. The deadline to submit a proposal is 11:59 p.m. on May 31.

Friday, May 4, 2018

New Virginia Law Mandates Creation of OER Guidelines - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technologies

A new Virginia law mandates creation of guidelines for open educational resources at colleges and universities. HB 454 requires the governing boards of public institutions to implement guidelines for the adoption and use of low-cost and no-cost OER in their courses offered at such institution. However, while the policies and procedures are required, no instructor would be forced to use OER. The guidelines can also address the use of "low-cost commercially published materials."

Thursday, May 3, 2018

BU should establish open educational resources - Joshua Hummell, BU Pipedreams

Currently, in the academic world, there is a push to use open educational resources. Basically, open educational resources are supplemental materials for a course that can be publicly accessed. They can be resources in the public domain, which everyone has access to, or they can be licensed by Creative Commons, through which the owner still owns it, but others can still use it. Let’s say you are in a freshman seminar for Western civilization. There could be an open educational resource available to your professor that is as simple as a syllabus for the required readings (some primary sources are out of copyright), or an in-depth open educational resource that has PowerPoints, videos or other materials for a whole course. You could also have access to a whole textbook, like the textbooks on Open SUNY or OpenStax.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

University of the People Online Tuition Free Degrees - Siasat Daily

The University of the People is the Education Revolution. It is the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit, American accredited, online university. With a groundbreaking online learning model and instructors from the world’s foremost academic volunteers, UoPeople offers the opportunity to pursue a high quality and invaluable American degree. The university offers two-year associate and four-year bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, computer science, and health science, as well as an MBA program. UoPeople offers associate and bachelor degree programs in business administration, health science and computer science, as well as an MBA program. UoPeople remains tuition-free because of its use of volunteers, Open Educational Resources, open-source technology and peer-to- peer learning.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

OpenStax grows in popularity, but overall awareness of OER remains low - Corinne Lestch, EdScoop

Higher ed faculty are increasingly turning to OpenStax for low-cost, openly licensed printed and digital materials for their students. The rate of adoption of textbooks from OpenStax — a nonprofit OER publisher based out of Rice University — among faculty teaching large-enrollment courses is now at nearly 17 percent, according to the report, “Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in Higher Education 2017.” Teachers who use these openly licensed materials, which are more accessible, more affordable and easily customizable, have found that they are just as pleased as their peers teaching introductory-level courses with commercial textbooks.