Monday, November 30, 2020

Concordia introduces four open textbooks this fall term - MIrage News

 Thanks to funding from OER grants, the university is now developing 12 open textbooks. Four of the 12 texts are being piloted this fall term and the balance are expected to be in use by 2021. Now in its second year, the OER project allows Concordians to use and contribute to OER repositories as well as develop their expertise in adopting, adapting and creating open teaching and learning materials. The open education materials – such as textbooks – permit no-cost access, use, adaptation and/or redistribution by others.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Next Phase for Open Education - Angela DeBarger, the Good Men Project

 Our Education team at the Hewlett Foundation been looking into this balance between teaching and content over the past year. As we embarked on a refresh of our grantmaking strategy for open educational resources (OER), it was apparent that the field was at an inflection point. Since OER’s inception almost two decades ago, we have advocated for well-designed, customizable, openly licensed materials to enable more responsive teaching and better learning. We now know that without equal or greater attention to educators and learners’ experiences, we are not going to see deeper learning outcomes for students across the spectrum.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Using OER to Increase Collaboration, Relevance, and Engagement - Katie Martin

 Traditionally, curriculum has been organized in a linear path that promotes a one size fits all approach to success.  When teachers are expected to follow directives or implement programs without taking the context and unique individuals in their room into consideration, it often creates frustration because they see their students need something else, something different, but don’t feel they have the authority to make those changes. The Texas Learning Exchange curated an OER library to help educators find and use high quality and free resources to support meaningful learning anywhere, anytime.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Skyline College Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Faculty Choices Have Student Impact - Skyline College

 Fall 2020 has the largest offering yet of Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) and low-cost Open Educational Resources (OER) classes at Skyline College! 78 Faculty ZTC Champions have implemented digitally available no-cost Creative Commons licensed and library electronic resources in their classes. Together, they are offering 160 $0-cost-to-students classes and 30-classes using a low-cost required course resource alongside a no-cost OER textbook. From Spring 2018 through Fall 2020, Faculty ZTC Champions have ensured Skyline Students kept $3,846,434.69 in their pockets!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Zero-Textbook-Cost Associate Degree Programs Offered at Six Minnesota Community Colleges - Arrman Kyaw, Diverse Education

Six Minnesota community colleges are now offering two-year degree programs with courses using free educational material, removing the need to buy textbooks, The Star Tribune reported. Anoka-Ramsey Community College; Lake Superior College; Minneapolis Community and Technical College; Mesabi Range College and Northland Community and Technical College started offering Z-degrees – zero-textbook-cost associate programs – this fall. Central Lakes College was the first in the Minnesota State college system to do so, back in 2017. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

HVCC offers free textbooks to students for winter session - the Record

 Students interested in taking two-week winter session courses at Hudson Valley Community College will have an added incentive this year: free textbooks. The college will cover the cost of textbooks and shipping for all students interested in taking one or more of the intensive two-week classes that run from Jan. 2 through Jan. 14, 2021. “We know that many students struggle with the cost of higher education, especially in these difficult times,” Hudson Valley President Roger A. Ramsammy said.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Student Government: OERs, Otto Rec Center - Minnesota State University Reporter

 A new program at many two-year Minnesota State schools, such as Anoka-Ramsey Community College, is the Z-degree. The Z-degree is a zero textbook cost associate’s degree.  This program is being tested out within the Minnesota State programs in hopes of implementing them into the 4-year universities. If interested in learning more about OER’s you should familiarize yourself with OER’s and learn about student experiences with their OER, and as your professors about potentially utilizing the Open Educational Resources at MNSU.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Microbiology professor honored for trimming costs for students - Tony Phifer, Colorado State University

 Medora Huseby well remembers what it was like to dig deep as a student to pay for textbooks and other materials. Huseby, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology in Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is a big believer in making education affordable for all students. And she knows that isn’t always possible.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Here's how LSU students can save money on textbooks for the spring semester - Madelyn Cutrone, Reveille

 LSU administration is helping students with the increasing cost of textbooks by implementing Open Education Resources and Affordable Education Resources.  Open Education Resources (OER) are openly licensed resources such as textbooks, videos, articles and software programs that are completely free to students. Affordable Education Resources (AER) are offered at low or discounted prices. The material must be under $29 to qualify as AER per LSU's standards.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Open educational resources saving PCC students $100,000 each semester - Jon Pompia, The Pueblo Chieftain

 Through the use of open educational resources, Pueblo Community College is saving its students $100,000 every semester. Open educational resources are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets. These online educational materials are becoming a significant factor at colleges, especially community colleges, in light of the high cost of traditional textbooks.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Polk State saves students more than $1 million in textbook costs - Polk State College

Polk State College’s faculty and staff have exceeded their goal of saving students $1 million in textbook costs by 2021 through the Open Educational Resources initiative, reaching savings of nearly $1,118,000 benefiting 13,445 students since 2017.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Referenda proponents make their cases for Open Educational Resources, end to PIRG fee at Oct. 30 forum - Boston LaFerte, Martlet at University of Victoria

 From Nov. 4-6, students will cast their virtual ballots for three referendum questions. The first question asks students whether they support the establishment of a $1.50 per full-time student and $0.75 per part-time student fee in order to fund the development of Open Educational Resources (OER) on campus.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Benefits of Using Open Educational Resources (OER) - University of Illinois Chicago

 Open Educational Resources (OER) are materials for teaching and learning that are free and/or have been released under an educational license to be freely used, changed, or shared. OER can be an entire textbook, a single chapter, or even just a knowledge check. Delivering information through open access resources can be a great opportunity for you and your students. Janet Swatscheno from the UIC Library will lead us as we discuss the benefits of OER and how you can incorporate it into your course design.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Student Textbook Spending Continues to Decline - Emma Whitford, Inside Higher Ed

Average student spending on textbooks and course materials continued to decline in the fall of 2020, while the number of units purchased or rented increased, according to data the research firm Student Monitor released today. On average, students spent $186 each on textbooks and course materials this fall, down from $199 in fall 2019. “During the fall semester of 2020, distance learning drove widespread adoption of less expensive eTextbooks in both sales and rentals -- including through subscription models -- leading to a 7 percent decline in spending as compared to the same period last year,” Eric Weil, managing partner at Student Monitor, said in a statement.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Free music appreciation textbook mixes old and new - JK Devine, University of North Georgia

Prof Morgan-Ellis took a different approach for the free digital textbook titled "Resonances: Engaging Music in Its Cultural Context," published by UNG Press. She mixed well-known selections with the classical works usually associated with music appreciation and introduced examples from non-Western traditions.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

2020 OER Hub Summit - OER Commons

 On July 23, 2020 ISKME hosted a virtual Summit for OER Hub Leads to make connections across OER Hub Projects and provide opportunities for participants to learn from each other, share best practices and explore how OER Leaders have designed innovative solutions to meet the specific needs of their communities, and identify next steps to continue collaborating to iterate, customize, and scale new ideas. The videos below include the opening session and different project showcases from OER Hub Leads in both K-12 and Higher Education.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Polis recognizes Zero Textbook Cost Challenge winners - Michael Karlik, Colorado Politics

 Gov. Jared Polis recognized six higher education faculty and institutions on Thursday for their work in advocating for and providing free instructional materials as part of the Zero Textbook Cost Challenge. “It’s inspiring to see the progress campuses and educators across Colorado are making in saving students money on textbooks the last few years through the open source educational resources.” said Polis. “We’re excited to see the cost savings for students and pursuit of accessible, equitable and high-quality curriculum for Colorado’s learners.”

Friday, November 13, 2020

Open Educational Resources Course Development and Implementation Grant Program (GEER funded) - Texas Higher Ed Coordinating Board

 The OER Course Development and Implementation Grant Program is a competitive program established to enhance quality in online course offerings and reduce the costs of educational materials for students at Texas public and independent institutions of higher education through matching grants to support the development of new OER for online delivery and/or the redesign of courses using existing OER. Grants will support teams of faculty engaged in this work. Two categories of grants are available under this Request for Applications (RFA).

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Research Article: “Academic Librarians Examination of University Students’ and Faculty’s Perceptions of Open Educational Resources” - Filed by Gary Price, InfoDocket

 Two-year and four-year institutions were compared to identify differences that might exist between them. Most students felt that their academic success was negatively impacted by textbook cost, particularly at two-year institutions where students registered for fewer courses because of associated textbook costs. Faculty survey findings showed that adjunct professors were more likely to require a traditionally copyright-restricted textbook. Approximately 90% of participants indicated they would be willing to use suitable OER for their course, and almost half of survey participants expressed a desire for help finding these resources.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Saddleback College Reaches 15 Zero-Textbook-Cost Programs - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

 California's Saddleback College is up to 15 zero textbook cost (ZTC) pathways. These are full degree or certificate programs that have no textbook-related costs or fees for online materials, though some classes may require students to buy essentials, such as safety goggles or calculators. Students can identify ZTC courses in the online class schedule by choosing a "zero textbook cost" tag in the filtering feature. Both the fall 2020 and spring 2021 class schedule lists 90-plus individual ZTC courses.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

More Minnesota community colleges ditch pricey textbooks in favor of free online readings - Ryan Faircloth, Star Tribune

Students at six Minnesota community colleges can now complete a two-year degree without buying a textbook under the expanded “Z-degree” program. At six Minnesota community colleges, students can now complete a two-year degree without buying a single textbook.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Transform higher education — make textbooks free - GARY MICHELSON AND HAL PLOTKIN, EdSource

 Would you pay for a textbook when you could get a better one for free? The answer coming from many college administrators might surprise you. By embracing a new “embedded in tuition” textbook-pricing scheme and ignoring the benefits of getting textbooks through a freely accessible digital library, many college administrators are burdening students with unnecessary costs while also sacrificing an opportunity for tech-enabled collaborative innovations. But there is a much less expensive alternative. Open educational resources are teaching and learning resources that reside in the public domain or are released with an intellectual property license that allows their free use and, often, re-purposing as well as continuous improvement with thousands of educators around the globe contributing to their content.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Planning for academic continuity through online learning - Carlos Morales, University World News

Training in areas such as instructional technology, teaching with technology and open educational resources (OER) are essential for faculty. Prior experience of using instructional technology in face-to-face environments is advantageous. In many cases, these are the same tools used to deliver instruction in remote or online learning instances. For academic continuity, these activities should be planned and done on an incremental basis. This will allow faculty to absorb the information and provide them with an opportunity to test and conduct activities long before the emergency takes place.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Open Education and Artificial Scarcity in Hard Times - RORY MIR, EFF

 Right now there is a global collaborative effort among the world's educators and librarians to provide high-quality, free, and up-to-date education materials to all with little restriction. This of course is the global movement towards open education resources (OER). While this tireless effort of thousands of academics may seem complicated, it revolves around a simple idea: Education is a fundamental human right, so if technology enables us to share, reproduce, and update educational materials so effectively that we can give them away for free—it’s our moral duty to do so.

Friday, November 6, 2020

SSMU advocates for affordable textbooks and Open Education Resources - Anthony Schokalsky, McGill Tribune

Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) began promoting Open Education Resources (OER), which makes textbooks more accessible by providing them free of charge. Despite rising tuition and textbook costs since the 1970s, the digitization of academia due to the pandemic has not appeared to slow price hikes of education material. In an email exchange with The McGill Tribune, SSMU Vice-President (VP) Student Affairs Brooklyn Frizzle wrote about the student union’s continued efforts to advocate for OERs.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Open Textbook Faculty Incentive Program 2021-2022: Call for Proposals - UIC

 UIC is pleased to announce a fourth year of funding for a program that encourages faculty to use open educational resources (OER) as alternatives to traditional text books for undergraduate courses. This incentive program is part of UIC’s student success initiative and was developed in response to student concerns about the high cost of course materials. An annual fund of $20,000 for the program will be available to UIC faculty who teach undergraduates. To qualify to participate in the program, faculty must adopt or adapt existing OER materials or create new openly licensed material.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Open Educational Resources Program can Save Students Big Bucks - MSU Reporter

 Minnesota State University, Mankato is one of the many higher educational institutions that strives to ensure students have the necessary resources to make their time at the University worth it and successful. With this in mind, the university provides Open Educational Resources (OER) to students. Mark Johnson, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at MSU, said, “Students are the core focus of everything we do at the university and in IT Solutions. Across the university, we work together to continually improve the student experience, access and understand what they need to be successful. OER is a great example of this and continues to be something we want to continue to raise awareness of.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

TN Board of Regents awarding grants to 7 community colleges in the state - Fox 13 Memphis

 The Tennessee Board of Regents has awarded grants to faculty teams at seven community colleges to create learning materials for their courses that students will use for free, in lieu of commercially published textbooks. This is an effort to continue to work to reduce the costs of college attendance and increase equity in student outcomes. The grants totaled $314,536 and will be distributed to 12 faculty and staff teams who will use free or low-cost Open Educational Resources (OER) to create student learning materials.

Monday, November 2, 2020

University initiative to make textbooks more affordable - Christine Disanti, SJU News

The University Student Senate (USS) sent out a survey on Oct. 13 to the student body as part of a larger campus-wide initiative to address the cost of textbooks and class materials. The survey is part of a larger study from the United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), a nonprofit organization that aims to promote citizen activism through its coalition of statewide branches. From their last textbook survey in fall 2019, U.S. PIRG reported that 63% of students skipped buying or renting a textbook and 17% skipped buying or renting an access code needed for their course.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Open Educational Resources Program can Save Students Big Bucks - Minnesota State University

The circumstances brought by COVID-19 demonstrated why it is essential for universities to support online access to scholarly materials without the barriers often posed by cost and inadequate web accessibility, said WSU Scholarly Communications Librarian Talea Anderson.