Friday, January 31, 2020

Congressman Rick Larsen Visits EvCC - Helene Martin, the Clipper

Congressman Larsen also sympathized with students’ concerns over steep textbook costs. “It’s not just the hardbacks but also the electronic textbooks… they found a way to charge you even more. There’s no recycling or reuse and they take advantage of that,” he said.  When someone mentioned that professors sometimes require students to buy books that they only read a chapter of, Congressman Larsen added: “I can speculate that they put the cost on you instead of getting permission to just copy the one chapter which would come out of the pocket of the professor.”

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Inclusive Access helps professors offer students cheaper textbooks - Becca Holladay, Daily Nebraskan

Textbook prices have long been a grievance that can quickly and steeply increase the overall cost of higher education. Members of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska Academic Committee are working to fix that. The Academic Committee’s main priority is for professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to move toward using Inclusive Access, a method of procuring textbooks for classes that differs from the traditional individual orders. Additionally, the committee hopes UNL classrooms will eventually implement Open Educational Resources, which are similar in theory to Inclusive Access. OER are free and reusable non-copyrighted resources that institutions and teaching officials can utilize for their classes, according to the OER Commons website.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Open Educational Resources at NC State - North Carolina State Libraries

OER are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium—digital or otherwise—that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. OER eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully. The Libraries Alt-Textbook project provides grants and ongoing support for faculty to adopt, adapt, or create low-cost alternatives to expensive textbooks. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Georgia State U. says digital textbooks will save students $300K - Jake Williams, EdScoop

Open educational resources will save more than 1,000 criminal justice and criminology students a total of nearly $300,000 annually, Georgia State University announced this week. Affordable Learning Georgia — a University System of Georgia initiative to help state schools embrace OER and open textbooks — is bringing its students at GSU’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies’ Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology the new digital learning materials through a $30,000 Textbook Transformation Grant, it announced Tuesday.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Sharing the love: OSU librarian works to increase educational resources for students and faculty - Oklahoma Christian School

Kathy Essmiller looked down at the budget for the fine arts department at Oklahoma Christian School. For her entire career, the budget had never increased, even though they kept gaining students. It only declined or, if they were lucky, stayed the same.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

North Dakota University System to host open education resource conference in Fargo in March - Sydney Mook, Grand Forks Herald

In conjunction with Open Education Week, the North Dakota University System will hold an open education resources conference on Friday, March 6, at the Holiday Inn in Fargo. The full-day program will include an overview of open education resources at a national level, a panel of representatives from UND, Mayville State University and Valley City State University who have implemented OERs, and research conducted by UND professor, Virginia Clinton, regarding the effects of using open textbooks and student learning outcomes.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Libraries Continue Support of Open Education in State and Region in 2020 - U Arkansas

The University of Arkansas Libraries will continue advocating for the use and awareness of open educational resources, or OER for short, as a way to lower the burden of higher education costs, enhance student success and allow faculty to innovate in their teaching through a series of events in 2020. During Open Education Week in March, University Libraries will sponsor OE-ARkansas, a gathering of educators, administrators and librarians from across the state looking to support open education initiatives on their campuses or use OER in their courses.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Provost’s office accepting OER grant applications - Jon Moss and Benjamin Nigrosh, Pitt News

The University is accepting proposals from faculty until Feb. 19 for projects to adapt, adopt or create open education resources for current course offerings as a part of a series of initiatives run by Provost Ann Cudd’s office to encourage the use of OERs. The University is accepting proposals from faculty until Feb. 19 for projects to adapt, adopt or create open education resources for current course offerings.

Thursday, January 23, 2020


College and university leaders are working across state lines to reduce barriers faced by students and to empower faculty with access to a wide range of instructional materials. The Midwestern Higher Education Compact and its sister regional higher education compact organizations the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) are exploring the development of a national network to support scaling and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER).

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Open source program to save U of R students $1.5M - Lisa Schick, Saskatoon / 650 CKOM

For the past five years, the Government of Saskatchewan has given grants to the universities of Regina and Saskatchewan as well as Sask Polytechnic to develop open education resources. Those are textbooks and support materials like workbooks and labs that are created by professors and researchers at the schools for use in classes by their students, for free. Each school has received about $83,000 a year since 2015.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Students start their last semester before campus-wide 'free book loan' program - Hannah Reynolds, WYMT

Students at the University of the Cumberlands are possibly paying for the last semester's worth of textbooks they will ever have to buy. Through the university's free textbook loan program  that starts this upcoming fall semester, students will be able to opt into the program and not have to pay for any of their books. On Monday, there was already a buzz surrounding the new program.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Student fee board mixed consensus on proposed library fee - TAYLOR CRIPE, Utah Statesman

A one dollar increase will go towards hiring an Open Educational Resources (OER) coordinator. OER materials are resources that students can access free of cost at the library. These include textbooks, online classes, lesson plans and study guides. An OER coordinator would help instructors find course materials, create free material and help students find their courses with OER.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

New Zealand: Publishers warn of unseen consequences with greater access to free books

Those who are blind or living with low vision now have easier access to books and articles with the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty. The treaty came into effect on Saturday, two and a half years after the government first announced its decision to become a signatory. It is estimated only 10 percent of the world's printed work is available in an accessible format, like Braille or audiobooks. The Marrakesh Treaty, which 88 countries are signed up to, lets more people legally convert books into accessible formats, and allows all signatory countries to freely share copy.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Do you think university/college textbooks should be free? - Barrie Today

Poll Results:
The poll followed this related story:
This article, written by James M. Skidmore, University of Waterloo, originally appeared on The Conversation and has been republished here with permission: Some student organizations have endorsed the social media campaign #textbookbroke to draw attention to the burdens placed on students by the high cost of learning materials. A solution to this problem exists: open educational resources. These are textbooks and other teaching materials produced by academics or instructors and distributed free of charge. Such resources could be a greater part of higher education. Why aren’t they?

Friday, January 17, 2020

Free books for schools in million-euro pilot project - Michael McHugh, the Independent

Around 100 schools are to receive free books, Irish education minister Joe McHugh has said. The million-euro pilot project will benefit around 15,500 rural and urban pupils and begins in September. Education minister Joe McHugh said: “It was one of the commitments we made in relation to how we can make life easier for families in terms of cost.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Online Open Access book Guidelines on the development of open educational resources policies - UNESCO

Practically oriented guide, which provides advice on how to develop an OER policy.
At every step of the way, UNESCO has been – and continues to be – committed to its role as a convener of international collaboration for promoting OER. In fact, the term ‘OER’ was first coined at UNESCO in 2002.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

OER Commons Launches Authoring Tool - Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

OER Commons, an organization focused on creating open educational resources for education, has developed a new tool for authoring OER. Open Author, as it's named, consolidates the functions of three other utilities from OER Commons: the Resource Builder, Lesson Builder and Module Builder.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

OER Conference slated March 6 in Fargo - Jamestown Sun

In conjunction with Open Education Week, the North Dakota University System will hold an Open Education Resources (OER) Conference, Friday, March 6, at the Holiday Inn in Fargo, The full-day program will include an overview of the OER landscape at a national level, a panel of representatives from Mayville State University, University of North Dakota and Valley City State University who have successfully implemented OERs, and research conducted by UND professor, Dr. Virginia Clinton, regarding of the effects of using open textbooks and student learning outcomes.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Call for Expressions of Interest to Chair the OER 2021 Conference - UK ALT

We are seeking experienced Co-Chairs for the 2021 Conference Committee of the 12th annual conference for Open Education research, practice and policy. The Co-Chairs will play a major role in planning and delivery of the conference in 2021. For information about previous OER conferences please visit

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Free Textbooks for Law Students - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

Law school is notoriously expensive, but a growing number of professors are pushing back on the idea that law textbooks must be expensive, too. Faculty members at the New York University School of Law have taken matters into their own hands by publishing their own textbooks at no cost to students. Barton Beebe, a law professor at NYU, published the sixth edition of his trademark-law textbook last year. Fellow NYU professors Jeanne Fromer and Christopher Jon Sprigman also published the first edition of their copyright-law textbook in 2019. Both titles are available to download electronically at no charge and are already in use at dozens of universities. Print copies of the textbooks can be ordered on demand through Amazon for the bargain-basement price of $20.26 and $15.40, respectively. The authors make no profit from these sales.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

HVCC students save big with OER initiative - Troy Record

Hudson Valley Community College is in its third year of adopting open educational resources (OER). According to a news release, OER are open-source instructional materials, written by experts, that faculty can adopt and adapt based upon their curriculum, often negating the need for students to purchase a textbook. The use of OER not only saves money for students but also allows faculty members to provide customizable content for their classes.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Purdue Engineering Open Bytes™ to provide free access to educational resources in first-of-its-kind offering

Purdue University is developing a first-of-its-kind collection of engineering educational resources that will be available online – for free, or at low cost – to anyone in the world. Purdue Engineering Open Bytes™ will include high-quality textbooks, case studies, monographs and lecture notes written by College of Engineering faculty members.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Music professor involved in Open Educational Resources - Gary Long, Brownsville Herald

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley music professor Art Brownlow is involved in the Open Educational Resources, “which is basically open-source textbooks and classroom materials for students that result in zero cost, because we all know about the rising cost of higher education and along with that goes a huge rising cost of textbooks over the last 20 years,” he said. “There’s a pretty strong movement across the country to provide zero-cost textbooks, so we have an OER program here that’s run jointly by academic affairs and the library, and I cover the academic affairs side,” he said. “We recruit faculty and try to interest faculty in adopting open-source textbooks that result in no textbook costs for our students.”

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

MOOCs and Open Education in the Global South Challenges, Successes, and Opportunities - Ke Zhang, Curtis J. Bonk, Thomas C. Reeves, Thomas H. Reynolds

With e-learning technologies evolving and expanding at high rates, organizations and institutions around the world are integrating massive open online courses (MOOCs) and other open educational resources (OERs). MOOCs and Open Education in the Global South explores the initiatives that are leveraging these flexible systems to educate, train, and empower populations previously denied access to such opportunities. Featuring contributors leading efforts in rapidly changing nations and regions, this wide-ranging collection grapples with accreditation, credentialing, quality standards, innovative assessment, learner motivation and attrition, and numerous other issues. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Textbook savings for HCC students - Baltimore Sun

In the past year, Howard Community College has made an effort to offer low-cost (no more than $50) and zero-cost textbooks to students. For the first time, as students register for the spring 2020 semester, they can see which course sections use zero- or low-cost textbooks. So far, there are 99 zero-cost textbook sections and 36 low-cost sections, which resulted in about $365,800 in savings last spring.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Free Textbook Program Saves Hawaii Community College Students Millions - ASHLEY MIZUO, Hawaii Public Radio

A free textbook program at the University of Hawaii's community colleges has saved students more than $3.4 million since 2015, officials say. The UH Open Educational Resources initiative allows colleges to share and use information to teach for little to no cost. Within that program is a “TXT0” designation, which requires no payment from students. The owners of the multimedia resources give others permission to use their content in a more flexible way than traditional textbooks, similar to the Creative Commons sharing of photos and other content.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Arispe and Hoye present on open educational resources at conference - Boise State U

Kelly Arispe, an associate professor of Spanish, and Amber Hoye, World Languages Resource Center director, delivered a one-hour presentation titled “Hot Off The Press: Proficiency-based Classroom-ready Activities” at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages annual conference in Washington, D.C. The presentation was attended by more than 250 language instructors and showcased the Boise State Pathways OER Language Teaching Repository, a free and an open educational resource repository of proficiency-based and classroom-ready activities for immediate implementation.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

SG hears GSU plans, free textbook proposal - Ellie Yeo, BU Daily Free Press

Senate also heard updates from cabinet directors, including Director of Academic Affairs Ethan Wong. Wong, a sophomore senator in CAS, spoke about a textbook initiative spearheaded by the Department of Academic Affairs in partnership with Mugar Library. The initiative aims to supply of textbooks for 100- and 200-level courses, as well as textbooks written by BU professors, through Mugar Memorial Library for students to use.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Open education: Polis announces challenge to make college textbooks free - MICHAEL KARLIK, Colorado Politics

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has announced the Zero Textbook Cost challenge, which will recognize individuals and organizations within educational institutions that make it free for students to access course materials. “Spread the word: Colorado has a growing open education community,” Polis said last week in a video promoting the initiative. Open educational resources are copyrightable works that users can keep, use, integrate and distribute for free.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Pearson faces "deep-rooted challenges" as CEO joins FTSE exodus - Oliver Haill, Proactive Investors

“First, sales of printed books are falling faster than thought, as students rely on second-hand tomes or digital versions, to cut their outgoings. Second, Pearson appears to be losing share in the digital market. “Both of these developments compound the threat of Open Education Resources (OER), whereby universities make best-of-breed lecturing and educational materials freely available, so other students and lecturers can copy, use, append and even modify the documents, and cut down on the expense of buying or renting the sort of textbooks provided by publishers such as Pearson.”

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

MATH 021 OER book Recognized by NJ Math Association - Brookdale CC

Linda Wang, professor in the math department, was recognized by the Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges of New Jersey (MATYCNJ) for her work in creating the free Open Educational Resources (OER) book used in Brookdale Community College’s MATH 021 classes. Since the summer of 2017, students taking MATH 021, Introductory Algebra, have had access to the free OER ebook and have had the option of purchasing from the college’s bookstore a hard copy of the book for $10.25, the cost of printing the book.