Education students at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud Technical and Community College and four other Minnesota State institutions will now have free, open textbooks and course materials for some of their classes as part of a new grant program. The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the consortium of Minnesota State colleges a $978,332, three-year grant to provide open educational resources for education students in six of their core classes. Open educational resources (or OERs) are textbooks and other learning materials that are free of cost for students.
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Michigan Technological University Professor Thomas Werner has been recognized as one of the state’s three recipients of the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year award, which recognizes the outstanding contributions and dedication exhibited by the faculty from Michigan’s 15 public universities to the education of undergraduate students. Dr. Werner has also co-authored a two-book series of free, open-source textbooks on fruit flies with Ms. Steenwinkel. These open source textbooks have been downloaded on all seven continents, helping students everywhere keep textbook fees down.
Monday, June 28, 2021
Cleveland State Community College has received three new grants. The college was awarded two Student Engagement Retention and Success Grants and one Open Ed Resources and Digital Engagement Grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents. In total, these three projects bring over $75,000 in new funding to the college.
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Students at North Carolina A&T State University will be provided free textbooks for the next two academic years starting in fall 2021. The institution announced Thursday that it is buying all course materials for undergraduates using federal stimulus relief funds. Each student will save more than $1,000 in textbook costs per year, Robert Pompey, vice chancellor for business and finance, said in a press release.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
SETDA Names Dr. Karen Richardson the Recipient of the 2021 Candice Dodson Influencer Award - eSchool News
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) announced that Dr. Karen Richardson, Executive Director, Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) was selected as the recipient of the inaugural Candice Dodson Influencer Award (CDIA). The recipient of the Candice Dodson Influencer Award was selected through a competitive application process and was presented to Dr. Richardson during the 2021 SETDA Emerging Trends Forum on June 15, 2021. Her work with her state conference has empowered educators, her guidance has developed a state Open Educational Resources (OER) project, and her love of learning inspires those who flock to attend her presentations.
Friday, June 25, 2021
Misericordia University was recently awarded two Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (PA Goal Grant) with funding provided by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER), and the state Department of Education (PDE), Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL). The funding will support pedagogy in the College of Arts and Sciences, in the Department of History and Government, and in the Physics Department. For more information on these grants managed by PALCI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization visit The PA Department of Education, GEER Funding.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
The Workshop on OER in Francophone Africa, organized by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) in partnership with UNESCO and the Digital University (France) addressed capacity building and awareness raising on policy issues supporting OER development in Francophone Africa focusing on institutions on 9 June 2021 (online). Representatives from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Mali, the Republique of Congo and Senegal, as well as from France and Norway focused on strengthening dialogue and interaction between the ministerial and institutional levels. They also shared experiences on the potential of OER in Francophone Africa for quality, innovation and access to learning in the current Covid 19 context.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
How Open Education Enables Culturally Responsive Teaching - Ruanda Garth McCullough and Richard Sebastian, Faculty Focus
If students can see themselves and their communities in what they’re learning, then they learn differently—and better. This is the idea behind culturally responsive teaching (CRT). With CRT, students’ cultural knowledge is seen as an asset in the classroom, not something that should be checked at the door. Cultural responsiveness is not new, but in this year of reckoning with racial inequity, there is renewed interest among higher education instructors. Bringing cultural responsiveness into teaching isn’t just about checking a box or making an instructor feel good about doing “the equitable thing.” CRT yields tangible benefits for students, facilitating brain processing and cultivating critical thinking skills. Research has shown that students are most satisfied with instructors who respect and are inclusive of cultural differences.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Creating Winning Strategies for Higher Ed, Students and Publishers, BibliU Reports Triple-Digit Growth - Bibliu
BibliU’s unique Universal Learning solution is a campus-wide offering that guarantees all students have access to the content they need on the first day of class. BibliU aggregates digital content from thousands of publishers and OER sources on one platform, providing content for a low fixed price per student per class. Using BibliU, institutions save hundreds of hours in manual administrative overhead via the automation of activities related to evaluating content, comparing book lists to catalogs, purchasing content, integrating with financial aid, integrating content within the learning management system (LMS), and budget optimization. Optionally, schools can generate auxiliary revenue, typically used to subsidize student support services.
Monday, June 21, 2021
To help ease the burden of the high costs of textbooks, Scott Sawtelle and Kathleen Curry have committed $100,000 to the UTSA Libraries’ Adopt-A-Free Textbook program which supports faculty in utilizing free and low-cost learning materials. The gift is the largest commitment to the free textbook program and will allow additional grants to be funded to professors who adopt open access resources in their courses.
Sunday, June 20, 2021
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is releasing a new e-book collection containing thousands of high-quality open access (OA) e-books from the world’s most trusted university presses and scholarly publishers. The EBSCO eBooks™ Open Access Monograph Collection is DRM-free and available at no cost on the EBSCOhost® platform and easily discoverable via EBSCO Discovery Service.
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Nominations are open for the UCT Open Textbook Award. The award may be made to single or multiple authored books. No restriction is placed on disciplinary orientation, language or format in which the book is written. There is also no restriction in terms of the publication date of the work. All nominated works must carry a Creative Commons or similar open license. The UCT Open Textbook Award carries a value of R30 000 and may be shared between more than one recipient. The deadline for nominations is 30 July 2021. For more information, please visit the UCT Open Textbook Award page on the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching website.
Friday, June 18, 2021
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the University of Illinois (U of I) System has been awarded $1.08 million from the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Textbooks Pilot Program – a competitive grant program based on Durbin’s Affordable College Textbook Act. The funding will support the creation and expand the use of open college textbooks – textbooks that are available under an open license, allowing professors, students, researchers, and others to freely access the materials. The University of Illinois System is one of nine grant recipients nationwide selected for Fiscal Year 2021. Later this month, Durbin will be leading a group of Senators in requesting an additional $25 million for the program in Fiscal Year 2022 to support additional grants and savings for students.
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Bay College was one of eight colleges selected by Achieving the Dream to participate in the next phase of its research on open educational resources, or OER. The goal of ATD’s Teaching and Learning with OER study is to understand whether and how faculty’s use of OER leads to the adoption of new pedagogical strategies in the classroom.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Otero Junior College receives Open Educational Resources grant to help close economic gaps - Ken Hamrick, LA Junta Tribune
Otero Junior College has been awarded a $30,000 grant to implement open educational resources. For select courses, students would no longer have to purchase books to other materials. Otero Junior College was granted a $30,000 Open Education Resources (OER) Grant earlier in May. The grant is funded by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE). The grant is teaching and learning materials that can be used free of cost. The resources are often created by individuals or companies that choose not to copyright their productions in order to prevent inaccessibility because of cost. OER's offer opportunities for changes in instruction and allows instructors to design their own curriculum and content. Educators will be able to network their strengths and improve the quality of education for their students be sharing these teaching tools and strategies.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Aug. 12: Innovative Course Design with OER - Lisa Rich, 37th TRSS Faculty Development Flight, EdTech Thursday
Innovative Course Design with OER - Covers the basics of Open Educational Resources (OER) and provides practical guidance in locating and applying openly available resources. Anyone interested in registering to attend a session, being a presenter, or receiving notifications for future EdTech Thursday events can reach out to the 37th TRSS Faculty Development team at 37TRSS.FAD@us.af.mil.
Monday, June 14, 2021
4. The Expansion of Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources are learning and research materials that are free for students to access. The University of British Columbia’s Emerging Media Lab, for example, developed an open-source 3D data visualization of the metabolic network. This OER can potentially be used for not only high school courses, but also courses in medical schools. In addition to making education more affordable, OERs can also make it easier to for students to learn complex information.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Saturday, June 12, 2021
The award, which was launched in 2020, is an initiative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Lis Lange, and aims to incentivise innovation in teaching and learning, recognise the efforts of open textbook authors and promote the creation and reuse of open educational resources. “Open textbooks are digital, free-to-use and openly licensed collections of course-related teaching and learning content published on platforms and in formats that provide affordances for the integration of multimedia and ancillary practice and assessment components,” wrote Associate Professor Lange in a recent campus communication.
Friday, June 11, 2021
The UCLA chapter of CALPIRG Students hosted a panel to educate the campus community on educational equity to promote affordable textbooks at the UC’s. In the past, CALPIRG has helped commit the UCs to 100% clean energy, but our main focus for the Affordable Textbooks Campaign this quarter is to address the financial challenges of students. The cost of textbooks has risen by 1041% since 1977, which is 4 times the rate of inflation. The US PIRG reports that 65 percent of students skip out on buying a textbook knowing that it would jeopardize their grades.
Thursday, June 10, 2021
OpenStax, Rice University’s educational technology initiative, will welcome a dozen new colleges and universities serving diverse students across the United States to its Institutional Partner Program, This OpenStax program has helped over 70 colleges and universities expand the use of open educational resources on their campuses, saving their students money and putting more flexible course materials into the hands of educators and learners.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Rice University’s Open Resources Program Welcomes New Cohort of Universities - Jessica Ruf, Diverse Education
A dozen new colleges and universities will join in on Rice University’s educational technology initiative OpenStax, which helps provide open educational resources, textbooks and technologies to universities. “This OpenStax program has helped over 70 colleges and universities expand the use of open educational resources on their campuses, saving their students money and putting more flexible course materials into the hands of educators and learners,” said Rice University officials.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Faculty Resource Center Teaching Tip: Open Educational Resources - Lynnane George, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
I had been teaching a senior-level Astrodynamics (Space Orbital Mechanics) course for many years and developed a lot of my own material. I found that most textbooks in the field were either outdated or very expensive, and there was no one comprehensive textbook for the subject matter. Thus began my journey with OER in the fall of 2019, when I attended an information session sponsored by the Faculty Resource Center.
Monday, June 7, 2021
The SA meeting April 28 saw a presentation and discussion regarding an issue most students are all too familiar with — the excessive costs of college textbooks. Senior Assistant Librarian Malina Thiede of the Feinberg Library and Open Educational Resources intern Katie Sheehy delivered a presentation outlining this rapidly worsening problem. They pointed out that according to the Bureau of Labor, textbook prices have risen by almost 1000% in recent years and that individual textbooks can cost between $200 and $400.
Sunday, June 6, 2021
So why the OER adoption gap between the US and UK? Clearly each nation's education system is based on very different models. But as Andrea Eastman-Mullins, founder and CEO of US-based West End Learning, points out: 'I think the UK has been a little more forward thinking in terms of recognising teaching and the tenure promotion process, so now the US is feeling the pain of student affordability more which has resulted in more [OER] advocacy.' Indeed, according to Eastman-Mullins, the early adopters of OERs in the US, have been largely motivated by student affordability. ‘They really see the pain of the average college student paying $1200 on textbooks every year,’ she says. ‘In the US, deciding between buying a textbook or buying food is a real issue for some students.’ Despite advocacy, numerous OER repositories and early adopters, issues exist. For example, an ongoing survey on OERs from the Babson Survey Research Group recently put faculty awareness at less than 50 per cent.
Saturday, June 5, 2021
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state's six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state's 32 public higher education institutions (six state universities, one municipal university, nineteen community colleges and six technical colleges). In 2019 the KBOR OER Steering Committee began in an effort to coordinate, inspire and expand OER initiatives across the higher education institutions across our state. Since that time in the fall of 2020 the Steering Committee published a series of OER webinars for faculty across the state, in October 2020 we joined the Open Education Network as a consortial member and offered a series of 5 OEN Faculty workshops in the spring of 2021 for over 100 faculty members. We have more faculty workshops planned for the fall of 2021 and are planning our first KBOR OER annual conference to be held in February 2022
Friday, June 4, 2021
Achieving the Dream (ATD) has selected eight colleges to participate in the next phase of its research on open educational resources (OER). The goal of ATD’s Teaching and Learning with OER study is to understand whether and how faculty’s use of OER leads to the adoption of new pedagogical strategies in the classroom. Bay college is a member of the ATD network and was selected to participate. ATD has partnered with SRI Education to conduct the research, which will include interviews and focus groups with students, faculty, and administrators, as well as observations of OER classrooms during the 2021 spring and summer academic terms.
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Dr. Joseph Williams, Assistant Professor of Technical Communication and Rhetoric in Louisiana Tech’s College of Liberal Arts, has been awarded the Interactive Open Educational Resources (OER) for Dual Enrollment Program Grant from the Department of Education and the Louisiana Library Network at the Louisiana Board of Regents (LOUIS) consortium to pursue the creation and development of OERs. Dr. Joseph WilliamsOERs are courses that both “have the potential to reduce costs and improve outcomes for 250,000 total student enrollments statewide per academic year” and align with the strategic initiatives that the University of Louisiana System (ULS) has pursued under the leadership of ULS President Dr. Jim Henderson, said LOUIS Associate Commissioner Dr. Teri Gallaway.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) recently launched a new petition to support the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and increase textbook affordability for students. The SFSS proposed the use of OER, including open textbooks, multimedia, and assessment tools, as a solution to rising educational costs. “We incorporated the student responses in the textbook statistics from the SFU bookstore, and then we talked about how we can alleviate financial burdens attributed to these costs,” Liu said.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
3 Questions for Ed Tech and Publishing Expert David Harris - Joshua Kim interviews OpenStax' David Harris, Inside Higher Ed
A recent Bay View Analytics report suggests that overall faculty awareness of OER has grown during the pandemic. When the country went into lockdown in March 2020, we saw a massive migration online to synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences. In the nine months that followed, OpenStax, for example, saw its rate of adoptions increase by 183 percent as compared to the same time period the previous year. In addition, the number of faculty accounts jumped by 87 percent. To put this in context, at the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year OpenStax served approximately 3.1 million students. By the start of academic year 2020-21, OpenStax was serving 4.5 million students.