Saturday, November 30, 2019

Scenes From a Speakout - Matt Reed, Inside HIgher Ed

Another asked about measures we’re taking to attack textbook costs. That gave me a chance to discuss OER and the progress we’ve made in OER adoption. When I asked for a show of hands of students who’ve had classes with OER, though, the proportion was disappointing. I suggested that students share their concerns about textbook costs with their professors, and even ask their professors who aren’t using OER why they aren’t. My colleague from student affairs, Yesenia Madas, added that there’s actually a search field in the student scheduling system that allows students to look specifically for sections using OER.

Friday, November 29, 2019

OpenStax K–12 OER Unit Intros Crosswalk Doc for AP Biology Mapping - Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Open educational resources produced for higher education are increasingly finding a foothold in K-12 too. A new practice by OER publisher OpenStax will help bridge the gap by aligning the contents of its textbooks with high school learning standards. The first example of the project specifically maps the content the OpenStax AP Biology textbook and the College Board's recently updated Course and Exam Description (CED) for AP Biology.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Graduate sociology students study course material affordability for Gelman - Carly Neilson, GW Hatchet

Graduate students enrolled in a sociology class this semester are investigating the cost of course materials for undergraduate students. Students involved with the effort said they will spend the semester conducting interviews with undergraduates to produce a report on textbook and class material affordability for GW Libraries. They added that they aim to gather personalized experiences about course materials from undergraduate students through interviews to help find solutions to make materials more affordable.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The 2020 Creative Commons Global Summit

The 2020 Creative Commons Global Summit is returning to Lisbon, Portugal on 14-16 May!
We’ve grown the CC Global Summit every year as hundreds of leading activists, advocates, librarians, educators, lawyers, technologists, and more have joined us for discussion and debate, workshops and planning, talks and community building. The CC Global Summit is a can’t-miss event for anyone interested in the global movement for the commons.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

‘One should learn foreign language’ - Telangala Today

“Under this initiative, the University has developed Open Educational Resources (OERs) in 13 languages, including Japanese language which will be launched soon,” he said. Prof Suresh Kumar reiterated the significance of Japanese language in view of Japan’s widening service sector worldwide. Considering the global presence of India and Japan, Prof. Suresh Kumar held that it will be a positive step forward for the University to meet the demands of the students to learn foreign languages through these open educational resources.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Recommendation for Future International Collaboration in the field of Open Educational Resources (OER) - Knowledge 4 All Foundation

Knowledge 4 All Foundation played a pivotal role in the creation of the new UNESCO Recommendation in OER that can be implemented via our technology and can be used to empower all other stakeholders.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

UA Cossatot's textbook rental program saves more than $1.57 million - TexArkana Gazette

The University of Arkansas Cossatot Textbook Rental/Open Educational Resource Program has saved students more than $1.57 million during the last four years. The University of Arkansas Cossatot Textbook Rental/Open Educational Resource Program has saved students more than $1.57 million during the last four years. Fifty-four percent of the courses at UA Cossatot do not require a textbook and instead use OER materials to supplement instruction. For the remaining courses, students pay a $30 rental fee per course to cover books required.

Friday, November 22, 2019

UT Austin Open Educational Resources Community of Practice meet-up

Friday, December 06, 2019 - 
09:00 to 11:00
PCL 2.358

Explore, experiment, and create with fellow university faculty, students, and staff as we engage with principles of open pedagogy and the creation and use of open educational resources (OER) in a flexible co-working environment. This is a space to brainstorm, ask questions, consult with specialists, and collaborate across organizational and disciplinary silos. Come and go as you please. Light refreshments will be provided.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Three Keys to Opening the Door for OER - Lindsey Rae Downs, WCET

As we mentioned last week, we have three outstanding award winning initiatives this year: the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s OER Council, Granite State College, and Rio Salado College. Our final entry into the series is from the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s OER Council. We’re excited to hear from them about the keys to their successful statewide OER grant program implementation.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Alternative Textbook Providers on the Rise - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

As major textbook publishers grapple with new strategic directions, alternative providers focused on lower-cost materials seize the opportunity to grow their market share. FlatWorld, a small publisher that charges between $24.95 and $39.95 for its digital textbooks, gained 2,000 new faculty adoptions in the 2019-20 academic year, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. The publisher has 135 titles in use at over 1,500 institutions in the U.S.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Open up your research (and the world will thank you) - Arizona State University

Eliminating barriers to learning is at the heart of the ASU Charter, and nowhere else is this more celebrated than in the global movement for open access.  Open access refers to peer-reviewed research that is made widely accessible to the public at no cost, along with encouraging its use and reuse through expanded copyright permissions; thus, the open access movement aims to transform the model of academic publishing by eliminating restrictions that many argue impede innovation. science labResearch at the Biodesign Institute.  “Putting research behind a paywall means that a large portion of the world cannot access it,” said Anali Perry, a scholarly communications librarian at ASU who will be making the case

Monday, November 18, 2019

OER World Map @ Free Education Alliance Germany Meeting - Matthias Andrasch, OER World

The OER world map project recently joined the Free Education Alliance Germany, the “Bündnis Freie Bildung”. The alliance members came together in Berlin to discuss strategies and activities for 2020. The Free Education Alliance (Bündnis Freie Bildung, BFB) is a coalition of organizations and individuals with the common goal of establishing and promoting Open Educational Resources (OER) in politics and society. The alliance was founded on the initiative of Creative Commons Deutschland, Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland and Wikimedia Deutschland and is a forum for organizations, institutions and individuals working for open licenses in education.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Faculty make the most of Affordable Learning Grants - Todd Mordhorst, WSU Insider

When hours got long and logistics were tricky, Christine Curtis focused on what developing a free, user-friendly online textbook would mean for her students. “They’re excited to not pay for the software, or a textbook,” Curtis said. “But we’re also able to be more interactive and the students really like that. It’s compatible with Blackboard, which they’re already familiar with, and the content is really good.”

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Bay College saves students close to $1M on textbooks - Remi Murrey, TV6

Since 2016, Bay de Noc College has saved students almost $1 million on textbooks through Open Educational Resources. "They are textbooks that are free online. You can view them, you can download a PDF, and have it on your computer or you can view it free online,” said Samantha Henderson, a third-year student at Bay College in Escanaba.

Friday, November 15, 2019

What Exactly Is a ‘Free’ Textbook, and Other Questions About Open Resources - Beth McMurtrie, Chronicle of Higher Ed

Rarely is OER adoption as simple as swapping out a traditional textbook for a free one. At Northeastern Illinois University, a psychology professor is experimenting with an OpenStax textbook in one section of her introductory course. But those involved want to know: is it effective? In that case, Alyssa Vincent, a digital-scholarship librarian, is helping design an experiment to compare student grades and satisfaction between a section taught with the traditional textbook and one taught with the free one. (To control for student costs, the college is paying for the traditional textbook.) 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

panOpen and O'Donnell Learn Partner to Deliver Comprehensive OER Tools and Learning Design

The partnership marks a significant step in the maturation of OER by combining two areas of growing institutional interest: the use of OER to lower costs and provide faculty with ownership and control over content; and, a collaborative approach to redesigning the course experience that is supported by a configurable, extensible courseware platform and best practices in learning design.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

CLC enrollment on the rise, bucking statewide trend - Theresa Bourke, Brainerd Dispatch

The community college has seen a 1.4% increase this year from the previous fall. Despite downward trends in enrollment at schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, Central Lakes College is moving in the opposite direction. “In fact, we have such a number of OER (open educational resources) courses that a student can actually get an AA degree and not pay for a single textbook,” Preimesberger said. “And we refer to that frequently as our Z Degree, meaning zero cost degree.”

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

We Support the UNESCO Recommendation on OER - Cable Green, Jennryn Wetzler, Creative Commons

As part of the drafting committee, Creative Commons (CC) fully supports the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) on which the member states will vote at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference in November. We laud the multitude of national governments and open education experts engaged in the development of this international agreement. We look forward to collaborating with these governments and our NGO colleagues in the coming months and years to help Ministries/Departments of Education implement this Recommendation.

Monday, November 11, 2019

How a University Took on the Textbook Industry - Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge

Some economists say OpenStax and other OER producers helped to halt the decades-long rise of textbook prices, which, along with other supplies, now set the average undergraduate back between $1,200 and $1,440 each school year, according to the College Board. Feeling squeezed, for-profit publishers are searching for new revenue by selling colleges digital homework systems that charge students up to $100 for a semester’s worth of access. Since professors typically require use of these tools to participate in class, students complain that they are essentially being charged to turn in their assignments.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

University of Colorado Hosts Open Educator Award - University of Colorado Bolder

CU Student Government and the University Libraries have joined together to identify and recognize CU educators who demonstrate exemplary use of open educational resources (OER) in their classrooms or teaching practice. Do you know a CU teacher who has implemented, adapted, authored, or shared high quality open educational resources? All CU educators, including graduate students, are eligible to be nominated for campus-wide recognition. Nominations will be accepted until 5 p.m. on December 20th, 2019.

Saturday, November 9, 2019


Key to the college’s growing success in adopting OERs — or, more broadly, less-expensive course materials — is creating new partnerships across campus. To that end, Bates librarians reach out to individual faculty members, and professors know that they can come to the library with their own ideas. Meanwhile, staff at the College Store review course materials and reach out to professors if there are cheaper options available. The Bates library monitors the cost of course materials and helps faculty secure less-expensive alternatives, says Pat Schoknecht, vice president for information and library services and college librarian. The Bates library monitors the cost of course materials and helps faculty secure less-expensive alternatives, says Pat Schoknecht, vice president for information and library services and college librarian.

Friday, November 8, 2019

U Texas Arlington to Invest $500,000 in OER Grants This Year - By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The University of Texas at Arlington is investing half a million dollars this year in funding for projects using open educational resources. That's the largest award by any public academic institution in the state specifically to support OER usage, according to the school. Since 2017, UTA Libraries has supported 14 OER projects with grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, through UTA's "Coalition for Alternative Resources in Education for Students" (UTA CARES) program. The money goes toward faculty efforts to adopt, modify and create free teaching and learning materials that are licensed for revision and reuse.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

MIT Reaffirms Commitment to Open Access - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has published its final recommendations on how to increase the open sharing of MIT publications, data, software and educational materials. An open-access task force was convened in 2017 to update and revise MIT’s open-access policies. A draft set of recommendations was released in March 2019 for public comment. “Scholarship serves humanity best when it is available to everyone,” said Hal Abelson, Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who co-chaired the task force with MIT Libraries director Chris Bourg.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Grants Fund Higher Ed Projects Using Technology for Public Good - Sara Friedman, Campus Technology

The Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) has announced its inaugural list of grantees for its Network Challenge. Twenty-seven grants were awarded to 21 colleges and universities to support projects focused on training engineers, policymakers and social justice advocates on how to use technology for the public good. There are also projects focused on developing open educational resources. At Carnegie Mellon University, for instance, Professor Yulia Tsvetkov has received a grant to create open-access educational materials from her Computational Ethics course.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The case against course costs - Catherine McMillan, Duke Chronicle

Course costs pose a barrier not only to student outcomes once they’re in a class, but actively impact students’ self-determinism in the course selection process. Because of the imposition of financial restraints, a student may opt to take classes with more affordable materials. In an institution that prizes free reign to explore intellectually without barriers, this compromise that students are cornered into is unacceptable. This lack of consumerism can be attributed to the growth of shadow libraries—the “black market” of course materials—which bypass the actual purchase of materials by way of textbook pdf circulation, online databases and other sharing platforms. But it’s also a consequence of the general inflated costs endemic to higher education over the past few decades.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Nov 13: OER Impact Research

When starting an OER initiative at your institution, it is important to consider how you will measure the impact that OER is having on teaching and learning. This webinar will discuss the best studies that are currently out there, key research designs for institutions, lessons learned, and what data institutions should be collecting right now.

When: Wednesday, November 13, 12pm PT/ 3pm ET
Featured Speakers:
Phillip Grimaldi, Director of Research, OpenStax
Virginia Clinton, Assistant Professor, Education, Health & Behavior, University of North Dakota

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Letter to the Editor: Rising textbook prices require support of Open Educational Resources - Eric-John Szczepaniak and Autumn Mueller, Lanthorn

College today is far more expensive than it was in decades prior. When our state college was founded, the state pitched in a much higher percentage of the overall costs. Now there is much more of a burden placed upon the individual student. This should concern us all. How do we ensure that the Grand Valley experience is accessible to all? One may feel hopeless when faced with a challenge as great as this. However, this is a time to work more collaboratively to better serve all students. This can be done with an intentional and university-wide strategic commitment to Open Educational Resources (OER).

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Open educational resources - Ashima Sitaula, Indiana Statesman

At the 2002 UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries, the word Open Educational Resources (OER) was developed to define a new worldwide practice of open exchange of educational resources. This initiative to create commonly accessible freely adaptable material recognized as OER has gained traction.  A worldwide group of OER makers has subsequently appeared and organizations are integrating these funds into their methods of teaching and learning.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Op-ed: Textbook prices impose a heavy burden on students Textbook+publishers+burden+students+by+issuing+new+editions+of+similar+textbooks. Illustration by Pete McKay Textbook publishers burden students by issuing new editions of similar textbooks. - Pavithra Rajesh, Huntington News

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual cost for books and supplies for Northeastern students during the 2017-18 academic year was a whopping $1,000. Many students struggle to afford the cost of these materials on top of their tuition. Even with the option to rent textbooks or purchase them used, many college students consistently find the cost overwhelming.