Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Global MIT reparations course takes open learning to new level - Sharon Dell, University World News

“Education benefits when people with diverse backgrounds and different personal experiences are drawn into the conversation.” That’s the premise posited for what has been described as an “audacious educational experiment” to be offered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology anthropology Professor M Amah Edoh. Edoh will invite the participation of activists and members of the global public in an undergraduate course on the topical – and highly contentious – issue of reparations for slavery and colonisation. The goal, according to MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) Digital Publication Specialist Peter Chipman, who takes credit for this story’s opening statement, is to make open education “a two-way street” in which “the educational resources that emerge from classroom conversations at MIT are informed by the knowledge and experiences of people beyond the institute’s walls”.


Monday, November 29, 2021

There’s What You Assign, and Then There’s What They Read - Matt Reed, Inside Higher Ed

There’s what you assign, and then there’s what they read. In most classes, those two are not the same. Textbook costs often prevent students from buying the book in the first place. When that happens, what starts as an economic issue quickly becomes an academic issue (and then can become a financial aid issue). A great book that goes unbought and unread isn’t as good as a pretty good book that a student actually reads. Classes go better when students do the reading.


Sunday, November 28, 2021

Textbooks should be free: The solution to the price gouging problem is to go open-source - Khodr Jaber, the Varsity

An open-source book is one that is available over an open-source license, meaning that it can be freely used, modified, or shared. Examples of open-source libraries are eCampusOntario’s Open Library, BCcampus’ online open textbook collection, and the University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library. Such systems would eliminate the cost of production and procurement for faculty and students, respectively, so that course requirements from the former are maintained while the educational experiences of the latter are not hindered. By advocating for the widespread adoption of open-source textbooks in universities, we’d be eliminating the need for students to scour the internet to find their educational materials, and we’d keep them from facing a terrifying bill at the bookstore.


Saturday, November 27, 2021

Digital infrastructure is more than just broadband: What the US can learn from Europe’s open source technology policy study - Frank Nagle, Brookings Institution

Complementary to broadband, open technologies—those for which the underlying intellectual property, whether it is source code or hardware design, is publicly available—are playing an increasingly important role in the modern economy and companies’ and countries’ ability to innovate. In particular, open source software (OSS) and open source hardware (OSH) have become critical building blocks for both everyday products (cell phones, cars, household appliances, etc.) and cutting-edge emerging technologies (artificial intelligence, big data analytics, etc.). However, since most OSS and OSH is available for free and created through distributed efforts rather than by one particular company, it can be difficult to understand the full economic impact of these critical technologies.


Friday, November 26, 2021

As Misinformation Grows, Scholars Debate How to Improve Open Access - Suzanne Smalley, Inside Higher Ed

While open-access science has made research available worldwide, some scholars worry that misinformation, fraud and politicization have become rampant in a system that rewards speed and sparkle.  While open access has democratized science, to good effect -- making research available to sick patients interested in learning more about their condition or to scientists working in the Global South -- it also has had “second-order effects” that are more concerning, he said. “It’s now easier for scientific literature to be quoted and used in all sorts of political discourse,” Schonfeld said in an interview. “When the methods of scholarly publishing that we use today were first formed, there was no sense that there was going to be a kind of politicized discourse looking for opportunities to misinform the public and intentionally cause disunity.”


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Texas Tech University Libraries announces winners of open access award - Texas Tech

Open access is the free, immediate availability of research articles online, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. The University Libraries recognizes faculty members for their commitment to open access through four different recognitions: the Open Education Award, the Open Access Publication Award, the Open Access Advocacy Award and the Open Data Award.


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Lawmakers eye expanding electronic, open-source access to combat college textbook costs - Jesse Scheckner, Florida Politics

The intent, said Rep. Rene Plasencia, the subcommittee chair, was to continue a push toward low-cost, no-cost and open access to e-textbooks, a trend running in tandem with the increased digitization of media. “The education industry is moving in that direction, rightfully so,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re proactively, as a body, making sure we are engaging in that conversation and not an impediment to any growth that is possible.”


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Clemson Corner: Collaboration providing free robotics textbooks - Greenville Journal

The project, titled the Collaborative Development of Robotics Education and Advanced Manufacturing Open Educational Resources (Co-DREAM OER), aims to dramatically lower the cost of learning for students in advanced manufacturing through the development of three openly-licensed textbooks and digital ancillary materials on robotics. The textbooks are expected to save students at the three institutions a total of $150,000 annually and will also be available to institutions across the country. 


Monday, November 22, 2021

OpenSkill will fund open access, interactive online learning for students - Arizona State University

As part of the Learning Enterprise’s Inspark Teaching Network, colleges, universities and state systems can receive up to $10,000 each to implement high-quality online active learning using open educational resources from the OpenSkill Impact Grant aimed at improving learning and lowering costs for students.OpenSkill is funded by a $3.4 million grant from the Department of Education and represents a unique collaboration between the Center for Education Through Exploration, spearheaded by President’s Professor Ariel Anbar and Inspark, at Arizona State University and three of the largest community college systems in the country: Maricopa Community Colleges, Miami Dade and Ivy Tech Community College. 


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Auburn's University Writing Department Launches Open Educational Resource - Heesun Yoon, Eagle Eye TV

University Writing here at Auburn University has released its new open educational resource, or OER, that contains a variety of worksheets and handouts on numerous writing-focused topics. "We have long been known locally and nationally for our high-quality ePortfolio resources," says Christopher Basgier, director of University Writing. "I am excited that our OER includes an expanded menu of materials, and that these materials are accessibly for different users." As well as resources on ePortfolios, the OER contains resources to help anyone with topics such as editing, proofreading, literature reviews, and more.


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Tackling Pricey Textbooks: Yavapai College and six rural community colleges awarded large federal education grant - Michael Grady, Yavapai College

The three-year Open Textbooks for Rural Arizona initiative will foster the creation and provision of free, open-source materials instead of costly traditional textbooks. “The grant allows us to develop and expand the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in our courses.” Yavapai College Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Diane Ryan explained. “These are materials – learning modules, software, streaming videos, text material, assignments and assessments – that are in the public domain or licensed with a Creative Commons license and can be used as a free alternative to expensive textbooks.” Over the next three years, consortium partners, Arizona Western College, Arizona Eastern College, Central Arizona College, Coconino Community College, Mohave Community College, Northland Pioneer College, and Yavapai College will develop and share OERs.


Friday, November 19, 2021

Rod Library pursues textbook affordability for all - Vilma Gomez, Northern Iowan

The textbook affordability movement at UNI began more than five years ago and aims to make textbooks and class material more affordable for students. This initiative allows access to Open Educational Resources (OERs) that teachers and students can use in their courses. These materials are freely available to use, adapt, share and reuse. This year Rod Library was a recipient (in collaboration with the University of Iowa Libraries and Iowa State University Parks Library) of a $219,000 grant through the CARES Act and  Iowa Department of Education. The money is being invested in training faculty teams at the three Regents institutions to create free, openly licensed course materials. Anne Marie H. Gruber, Ph.D., is the librarian leading this work campus-wide.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

NWTC launches textbook affordability plan to save students money - Ashley Kaster, FOX 11

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College students will be able to save money on textbooks, thanks to a plan. NWTC launched its Textbook Affordability Plan, aimed to save students $1.4 million in costs within the next year. The rising costs of textbooks are having an adverse effect on student success at a national level. According to Times Higher Education, 65% of students in a large-scale study reported not buying the required textbook, even though 90% of those students acknowledged their grades would be impacted.


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Dordt Faculty Invest In Open Educational Resources - JUSTIN HELLINGA, KIWA

Thanks to a major initiative led by the Iowa Private Academic Libraries (IPAL), five faculty members at Dordt University have been awarded grants to invest in open educational resources (OER). Dordt is one of 15 universities benefitting from the project sponsored by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. Open educational resources are materials that are in the public domain or have been released under an open license, and the IPAL grants compensate faculty for adopting, remixing, or creating open resources. This can include everything from full courses to sections of textbooks, lectures, or assessments.


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Students at Oklahoma State University have collectively saved more than $500,000 through the OpenOKState Open Educational Resources program. - Bonnie Cain-Wood, OK State

Open Educational Resources (OER) are instructional materials intentionally created to be free to students. These materials are licensed by authors to permit and encourage distribution, modification and retention. The OpenOKState OER program supports collaboration and innovation among OSU faculty, staff and students to increase access to meaningful resources.


Monday, November 15, 2021

WVU Libraries, Teaching and Learning Commons award Open Educational Resources grants

WVU Libraries and the Teaching and Learning Commons have selected three faculty members to receive Open Educational Resources grants. This year’s recipients are Erin Jordan, teaching assistant professor and program coordinator for health and well-being, College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences; Mandy Weirich, MSW online program coordinator, Gerontology program coordinator and clinical instructor, School of Social Work; and Adrienne Williams, assistant professor, Department of Biology, WVU Institute of Technology.


Sunday, November 14, 2021

Open access material has been the foundation supporting educational intent during the pandemic - Sofía García-Bullé, Observatory

Based on the philosophy of open access coined by the philosopher, professor, and researcher Peter Suber, the homonymous initiative aims to promote the availability of didactic literature at no cost, allowing any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, and link the full text of the articles they access. The use of these materials is entirely free as long as it is correctly referenced and indexed. Open Educational Resources (OER) are the pillar of the universal right to education and pursuit of peace, proclaims UNESCO. The Education Division of this non-governmental organization (NGO) focuses on monitoring and analyzing global progress in adopting the open-access philosophy and resources and developing and disseminating policies. 


Saturday, November 13, 2021

Creating Meaningful Learning Experiences with an Interactive Customizable Textbook - Stephen Buckles, Faculty Focus

Students aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit from a change in medium. Print textbooks create a lot of busy work for educators, especially those who want to make learning immediate and relevant. A good portion of the material often goes unused because the examples aren’t current or certain chapters don’t quite jibe with our teaching objectives, which is equally frustrating for students who pay for these books regardless. Many faculty have spent more time than they’d care to count printing out supplemental resources because the books they use aren’t up to date or hitting the mark in terms of what they want to cover.


Friday, November 12, 2021

TAMIU library launches open access repository - LMT Online

As part of Texas A&M International University’s celebration of Open Access Week the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library will launch a new website focusing on increasing access to academic research. The newly named Research Information Online site, or RIO, is an open access repository containing freely accessible scholarly materials. The website launches on Monday, Oct. 25 at rio.tamiu.edu.


Thursday, November 11, 2021

College of DuPage's human services program adopts open educational resources to lower textbook costs for students - Daily Herald

 Eager to expand access to educational opportunities, the Human Services program at College of DuPage is taking advantage of the college's Open Educational Resources (OER) program. To date, more than half of all Human Services classes at COD utilize OER to make attending college more affordable for students. Our goal is to reduce costs for students and to ensure that everyone has access to materials from the first day of a course," Human Services Program Chair Jason Florin said.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Trine University Partners with Ohio Steel Company - Reed Parker, NorthStar BlueScope

Employees of an Ohio steel company will have access to educational opportunities and more professional development through an agreement with Trine University. Trine says North Star BlueScope Steel will create customized courses for team members using open educational resources to eliminate textbook and material costs. The university says NSBSL employees enrolled in Trine's online education platform will have 24/7 access to academic services and will be able to transfer up to 90 credit hours and job training experience toward a bachelor's degree. Trine also will offer free access to job postings and recruitment opportunities along with being able to use Trine innovation 1, which offers marketing strategies and help with new products and processes.


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

State Library Of Pennsylvania: More Than $120,000 Awarded To Support Open And Affordable Learning Across The Commonwealth

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL), along with the Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation (PALCI), today announced that more than $120,000 has been awarded to 33 projects at institutions of higher education through the second round of Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (PA GOAL). “One of the best ways we can support learners is through forming partnerships that can drive targeted funding and resources where they’re needed, and the PA GOAL program creates access in areas with specific needs,” said Acting Deputy Secretary and State Librarian for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries Susan Banks. “This will make a real difference for educators and learners in communities across the commonwealth, and OCL is proud to support this impactful initiative.


Monday, November 8, 2021

Nursing Skills, the second in a series of Open RN nursing education titles, now available on XanEdu's free FlexEd Courseware Platform

XanEdu, an educational products and services company working with the higher education and K-12 markets, is pleased to announce the addition of Nursing Skills to their FlexEd digital courseware portfolio which provides an affordable alternative to traditional nursing course materials. Nursing Skills is the second FlexEd course in this series that is built upon high quality, peer-reviewed content by Open RN, a provider of OER (Open Educational Resource) nursing textbooks.


Sunday, November 7, 2021

MTSU one of five state schools to offer textbooks savings program - TAYLA COURAGE, Murphreesboro Post

MTSU launched the program on campus in the fall of 2020 and has seen students save over $144,000 on their learning costs. The launch included five courses, which has grown to include 15 more following spring of 2021. Austin Peay State University, Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville are the four other institutions to provide similar money-saving measures to its enrollment. Saving initiatives have taken hold across the state due to the efforts put forth by the Tennessee Textbook Affordability Task Force, which has focused on creating an online “repository of open education resources” that can be used by both students and instructors for free.


Saturday, November 6, 2021

The Hidden Costs of Open Educational Resources - Stuart Barbier, Inside Highere Ed

While certainly not opposed to saving students money, Stuart Barbier questions the assumption that free or low-cost textbooks are a better choice for students simply for that reason.  While cost is a consideration, it should not be the driving factor for the decision of what type of textbook material to use. Rather, the driving factor should be quality and suitability for meeting the course’s outcomes and objectives and best serving our students’ learning needs. What comes to mind is the clichéd old saw that you get what you pay for. I’ve seen this turn out to be true in several life circumstances. In the case of OER, much more must go into students’ decisions about what classes to take beyond the cost of the textbooks.


Friday, November 5, 2021

Do ‘Inclusive Access’ Textbook Programs Save Students Money? A New Site Urges Everyone to Read the Fine Print - Taylor Swaak, Chronicle of Higher Ed

“Inclusive access,” a textbook-sales model touted as a way to ensure that students without deep pockets can afford books, doesn’t always deliver on that promise, according to a leading open-access advocacy organization. So the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and its partners have launched a website they hope will encourage a healthy skepticism, and deeper research, into the increasingly popular model.


Thursday, November 4, 2021

Penn State Berks, MCCC receive grant to develop free course materials - Berks Weekly

Students studying hospitality management and entrepreneurship will save money on textbooks, thanks to a grant from Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning. Dr. Pauline Milwood and Sarah Hartman-Caverly, both from Penn State Berks, along with Shawn Murray of Montgomery County Community College received a Cycle 1 Open Educational Resource Development Grant in the amount of $14,000 to develop and publish an entrepreneurship-focused, real-world business guide for students.


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

OpenOKState saves OSU students $500,000 - OK State News

Students at Oklahoma State University have collectively saved more than $500,000 through the OpenOKState Open Educational Resources program.  Open Educational Resources (OER) are instructional materials intentionally created to be free to students. These materials are licensed by authors to permit and encourage distribution, modification and retention. The OpenOKState OER program supports collaboration and innovation among OSU faculty, staff and students to increase access to meaningful resources. Kathy Essmiller, OER librarian, has many goals in mind for the OpenOKState program, but foremost is to make sure the student body knows these resources are available to them. 


Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Award for world-first textbook on ontological engineering - Helen Swingler, University of Cape Town News

Associate Professor Maria Keet of the Department of Computer Science has won the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Open Textbook Award for her “exemplary resource”, An Introduction to Ontology Engineering. It is her first open textbook, and a world-first textbook on the subject for computer scientists. The award recognises outstanding open textbooks written by UCT staff and students that advance the university’s transformation and social justice agenda.


Monday, November 1, 2021

UVI professors ditch tradition (textbooks), reducing financial burden for their students - SARA KIRKPATRICK, Daily News

As any college student will tell you, nothing is worse than having to pay for costly textbooks. Now, Open Education Resources may make traditional textbooks a memory with the University of the Virgin Islands joining others worldwide in a push for free resources that are much easier on students’ wallets. In a UVI survey on textbook affordability, 83% of students surveyed strongly agreed with the statement: “The cost of textbooks is a concern for me.” Enter Affordable Learning, an initiative spearheaded by the university’s libraries that aims to save students money by encouraging professors to transition from traditional textbooks to Open Education Resources.