Sunday, September 30, 2018

Open Access - Open Knowledge - Virginia Tech

One key reason universities and libraries exist is to share ideas and information. The University Libraries at Virginia Tech has a commitment to sharing ideas, research, and scholarship as openly as possible. We value creation of openly accessible educational resources, open access (OA) publishing, and open knowledge initiatives. This page is a starting point for discovering the wealth of open resources.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Open Textbooks - College Open Textbooks

Open textbooks are textbooks that are published with some form of open license. An open license is a blanket grant to use the book’s content under certain conditions. Open licenses contrast with traditional copyrights, where authors reserve all rights for themselves and those wishing to reuse the content must contact the author to gain rights. Open-licensed books are copyrighted; the license simply formalizes the permissions granted by the author. Dr. David Wiley has enumerated a set of five permissions which together describe the “openness” of an object. These are commonly referred to as The 5R Permissions: Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, and Redistribute. An open license grants these permissions under certain conditions.

Friday, September 28, 2018

OpenStax Adds Business Textbook Series - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Nearly all of the courses for students earning an Associate of Arts degree in business will soon be covered by a free OpenStax textbook, thanks to a series of six new introductory business textbooks being produced by the Rice University-based publisher of open educational resources. The series includes texts for Introduction to Business, Business Ethics, Principles of Management, Entrepreneurship, Principles of Accounting and Organizational Behavior — all courses taught at most colleges and universities in the United States, according to a news announcement, and typically required courses for degres in business or related fields.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

AMS Textbook Broke campaign urges university, professors to expand access to affordable learning materials - Ariel Qi, Ubyssey

The AMS is back with another year of the Textbook Broke campaign to engage students with the issue of the cost of course materials. According to the AMS Academic Experience Survey (AES), the average undergraduate student spends around $760 on textbooks and course materials in 2018.The AES also indicates seven in ten students at UBC choose not to buy textbooks or other educational material because of their cost. Moreover, nine in ten students bought educational materials but rarely needed to use them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

OER planning 101 - BRUCE SCHNEIDER & NICHOLE KARPEL, eCampus News

A good OER plan addresses resources, systems, training, assessment, and priorities. Open educational resources (OER) are gaining momentum among stakeholders in higher education. From students to faculty to administrators, the benefits of OER can help offset the rising costs of traditional textbooks. And while OER may appear to be a “quick fix” for textbook costs, the perception that OER can be done for free is not necessarily the case, not to mention, getting started is easier said than done. There are steps and considerations that can make OER conversion a project worth pursuing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

University students want profs to consider free options over textbooks - Kate Bueckert, CBC

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has relaunched it's #TextbookBroke campaign to highlight the high cost of textbooks and urge professors to choose free alternatives. The group initially launched the campaign in January, and during it, students shared stories about how not being able to afford textbooks impacted their education. "We saw students were spending about an average of $500 on textbooks," said Shannon Kelly, vice president of student affairs for the Wilfrid Laurier University Students' Union and vice president of finance for OUSA. "Some students had to pick and choose between what textbooks they felt that they actually needed and could afford."

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Power and Promise of OER is the Democratization of Education - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

OER also makes it possible to keep resource-poor and underserved schools on a more equitable playing field. Complaints about out-of-date textbooks are a perennial problem for poorer schools, but OER helps to bridge that gap. Especially in STEM subjects, this is an important aspect of democratization. Groups such as CK12 mean that no student will need to rely on out-of-date texts. While there are still challenges, OER presents opportunities to democratize education that simply have no historical parallel.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

VCU librarian selected for national open education fellowship

VCU's Scholarly Communications Outreach Librarian Hillary Miller has been selected as a fellow in the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, an intensive professional development program designed to empower library professionals with knowledge, skills and connections to lead successful open education initiatives that benefit students. The two-semester program blends online, peer-to-peer, and project-based learning to build a comprehensive understanding of the open education space coupled with practical know-how to take action on campus and beyond. Miller is one of 24 fellows selected from a competitive application pool for the program’s 2018-2019 cohort.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Wheaton College and panOpen Partner to Deliver Open Educational Resources Campus-wide

Wheaton College and panOpen, a learning platform that supports institutional use of Open Educational Resources (OER), announced a partnership today to provide Wheaton faculty and students with the tools and support to use OER in the classroom successfully. OER are now broadly in use in colleges and universities across the country. According to an annual survey at Babson College, OER accounts for more than 16% of introductory courses and about 10% of all higher education course materials, reducing costs to students and improving content flexibility and faculty freedom.

Friday, September 21, 2018


Dear Chairs and Ranking Members, We the undersigned student representatives of America’s colleges and universities write to you today on the urgent need to address the skyrocketing price of textbooks, and to urge you to renew and strengthen the Open Textbooks Pilot in the FY19 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. Textbooks and other materials are one of the largest hidden costs students experience in their pursuit of a degree. Students regularly pay hundreds of dollars each semester for books they can only resell for pennies on the dollar, and increased use of expiring access codes hides essential homework assignments behind an online paywall. Sixty-five percent of students have skipped buying a textbook at some point because of cost, and each year, $3 billion of federal student aid goes to pay for textbooks, according to the Student PIRGs.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Cossatot campus joins Open Textbook Network - Texarkana Gazette

The University of Arkansas at Cossatot is the first college in the state to become a member of the Open Textbook Network, a collective of colleges and universities which provide free online textbooks and educational resources. In 2015, UA Cossatot became the first two-year college in Arkansas to abandon the traditional campus bookstore and use an internal textbook rental and Open Educational Resource program. Since then, students have saved just under $1.1 million in textbook costs. Chancellor Steve Cole worked with Relinda Ruth, the director of educational resources and an OER specialist, to develop a program requiring a $30 rental fee per course for all books required in a course.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool for open educational resources (OER). OASIS currently searches open content from 52 different sources and contains 155,375 records. Use OASIS to discover quality, free open textbooks, courseware and more. OASIS was developed by the SUNY Geneseo Milne Library, in consultation with SUNY OER Services. Try OASIS below

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

UT Grant Awards to Three Faculty for Open Education - Rachel Radom, UT Knoxville

Are you concerned about the amount of debt students take on en route to graduation? Three faculty are moving to open textbooks and open educational resources (OER) this year in order to save students money and encourage student–and teaching–success. For a one-time investment of $4,750 grant dollars and faculty time, these adoptions of OER and open textbooks will save students $120,000 dollars every academic year. Kenneth Kihm (Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering), Joanne Logan (Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science), and Barbara Murphy (Music Theory) received awards ranging from $750 to $1,750 for adopting open textbooks and creating OER. They received mini-grants from a partnership with the Division of Student Life, the University Libraries, and UT’s Open Textbook Working Group to help them make the transition to OER.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Why Libraries Should Be Leading the OER Revolution - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

While OER moves away from traditional textbooks, according to CNN, “the goal of the library remains the same: To be a free place where people can access and share information.” Librarians want to help students achieve success, but one of the things holding students back today is the high cost of textbooks. If libraries can help teachers find quality free digital resources, it will benefit their students greatly.

Sunday, September 16, 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.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

New Resource Offers Ideas for Advocating OER Adoption - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Lumen Learning has created an online resource to help proponents of open educational resources make the case for OER use on campus. The OER Champion Playbook offers a collection of ideas, tips and tools for building effective OER initiatives. The content spans five categories: Making the Case for OER; Measuring Impact with OER; Building Awareness & Enthusiasm; Supporting Faculty through Change; and Sustaining Change & Impact. Each category provides a variety of suggested activities, each with links to additional information, worksheets, examples and more.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Copyright and Open Educational Resources: Creation, Licensing, and Use *Thursday, 12/6/2018* - ACRL

Copyright permeates almost every aspect of the creation and use of Open Educational Resources (OER). Given academic librarians role in championing the OER movement and promoting the ethical and responsible re-use of information, students and faculty are often turning to librarians for answers about copyright compliance when creating and using OER. This interactive webcast will help prepare academic librarians to assist patrons in addressing these issues by covering the following topics: Copyright and the creation of OER, including how copyright is secured and the ways in which third-party works (e.g. quoted text and images) can be incorporated into OER as they are being created. Author IP ownership and re-use considerations when deciding what license to attach to OER materials. Interpreting the licenses attached to OER and helping faculty and student users understand their rights and responsibilities when utilizing them

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Why students need free textbooks on campus - Morgan Dobbins, FSU News

Student loan rates are continually growing. The average student loan debt for those leaving college is nearly $40,000. Devin Soper, Florida State University's scholarly communications librarian, and Jeff Phillips, FSU's instruction and learning services librarian, are advocating to increase open access textbooks and educational resources on campus. In a study on the high costs of textbooks and the negative impact it causes on student success, 21 percent of university students dropped a course, 15 percent withdrew from a course, 19 percent failed a coursed and 75 percent did not purchase the required textbook due to the costs of textbooks. This cost is not necessary, because the cost of commercial course materials has risen at 300 percent the rate of inflation since 1978.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

College Of The Canyons Launches Zero Textbook Cost Pathway For Water Technology Program - KHTS

College of the Canyons has launched a Zero Textbook Cost degree for the Water Systems Technology program, utilizing Open Educational Resource materials. Don’t miss a thing. The degree program is designed to prepare students to become state certified water treatment, water distribution, and wastewater operators. Funded by a Zero Textbook Cost grant from the state chancellor’s office, the water technology certificate program will benefit approximately 400 students this year, according to officials.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

KPU creates second program with no textbook costs - Alyse Kotyk, Richmond News

Now, along with the certificate in arts, the university has added the adult graduation diploma to the “Zed Cred” program. The “Z” in “Zed” stands for zero textbook costs, while the “cred” refers to the possibility of completing all academic credits in the specified program.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Armed with $25 Million, Knewton to Expand Adaptive OER Product Line- Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Just months after Knewton launched Alta, its own line of higher education courseware with adaptive learning built in, the education technology company has closed a new round of financing that will enable it to scale its products. TriplePoint Capital led the funding, with $20 million, and Knewton's existing investors added an additional $5 million.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

UI launches ICON Direct to save students money on textbooks - CRISTÓBAL MCKINNEY, Now U Iowa

This fall, the University of Iowa launched ICON Direct, an online platform that gives students the option of buying digital textbooks and course materials at a much lower cost than their printed equivalents. “Digital content, particularly eTexts, is becoming more popular across the country, and not just because of the cost savings,” says Annette Beck, director in the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology (OTLT). “Students can search, annotate, and mark digital course materials, pose questions to their instructors within the text, and instructors can see which passages students highlight or struggle with. It opens up a lot of new possibilities.”

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Not using printed textbooks saved Louisiana community college students $2.7 million - Leigh Guidry, Lafayette Daily Advertiser

The community and technical college system is looking for ways to save students money, and it's paying off. Since switching to open educational resources (OERs) in more classes last year, students across the Louisiana Community and Technical College System saved $2.7 million.That's millions of dollars students would have paid for textbooks and materials in fall 2017 and spring 2018, system President Monty Sullivan said. When it comes to the cost of college and attendance, which encompasses more than just tuition, "we're very much mindful of our price point," Sullivan said.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Letter to the Editor: What students should know about OER and why professors should use them - Jasmine Roberts, the Lantern

With many of these popular coping strategies comes negative academic trade-offs. According to the 2016 Florida Student Textbook survey that sampled more than 22,000 college students, almost 50 percent of students took fewer courses to cope with high textbook costs, 38 percent of students earned a poor grade and 20 percent of students failed a course that assigned an expensive textbook. The reason being that they didn’t have access to the textbook or other course materials (for example, ancillary materials like homework assignments) to study for upcoming quizzes, exams and other relevant assignments simply because they couldn’t afford it. In extreme but increasingly common cases, students are switching or dropping out of certain majors or disciplines completely due to the culminating costs of course materials and textbooks across several classes over a period of time.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Clear-Eyed Analysis of OER Impact - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

A thorough new report from Achieving the Dream offers a modulated assessment of what the OER Degree Initiative accomplished in its first two years, through fall 2017. It shows that the program has stimulated the 38 participating two-year colleges and their instructors to create scores of low- or no-cost materials for courses (numbers that are accelerating as time passes, as a news release at the end of the 2017-18 academic year shows), saving students at least $1.4 million. (The project has also embraced a more conservative methodology for calculating students' savings on digital course materials, contributing to a trend toward more realistic accounting of such figures.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Mason OER Metafinder - George Mason University

The Mason OER Metafinder searches seventeen targets in real-time, instantly returning the top several hundred or so relevant hits from each site. Because it is a real-time search, it can take a bit longer than searches of pre-indexed content; however, as compensation the results returned are absolutely up-to-the-minute for each search target. Additional results continue to trickle in as the search continues running and you begin examining your results.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

It’s 2018. Why do we still have textbooks? - Study International

Recently, US-based edtech company Cengage announced a new subscription service for college students to access more than 20,000 digital course materials. This includes eBooks, online homework and study guides, at just US$119.99 a semester or US$179.99 a year. Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage, the US-based education and technology company providing the subscription, said: “For too long, our industry has contributed to the lack of affordable access to higher learning. Despite years of student and faculty complaints, the industry continued to push an outdated, traditional business model that didn’t put students first.” Hansen describes the college textbook business model as “outdated” and he’s not the only one.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Student Spending on College Textbooks Declines for Third Consecutive Year - National Association of College Stores and Student Monitor

Student Spending on Course Materials has Declined Significantly over Past 10 Years, from about $700 to $500 Annually.  Average Amount Spent on Each Course Material Unit Declines from $66 in 2016-2017 Academic Year to $64 in the 2017-2018 Academic Year.  According to two new studies, college students spent an average of $500 on textbooks and course materials during the 2017-2018 academic year. This new data, from the National Association of College Stores (NACS) and independent research firm Student Monitor®, found that student spending on materials declined for the third consecutive year. The average amount students spent on a course material unit was $64 – a 3% decline over the prior academic year according to Student Monitor.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Nicholls aims to offer course books online - Daily Comet

The Nicholls Department of Physical Science will save students campus-wide more than $100,000 in costs by offering some of its books for free online. The department’s most popular entry-level courses, Astronomy 101 and 102, Chemistry 105 and 106, and Physics 101 and 102, will be accessible to students via open education resource providers OpenStax and LibreText. “The cost of textbooks is extraordinary,” said Chad Young, physical science department head. “Students can spend more than a thousand dollars just for textbooks in a semester. Particularly, textbooks for lower-level introductory courses have skyrocketed with many books costing $200 each. Further, publishers have begun to bundle their books with online access codes, and students are forced to purchase new books.”

Saturday, September 1, 2018

How Fresno State Helped Students Save $1 Million on Books - Myles Barker, GV Wire

As part of the California State University system’s AL$ effort, campus programs are funded by grants from the Chancellor’s Office and Assembly Bill 7989. The goal of AL$ at Fresno State is to have faculty reduce costs for course materials by at least 30 percent, said Dusty Guthier, the course materials manager for Kennel Bookstore. Guthier said some professors are going all out by making course materials entirely free. “I think it is great that we are able to lower our costs for our students,” Dusty said. “The cost of textbooks and course materials, in general, are too high and so it is not only our job as a bookstore, but as a campus to find ways to get the students the materials they need at the lowest cost possible.”