Monday, May 31, 2021

The OER State Policy Playbook 2021 Edition - SPARC

The rising cost of higher education is about more than tuition—expensive textbooks and course materials remain a looming barrier to college affordability and access. Open Educational Resources (OER) are a solution to high-cost materials and state legislators are starting to take notice. Nearly half of all states have considered OER legislation in past years, and it has increasingly become a go-to strategy for legislators seeking to make college education more affordable and effective. States can catalyze and support action at institutions by providing resources, incentives, and policy frameworks. The OER State Policy Playbook provides policy recommendations for U.S. state legislators interested in tackling college affordability through OER. Download this resource and share it with interested policymakers.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Nine Faculty Projects Selected for Course Materials Conversion Funding - University of Arkansas

 Nine new projects were selected for the Spring 2021 semester's Open Educational Resources Course Materials Conversion program and will receive funding from the U of A's Open Educational Resources Team and Campus Advisory Group. For the first time, the Associated Student Government has also contributed to this endeavor.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

International Journal of Open Educational Resources - Volume 3 Issue 2

 The aim of IJOER is to provide a venue for the publication of quality academic research with an emphasis on representing Open Educational Resources in teaching, learning, scholarship and policy.  Complete issue may be viewed here:

Friday, May 28, 2021

Copley Library Recognizes Professor For His Commitment to The Open Educational Resource Program - University of San Diego

  Theresa Byrd, PhD, dean of Copley Library, announced Associate Professor Drew Talley, PhD, as the first recipient of USD’s Open Educational Resource Program (OER) award. The program, which began in 2017 as an alternative to high cost textbooks, provides professors with a $1,000 stipend to replace paid classroom textbooks with an open and free resource like a lecture, academic article, video or other shared material.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Free Community College Is Great, But It Doesn’t Solve Everything - Jodie Adams Kirshner, Washington Monthly

The previous year, just after arriving on campus as a new student, Mia had sniffed out an under-the-radar scholarship, which enabled her to gain free access to her textbooks. This year, with the changed financial climate, the scholarship seemed to no longer exist. In all her classes, she went without books, and, for the first time in her life, she earned Ds.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

OER Environmental InformaticsFachbereichs-Navigation - University of Marburg

We favour hybrid learning environments and publish our digital learning materials as Open Educational Resources (OER). 

On the main teaching page of our WG you will find selected links to our OER courses. For a complete overview of our currently developed courses, please visit our GitHub page. You can find many more OER courses of Marburg Geography on the university's learning platform.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Natick Student Chosen For '29 Who Shine' Award - Mass Bay Community College

The 29 Who Shine awards honor outstanding students from each of the state's 29 public higher education institutions. Evan Bogan decided to get more involved in campus life by joining the Student Government Association (SGA) as the Vice President of Public Relations. In this SGA position, he created connection groups for students, gathered information about the struggles students have faced with online learning during the pandemic to help find solutions, helped keep students engaged in campus activities, and focused on spreading the word to students about the benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER) to reduce student's textbook costs.

Monday, May 24, 2021

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

 I was fortunate to be part of a cohort that assisted me with my research into OER, but I recognize that most faculty will not have a librarian beckoning to support them. If you need an advocate to get started, seek out campus librarians who may have a background in OER or know other faculty members who have already made the transition to OER. Likewise, you can ask your university’s teaching and learning center staff for a connection that might support you.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

5 questions to ask now to shape blended learning of the future - Anir Chowdhury, WE Forum

The traditional education system is obsolete in the new normal catalysed by COVID-19. Research shows a combination of in-person and virtual learning – blended learning – maximizes student benefits. 21st-century skills require a 21st-century education system. This has given rise to talk on Education 4.0 in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Webinar: OER in Dual and Concurrent Enrollment Programs: Current Practice and Best Practice - MHEC, NACEP, WCET

Wed, May 26, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CDT
Open educational resources, or OERs, are openly licensed digital and other resources including college textbooks, that are often available at little to no cost. In the present confluence of an economic downturn, remote instruction, and a clear need for more equitable student participation in dual and concurrent enrollment offerings, OERs present a potential game-changer to ensure the availability of quality digital textbooks at little to no cost to families, districts or postsecondary institutions. 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.

Friday, May 21, 2021

#Freethetextbook helps students get free textbooks - Janelle James, the Signal

 College in the U.S. can be one of the most expensive decisions in a person’s lifetime. On top of tuition, universities force students to pay high prices each semester for textbooks, and that price is only increasing. #Freethetextbook is a movement that aims to make textbooks free for college students. This hashtag, created by the non-profit OpenStax, calls for free books for college students and cheaper alternatives to physical copies.  OpenStax’s managing director, Daniel Williamson, talked about its success with providing students access to free textbooks.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Huge budget boost to UC, CSU and community colleges targets student housing and job training - Teresa Watanabe & Howard Blume, LA Times


Gov. Newsom also is proposing $115 million in one-time funding for community colleges to eliminate textbook costs by developing free and open educational resources and certificate and degree programs that don’t incur those expenses. He blasted the textbook industry as a “racket” that profits “on the backs of our children” in his remarks Friday


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Using a Technology Acceptance Model to Analyze Faculty Adoption and Application of Open Educational Resources - Beth Tillinghast, Scholar Space

This research reports on a mixed methods study querying faculty who have already adopted Open Educational Resources (OER) and who might be exploring OER-enabled pedagogy (OP) in their instructional practices. Insights gained from this research fill a gap in the literature and provide a deeper understanding of the context for adopting OER, thus providing guidance and information for institutional policy and program development in support of OER implementation.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

OER in Dual Enrollment - NACEP

Many states’ dual enrollment policies are silent on (or leave to local discretion) which party purchases dual enrollment textbooks – the district or high school, the postsecondary institution, the student’s family, or some combination thereof. Although passing on textbook costs to families understandably has the most direct detrimental impact on equitable dual enrollment participation, in the current fiscal environment, arrangements in which the K-12 or postsecondary partner covers textbook costs can culminate in other adverse equity implications downstream, such as reductions to the number of dual enrollment students who can be served in a given academic term, or on the number or type of dual enrollment course offerings.

Monday, May 17, 2021

OERs: the future of education? - Research Information

 Paul Ayris, pro-vice provost and director of UCL Library Services, tells Research Information: ‘With only 180 books, we've reached more than 240 countries and territories across the world... as the UK's first fully open access university press, we've seen the impact the press has had.’ Over this time, one of the top ten downloads has been an e-textbook on burns and plastic surgery produced by Deepak Kalaskar from Medical Sciences at UCL and director of the  MSc course in burns, plastic and reconstructive surgery. According to Ayris, the book's 70,000 downloads are proof that e-textbooks and open educational resources have a clear future at UCL, a point that's only been underlined by the current pandemic. ‘UCL has now given us funding to produce an e-textbook service,’ he says. ‘We have 45,000 students at UCL and when the libraries physically closed and students couldn't get access to physical copies... we saw that digital education and providing open educational materials was the way to go.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

New study at 8 colleges will look at boosting OER use - Chris Burt, University Business

Along with nonprofit SRI Education, ATD has chosen eight colleges that will serve as participants in another research endeavor that will try to improve the OER experience. The organizations say they “will be looking for evidence of innovative teaching practices, such as open pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching practices.” ATD and SRI will be focused on outcomes from the spring and summer 2021 semesters and expect to release those results in the early part of 2022. Those data and recommendations will serve as a foundation for a “set of tools and resources to help faculty effectively integrate new teaching practices with their openly licensed materials.” The eight colleges taking part include four that were in the previous study.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Williams earns OER grant - Louisiana Tech University

Dr. Joseph Williams, Assistant Professor of Technical Writing, has been awarded the Interactive OER for Dual Enrollment Program grant from the Department of Education and the LOUIS consortium to pursue the creation and development of Open Education Resources. The LOUIS consortium (Louisiana Library Network at the Louisiana Board of Regents) is in partnership with academic libraries (including Louisiana Tech University’s), state and private libraries, museums, and archives.

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Impact Of OER At the University - Matthew Lynch, Tech Edvocate

 A large-scale study conducted at the University of Georgia discovered that students who received free course materials at the beginning of a class received much higher academic results than those who did not. The study drew a comparison between the final grades of students enrolled in eight major undergraduate courses between 2010 and 2016. Each course was taught by a professor who, at a point during the six-year study period, changed from using a commercial textbook that was valued at more than $100 to a digital, free textbook, otherwise known as an open educational resource (OER).  When the results (before and after) were compared, it was concluded that changing to OER increased the quantity of A and A- results by 5.5% and 7.73%, respectively.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

7 Projects Granted Open Educational Resources Funding -University of Pittsburgh

 The Office of the Provost recently awarded Open Educational Resources (OER) funding to seven projects during the spring 2021 term. OER funding supports faculty to adapt, adopt or create OER for an existing course. These projects will enhance the educational experiences of Pitt students, save students money on course materials and provide faculty with the ability to customize their courses.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

And the ‘OERscar’ Goes to … Professors Who Use Digital Textbooks - Ed Breenen, UMass Lowell

They didn’t receive a shiny statue like at the Academy Awards, but for the 27 UMass Lowell faculty members recently honored at the university’s first “OERscars” ceremony, the thanks from students was even more rewarding. Organized by students from the university’s MASSPIRG chapter and Student Government Association (SGA), the virtual OERscars event recognized UML faculty who use free or low-cost digital textbooks and open educational resources (OERs) in their courses. OERs are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium — digital or otherwise — that are in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Kennesaw State University: Open Educational Resources

KSU Libraries hosted a variety of presentations to advocate for the usage of Open Educational Resources and helped our university advance the Open Education movement. All events took place virtually on Blackboard Collaborate.  Everyone was welcome to attend! We encouraged all participants to deposit a version of their research or OERs into the DigitalCommons after these presentations. Recordings and slides of each presentation have been posted to this site.

Monday, May 10, 2021

A guide to Plan S: the open-access initiative shaking up science publishing - Holly Else, Nature

In 2018, an influential group of research funders announced a bold pledge: the scientists they fund should publish their peer-reviewed papers outside journal paywalls. The initiative, called Plan S, caused an instant uproar over its aim of ending journal subscription models — the means by which many scholarly publications have financed their existence. Its intended start date in 2020 was delayed, and its details were tweaked. But after much sparring over policy, the project formally began in 2021, with 25 funding agencies rolling out similar open-access (OA) mandates.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Directory of Open Access Journals

 DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. All DOAJ services are free of charge including being indexed. All data is freely available.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

OU Student Congress elects new president, vice president - Sean Delaney, Oakland University Patch

As the new president and vice-president of the Oakland University Student Congress, Adeline Perhogan of St. Clair Shores and Annabella Jankowski of Farmington Hills say they plan to emphasize the importance of mental and physical health for OU students while navigating the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Perhogan said the OUSC will work to address the financial challenges facing OU students due to the COVID-19 pandemic by contributing to additional relief funding on campus. "We aim to accomplish this by continuing with the efforts of previous administrations to mitigate the costs of textbooks, by providing scholarships to students and promoting Open Educational Resources (OER) to faculty and staff," she said.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Three LSUS Librarians Selected For Department Of Education Open Textbook Pilot Program - LSUS

 Three librarians from the LSUS Noel Memorial Library were selected to participate in the Louisiana Board of Regents' LOUIS Open Textbooks Pilot: Interactive Open Educational Resource (OER) for Dual Enrollment. Jessica Hawkes, Sarah Mazur, and Brian Sherman are among twenty-five academic librarians from the state's LOUIS member library community who were selected. They will lead a cohort of five teaching faculty from across all state college and university systems in the development of re-deployable OER courses for one of twenty-five dual enrollment general education courses.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Open education resources to shape post-pandemic world - Curt Newton and Krishna Rajagopal, University World News

 Now, as we begin to grapple with the long-term impacts and changes in education brought on by the pandemic year, it’s crucial to assess how open educational resource (OER) tools and resources are reaching those who need and use them most. In this article, we’ll focus on students in Africa.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Is now the time for open educational resources? - Markeen Deepwell and Nick Lambert; WONKHE

Three years ago the Association for Learning Technology issued a Call to Action for policy makers to place Open Education at the heart of (digital) education provision – and the past year has shown how important open practice is for scaling up learning and teaching. Bringing together hundreds of professionals from across the globe, last week’s OERxDomains21 Conference showcased evidence on a global scale of how much impact open education policy and OER have, from saving students millions buying expensive textbooks to enabling educators to share resources and content. With the UK facing an anticipated peak in post-Covid lockdown unemployment of 2.2m by the end of this year, enhancing the quality and accessibility of our educational resources will be more critical than ever.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

6 Key Technologies Moving Teaching and Learning Forward in 2021 - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Educause's latest Horizon Report outlines the biggest trends shaping teaching and learning this year. In particular, the report identified six technologies and practices that are key to higher education institutions' future planning, whether those topics are newly emerging or evolving from previous years. They are topics that can come, go and return to Horizon Reports from year to year "more organically, reflecting the most current issues," the report explained. In this year's list of key technologies, the categories of artificial intelligence, open educational resources, and learning analytics have made a repeat appearance in the report. They are joined by three new categories: blended and hybrid course models, quality online learning, and microcredentialing.

Monday, May 3, 2021

What Are Open Educational Resources? - UC Denver

OER stands for Open Educational Resources, which are free teaching, learning, and research materials (usually online). OER includes digital articles and textbooks, as well as audio and video lessons intended for K12 and higher education. Additionally, OER includes teacher and professor resources such as lesson plans, syllabi, quizzes, and activities. The official UNESCO definition specifies that OER resources “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.” The idea behind OER is simple—to increase educational access.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Florida’s top college students to lose $600 stipend for textbooks - Ana Ceballos, Tampa Bay Times

House and Senate budget leaders agreed to suspend a $600 stipend that top-level Bright Futures recipients get each year to offset the cost of textbooks, a move that will save $37 million. House and Senate budget leaders agreed to suspend a $600 stipend that top-level Bright Futures recipients get each year to offset the cost of textbooks, a move that will save $37 million. Lawmakers have also signed off on a $5 million cut that will eliminate the Access to Better Learning and Education (ABLE) grant program, which helps Floridians pay for private college tuition.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

University of Calgary Student-led project investing in Open Educational Resources - Helen Pike, CBC News

Students at the University of Calgary are taking matters into their own hands, to create a library of free textbooks after years of inaction from the provincial government. Open Educational Resources (OER) are hailed as a way to make colleges and universities more affordable for students. In provinces like Ontario and British Columbia, government funding has opened hundreds of these online, free, textbook resources up to learners netting millions in savings. After years of advocacy with the province, and little action, schools have been creating their own resource libraries piecemeal.