Friday, February 28, 2020

OER at Scale: The Academic and Economic Outcomes of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative - Achieving the Dream

The research and evaluation of ATD’s OER Degree Initiative provided encouraging evidence regarding the academic outcomes of students who enrolled in multiple OER courses, the economic impacts for both students and institutions, and the experiences of key stakeholders. Students benefitted from unrestricted access to course content and improved course experiences, in addition to saving money that could be used towards other educational or personal expenses.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

OER Can Save Colleges Money, Too - Madeline St. Amour, Inside Higher Ed

A new study shows that open educational resources can help students save money, which encourages them to enroll in more classes.  The report found that students who enrolled in OER courses earned more credits than their peers who did not take OER courses. Students also saved $10.7 million on the cost of learning materials over the time of the initiative. Colleges also saved money, the report found. Researchers looked at five institutions and estimated they would recover their investments in OER and, in some cases, generate new revenue from the efforts.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Celebrate Open Education Week With University Libraries - U Arkansas

This year, Open Education Week is set for March 2-6. The Libraries and our partners across campus are celebrating with several events for graduate students and faculty on March 3 and 5 in Mullins Library Room 104.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The CIO Minute: Textbook Costs as an Equity Issue - Michael Mills, EDUCAUSE

We see our Open Educational Resource Project as an equity issue, as a social justice issue. So, students do have access to the material the first day of class. They don't have to wait for financial aid cheques to clear, three weeks into the semester. They don't have to wait for a credit card. Some of our students don't have access to a credit card, where they can just go purchase a textbook the first day of class. So, it really is a social-justice issue at Montgomery College.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Inclusive Access, OER sound alternatives to increasingly expensive textbooks - Brian Beach, Daily Nebraskan

I am calling on professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and every university for that matter, to adopt inclusive access textbooks or open educational resources for their classes. Inclusive access is digital course content offered by publishers at a reduced cost by volume discounts, while open educational resources allow students to download and share course content for free. Both models would substantially reduce the financial burden on students. The University of California-Davis implemented a program with inclusive access textbooks in 2014, and the 3,000 students who used them saved over $1 million. If the over 25,000 students at UNL used these textbooks, they could be a combined $8.3 million richer.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

HCCC students have saved $2.1M in textbook costs - Stephanie Sorrell-White, Times Telegram

Herkimer County Community College has taken steps to reduce some of the cost associated with textbook materials through the Open Educational Resources (OER) program, saving students more than $2.1 million in textbook costs since 2016. Open educational resources, according to the college, “are high-quality, digital coursework materials made accessible to students online rather than in traditional, more expensive hard copy form.”

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Coastline College Offers Zero-Cost Degree Pathway - Yahoo Finance

Coastline College an innovative leader in higher education is deeply committed to academic excellence and student success.  The college has been creating and implementing zero-cost course materials designed for students completing Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees and planning to transfer to a four-year university through the use of Open Educational Resources (OER).

Friday, February 21, 2020

Students Save Over $63,000 in Course Materials - University of Northern Colorado

Four University of Northern Colorado faculty members helped approximately 450 students enrolled in their fall 2019 classes save a combined $63,775 in textbook fees by adopting open educational resources (OER) into their curriculum after the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) awarded grants for the project.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Miller OER Mini-Grant Program now accepting proposals for third round of funding · Abbey Elder, Iowa State

Each spring, the Iowa State University library, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost support the Miller Open Education Mini-Grant Program to encourage instructor innovation in adopting Open Educational Resources (OER). Iowa State University utilize the SPARC definition of OER: “educational materials that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Powerful Tool to Author OER for Building Lessons, Modules, and Assignments - IBL News

OER Commons, an organization focused on creating open educational resources (OER), has developed a new editing tool named Open Author. This software allows building standalone learning modules, lessons, assignments, assessments, and activities.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Chemeketa Community College president: We're tackling cost of textbooks Jessica Howard, Statesman

We started Chemeketa Press, the college’s academic publishing arm, in 2015. The goal was to empower our faculty to publish their own peer-reviewed textbooks and lower book expenses for our students. Since then, our faculty has published more than 30 books, saving our students an estimated $2.5 million. Many of these books cost less than $20 and have proven to be more effective than similar titles from commercial publishers or open educational resources (OER). This has helped reduce the market power of commercial publishers, allowing the college to negotiate textbook prices and create another avenue for student savings.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Open Educational Resources could help make college an option for everyone - letter from Max Jensen

We could instead be using OERs, or Open Educational Resources: free, often peer-reviewed textbooks teachers can download and personalize for their courses. If Oregon colleges worked to develop standards and best practices for OERs then we could work toward an educational system that isn’t held hostage by for-profit companies.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Faculty invited to apply for Affordable Learning Grants - Washington State

Affordable Learning Grants help to offset the time and costs associated with making the transition from traditional textbooks to open educational resources. The Office of the Provost is offering Affordable Learning Grants to fund faculty exploration and adoption of affordable learning materials. Grants ranging from $1,500 to $4,500 are available for faculty at all levels and all WSU locations. Faculty adoption of affordable learning materials or open educational resources (OER) – many of them free, or low-cost online textbooks – has saved WSU students well over $1 million over the past four years.

Students saved nearly $5M with Penn State's open educational resources - Betsy Foresman, edScoop

Penn State announced last week that its initiative to enable access to higher education by lowering the cost of textbooks and other course materials has made serious progress, saving students a combined $4.8 million over the past three years. “Penn State’s novel, combined approach to lowering textbook costs through the use of both freely open and affordable, or low-cost, resources, is gaining notice in higher education nationwide,” Penn State’s Rebecca Miller Waltz said in a press release.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Open, affordable textbook efforts save students $4.8 million in potential costs - Penn State University

Funded primarily by Provost Nick Jones with support from Penn State World Campus, University Libraries, Teaching and Learning with Technology, and Barnes & Noble, the initial investment of approximately $245,000 has saved students $4.8 million in potential expenses on textbooks and other course materials. The success from these initiatives has enabled an ambitious three-year plan to be extended to invest an additional $600,000.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Florida Tackles Textbook Affordability with OER Partnership - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Last year, the State University System of Florida embarked on an "action plan" to give students "access to quality and affordable textbooks and other instructional materials, thereby increasing the likelihood of their success in higher education." The system has partnered with open educational resources company Lumen Learning to provide course materials within its textbook affordability mandate.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

‘It’s just an issue of academic success’: Senate joins campaign to cut textbook costs - Noah Slaughter, Student Life

The resolution passed by SU Senate Jan. 28 pushes Washington University to offer incentives for faculty to transition to Open Educational Resources. Senate has partnered with University libraries on the effort. Specifically, the resolution urges Washington University to implement incentives encouraging faculty to transition to Open Educational Resources (OER) and calls for the creation of a working group of students, faculty and administrators to determine a specific incentive structure.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Professors are turning the page on budget-busting textbooks - Associated Press

Before Brandon English developed his own learning materials for the organic chemistry classes he teaches at Red Rocks Community College, his students were spending close to $600 for textbooks, in addition to paying tuition and fees. And those costs pushed many of his promising students to drop out. “There’s this huge financial barrier to entry, and then there’s a huge financial barrier to completion,” English said.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

UD to provide free college courses for high school students - Brooke Schultz, Delaware State News

Participation in courses will allow students to earn both high school and college credits. Officials said the courses “are being designed to use open educational resources as much as possible to eliminate or reduce the costs for textbooks and other class materials.”

Monday, February 10, 2020

Missed Opportunity in UNESCO's Recommendation on OER? - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Even though UNESCO adopted a recommendation on OER, American open educational resources advocate David Wiley backed away from his initial support and recently referred to the final version of the work as "eviscerated." In a post on his blog, "Iterating toward openness," Wiley said he was "losing sleep" over changes made between the time the original proposal appeared in May 2019 and the time members voted their approve in November.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Affordable Learning Georgia Releases Interactive OER Lab Manual - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The Anatomy and Physiology I Lab Manual was created for a course by the same name, which has sections typically enrolling an average of 140 students. The manual contains labs on cells, histology, the integumentary system, the skeletal system, the nervous system, muscles and the senses. With this addition, OpenALG, a textbook project from Affordable Learning, now has six proof-of-concept open textbooks, four of which have been updated this month. Those include an American History I text from Gordon State College; Exploring Public Speaking, 4th Edition and Arts Integration in Elementary Curriculum, 2nd Edition, from Dalton State College; and Microbiology for Allied Health Students, from South Georgia State College.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

UW Libraries Names Alt-Textbook Grant Recipients - University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming Libraries recently awarded alt-textbook grants to five faculty members and four graduate students to implement open educational resources (OER) in their classes this spring. The open textbooks resulting from the grants are projected to save UW students more than $40,000 each semester in addition to the $141,233 already saved by UW students since the program launched in spring 2018.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Textbook costs can bust college students’ budgets. Colorado professors are turning the page with free resources. - Erica Breunlin, Colorado Sun

The rise of open educational resources at Colorado college campuses has helped shave costs for students. Red Rocks Community College is leading the pack, developing degree paths that require few textbooks.  Red Rocks has embraced OER materials so thoroughly that by the end of the spring semester, students will be able to complete an associate’s degree with 95% of their classes using free resources, Library Director Karen Neville said.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

At budget hearing, Dr. Tromp outlines Boise State's 'creative' response to cuts - Betsy Z. Russell, Idaho Press

“It’s never easy to face a budget cut,” Tromp responded, “but what it forces us to do is to really think creatively. And because the campus has been known for innovation, I’ve asked our leadership team to really think creatively.” She offered an example: “Our head librarian, the dean of the library, said she’s going to cut several journal subscriptions. … We’re going to do an innovative model where it’s pay-for-use instead of traditional subscription” for some of the less-used journals. The dean, she said, “used some of savings … to hire a new staff person who specializes in open access. … So it’s really a forward-looking way in taking that budget cuts.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Ontario leading the way in online learning growth

An Ontario sub-report, part of the Canadian National Online and Digital Learning Survey, was released on January 23,2020. 2019 Publications can be found online at:
Among the findings:  Open Educational Resources (OER) use in Ontario is widespread with 80% of universities and 78% of colleges reporting the use of OER;  Most institutions in Ontario reported that online learning is very or extremely important to their long-term plan.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

CCSGA Weekly: Reducing Textbook Costs Through OER - By Max Kronstadt, Catalyst

CCSGA is working with a statewide coalition of student government leaders from more than a dozen colleges and universities to advocate for OER on our individual campuses and in the state legislature. Our plan is to mobilize students on each of our respective campuses to push our faculty to use OER and our administration to support them in doing so. Simultaneously, we will build a statewide movement that will pressure our state legislators to increase grant funding for faculty to develop new open resources.

Monday, February 3, 2020

OER by Discipline Guide: McMaster University - Joanne Kehoe and Olga Perkovic

An Open Education reference of OER listed by subject area and disciplines with McMaster academic programming.  The OER by Discipline Guide: McMaster University, is an in-progress (open creation) this lists a broad range of open educational resources organized by Faculties and programs at McMaster. The purpose of this guide is to capture OER as possible — primarily open textbooks  — and organize them so faculty can easily locate resources in their subject area. This guide will be updated as new resources are identified.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Virginia launches open educational resources platform - CBS 19

A new online platform lets educators and schools in Virginia access and share teacher-created digital open educational resources. On Friday, Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced the launch of the #GoOpenVA platform. According to a release, the site also allows educators to collaborate and create new instructional resources, such as curricula, units, lesson plans and activities.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Library campaign shares students’ stories about course material affordability - Yankun Zhao, GW Hatchet

GW Libraries staff are encouraging professors to adopt and use more affordable course materials through a new campaign. Gelman Library staff launched a “Postcard Campaign” at the start of this semester to offer students the chance to create cards detailing their struggles with affording textbooks and other course items by showing other items they could have purchased, like food, with the money spent on course materials. Gelman officials said the postcards will raise awareness about textbook affordability and open educational resources, which are free to access and use.