Sunday, October 31, 2021

Why OERs are a great first step towards education affordability = Clare O'Reilly, Cavalier Daily

Students should never have to decide whether or not they can afford to take a class, especially at a school like U.Va. which they already pay thousands of dollars in tuition to each semester. And yet, across the country, high textbook prices continually act as a barrier to students’ success. A survey conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that over 63 percent of college students have skipped buying at least one textbook because they couldn’t afford it. Decisions like these endanger students’ success in the classroom, and they disproportionately affect those who are already struggling with other serious concerns like food insecurity.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Creative Commons License Stewardship

At this milestone of the 20th anniversary of Creative Commons, we are embarking on a public consultation around CC’s stewardship. Specifically, we seek to collectively define the principles and responsibilities that CC should and will uphold in its role as stewards of the CC legal tools.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Teaching Methods and Course Planning - OER Commons

Guidelines for the interest group: 1) When new resources are added from your university - write a note in the discussion forum with a link to the resources added, and send it to group members. 2) All members then get an e-mail when new resources are added. 3) The discussion forum can be used to discuss any relevant issue with in the topic of the group.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Iowa OER Summit

 This year we want to team up with you! We need more OER Superheros to support our students. By joining this team, you will have opportunities to forge connections, collaborations, and partnerships that promote openness. Together, we can lift our students, celebrate our success,  share our challenges. Help us reinvent the future where all have access and opportunity to create knowledge for the public good.

We look forward to you joining us on this adventure!  We are now accepting proposals for the Iowa OER Summit. The submission deadline is November 30, 2021.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Covid, catalyst for greater OER use worldwide? - Mirage News

The debates emphasised the crucial role of OER in ensuring continuity of formal and informal learning and the transformative power of OER during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, where online and digital learning became the new normal for learning worldwide. Bottlenecks include the issue of access to resources and internet, and the challenges of ensuring resources in the languages and context of the users. The adoption of OER policies that build on existing policies, using ‘open’ initiatives and OER sharing and access platforms, producing off-line resources and building support for a common cause including OER were cited as innovations and solutions for the implementation of the OER Recommendation. .

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

DVC Turns to Zero Textbook Cost In Effort To Lighten Students’ Economic Load - Dymond Walker, Inquirer Diablo Valley College

The average college student spent nearly $2,000 on textbooks in the 2019-2020 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Hardback textbooks routinely cost up to $400, and each new edition of a book can increase its price a further 12 percent. To help many students meet the challenge of soaring book costs, Diablo Valley College is now taking advantage of a California program known as Zero Textbook Cost. ZTC would eliminate or reduce the amount of textbook costs at some community colleges. The program works in compliance with Open Educational Resources (OER), which makes educational material publicly available to students to be copied, shared and used nationwide.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Project Z-Degree will make college more affordable - Kurt Liebich, Idaho Ed News

“It’s a movement, it’s a change initiative starting on Idaho’s community college campuses that may eventually spread to our four-year institutions as well,” said Dr. TJ Bliss, the State Board of Education’s Chief Academic Officer. The ‘Z’ in Project Z-degree stands for ‘zero cost’ and the goal is to make it possible for students to earn an associate degree with zero or very low textbook costs.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Can the ‘Netflix For Textbooks’ Model Actually Improve Access? - Nadia Tamez-Robledo, EdSurge

These days some publishers are trying a new sales model they say will save students money: textbook subscription services. The latest player to jump in is Pearson, which released Pearson Plus over the summer as a “pay-as-you-go” alternative to traditional textbooks. Subscribers to Pearson Plus pay $9.99 per month for one access to one digital textbook or $14.99 per month to access all of the more than 1,500 titles on the company’s platform, with each plan requiring a four-month minimum. That pricing comes in slightly lower than a similar model offered by Cengage. The model has been referred to as a “Netflix for textbooks,” comparing it to the popular subscription streaming service that has long charged a flat monthly fee for all of its content.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

University Writing launches new open educational resource - Auburn

University Writing has launched a new open educational resource, or OER, that contains worksheets and handouts on numerous writing-focused topics, such as editing and proofreading, literature reviews and ePortfolios. Christopher Basgier, director of University Writing, expressed enthusiasm for the OER saying, “We have long been known locally and nationally for our high-quality ePortfolio resources. I am excited that our OER includes an expanded menu of materials, and that these materials are accessible for different users.”

Friday, October 22, 2021

Libraries to celebrate Open Access Week - Nebraska Today

The University Libraries will offer drop-in session and workshops to learn more about Open Access from Oct. 25-31. In celebration of International Open Access Week, Oct. 25-31, University Libraries is offering a variety of drop-in informational sessions and workshops on the workings and benefits of Open Access. The celebration includes a new webpage, where users can explore resources that support Open Access for the university community.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Education leaders work to make college more affordable with online resources instead of textbooks - Jacinta Render, WBIR

Education leaders are working to make college more affordable with online resources instead of textbooks. Using the readily available online materials is all up to the instructor, though. Textbooks are not cheap. According to a state audit, by the time a student gets their degree, the total spent on course materials can equal the cost of tuition for an additional semester. For some perspective, one semester of in-state tuition at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville costs about $6,000.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

German instructor works with students to produce open-educational resources that make learning tough languages easier. Klingt aufregend! - Alix Redmond, University of Calgary

 Foreign language classes often teach grammar in small pieces without ever stepping back and providing context by pulling those pieces into a bigger system. The German language has a notoriously challenging interaction of three grammatical genders and four grammatical cases, and German teachers are divided on how best to approach their complex interaction in articles and adjectives. Dr. John Scott, PhD, a German instructor in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures (SLLLC), is aiming to inspire a solution to this challenge by creating OERs as part of his 2021 Teaching and Learning Grants project, Teaching German Adjective Endings through Metaphorical Narrative Videos.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Open Educational Resources - Kennesaw State Library

The Open Education Movement seeks to bridge the gap between the high cost of textbooks and student retention, graduation, and success. Open Educational Resources provide a solution in the form of low and no-cost course materials, which can be created and shared both in print and digitally. Consider adopting OERs within your course, teaching with open textbooks and resources, and allowing student collaboration with Open Pedagogy. This guide is a great starting point in your OER journey; use the information presented to learn more about Affordable Learning Georgia, the 5Rs of OER, and openly licensed educational materials.

Monday, October 18, 2021


Looking forward, psychology aims to create a Canvas resource for those faculty members using the OER text that allows for instructions on how to customize textbooks and test banks. The plan is to add to existing test banks and build video resources and online activities all instructors can access and use. Ultimately, while OER texts can be harder to set up, they provide high-quality textbooks at no cost to Thomas More University students. Assessing the impact of OER adoption will be key to expanding use of OERs in other courses. We hope that more departments will explore OER resources in future.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Elon University tuition increase for upcoming academic year remains unclear - Kyra O'Connor, Elon News Network

Following the board of trustees meeting, as of Oct. 26, the university has not announced any change in tuition for the 2022-23 school year. According to a university spokesperson, while the board did adopt a budget for next year, the information from the budget will be shared with the Elon community “in the future.” According to sources familiar with the meeting, the board considered a tuition increase of near 7% for the upcoming year. Last year’s increase was 3.7%. In a statement to Elon News Network, Chief of Staff and Secretary to the board of Trustees Patrick Noltemeyer wrote information regarding the budget, including tuition, will be available “in the coming weeks, as is our normal practice following [b]oard meetings.”

OPINION: When books are banned, ‘education is impoverished, and everyone loses’ - DAVID WIPPMAN and GLENN ALTSCHULER, Hechinger Report

When school boards or legislators with little or no subject matter or pedagogical expertise ban books or direct how certain subjects should be taught, education is impoverished, and everyone loses. This principle applies without regard to the political basis for censorship. While, at the moment, pressures are coming principally from the right, educators also face pressures from the left. Among the ten most frequently challenged books of 2020 were Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” both deemed offensive for their inclusion of racial slurs and racist stereotypes.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Open source IT jobs in 2021: 15 statistics - Kevin Casey, the Enterprisers Project

Whether you're an IT job seeker or hiring for a key role, open source skills are top of mind. Consider these telling statistics for more insights. Open source is a mainstay in IT applications and infrastructure. It’s also the glue that binds together the diverse, hybrid environments that increasingly characterize the modern enterprise.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Affordable textbook programs save students $4.9 million - Nebraska Today

Since 2019, affordable content programs have saved students an estimated $4.9 million on textbook costs, and have replaced over 80,000 textbooks with affordable content. Multiple affordable textbook programs have been implemented at the University of Nebraska. There are two inclusive access programs: Follett Access (Campus Bookstore) and Unizin Engage. The third program is an OER seed grant program through the STAR initiative.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

DVC Turns to Zero Textbook Cost In Effort To Lighten Students’ Economic Load - Dymond Walker, the Inquirer

The average college student spent nearly $2,000 on textbooks in the 2019-2020 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Hardback textbooks routinely cost up to $400, and each new edition of a book can increase its price a further 12 percent. To help many students meet the challenge of soaring book costs, Diablo Valley College is now taking advantage of a California program known as Zero Textbook Cost, or ZTC. ZTC would eliminate or reduce the amount of textbook costs at some community colleges.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Study examines cost of college course materials in Tennessee - Jon Styf, The Center Square

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability recently released a study on the issue. Among the solutions suggested in the study was offering more free open education resources (OER), creating grant programs to create such materials and shifting to e-textbooks and e-textbook rental programs to avoid printing textbooks. “Since 2019, the Tennessee Board of Regents has used the inclusive access model in the first phase of its Digital Engagement Initiative, saving participating students over $23 million compared to what they would have paid to purchase new digital textbooks at the standard retail price,” the study said. “Five of Tennessee’s nine public four-year institutions provide inclusive access programs through their bookstores.” 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Covid, catalyst for greater OER use worldwide? - Jane-Frances Obiageli Agbu, Senior Lecturer, Mirage News

The UNESCO OER Dynamic Coalition Advisory Group Members, representing OER Experts and Governmental Partners from all UNESCO regions intervened in this panel discussion which examined implementation of the five areas of this normative instrument through the lens of these two guiding questions. The debates emphasised the crucial role of OER in ensuring continuity of formal and informal learning and the transformative power of OER during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, where online and digital learning became the new normal for learning worldwide. Bottlenecks include the issue of access to resources and internet, and the challenges of ensuring resources in the languages and context of the users.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Finding a new, prominent home for Oregon State’s OER - Oregon State University

Oregon State University’s expanding collection of open educational resources is now available in one of the world’s largest OER repositories, giving users greater access to the university’s no-cost course materials in a single location. OER Commons is a freely accessible, online library that invites educators and students at Oregon State and worldwide to discover open textbooks and other freely available instructional materials. Learning objects produced by OSU faculty now exist amongst a trove of thousands of items that were created at other institutions.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Learn more about open educational resources at SREB/MHEC webinar - Audrie Lamb, Kentucky Teacher

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) will offer a joint webinar on Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. ET to discuss their forthcoming report on open educational resources in dual enrollment. The webinar, “Leveraging Open Education Resources to Expand Equitable Access,” will feature a panel of experts to lead a discussion on the report findings. Individuals can register on the SREB website.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Creating Cultural Competence Videos Available Through Open Education Resources - University of Arkansas

Creating cultural competency is essential on college campuses, in our communities and in the workplace. Margaret Miller Butcher, assistant professor of communication in U of A's Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and Jackie Mosley, professor of human development and family sciences in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Science's School of Human Environmental Sciences, created a set of videos exploring student notions of cultural competency to help move them along a continuum from monocultural to intercultural mindsets, based on the Intercultural Development Inventory.The result is a series of five videos on creating cultural competency. With the help from U of A Global Campus video services, these videos were shot and edited along the perspectives of denial, polarization, minimization, acceptance and adaptation. The videos and accompanying video guide are now available as Open Educational Resources. They are free to use for diversity, equity and inclusion trainings in classrooms that focus on social justice topics and in a variety of community contexts.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Making textbooks free - Lisa Abram, University of Victoria

 The cost of textbooks is a common complaint among students across North America, and UVic Libraries and faculty members are listening—and working to make things better. With partnership and support from the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS), the Division of Learning, Teaching, Support and Innovation (LTSI), University Systems and BCcampus, Libraries is spearheading the open education resources (OER) movement at the university by offering publishing assistance and OER start-up grants to faculty members on campus, and alleviating the financial pressure for students so they can focus on their studies.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Equity inspires 66 colleges to expand the reach of open educational resources - Matt Zalaznick, University Business

Excitement has been building around open educational resources at Framingham State University as a handful of faculty are creating their own textbooks with instructional designers enhancing the final product. Now administrators are working to entrench them across the Massachusetts institution by joining a new national network, the Institute on Open Educational Resources, launched by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. “The use of open textbooks at Framingham State is pretty much siloed,” says Millie González, the interim library dean. “Some departments are using them and there’s a lot of buzz. But in terms of any structures in place to know how many faculty are using them, that’s something we’re striving toward.”

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Linux Foundation & edX Teach Open Source to 2 Million Learners

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, is proud to announce there have been two million enrollments to date across all of its online courses offered on the edX platform. These open source training courses have continually increasing rates of enrollment growth as the curriculum continues to expand, with offerings covering technologies like cloud infrastructure, blockchain, networking, and DevOps. Linux Foundation Training & Certification offers more than two dozen courses on edX, all of which can be audited at no cost, increasing accessibility for all learners.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Hazleton professor's digital textbook part of push for no-cost course materials - Joe Dolinsky, Penn State

A digital textbook recently published by Beatriz García Glick, associate teaching professor of Spanish at Penn State Hazleton, is providing students with a pop culture learning element while contributing to a statewide push for affordable and accessible education. Glick developed, wrote and published "Intermediate Spanish” with the help of Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (PA GOAL) as part of an effort to decrease student costs through open educational resources — learning materials that are freely available.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Interactive webinar: Redesign, enrich and transform your course with open educational resources - University of Groningen Library

On 26 October 2021, information specialists from the University of Groningen Library and didactic experts from Education Support & Innovation will host a webinar focused on helping you redesign and enrich your course (in whole or in part) with open materials.

During this interactive webinar, we will work alongside you and provide:

Didactic advice

Expertise in the area of open education and copyright

Tips for finding high-quality open educational resources

Help with exploring all the cool things that can be done with reusable and open materials

Course redesign tools

Platform for discussions


Sunday, October 3, 2021

CVTC saves students $1 million in textbook costs - Baldwin-Bulletin

Chippewa Valley Technical College saved students more than $1 million in textbook costs in the 2020-21 school year, thanks to the school’s recently launched affordable Learning program. Many instructors and courses have switched to using free textbooks called open educational resources, or OER, instead of traditional, commercially-published textbooks that are often high cost. Last school year, more than 4,000 CVTC students experienced at least one course with no textbook cost for an average student savings of approximately $246.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Accredited UNG Press celebrates 10 years - J.K. Devine, University of North Georgia

Since its inception, UNG Press has made a name for itself in the state and among other institutions. It is the state leader in open educational resources (OER) and open textbooks and has published 16 open textbooks with nine more in progress. Robinson explained before OERs, textbooks had a markup of 300% or more. "They are inflated beyond what is fair and equitable," Robinson said, explaining the OERs and low-cost and online textbooks have leveled the playing field. "If you want to help educate people, you have to give them the same opportunities."

Friday, October 1, 2021

Lowered costs, improved access for students are just a few of the benefits - University of Manitoba

Open educational resources—free materials known as OERs—are an important tool in reducing the cost of course materials for students, improving access to post-secondary education, and enabling innovative forms of teaching that are participatory and locally relevant. “OERs help to make post-secondary education affordable. UM has been working on initiatives to support and increase open educational resource uptake across our campuses,” says Vice-Provost (Libraries) and University Librarian Lisa O’Hara.