Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Nicolet College utilize online textbook program to save students over $1 million - Ben Helwig, WSAW

This week, Nicolet College announced that they’ve helped students save over $1 million, thanks to an online textbook program that eliminates the need for traditional textbooks. Open educational resources is a service that offers textbook learning and tools online. Instead of purchasing or renting textbooks, open educational resources are free and available to download on one’s computer. Cindy Domaka is the Manager of Open and Instructional Resources at Nicolet College and knows how practical these tools can be. “Traditional textbooks are copyrighted and you can’t redistribute them,” said Domaka, “so these resources can be redistributed to students for free so that they are used in place of traditional textbooks for free.”


Monday, August 30, 2021

Survey finds major--and potentially lasting--changes in K-12 shools' curricular choices during the pandemic - Yahoo FinanceT

Teachers with prior online experience had greater awareness of Open Educational Resources (OER) and licensing types; they were 14% more aware of Creative Commons and public domain, and 9% more aware or likely to have heard of OER. "The shift to online instruction was a significant change that will have lasting effects in classrooms," notes Dr. Julia Seaman, Research Director at Bay View Analytics. "Post-pandemic, we expect teachers to continue to use the digital tools they found most helpful. In addition, this increased exposure to online teaching will likely lead to greater awareness of open digital curricula options like OER and Creative Commons."


Sunday, August 29, 2021

SU Libraries chosen to participate in OpenStax’s Institutional Partner Program - MEAGAN BONNELL, Florida State University

Florida State University Libraries will expand its efforts to increase awareness for the textbook affordability movement and promote the adoption of open educational resources (OER) through a new partnership with OpenStax. FSU is one of 12 universities that’s been chosen to participate in the 2021-2022 OpenStax Institutional Partner Program. As a participant in the network’s first-year program, FSU Libraries will work actively to build and execute a strategy that will encourage greater use of free, flexible textbooks among its faculty and students.


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Law Makes Textbook Prices Transparent to Ore. Students - Maria Carrasco, Inside Higher Ed

Starting next year, Oregon’s public colleges will be required by law to disclose textbook prices before students enroll in classes. A spokesperson for the University of Oregon said the institution is working on updating its website to ensure compliance with the law by next fall. The ​Association of American Publishers, which represents book, journal and education publishers in the U.S., welcomed the news. "AAP is supportive of legislation like this because we believe that students benefit when colleges provide clarity and visibility regarding costs, and because we are deeply committed to affordability in course materials," Maria A. Pallante, president and CEO of the AAP, said in a statement.


Friday, August 27, 2021

The Edge: Making College More Affordable and Protecting Students - Goldie Blumenstyk, the Chronicle

As debates over “free college” and canceling student debt go on, two professors who study college costs are arguing for more-nuanced approaches, to ensure that federal taxpayers don’t end up rewarding states that have been starving public higher ed. To me, the most interesting idea in their new paper, “Moving Beyond Free: A College Affordability Compact for the Next Generation,” is awarding a Pell Grant “top-off subsidy” to under-resourced, high-impact institutions that serve low-income students.


Thursday, August 26, 2021

Nicolet College surpasses $1 million mark in textbook savings for students - Nicolet College

Nicolet College on Tuesday, Aug. 17 announced that it had passed the $1 million mark in textbook savings for students as the college continues to expand its efforts to offer free and high-quality instructional materials. “This is a wonderful milestone and I’m absolutely thrilled we were able to deliver these savings to students,” said Cindy Domaika, manager of Open and Instructional Resources at Nicolet. “This million dollars represents food on tables, child care, bills paid, and a host of other things that students do not have worry about and can instead concentrate on learning.” Domaika launched the Open Education Resource (OER) program in the Fall of 2018.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021


In April 2021, MHEC convened a working group of institutional, state and national leaders to help advise its efforts to develop a set of principles to improve consistency and reliability in the field for measuring cost savings and the return on investment of OER. This group will advise MHEC throughout this process. The first meeting focused on defining what we hope to accomplish, why this work is important, whom it is designed for and how we should develop the principles. The group collectively acknowledged that this is a big challenge with multiple dimensions, but also a worthwhile endeavor. Below are key themes and takeaways from the first meeting that will guide and define the scope of this work.  


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Grant To Provide More Free Resources To Northern Essex Community College Students - Hamilton, Whenham Patch

 A federal grant is helping Northern Essex in ongoing efforts to make classes more affordable and inclusive. NECC is part of a consortium of Massachusetts colleges that has received a $440,000 federal grant to encourage the use and development of free Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that 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.


Monday, August 23, 2021

Researchers assess whether open educational resources improved biology instruction - University of Maine

The scientific community’s push to improve undergraduate biology education over the past decade prompted the creation of numerous open educational resources. A group of researchers, including one from the University of Maine, will evaluate how well these materials have met this demand and deliver positive learning outcomes.  The National Science Foundation awarded a nearly $2 million collaborative research grant for principal investigators from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cornell University and UMaine to assess the effectiveness of open educational resources in teaching core biology concepts, facilitating student-centered learning and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion. Funding for the five-year project derived from the NSF’s Vision and Change Program. 


Sunday, August 22, 2021

California colleges set 100% OER goals as textbook publishers go digital - Emily Bamforth, EdScoop

Some California higher education institutions plan to shift away from textbooks toward open educational resources in the coming years, institution leaders from the Los Angeles area said during an online event Monday. Compton Community College District CEO Keith Curry said leaders plan to inch up to 85% to 100% of its courses using OER by 2035. Santa Clarita’s College of the Canyons, meanwhile, is aiming for a third of its courses to eliminate textbooks over the next two years, said James Glapa-Grossklag, one of the college’s deans.


Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Tenure Review Process Must Evolve - Andrew McKinney and Amanda Coolidge, Inside Higher Ed

Take, for example, a tenure-track faculty member who has been deeply involved in their campus's work on open educational resources, or OER. The faculty member spent months conducting and compiling research to create an openly licensed textbook that aligns with their course. When they taught with the OER textbook, their students' retention rates increased, an impact of OER that other institutions have experienced, as well. The faculty member also mentored their colleagues in adopting and adapting OER to meet their students' needs and worked with a campus librarian to host a webinar about open education. All of these OER-related activities are forms of research, teaching and service. This faculty member's OER work shows their expertise in their field, their commitment to supporting their students and their dedication to advancing their institution. But unfortunately, OER work isn't a standard criterion for tenure and promotion evaluation. 


Friday, August 20, 2021

How open-source software shapes AI policy - Alex Engler, Brookings

Open-source software quietly affects nearly every issue in AI policy, but it is largely absent from discussions around AI policy—policymakers need to more actively consider OSS’s role in AI. Open-source software (OSS), software that is free to access, use, and change without restrictions, plays a central role in the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI). Across open-source programming languages such as Python, R, C++, Java, Scala, Javascript, Julia, and others, there are thousands of implementations of machine learning algorithms.


Thursday, August 19, 2021

UHV to participate in project aimed at providing free textbooks to students - University of Houston - Victoria

 University of Houston-Victoria students soon may have access to free textbooks in some of their courses. The university is joining more than 60 other institutions this fall in the OpenStax network by participating in the 2021-2022 OpenStax Institutional Partner Program. The educational initiative, which was created by Rice University, partners with foundations, educational resource companies and other universities to provide students with high-quality openly licensed college textbooks that are free online and can be bought in print for a low price.


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

UNESCO Supports Member States To Leverage OER To Build Crisis-Resilient Learning Systems - India Diary

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of sharing learning and knowledge openly worldwide. To guide Member States in leveraging Open Educational Resources (OER) to respond to these new challenges, UNESCO organized a webinar on 27 and 28 July focused on the development of national OER policies and strategies  that gathered over 200 participants, including key stakeholders from national governments and  the international OER community. 


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Which courses offer affordable textbooks? Who knows? - Jorgo Gushi, CommonWealth

IT SHOULD BE a short story with a happy ending, something like this: Once upon a time, concerned faculty began utilizing a growing body of free or low-cost instructional materials known as open educational resources (OER), hoping to reduce the number of students who quit classes because they couldn’t afford $300 textbooks. College administrators began coding OER courses so that students could easily identify them when they registered for classes, and everyone on campus lived happily ever after. The end.


Monday, August 16, 2021

CSU’s Affordable Learning Solutions Initiative Saves Students $77 Million Every Year

The pandemic amplified existing equity gaps between underserved students and their peers, including the cost of learning materials. The CSU has responded by increasing the number of courses using low- or no-cost learning materials through Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) to provide equitable access to education and improve retention. AL$ uses a combination of Open Educational Resources (OER), library materials, digital or customized textbooks, and faculty-authored materials that, when combined, save students across California $77 million annually. Since the launch of the program, CSU students have saved nearly $390 million. h


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Michelson 20MM Foundation Announces Grants to Address the College Textbook Affordability Crisis

The Michelson 20MM Foundation is promoting open educational resources (OER) and lowering the cost of instructional materials through grants to educational institutions and organizations in the OER space. The recipients of the 2021 Michelson 20MM Spark Grants in OER are California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI), Compton College, the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Mercy College of Health Sciences to participate in inaugural open resources institute

Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines was selected as one of 66 institutions to participate in the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ 2021-2022 Institute on Open Educational Resources. The inaugural institute began with a two-day virtual kickoff event on July 26. The University of Northern Iowa was the only other Iowa institution selected. Open Educational Resources (OER) include lesson plans, quizzes, syllabuses, instructional modules, simulations, videos, textbooks and more, and are freely available for use, reuse, adaptation and sharing among faculty and students.


Friday, August 13, 2021

Community College Consortium for OER

 Here's a great list of repositories for OER materials.  This is gathered by the Community College Consortium for OER.


Thursday, August 12, 2021

How To Save Big On College Textbooks This Year - Robert Farrington, Forbes

Project Gutenberg features some of the world's greatest literature, and they also feature older works where the U.S. copyright has expired. You can check for books you need on the Open Education Network, which provides a free library of textbooks anyone can use. The community behind this network focuses their efforts on sourcing academic textbooks that are openly licensed. The majority of books on the network are peer reviewed, and all are entirely free. You can use the network to browse textbooks and subjects, and all books can be downloaded and distributed at no cost.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Consortium of Colleges, Led by Framingham State, Receives $441,000 Federal Grant Aimed At Decreasing Cost of Textbooks - Framingham Source

A consortium of six colleges led by Framingham State University, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, has received a $441,367 grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) aimed at increasing the number of college courses utilizing free Open Educational Resources (OER) rather than costly textbooks. The project – Remixing Open Textbooks through an Equity Lens (ROTEL): Culturally Relevant Open Textbooks for High Enrollment General Education Courses and Career and Professional Courses at Six Public Massachusetts Colleges – will test the hypothesis that underrepresented students will achieve higher academic outcomes if free, culturally-relevant course materials that reflect their experiences are utilized.


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

SREB offers webinars on open enrollment resources

The next webinar in the series, “The Cost of OER and Return on Investment,” will help decision-makers better understand the perceived costs of open educational resources, cost savings and the return on investments. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 11 a.m. ET.


Monday, August 9, 2021

Creating Equitable and Just Classrooms with the Teaching Tolerance Project - OER Commons, OSU.edu

 Teachers typically enter the classroom with just a few courses in teaching students with learning disabilities or those from diverse racial and ethnic groups. This lack of professional training, combined with the great diversity of today’s classrooms, can lead to challenges in creating a classroom characterized by respect and equity. One resource that provides a wealth of knowledge and high-quality resources is Teaching Tolerance. Teaching Tolerance is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which describes itself as a “nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.” 


Sunday, August 8, 2021


To maximize the reach and impact of Building LLTDM, we have now published a comprehensive open educational resource (OER) of the contents of the institute. The OER covers copyright (both U.S. and international law), technological protection measures, privacy, and ethical considerations. It also helps other digital humanities professionals and researchers run their own similar institutes by describing in detail how we developed and delivered programming (including our pedagogical reflections and take-aways), and includes ideas for hosting shorter literacy teaching sessions. The resource (available as a web-book or in downloadable formats such as PDF, EPUB, and MOBI) is in the public domain under the CC0 Public Domain Dedication, meaning it can be accessed, reused, and repurposed without restriction. 


Saturday, August 7, 2021

Motlow Announces No Online Course Fees - Cannon Courier

Dr. Michael Torrence, President of Motlow says"Words do not express the pride and admiration I have in Motlow's faculty and staff for their innovation and collaboration in meeting online learning needs without the addition of fees." "Access is not equity. Equity is ensuring that all students have the resources to succeed. This goal has been very intentional for us. We are driven by our passion for student success and we want to ensure that all students have access to the resources they need to be successful," he added. Motlow takes reducing student fees even further. The College endeavors to match the control of fees with the control of textbook costs by using Open Educational Resources (OER). As part of the College's 2020-2021 Annual Plan for Improvement, 16 general education courses were initially established as OER at the start of the Fall 2020 semester, and now Motlow has more than 50 OER courses available for students.


Friday, August 6, 2021

Orange Coast College: OCC One Of 12 Colleges Accepted Into Open Educational Resources Partnership - Orange Coast College

 Orange Coast College is one of 12 schools selected to participate in the 2021-2022 OpenStax Institutional Partnership program at Rice University. As a participant in the network's first-year program, OCC will work to actively build and execute a strategy that will encourage greater use of free, flexible textbooks among its faculty and students. "OCC was chosen to participate in this strategic partnership with OpenStax by demonstrating an eagerness to drive adoption of open educational resources (OER)," says OCC OER Coordinator and Professor of History Melissa Archibald. "Free to access and fully modifiable, OER provides students and educators with fair and flexible teaching and learning materials." 


Thursday, August 5, 2021

SUNY Canton students saved more than $1 million with open educational resources - NNY 360

Canton faculty members have helped students save an estimated $1,072,840 in three years by using open educational resources with the Southworth Library. The free-use learning materials are becoming more prevalent as traditional college textbooks continue to rise in price, according to Library Director Cori Wilhelm. “Even students who plan ahead and save money for college can find themselves in the difficult position of trying to pay for their textbooks,” Wilhelm said. “Every time a faculty member decides to switch to OER, it makes classes more affordable and broadens access to our academic programing.”


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

University Of Houston-Downtown Joins Network Of Institutions Leading The Way For Free And Flexible Textbook Use - University of Houston-Downtown

 The University of Houston-Downtown has been chosen as one of 12 schools to participate in the 2021-2022 OpenStax Institutional Partner Program. Housed at Rice University, OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. As an education tech initiative, it's supported by philanthropic foundations to provide free college and Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators, as well as low-cost, personalized courseware. 


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Cornell professors awarded $32,250 for Open Educational Resources - Cornell College

 Five Cornell College professors have been awarded a total of $32,250 in grants to create and use Open Educational Resources (OER) in upcoming classes. OER can be teaching, learning, or research resources such as videos, textbooks, online tutorials, software, or lab books that have been created for anyone to use. In fact, due to the open license they carry, educators can use, reuse, and redistribute them as they see fit, at no cost.


Monday, August 2, 2021

Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Make College More Affordable and Accessible in California - Office of the Governor

Making college more affordable, AB 132 also makes summer financial aid investments for UC and CSU students permanent and includes $115 million for Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree grant programs and open educational resources at CCCs, helping address the rising costs of textbooks. 


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Removing Educational Barriers, Especially High Textbook Costs - Keith Curry, Los Angeles Sentinal

Textbooks cost too much. Can you remember being surprised at the high price tag on the books you needed during your college days? I am tired of textbook publishers taking advantage of college students. I am not sorry about making this public statement, but I will apologize to students, particularly Black students, for not doing more to make books and materials more affordable. Now’s the time to tackle the high cost of textbooks, to ensure that higher education is affordable and accessible. As president/chief executive officer of Compton College, I take this issue personally. It is an essential part of my job to find and implement solutions that ensure all students who wish to attend college are able to do so. The cost of attending college has steadily increased in recent years, making higher education unaffordable for many people, especially for Black students.