Friday, April 30, 2021

How you can use Open Educational Resources - University of Gronigen Library

Open Educational Resources (OER) are becoming more prominent in higher education. They facilitate a quicker transition to online teaching, help educators reuse and create innovative learner-centered materials, improve access to education, and save resources. This video introduces the topic of OER, explores their practical application in courses, and encourages teachers to use them with the support available at the UG Library. Explore the accompanying slides with additional information on OER in the slide notes.

Thursday, April 29, 2021


In 2019, Portland State University partnered with OpenStax to provide students with free, peer-reviewed online textbooks. At the time, PSU was one of 10 schools nationwide selected to participate in the OpenStax Institution Partnership Program designed to increase the use of open-licensed online textbooks.  Now, that work — and the resulting program PDXOpen — has garnered global recognition. Elsevier, a Netherlands-based organization focused in research publishing and information analytics, named PSU the winner of the 3rd Annual Karen Hunter Memorial Award.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


 May 26, 2021 - 1:00pm May 26, 2021 - 2:00pm CDT

This webinar will present early findings from a current study funded by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) to examine current use of OERs in dual and concurrent enrollment courses, and best practices and lessons learned from states and dual enrollment partnerships pioneering these efforts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

South Dakota taskforce rolls up sleeves to further cut state budget for higher education - Christopher Vondracek, Dickinson Press

A taskforce of business leaders, Board of Regents officials and lawmakers stemming from a 2020 law calling for cost effectiveness across the state's six public universities met for the third time on Thursday, airing a range of ideas for adopting a "lean" budget. "Why don't we have one food provider?" asked Rep. Hugh Bartels, R-Watertown, who called for a new mindset for approaching cutting costs within the state's six public universities and the governing Board of Regents. "Why don't you talk to the one who does the prison? I think meals there are about 68 cents.Sen. Ryan Maher, R-Isabel, opened his remarks by acknowledging, "I've always been a pretty big opponent to what the regents were doing." 

Monday, April 26, 2021

STAR initiative helps students cut costs in UNL classes - Bhavana Sunil, Daily Nebraskan

 Amid expensive textbooks, tuition and fees, instructors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are utilizing the Successful Teaching with Affordable Resources initiative to reduce the cost of course materials. The STAR initiative has helped students save more than $3.5 million since 2019 by reducing the cost of textbooks and continues to make educational materials more affordable, according to the initiative’s website. Brad Severa, an academic technology support specialist at UNL, said there are two options within the initiative to choose: Inclusive Access and Open Educational Resources.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

UW-Eau Claire pilots program to reduce cost of course materials - Miles Plueger, Spectator News

UW-Eau Claire is continuing to pilot a program called Open Educational Resources that helps to reduce the costs of course materials for students. Fifteen professors have signed on to the OER program, which begins this summer and will be implemented into classes in the fall, Jill Markgraf, the McIntyre Library director, said. It is a way to cut additional costs for students and give them materials they can keep past graduation.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

panOpen Releases OER-based Courseware for Texas Government

 panOpen, a courseware company that helps educational institutions adopt Open Educational Resources (OER), announced today the release of groundbreaking, interactive courseware for Texas Government, a required course for all public higher education students in Texas. The work, which is being released under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC license, has been designed, organized, and authored collaboratively by community college teaching faculty from across the state. They not only have Texas government expertise, but also an understanding of how best to reach students with the subject matter through decades of experience teaching it.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Leeward CC has saved students more than $6M with free, online textbooks - University of Hawaii News

 During the 2020–21 academic year, like other University of Hawaiʻi campuses, Leeward Community College shifted to mostly remote learning. The college’s early adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) and other no-cost resources helped reduce the financial burden presented by high-cost textbooks. In spring 2021, Leeward CC, the leader in zero-cost textbook (TXT0) classes in UH’s 10-campus system, conducted more than half (52%) of all class sections with zero-cost textbooks.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

It’s Time for Open Educational Resources - Ray Schroeder, Inisde Higher Ed

Learning before the 21st century was mostly about accessing and retaining theories, facts and figures; now it is mostly about applying theories, facts and figures in creative and critical ways to solve problems and advance society. Increasingly, higher education is less about memorization and more about problem solving. Over all, many students seem to do better in classes where the textbooks are open. It may not be that the OER materials are superior -- rather it may be that when the class materials are free, students actually obtain and use them.  C. Edward Watson, CIO and associate vice president for curricular and pedagogical innovation at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and co-author Barbara Illowsky describe their “epiphany” in discovering the meaningfulness and impact on equity and affordability of using OER. “Yet one of the best-kept secrets for improving student equity and college affordability is within the hands of faculty: using Open Educational Resources (OER) in their courses instead of commercial textbooks and paid electronic materials.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

How MIT OpenCourseWare became an educational resource to millions around the world - MIT

 “It is typical of our faculty to come up with something as bold and innovative as this," said then-MIT president Charles Vest at a special gathering of community members and press in April 2001. “OpenCourseWare looks counterintuitive in a market-driven world. It goes against the grain of current material values. But it really is consistent with what I believe is the best about MIT ... It expresses our belief in the way education can be advanced — by constantly widening access to information and by inspiring others to participate." In the 20 years since it began, MIT OpenCourseWare has become a pillar of the open education community, an exemplar of the MIT ethos, and an invaluable resource to millions of learners around the world.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Student Council legislation reiterates financial need of U.Va. community, supports access to open textbooks - Kiki McLaughlin, Cavalier Daily

 The UVA Student Council passed SR 21-24, which asks the University to support the urgent financial need of students, faculty and staff, as well as SR 21-25, which asks the University to transition to open educational resources, at its general body meeting Tuesday night.

Monday, April 19, 2021

UW universities lowering costs by using open-source textbooks - Jackson Danbeck, WTMJ

UW-Eau Claire is attempting to transform the cost of higher education by offering textbooks and other teaching materials for free. Materials required for college courses often run students hundreds of dollars per semester. The university hopes to help students with the cost of a degree using open educational resources, or OER.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

GVSU Innovation Fund proposal will accelerate open educational resources - Anna Young, GVNext

The most recent proposal to the Innovation Fund will seek to expand University Libraries’ publishing capacity for open educational resources, or OER.  Open Educational Resources are textbooks and other teaching materials that are freely available to use, share, modify and reuse. The proposal will work to improve accessibility of previously published OER, and establish a model for OER collaboration between Grand Valley and K-12 institutions in Michigan. The Innovation Fund, one of President Philomena V. Mantella's initiatives to propel Grand Valley forward, will invest specifically in proposals that cover one of the five presidential priorities outlined by Mantella.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Our OER Epiphany: Advocating for Open Educational Resources as Tools for Affordability and Equity - C. Edward Watson & Barbara Illowsky, AAU&P Liberal Ed Blog

As your institution looks to the 2021–22 academic year, what can you, your colleagues, and your institution do to further the goals of student equity and college affordability? How might you launch or accelerate efforts associated with OER? Now is an excellent time to learn more, plan for the future, become an OER advocate, and examine how you and your institution might add OER to your portfolio of student success and equity initiatives.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Rice’s OpenStax opens applications for 2021-2022 Institutional Partner Program

Jeff Falk, Rice University

OpenStax, Rice’s educational technology initiative, announced today that applications for its 2021-2022 Institutional Partner Program are now open. U.S. colleges and universities looking to expand open education advocacy and adoption of open educational resources (OER) to support their students can apply for the free program. The Institutional Partner Program provides higher education institutions with free coaching, training and support as they work to increase the use of OpenStax and other OER among their faculty and students. While the support that each school receives is individualized, admitted institutions will collaborate within a cohort and a larger network of over 50 colleges and universities that have completed the program since 2015. The deadline to apply is May 3. Institutions for the 2021-2022 cohort will be selected in July.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Faculty earn over half a million in grants for students - Six Mile Post

 Faculty have been hard at work applying for and implementing a number of Affordable Learning Georgia Grants with the goal of ensuring that every GHC student has access to a quality, affordable college education. Over half a million in grants has been awarded to GHC faculty and has been used to directly benefit thousands of students. GHC was listed in a press release by OpenStax, a publisher based at Rice University, as a top college in Georgia and as one of the top 10 colleges in the nation that served the most students with the adoption of free college textbooks in the 2017-2018 school year.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

CVTC instructor pens open education resource textbook - Mark Gunderman, Dunn County News

Lori Ann Simmons, a mathematics instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College, noticed some regular comments that would appear on the course evaluations that students filled out each semester at the end of her Statistics class.“They mentioned the cost of the textbooks,” she said. Simmons, on her own initiative, decided to do something about it. She wrote an Open Education Resource (OER) textbook on the subject, which will be adopted in all the CVTC Statistics classes in the fall 2021 semester. “With an open Statistics textbook, I would get rid of the cost of the textbooks, and the calculator cost, which amount to about $200 a student,” Simmons said. “In OER, we can use an online calculator.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Boosting Adoption of Open Educational Resources - Michelle Solér, Director of Undergraduate Programs and Assessment University of North Carolina System Office

 Perhaps the question of OER adoption should not be solely focused on individual faculty usage, but on the institutional supports put in place for faculty, in promoting collaboration, and in pursuit of innovative teaching methodologies across institutions. Not only were strong inter-institutional bonds formed between formerly distanced disciplinary tenured and non-tenure track faculty, instructors were able to workshop and collaborate around new methods of teaching and learning, and focusing on student learning outcomes across institutions, while creating a set of high-quality, vetted, openly available materials for use by peers. Particularly during a time of educational upheaval and redesign, perhaps it’s a good idea to rethink how we support our instructors as well.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Affordable Learning Grants help fuel course material innovation - Washington State University

 Faculty from across the WSU system are developing innovative course materials that are saving students thousands of dollars in textbook costs each semester. Affordable Learning Grants issued in 2020 helped fund transitions from traditional textbooks to open educational resources (OER) – openly licensed digital textbooks and course materials. Collectively, the projects saved students nearly $200,000 in textbook costs in 2020-21 alone.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

We Answer Your Questions About Open Educational Resources - Observatory of Educational Innnovation

 Open educational resources vaulted to relevance in a UNESCO debate in 2002, where a committee met to promote their use in educational institutions worldwide. The advantages of OER are innumerable, starting with the visibility it gives to teachers who share their teaching work; they do not need a diploma or specialization to publish them. They can be informal contributions related to home cooking, carpentry, or even scientific studies. Professor Canchola describes OER as "the spirit of sharing" because they are created with a genuine intention to help other people. Some of the most famous OER that anyone can find on the internet are Frida Kahlo's voice and Stephen Hawking's thesis. The modern era of digitalization helps make these historical treasures accessible.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

How COVID-19 Affected OER Adoption: The Key Podcast - Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed

 Awareness of open educational resources surged during the pandemic -- but adoption of the free, openly licensed textbooks and curricular material plateaued. Why, and what are the implications for textbook affordability and the OER movement going forward? This week's episode of the Key podcast explores that terrain.

Friday, April 9, 2021

College Of The Canyons Receives Federal Grant To Support Cost-Efficient Textbooks - Connor Grose, Home Town Station

 College of the Canyons (COC) announced Thursday that the school is set to receive over $370,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Education to further expand its Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative. The $370,149 grant gifted to COC is planned to benefit their OER program, an initiative that utilizes textbooks released in the public domain or under an intellectual property license as a no-cost alternative to costly commercial textbooks, officials said. “We are honored to have been granted this award from the U.S. Department of Education along with three other California community colleges,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “This grant will be instrumental in supporting College of the Canyons’ efforts to continue eliminating the barrier of the cost of textbooks, which often can be higher than the cost of tuition.”

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Addressing the Textbook Affordability Issue: An Introduction to Open Educational Resources - Loyola - Notre Dame Library

Hoping to reduce textbook costs for your students? This workshop will provide an introduction to open access and open educational resources and provide information on where to located open educational materials.

Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Loyola Notre Dame Library Online

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Pricey textbooks holding Fresno college students back. Could this fix the problem? - ASHLEIGH PANOO, Fresno Bee

 The costs of textbooks and digital class content can be a barrier for students to finish their degree, Menefee said. A survey conducted by State Center Community College District in fall 2020 showed that 53% of students avoided attending school full time because of textbook costs. “I’m from the Valley. I went to Reedley College, too,” Menefee said. “I know the struggle of paying for textbooks.”

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Faculty Awareness of OER Has Increased for 5 Years Straight, Yet Adoption Is Flat - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

 In higher education, faculty awareness of open educational resources — course materials that are freely available for use, reuse, adaptation and sharing — has grown for the fifth straight year, according to a study by Bay View Analytics. The research firm, supported by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, surveyed 3,200 faculty and department chairs across the United States about how they selected and used their course materials during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Going All in on OER - Jackie Hoermann-Elliott, Facutly Focus

And then, as the economic impact of the pandemic gripped all of the American higher education system and the Black Lives Matter Movement exposed the gross inequities students of color face on a daily basis, I felt I had no choice. It was time to make the switch to OER. In this article, I present persuasive research on OER’s effectiveness in terms of student performance before making recommendations to support faculty interested in partially or fully adopting OER.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

UMSU releases 2021-22 budget recommendations Open education resources tops list of priorities - GILLIAN BROWN, the Manitoban

 UMSU released its recommendations for budget spending, and for the 2021-22 academic year, students can expect to see movement toward the adoption of open educational resources (OER) along with increased supports for the Student Counselling Centre (SCC), hardship relief for international students and consent culture training programs. Vice-president advocacy Kristin Smith said that the union’s recommendations are based on the results of a survey sent to students asking to rank their priorities for increased spending.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Big Deal for Open Access - Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed

The University of California system secured a landmark open-access deal with publisher Elsevier, it announced yesterday. Some university librarians hail the agreement as a breakthrough, but others question the possible long-term impacts. Over the past two years, both the UC system and Elsevier struck up multiple open-access agreements with other parties. Elsevier has now signed 15 open-access deals, while the UC system has signed nine. With more experience and data, Elsevier went back to the UC system in the summer of 2020 with a new proposal, and negotiations began again in earnest.

Friday, April 2, 2021

National U Tackles Textbook Affordability - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

The university has also incorporated open educational resources in 48 of its courses, saving students more than $1 million a year on textbook costs. And it offers digital textbooks to active-duty military students at no cost (and at a discounted price for other students). "Textbook price inflation has created a major barrier to degree completion for the students who ultimately shoulder the costs, and that is especially true for the diverse population of working adults, veterans, and Pell-eligible and middle-income students that we serve," said David Andrews, president of National University, in a statement.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

ACHE, ACCS to provide educators grants to get Creative Commons certificate training - John H. Glen, Alabama Political Reporter

 The Alabama Commission on Higher Education and the Alabama Community College System are working in tandem to provide grants to educators for training in creating online textbooks for students in Alabama colleges. “One of the barriers to higher education is the combined high cost of tuition, room and board, student fees, and educational materials,” said ACHE Executive Director Jim Purcell. “Tuition is not determined by state agencies. However, we can help curtail the cost of higher education by  supporting low-cost to no cost textbooks and other educational materials.”