Saturday, July 31, 2021

Opinion: Open educational resources would make post-secondary costs more affordable - Chaten Jessel, Erik Christiansen, Michael McNally, Edmonton Journal

“Open” is the key word for Alberta this summer. Come fall, college and university students across Alberta will be keen to see how the provincial government lives up to another promise for open — open educational resources or OER.  This past spring, as part of the Alberta 2030 post-secondary strategy the Government of Alberta committed to making educational resources more accessible by supporting free openly licensed textbooks and other educational materials. While the Alberta 2030 document sets this objective, lacking are details on how it will achieve this.

Friday, July 30, 2021

OER may be free, but you still need to invest to use them: Part I - ARIAM MOGOSESTHER GACICIOEDMOND GAIBLE, World Bank

 The surge in demand for content has intensified the spotlight on OER as one means of swiftly generating inexpensive, curriculum-linked and learner-ready content. However, it’s important to consider that successfully using OER requires a substantial investment of resources, particularly in time and capacity. Without the work, there will be no reward. The team at the World Bank has written about this before, but we felt compelled to reiterate some of these points during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

CVTC launches second open RN Textbook - Baldwin Bulletin

 Open Resources for Nursing, a Chippewa Valley Technical College-led project, is progressing with the launch of Nursing Skills, the second volume of the first open education resources textbooks for Nursing that will save thousands of dollars for nursing students around the country. Nursing Skills joins Nursing Pharmacology as part of a five-book series of high quality, nationally peer-reviewed nursing titles available for free digital download. XanEdu, an educational products and services company, also publishes an affordable soft-cover version of the textbooks. A third volume, Nursing Fundamentals, will be available later this year, with Nursing: Mental Health and Community Concepts and Nursing Management and Professional Concepts available in 2022, according to CVTC Nursing instructor and project director Kim Ernstmeyer, who has been working exclusively on the project since June 2019.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Immaculata University will be using Open Educational Resources (OER) to offer zero-cost textbook alternatives - Media News Group

 With funding from the PA GOAL (Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning), Immaculata University will be using Open Educational Resources (OER) to offer zero-cost textbook alternatives. This fall, the Immaculata University Textbook Affordability Initiative is launching with ten courses that serve multiple majors and fulfill components of the university’s liberal arts core curriculum. As designed, students in these courses will not pay for any additional course material—all resources used will be OER or openly sourced.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Waldorf math department chair to receive $10,000 for student-centered project - SUMMIT-TRIBUNE

“I was looking for some projects to work on over the summer and was interested in updating our textbook for the general education math class,” Blanchard said. “I decided to give it a try after the library director, Sarah Beiting, told us about it in a faculty meeting.” Blanchard is creating a digital collection of free resources and study materials in the form of a textbook to make available for students. The grant will be used to compensate for the time and effort it takes to create the online version of the textbook. The soon-to-be-completed project will streamline the curriculum of the class while decreasing course expenses for students since they will not be required to purchase resources for the class. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

IUP anthropology faculty receive grant to produce free digital textbook - Indiana Gazette

 Faculty members at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Anthropology were awarded a $10,700 grant from PA GOAL (Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning) to assist in efforts to create a free digital textbook for introductory anthropology courses, such as Anthropology 110 (Contemporary Anthropology). The PA GOAL program encourages and supports creating, adapting, and adopting Open Educational Resources and other zero-cost materials at Pennsylvania institutions of post-secondary and higher education. Funding for the program is provided by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and managed by PALCI, a nonprofit membership organization.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Luther College Preus Library joins Iowa Private Libraries calling for Open Educational Resources for students - Luther College

 The Luther College Preus Library is announcing its involvement in the Open Educational Resource (OER) statewide grant program. Developed by Iowa Private Academic Libraries (IPAL), the grant provides funds to faculty members to develop free educational resources and encourages faculty members to incorporate OERs into their courses.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

How Today’s Curriculum Content Must Change - Kevin Hogan, MarketScale

 For Andy Pass, this moment in time is an opportunity to improve everything—from the way the edtech industry works, to the way educational content is created, to the way in which we teach and learn. In this wide-ranging episode, he touches on all these points and more. For example, the company recently posted an example of the changes education publishers should follow. An excerpt is below: Publishers face an uphill battle when it comes to remaining profitable these days. Still, opportunities to maintain and improve profits exist. Per a survey by Gutenberg Technology, 37% of industry leaders believed, “the market will still be interested, and there will be no end for paper textbooks.” That’s great news! However, 63% believe the decline in paper textbooks will continue to come. Yet, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital content. Leaders can follow these six strategies to succeed.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Recognizing and Overcoming Obstacles: What It Will Take to Realize the Potential of OER - Julie Irvine, Royce Kimmons and Jacob Rogers, EDUCAUSE Review

 Most educators believe that OER present benefits unmatched by traditional copyrighted resources, yet most faculty still don't use them and do not have any plans to use them in the future.Footnote8 Why this disparity? Failure to shift to OER cannot be interpreted simply through a lens of faculty deficiency—such as laziness, lack of interest, or greed—because faculty generally want to shift to OER. Rather, they are met by systemic and institutional barriers—including perceived lack of OER quality, issues surrounding accessibility and usability, and perceived lack of time—which prevent progress.Footnote9 For OER to proliferate, institutions need to address barriers that short-circuit positive motivations among faculty, giving them space to make these valuable shifts.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

UNESCO Recommendation on OER - UNESCO

 The Recommendation is the only existing international standard-setting instrument on OER and is the fruit of over a decade of efforts to bring together a wide diversity of stakeholders. The Recommendation outlines five Areas of Action, namely:

Building the capacity of stakeholders to create, access, re-use, adapt and redistribute OER; 

Developing supportive policy for OER; 

Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER; 

Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and

Promoting and reinforcing international cooperation in OER.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Free digital marketing textbook reaches 14,000 downloads to date - Liberty Group, Sunday Times

 A new locally produced university textbook is helping SA students learn about the intricacies of the local marketing landscape, something expensive foreign textbooks are normally not able to do. Marketing to South African Consumers has already been downloaded 14,000 times since its launch in February. The book, published by the UCT Liberty Institute of Marketing, forms part of an initiative to help relieve financial pressure on students by alleviating the cost of buying textbooks.Aimed at learners at tertiary institutions, the book focuses on key marketing concepts but with a distinctly local focus. The book was born out of a partnership between UCT and Liberty, which is based on building SA marketing capability and knowledge.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

IMPORTANT NOTICE to e-mail subscribers of this blog

Dear Reader — Thank you for your loyal support and subscribing via

email to this blog.  I wanted to let you know that later this month we are

switching to a new email provider for the daily email update service. I

apologize for any inconvenience — our current email provider is being

sunsetted after July. The blog and emails will continue free of charge,

and with only minor formatting changes. 

For e-mail subscriptions to this blog you will need to opt-in to continue receiving emails by clicking the link at the top of the first email of the the feed that comes to you today.

Once you opt-in, email updates will continue in the same general format

at the same time to which you are accustomed. As a reminder, by simply

clicking at the bottom of any email, you may unsubscribe at any time.  

Thank you for your support over these many years — and I am looking

forward to many more to come!


Winston-Salem State University to offer free textbooks for students - WXII

 Undergraduate students at Winston-Salem State University will have access to free textbooks for the upcoming school year. The university announced Monday it has partnered with Barnes & Noble College to implement "BNC First Day Complete," a course material delivery model that aims to drive student success by ensuring all students are prepared to start learning on the first day of class.The program addresses equitable access, convenience and affordability across all courses at universities by bundling the cost of course materials into tuition. That ensures students have all of their materials for the semester ready on or before the first day of class.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Six Ways Text Can Make (or Break) Effective Online Course Design - Emily A. Moore, Faculty Fccus

  Quality. Faculty and instructional designers tasked with designing courses quickly, with no budget, often create original content or incorporate free open educational resources (OER). While there’s nothing inherently wrong with either of these approaches, it’s wise to apply the same criteria to these sources as we ask learners to apply to all other course materials.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

IMPORTANT NOTICE to e-mail subscribers of this blog

Dear Reader — Thank you for your loyal support and subscribing via

email to this blog.  I wanted to let you know that later this month we are

switching to a new email provider for the daily email update service. I

apologize for any inconvenience — our current email provider is being

sunsetted after July. The blog and emails will continue free of charge,

and with only minor formatting changes. 

For e-mail subscriptions to this blog you will need to opt-in to continue receiving emails by clicking the link at the top of the first email of the the feed that comes to you on July 20.

Once you opt-in, email updates will continue in the same general format

at the same time to which you are accustomed. As a reminder, by simply

clicking at the bottom of any email, you may unsubscribe at any time.  

Thank you for your support over these many years — and I am looking

forward to many more to come!


Columbia State receives $60,000 to supplement traditional textbooks - Mike Christen, The Daily Herald

 Columbia State Community College has been awarded $60,000 in funding for two Tennessee Board of Regents Open Educational Resources grants, the college announced on Wednesday. Open educational resources are teaching, learning and research materials that permit no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution. With textbook costs negatively impacting student access and a pupils' ability to pursue a course. Educators at Columbia State said the grant will provide a means to transform courses currently using commercially published textbooks.

Saturday, July 17, 2021


 Many studies have been completed over the economic benefit of Online Educational Resources (OER), but few studies have been completed on the student perspective of OER. According to one study, “Implementation of OER can improve student performance, but often indirectly through increased confidence, satisfaction and enthusiasm for the subject.” (Farrow, Pitt, Arcos, Perryman, Weller, & Mcandrew. 2015). A study by Dowell and Small (2011) notes that website visits and e-content read can improve student academic performance. We have reason to believe that OER can have a positive impact on student academic performance, which in turn can increase their academic confidence.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Oregon instructor to bike nearly 1,600 miles to raise money, awareness for textbooks - Natalie Pate, Salem Statesman Journal

Supporters hold signs as Clatsop Community College instructor Fernando Rojas-Galván arrives on bike to Chemeketa Community College. Rojas-Galván's cause is especially meaningful for Chemeketa. Chemeketa is the only community college in the nation publishing peer-reviewed textbooks with original content authored by the college's faculty, school leaders said. They do this through their program known as Chemeketa Press, which launched in 2015. Instead of textbooks costing $200 each, for example, students can get the material needed for the same course and only pay $26. In fact, all Chemeketa Press books are $40 or less.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

UC should implement open-source textbook program - Daily Californian

The recently announced #CaliforniansForAll College Program is welcome news for the many students who have been burdened by college expenses that have rapidly ballooned over the past few decades. This program significantly advances our state in making college education affordable and equitable. To further address the issue of college affordability, we call upon the UC Board of Regents to support the implementation of a systemwide open textbook program.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

6 Problems with OER Access in Campus Bookstores - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

Campus bookstores have a critical role to play in open educational resource efforts, according to a recent report from the Driving OER Sustainability for Student Success Collaborative (DOERS3). Yet there is room for improvement in the way stores list and fulfill learning materials and make OER options available to students. DOERS3 is a collaborative of public higher education systems and organizations committed to supporting large-scale OER initiatives and advancing innovation in OER across the United States and Canada.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

York College First Open/Zero-Cost Intro Psych Course Launches in Fall ‘21 - CUNY York

 The Department of Behavioral Sciences will teach all the sections of its Psych 102 course as open/zero-cost starting in Fall '21 The Department of Behavioral Sciences, chaired by Prof. Debra Swoboda, has done significant work of converting all the sections of its Introduction to Psychology (Psych 102) course in 2021-22 to OER/zero-cost and saving students tens of thousands of dollars in textbook costs in the process. The department has voted to switch to the free and open textbook Introduction to Psychology by Jorden A. Cummings and Lee Sanders (University of Saskatchewan). Open Educational Resources have been one of the foremost solutions to the problem of exorbitant commercial textbook costs, which is closely related to student educational success and retention rates.

Monday, July 12, 2021

The 5Rs of Openness - UNC Greensboro

– Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content

– Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
– Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
– Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
– Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Open Educational Resources, Vital To Advancement Of Education – EdTech - Chris, Leadership

Speaking at the virtual roundtable titled”  Open Educational Resources (OER): Should EdTech  Harness Open Licenses”, the environmental engineer turned EdTech entrepreneur, Mr. Kelechi Uchenna stressed that parents and teachers cannot afford to ignore the significance of OER in the 21st-century learning environment. According to him, it is high time that stakeholders in the sector move away from the traditional way of learning and teaching if they hope to advance educational growth in Nigeria. 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Farewell Print Textbook Reserves: A COVID-19 Change to Embrace - Steven Bell, EDUCAUSE Review

The current turn of events points to the future demise of print textbook reserves. It should spur librarians and their faculty colleagues to imagine higher education with fully digital e-reserves and a commitment to born-digital, zero- or low-cost learning materials that all students can equitably afford to access. We should adopt Open Educational Resources (OER) to the fullest extent possible. Together, let us learn from this COVID-19 experience and move forward by eliminating our fragile dependence on course content that commercial publishers refuse to make available to libraries in digital format. Any sustainable future for affordable and accessible digital learning materials must come from within the academy.

Friday, July 9, 2021

New Open Knowledge Center focused on educational resources’ accessibility - Sam Overton, NCSU Technician

NC State University Libraries announced a new department to help students and faculty understand open educational resources: the Open Knowledge Center (OKC), formerly known as the Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center (CDSC). Offering expertise in copyright, licensing, publishing, open education and more, the OKC is now run by a six-membered staff to involve the campus community in open educational resources. OKC Director and Head of Information Policy Will Cross leads the department alongside Scott Bailey, digital research and scholarship librarian and Micah Vandegrift, open knowledge librarian.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Texas Tech looking to make education more accessible, more affordable - KCBD

From the proliferation of distance learning options to a wealth of community collaborations, Texas Tech University has worked for decades to make information and new knowledge more widely accessible. Now, the university is taking yet another step forward in that journey. Texas Tech is one of a dozen institutions joining the 2021-22 Institutional Partner cohort of OpenStax, Rice University’s educational technology initiative. OpenStax produces open educational resources in the form of textbooks and ancillary materials, as well as nonprofit technologies. The OpenStax program has helped more than 65 colleges and universities expand the use of open educational resources on their campuses, saving students money and putting more flexible course materials into the hands of educators and learners.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

OER Advocacy Crash Course - Lyrasis

 November 4, 2021:  OER Advocacy Crash Course will prepare attendees to implement OER advocacy campaigns on their campus. The class will focus on advocacy communication centered on audience, messaging, and framing. Attendees will be presented with communication best practices and examples of student advocacy initiatives to inspire actions that best fit their institutional context. This interactive presentation will equip attendees with basic advocacy communication skills and encourage attendees to take action by leaving the session with established actions to implement at their institution next week, in one month, and in six months. Attendees will be provided with an advocacy campaign worksheet that they can begin to complete during the class or later as “homework” when developing plans for actions on their campus.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Nicholls faculty members to help develop free dual-enrollment courses - The Courier and Daily Comet

Four Nicholls State University educators will help develop free interactive courses for Louisiana high school students seeking college credit. The project is part of the federal Open Textbooks Pilot Program, funded by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Participants from Nicholls, selected by the Louisiana Library Network, are Elizabeth Batte, director of the Ellender Memorial Library; Brandy Burbante, cataloging librarian; James Gilley, assistant professor of political science; and Kevin McQueeney, assistant professor of history and geography. The goal is to create 25 general-education courses available for free with an open license, officials said. The classes will reduce the cost for over 250,000 students across the state.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Textbooks are expensive. Universities should use Open Educational Resources instead. - VERONICA MENENDEZ, San Diego Union-Tribune

 According to a survey released by the California Student Aid Commission, nearly two-thirds of California students say their biggest obstacle to succeeding in college is costs and juggling jobs with school. Many do not have the financial means to cover the costs of college, unfortunately skipping meals, sleeping in cars or falling deeper into poverty due to student debt. Ultimately, students should not have to worry about the price of materials in a course they already paid to take. This issue has a simple solution — adopting university-wide Open Educational Resources. These are free, peer-written and peer-reviewed materials that are downloadable and published under an open access license — allowing professors to assign them to students without purchase.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Will Open Access Destroy the Quality of Research? Debunking This and Other Myths About Open Access Journal Publishing - Marissa Massare, IGI Global

While open access (OA) publishing is gaining traction in the publishing industry, there are many myths and misconceptions that are being shared within the academic community that can deter researchers from considering it as a possibility when submitting their work to scholarly journal publications.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

The top 9 myths about OER publishing - Eric Schmeider, TAA Online

 In a recent blog post, we explored some of the questions authors are asking about open textbooks. In this post we have continued the discussion with several leaders in the open textbook movement to identify some of the common misconceptions associated with open educational resources (OER) publishing. Below, Barbara Illowsky (co-author of one of the first open textbooks, Introductory Statistics), Amy Hofer (Open Oregon Educational Resources), Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wake Hyde (Rebus Foundation), and Nicole Finkbeiner (OpenStax, Rice University), share the top nine myths they have identified, and the facts related to each.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Open Education Resources - Oklahoma Education

OpenSciEd is now embarking on developing and piloting free and open high school biology, chemistry, and physics curriculum, with integrated earth and space science standards. A major part of the development process is involving educators in field testing units. Oklahoma has been selected to participate and we are looking for high school teachers! Participating teachers will implement units and provided feedback throughout the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. Educators will receive professional development and support throughout the school year, beginning summer 2021. To find out more about the OpenSciEd High School Science Pilot check out the recorded informational webinar and presentation slide deck. One update since the webinar was filmed is that the OpenSciEd High School pilot will include chemistry and physics, along with biology in the first year.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Open RN and XanEdu announce the launch of Nursing Skills, the second textbook in Open RN's series of 5 OER Nursing Textbooks - Open RN and XanEdu announce the launch of Nursing Skills, the second textbook in Open RN's series of 5 OER Nursing Textbooks

 XanEdu, an educational products and services company working with the higher education and K-12 markets, in partnership with Open RN, creator of OER (Open Educational Resource) nursing textbooks, is pleased to announce the launch of Nursing Skills, the second textbook in the 5 book series of OER nursing education titles.   Nursing Skills is now available for free digital download, a low-cost print text is also available.