Friday, August 31, 2018

Trends and challenges in higher education towards 2023 - Christian Guijosa, Observatory of Education Innovation

Experts state that as higher education moves away from traditional conference-based lessons, that access to technology is guaranteed and that active learning programs are developed, classrooms will respond more to the needs of real-world work. Six trends, six challenges, and six technological developments will influence education in the coming years, according to the analysis of 71 education experts. In the medium term (2021), Open Educational Resources (OER) will proliferate to reduce costs and increase the use of quality texts.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Harper partners with OpenStax to increase use of free textbooks - Harper College

One positive outcome, Bates said, is that students will spend less overall on textbooks and related course materials, which may enable them to enroll in more courses and complete their degree or certificate more swiftly.To maximize impact, Harper will target high-enrollment courses and courses in which the entire department collaborates to adopt OER or no-cost/low-cost resources. Harper students have saved $300,000 already through OER adoptions in a variety of disciplines including computer information systems, English, math and sociology.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Barnes & Noble Education Expands Partnership with OpenStax - Associated Press

The OpenStax agreement is part of BNED’s ongoing commitment to provide affordable, accessible course materials for students nationwide. Currently, the Company distributes OpenStax print titles at its more than 760 Barnes & Noble College bookstores. In addition, the Company’s LoudCloud Courseware™ offering is built upon a foundation of high quality OER titles, including those developed by OpenStax. The companies continue to explore new ways to support their shared missions of driving affordability and student success.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

100,000 Students Use Lumen OER in Single Term - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

For the first time ever, 100,000 students have enrolled in Lumen Learning-supported courses in a single term. The threshold was crossed in June 2018, when a college success program offered at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana took the total count over the 100,000 mark. To commemorate the occasion, Lumen sent each of the 30 students in the course a check for $45, the amount saved per student because the instructor chose OER over a traditional textbook.

Monday, August 27, 2018

How OER Can Help Overcome the Higher Education Equity Barrier - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

The cornerstone of the American dream is the ability to succeed in life regardless of one’s family of origin. And, for most people, that requires a college education. Unfortunately, recent research shows that the most reliable ticket to the middle class—a college degree—is rather difficult for students from low-income families to obtain. While this problem has many dimensions, open educational resources (known as OER) can help overcome the higher education equity burden.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

College Program Saves Students Money On Textbooks - WNYTV

When Jefferson Community College Professor Joshua Dickinson found out he could help his students save money on textbooks, he was all in. "I teach a Native American lit class and its text was used for $120. And I find that ridiculous for one book. And it's the only one on the market so I made my own," he said. Dickinson took advantage of a SUNY program to help make textbooks free, Open Educational Resources, or OER. Professors use specially licensed material to build their own online textbooks with no cost to students. Dickinson has built OERs for most of his courses.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

TRU creates new open education resources, BCcampus launches awareness campaign - Academia Group

Thompson Rivers University has announced that it will be producing 11 new open education resources. These resources will be stored on BCcampus, and will allow about 2,200 TRU students a year to save a total of approximately $250K. The notice follows BCcampus’ recently announced campaign #TextbookBrokeBC 2018, which seeks to help educators and students understand that high quality alternatives to textbooks are available and affordable. These alternatives include offering the opportunity to borrow books, the development of OERs through collaboration between students and professors, and Zed Cred or Z-Degree programs that have zero textbook costs.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Study: Student Spending On Course Materials Slips Josh Moody - Josh Moody, Forbes

A new study finds college students are paying less for course materials, reflecting a decade-long downward trend. College students spent $484 on average for required course materials in the 2017-18 school year, down from $579 in the prior academic year. In the long term, that’s down from $701 over the last decade, according to the Student Watch™: Attitudes and Behaviors toward Course Materials: 2017-2018 Report, released by the National Association of College Stores earlier this week. One area in which spending was up, however, was on technology and school supplies, which the twice-yearly survey reported was at $612, a jump of $106 more than students spent last academic year according to 34,000 respondents in the U.S. and Canada.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Open Education at UCT - University of Capetown

Open Scholarship research began in CILT in 2007. Initial projects funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation looked at case studies in sharing of teaching materials. This pioneering work led to CILT receiving funding from the Mellon Foundation to create a web referatory for sharing open education resources (teaching materials of any kind, available online and openly licenced). UCT’s first open content directory was developed in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) from this Mellon grant. The purpose of the initial directory was to provide a place for UCT academics to share OER. That same OER is now shared in the new OpenUCT repository (, launched in June 2014 and managed by the UCT Library. Contribution to the UCT OC directory is voluntary.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

OER Research in Africa

OER Africa and other organisations and higher education institutions have been conducting research in the take up by academics and students, pedagogical value, issues with licensing course materials and financial sustainability of OER. In this section we will try to harness and share as much of this research as possible.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Student Spending on Course Materials Plummets - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

A decade ago, students spent an average of $701 per year on required course materials. Now, according to the latest data from the National Association of College Stores, they are spending under $500. The reason for the spending drop is the “increased use of free and lower-cost digital and rental materials,” according to Estella McCollum, vice president of research and consulting at NACS. In its latest annual report on course material spending, published Wednesday, NACS said students were still more likely to buy course materials than not, but that the number of students using free course materials is increasing.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Open Education – 7 Things - CNI News

Do you need to explain what open educational resources (OER) or practices (OEP) are about to faculty or fellow information professionals? Are you developing institutional policies regarding open education? This concise series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) will provide you with background, examples, and places to find additional information.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Seeking a Middle Ground Between Publishers and OER - By Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Top Hat strives to get professors to create their own textbooks and make them available free or for sale on its platform. Should traditional textbook publishers be concerned? By giving instructors the tools to easily create and sell their own content, Top Hat has created an intriguing new course content creation model -- one industry observers say they are watching closely. Like a typical commercial publisher, Top Hat helps authors sell textbooks and takes a cut of the revenue. But unlike a typical publisher, Top Hat is happy for instructors to give away their work free and enables the creation of open educational resources, freely accessible and openly licensed learning materials designed to help drive down students’ costs. Top Hat believes this hybrid content creation model offers faculty members a “best of both worlds” option that could shake up the commercial textbook market.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Up to $1M savings from free textbooks - James Paterson, Education Dive

Ohio University expects to save its students $1 million in textbook fees this academic year by contracting with a company offering a cloud-based solution for free classroom materials. The savings is more than double the amount that the university expected as a result of a campaign to increase the use of open educational resource (OER), according to EdScoop.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Learning Summit recognizes CLC instructor- Brainerd Dispatch

Karen Pikula, a Central Lakes College psychology instructor, was recognized recently for her extensive Open Education Resources work at an eLearning Summit in St. Paul. Pikula, who has been with the college since 2010, was honored for her work—Minnesota State OER Learning Circles—because of the "extraordinary impact on teaching and learning," it stated in a news release. Pikula has done extensive work at CLC with Open Education Resources, which are online educational resources. The OERs help students save money by avoiding expensive commercial textbooks. Pikula also was pivotal in creating CLC's Z-Degree, which is a zero textbook cost Associates of Arts Degree. CLC was the first public school in the state to offer a no textbook cost degree.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Schools Work to Thwart Textbook Price Barrier - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

A number of schools are turning to Cengage to come up with new ways to help their students gain more affordable access to their course materials. Recently, both Warren County Community College in New Jersey and the University of the Southwest in New Mexico said they would roll out the company's new unlimited subscriptions offering. At the same time, Missouri's Columbia College went public with news that it would work with the education media company to provide course materials to its students as part of a single tuition charge. https://Schools Work to Thwart Textbook Price Barrier By Dian Schaffhauser08/07/18/articles/2018/08/07/schools-work-to-thwart-textbook-price-barrier.aspx

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

For Ohio University, an OER partnership outpaces expectations - Patrice Wait, edScoop

The public university says students will save $1 million in textbook fees this year — about double what it initially projected from its deal with Top Hat. The struggles of college students to afford textbooks are well known. Prices for textbooks have risen more than 1,000 percent since 1977, three times faster than tuition costs, and a 2014 study found that 65 percent of students decided not to buy a required textbook because it was too expensive.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources

Our mission is to expand access to education by promoting awareness and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Over 250 colleges have joined us and many more participate in our activities and use resources on the website. Find out how to become a member of CCCOER at the Open Education Consortium.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ohio University and Top Hat Partnership Saves Students More Than $1 Million in Textbook Costs - Associated Press

Ohio University and Top Hat, provider of the leading cloud-based teaching platform for higher education, announced today that they have saved students more than $1 million in fees for textbooks and other course materials since beginning their partnership in December, which expands access to interactive, digital Open Educational Resources (OER) through Top Hat’s platform. The milestone more than doubles the original goal of generating $500,000 in savings by fall 2018.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

ED Accepting Proposals for Consortium OER Pilots - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The U.S. Department of Education has finally made a move on its efforts to fund development of open educational resources. The agency issued a notice this week inviting proposals for an "open textbooks pilot program" with an Aug. 29, 2018 deadline. The program was mandated in an omnibus spending law, H.R. 1625, approved by Congress earlier this year. ED expected to issue between one and three awards.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Through this program, CUNY allocated grant money is used to offer courses that utilize Open Educational Resources (OER) and licensed Alternative Educational Resources (AER) instead of traditional textbooks that students have to purchase. “There are students who can’t engage in the classroom because of textbook costs,” says Karen Argueta, a recent class of 2018 graduate and current student in John Jay’s Human Rights Master’s Program. “I’ve had classmates who took pictures of another student’s textbook, just to have the reading for the following week.” Using OER and AER materials like DVDs, eBooks, and streaming videos, which are all digitally available, boosts student engagement and increases student success. To learn more about the zero-text-cost program and its impact on students and professors, we spoke with Argueta, Dr. Raymond Patton, Director of Educational Partnerships and General Education; and Verlene Herrington, John Jay’s OER Librarian and Adjunct Associate Professor.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The best way to deal with state plans for free tuition - TOM CAMPBELL, Orange County Register

Free college education has taken its place alongside free health care for all in the list of what many believe government should provide, on both the national and California stage. At the national level, we may have to await President Elizabeth Warren or President Bernie Sanders. But at the state level, single-party rule means the idea might be adopted sooner; so it would be wise to begin to analyze better and worse ways of implementing this proposal.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

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

The CARE Framework, published today, is co-written by Petrides; Douglas Levin, founder and president of the consultancy firm EdTech Strategies; and C. Edward Watson, chief information officer at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The purpose of the framework is to articulate how individuals and organizations that use OER can help the movement grow in a way that is sustainable and “consistent with the community’s values.” The CARE Framework encourages good OER stewards to: "Contribute" via financial or in-kind contributions to "advance the awareness, improvement, and distribution of OER." "Attribute" by making sure that those who create or remix OER are "properly and clearly credited" for their contributions. "Release" by ensuring that OER can be shared and used outside the platform in which it is was created or delivered. "Empower" by striving to make OER meet the needs of all learners, and supporting the participation of diverse voices in OER creation and adoption.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Truth (About OER) Is Out There - Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed

Steven Bell, associate university librarian for research and instructional services at Temple University and co-founder of the Blended Librarians Online Learning Community, argues that the mind-set necessary to find OER differs from the traditional textbook-adoption process more than some instructors realize. “We’re still quite a ways away from making this information as easy to discover as faculty would want it to be,” Bell said. “They’re comparing this still quite young OER world to what they’re familiar with in terms of commercial publishing,” in which corporate representatives present to instructors new versions of existing textbooks -- no elaborate search necessary.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Applications Open for Federal OER Grant - Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed

The U.S. Department of Education’s first grant for open educational resources, totaling $5 million, will be awarded in late September to between one and three applicants, the department announced today in a call for proposals published in the Federal Register. In an effort to develop OER content that can be disseminated to the widest possible audience for the largest possible savings, the department plans to award grants to one, two or three consortia that each include at least three higher education institutions, subject matter and technology experts, and an advisory group of at least five employers or work-force representatives.

Monday, August 6, 2018

OER is at a tipping point. Here's how to keep it moving in the right direction. - Regina Gong, EdScoop

In his now-classic book "The Tipping Point," Malcolm Gladwell explains how everything from “Sesame Street” to Airwalk shoes has sky-rocketed in popularity and shaped society. Gladwell posits that when the right elements are in place, a good idea can gain traction, reach a “point of critical mass,” and then spread like wildfire. Open educational resources (OER) are reaching the type of tipping point that Gladwell describes. While the rise of OER — freely available, openly licensed materials that can be downloaded, edited, and shared — has happened gradually over the past decade, these resources are now poised to transform both K-12 and higher education for the better.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Students say textbook costs have 'big impact' on finances - James Paterson, Education Dive

A new Morning Consult study shows that 46% of students surveyed believe textbooks and other course materials have a "big impact" on their financial situations, and some experts say the costs heighten stress and force students to make tradeoffs that affect their ability to pay for housing and food, according to Inside Higher Education. About 43% of students surveyed said they skipped meals because of the expense for books, about 70% said they took on a part-time job because of the the added costs and around 30% said they had to take fewer classes. Some respondents even changed their major or opted out of a specific course so they would not have to pay the extra money. The head of the the education technology firm Cengage, which sponsored the survey of more than 1,600 students, said that textbooks and other course materials cost on average $1,200 a year per student, though learners often find other avenues — including renting books or copying what they need — but still pay almost half that.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Faculty: What are Open Educational Resources?

Faculty: What are Open Educational Resources? Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use. You can learn more about it here. What is OER? What am I expected to do with it? Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use. You can learn more about it here. Here’s a very brief overview on OER for Faculty from Open Michigan.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Hatch, bipartisan senators introduce Innovation Grants Higher Education Bill - Utah Policy

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced the Fund for Innovation and Success in Higher Education (FINISH) Act to promote innovation and efficiency in higher education. There is a growing need for innovation in higher education. It has become increasingly evident that a single model for higher education does not fit the diversity of our nation’s learners. Institutions receiving federal funding should have some regulatory flexibility to meet the needs of vulnerable students and ensure that those entering college have the support and resources needed to gain access to and complete higher education. Just as important is ensuring accountability over federal funds in higher education. Encourage Open-Educational Resources: The bill also encourages institutions to make all forms of postsecondary instructional content widely available. Doing so would result in significant cost-savings for students and increased efficiency to institutions of higher education.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Boosting high-energy physics education around the world with ATLAS Open Data - Arturo Sánchez Pineda, ATLAS CERN

Since the beginning of ATLAS, collaboration members have devoted hours, days, weeks and months teaching High Energy Physics (HEP) to anyone willing to listen. But sometimes those willing to listen do not have the means, especially when oceans and continents separate them from our experiment in Geneva. How can we overcome these geographical distances to allow anyone interested in HEP to learn? I work on the ATLAS Open Data project, which has created a means for anyone, anywhere to learn about and work with HEP data. This project delivers data recorded by the ATLAS experiment, together with useful simulated data. Along with these datasets, we released several educational resources, documentation and support, plus analysis software that relies on other very well-known Open Source projects like ROOT at CERN.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Textbook Trade-Offs - Emma Whitford, Inside Higher Ed

It's well documented that textbooks aren't cheap, but for some students, affording course materials takes priority over paying for meals or flights home, or pursuing their first choice of major. A new study by Morning Consult for Cengage, an educational technology and services company, asked 1,651 current and former college students how purchasing textbooks figures into their financial picture. Forty-one percent of those students said that textbooks and other course materials had "somewhat of an impact" on their financial situation, and 46 percent said that it had "a big impact." "We truly are in an access crisis," said Richard Baraniuk, a professor at Rice University and founder of OpenStax, a nonprofit that provides access to free digital editions of textbooks. "Over the past 40 years, college textbook prices have risen about 1,000 percent, which is extraordinary."