Monday, January 31, 2022

Professors receive nearly $14,000 to fund Open Educational Resources - Cornell College

Professors will use the funding, which ranges in value from $1,000 to $5,000, in many different ways and on many different projects. 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. “This second round of grants provides additional support to our faculty as they expand their use of Open Educational Resources,” said Consulting Librarian for Social Sciences & Special Collections Meghan Yamanishi, who helped guide this grant effort.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Five Free OERs At Your Fingertips You Didn’t Realize - Hannah Nadobny, Impulse

If you are not using Open Educational Resources (OER) yet, you are missing out on being the most efficient learner you can be! Basically, these are free tools learners can use to improve their studies. OERs are readily available at your fingertips, and we’ve done the hard work of finding which ones are best, so you don’t have to!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Copyright in educational material: Lessons from COVID-19 - BASU CHANDOLA, Observer Research Foundation

Copyright exists in textbooks, scholarly articles, online lectures, presentations, library collections, and research databases and, therefore, plays an integral role in education. Copyright consists of a bundle of economic and moral rights using which the author can allow or disallow the usage of their work. Consequently, the author can receive remuneration for allowing the use of their work. Since copyright provides legal means to exclude content, it can act as a lever affecting transmission of knowledge by impeding information flow. COVID-19 has illustrated how copyright acts as a barrier in accessing educational materials and demonstrated the vulnerabilities of copyright system to deal with unprecedented situations like prolonged closure of educational institutions and libraries. However, these problems are but a reflection of the wider and pre-existing access barriers.

Friday, January 28, 2022

New program offering alternatives to textbooks saves West Virginia college students $250,000 in pilot semesters - West VIrginia Higher Ed Policy Commission

Earlier this year, West Virginia’s public higher education office launched a program, Open Learning WV, that gives faculty the opportunity to implement Open Educational Resources (OER) as alternatives to traditional textbooks for their students. When the program was piloted in the spring 2021 semester, 34 faculty members created or adopted OER, and a handful more faculty adopted OER over the summer – resulting in more than $250,000 in savings for approximately 1,200 students.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

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

Yes, the quality of OER can vary across courses. That is also true of commercial textbooks. In the days before OER caught on, faculty and student complaints about textbooks were legion, and often warranted. It’s also true that the development and curation of OER is labor that’s worthy of compensation. But cost isn’t just cost. It’s also a question of access. 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.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Latest And Greatest: New Features In Open LMS EDU 3.11 - Gabriela Duque, LMS Pulse

Open LMS EDU is one of the two version of Moodle™ developed and maintained by Open LMS. It is designed for schools, universities and other educational institutions, that enables administrators to create fully customized learning environments that are still easy to maintain and support. Open LMS EDU offers a consistent user experience due to its ease of use. The administrator or course creator has access to a real-time dashboard of the students’ learning progress through visual tools and reports. Other tools and features are incorporated to speed up processes and common Moodle™ tasks, and quickly reach support when needed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Saving Students Thousands with Open Access Textbook - KARYN S. HOLLINGSWORTH, SEAN KENNEDY, UNLV

Thanks to a free open access textbook, hundreds of students taking the First-Year Seminar in the College of Liberal (COLA 100) collectively saved about $36,000 in fees last fall. Liberal Arts piloted the use of the textbook in the fall semester after teaming up with the Open Educational Resources Task Force, a partnership among the office of information technology, office of online education, Faculty Center, University Libraries, and the UNLV Bookstore. The task force’s mission is to improve student accessibility and combat the rising cost of textbooks through the use of free or low-cost resources.

Monday, January 24, 2022

The "F.A.T.E" of Open Educational Resources relies in Katherine Fleitcher, OpenStax - LMS PULSE

You may think it hyperbole if I told you that the “F.A.T.E.” of Open Educational Resources lies on the shoulders of today's guest. But it's kinda true. Katherine Fletcher is the Director of Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics —that is, “F.A.T.E.”— at OpenStax. She’s our second guest for one of the most important organizations for the advocacy of Open Educational Resources, or OER. And this time around, we dig deeper into the relationship between free quality educational content for everyone and the importance of things like ethics and transparency in our industry

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Five Free OERs At Your Fingertips You Didn’t Realize - Hannah Nadobny, IMS Pulse

If you are not using Open Educational Resources (OER) yet, you are missing out on being the most efficient learner you can be! Basically, these are free tools learners can use to improve their studies. OERs are readily available at your fingertips, and we’ve done the hard work of finding which ones are best, so you don’t have to!

№1. Write & Improve with Cambridge  Write & Improve is an extremely useful online tool for English learners. This OER is developed by Cambridge University. Over 2 million English learners have been able to improve their English using this site. Write & Improve offers instant feedback on learners’ English writing skills. Learners can also choose from hundreds of tasks at any level, or create their own tasks. Learners can also submit their essays and receive results based on the international scale of CEFR levels.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Amandeep Singh: A step towards college affordability - Daily Hampshire Gazette

At UMass Amherst, we students are taking a stand towards the unnecessary expenses and encouraging professors to use materials for example, Open Education Resources. These are resources that are free to use, digitally accessible and can be modified without any restrictions. Many classes are already taking advantage of these resources and helping students save money. In the last 10 years, UMass Amherst alone has been able to save students over $2.5 million on textbooks by replacing them with Open Education Resources. With that, students are able to focus on studies, rather than worrying about selecting classes depending on the cost.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Open education resources offer many benefits: how to remove obstacles - Vollan Okoth Ochieng & Razak M. Gyasi, the Conversation

 Our paper reviewed existing literature and found that open education resources propel research productivity in higher education institutions. For example, these resources offered free access to a wide range of educational and research materials to students. But we also found systemic failures as a key challenge for universal adoption of open education resources, particularly in developing countries. The main challenges are the economic, technical, legal, social, and infrastructural requirements needed to make open education resources available.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

How Creative Commons works, and why it enables access to knowledge - Denise Rosemary Nicholson, the Conversation

A big barrier to lifelong learning can be the cost of resources. There are worldwide initiatives to change this, though, and it’s helpful to know how to use these resources legally. One such arrangement is Creative Commons, considered to be the global standard for open licences. These were written by legal experts around the world and dedicated to the public domain. They enable teaching and learning resources to be made available in the public domain. This is usually in their digital form under an open licence and without cost other than the cost of access to the internet. Users of the resources may use, adapt and redistribute them with no or few restrictions.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians - ALA

The figures are eye-opening: more than 1.6 billion works on 9 million websites are licensed under Creative Commons (CC). These materials constitute an extraordinarily rich repository for teaching, learning, sharing, and creative reuse. Knowing your way around CC will help you make the most of the Open Access (OA) and open educational resources (OER) movements. This book represents the first-ever print complement to the CC Certificate program, providing in-depth coverage of CC licenses, open practices, and the ethos of the Commons.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Artificial Intelligence and copyright in the cultural heritage sector: views from Creative Commons - Brigitte V├ęzina & Sarah Pearson, Europeana Pro

With lowered barriers to access and the development of new practices for Artificial Intelligence (AI), it’s no surprise that AI-related activities in the cultural heritage sector are increasing -  a topic in focus on this month on Europeana Pro. We hear from Creative Commons about the questions which AI raises for copyright and the approach that they are taking.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Creative Commons: How to protect your work in a haven for public use - GERMAN PRESS AGENCY

Finding works of art, photographs or video footage that you can legally use without falling into the deep, dark depths of copyright land or churning out a hefty fee or subscription, is truly hard in the digital times that we live. However, Creative Commons is making our lives a lot easier by letting us find works that we can share, modify, adapt without getting tangled in licenses. But, what actually is Creative Commons (CC)? Contrary to popular belief, Creative Commons is not a license, but a non-profit organization that publishes standard license agreements.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Creative Commons Search Is Now Openverse - Sarah Gooding, WP Tavern

The Creative Commons search engine has been rebranded to Openverse and now redirects to its new home at  Users will find the revamped interface maintains the ability to search the same collections, narrowing results by use case, license type, image type, file type, aspect ratio, and more. The Openverse search engine is also now available in more than 10 languages, with more translations approaching completion. This update includes access to images from StockSnap and new  Meta Search providers EDUimages and Images of Empowerment.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Let’s Annotate the UNESCO OER Recommendation… Together - Connect OE Global

As a series of actions to bridge the recent 2021 OEGlobal Online conference with the upcoming May 2022 in-person Congress in Nantes, we invite open educators to enrich the UNESCO Recommendation on OER by using 2 web annotation to add information, examples, commentary to specific portions of the five action areas.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Textbooks cost too much? Framingham State University has a solution for that - Zane Razzaq, MetroWest Daily News

When she talks to her son about "library stuff," Millie Gonzalez, the interim director of Framingham State University's Whittemore Library, said his eyes usually glaze over. But her new project on how to reduce the cost of textbooks for students and make them more culturally relevant has piqued his interest. "He was like, 'What? Free textbooks?'" said Gonzalez, laughing. A consortium of colleges led by Framingham State University, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, has received a $440,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a new project that aims to boost the number of college courses that make use of free Open Educational Resources rather than costly textbooks.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

UMass Amherst Libraries Appoints Open Education Librarian - UMass Amherst

The UMass Amherst Libraries are pleased to announce that Theresa Dooley has been appointed to the two-year term position of open education librarian in scholarly communication. She began her new role on Jan. 3. During her two-year position as the open education librarian, Dooley will be responsible for setting the strategic direction for open and affordable course content throughout the Libraries and across the campus. She will oversee and support Library-led open education initiatives (OEI), including the OEI grants funded by the Libraries and the Provost’s Office, and will promote the use of OER among the campus and other constituencies. One of her initial strategies will be to focus on education, outreach and advocacy within the Libraries and then connect this work to the Libraries’ mission in close collaboration with multiple library partners. She will also represent the university on the statewide Open Education Advisory Council.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

TAMIU’s Killam Library readies for new year, additional resources on the horizon - LMTonline

This Spring 2022, in line with the focus of open educational resources (OER) at TAMIU, the Killam Library will launch an OER publishing platform called Pressbooks. The goal of the platform is to give University faculty the ability to publish OER and to make it shareable to scholars throughout the world, affirmed Killam Library director Ben Rawlins.“Pressbooks is an OER publishing platform that faculty can utilize to create new OER or adapt existing OER. We are still working on configuring Pressbooks and plan to host a workshop during Open Education Week in March,” said Rawlins.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

MIT Press Makes Its Spring 2022 Monograph List Openly Available - IBL News

MIT Press, one of the largest university presses, announced that it will publish its full list of spring 2022 monographs and edited collections on an open-access model through June 30, 2022. The list includes titles from across the arts, humanities, and sciences, such as Treacherous Play by Marcus Carter, From Big Oil to Big Green: Holding the Oil Industry to Account for the Climate Crisis by Marco Grasso, Power of Position: Classification and the Biodiversity Sciences by Robert D. Montoya, and Cognitive Robotics edited by Angelo Cangelosi and Minoru Asada. “The goal is to be of use to as many readers as possible—across the world, rich or poor,” said Georg F. Striedter, Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, and MIT Press author.

Monday, January 10, 2022

My Turn: A step toward college affordability - Amandeep Singh, Recorder

At UMass Amherst, we students are taking a stand towards the unnecessary expenses and encouraging professors to use materials — for example, Open Education Resources. These are resources that are free to use, digitally accessible and can be modified without any restrictions. Many classes are already taking advantage of these resources and helping students save money. In the last 10 years, UMass Amherst alone has been able to save students over $2.5 million on textbooks by replacing them with Open Education Resources — free digital textbooks that can be printed and modified with no copyright restrictions. Many of these resources currently exist and are already in use. With that, students are able to focus on studies, rather than worrying about selecting classes depending on the cost.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Contextualizing OER For Teachers’ Digital Skills Development In Francophone Africa And In Russian-Speaking Countries - India Education Diary

The project is based on an innovative multi-stakeholder engagement which brings together a theoretical framework with concrete outputs. It aims to support Member States in contextualizing the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers, so as to meet national and institutional needs through three actions: firstly, aligning the Framework’s components to national objectives related to ICT in education; secondly, developing teacher training materials based on an OER approach; and finally, implementing teacher training programmes, based on these materials. The meeting focused on the contextualization of the ICT CFT through OER and provided insights on best practices of use of the UNESCO ICT CFT OER Hub.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

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

Textbook costs have risen faster than the cost of housing, medical services and the consumer price index. State lawmakers are looking at how to further cut costs for college students by expanding access to electronic and open-source textbooks, building on the successful passing of legislation earlier this year creating a digital academic library network. Members of the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting Thursday took in a presentation by Dr. John Opper, executive director of distance learning and student services at the Florida Virtual Campus, and several prominent state college and university figures. 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.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Textbook publishers sue Shopify over alleged 'massive' IP violations - Blake Brittain, Reuters

Major educational publishers on Wednesday accused e-commerce company Shopify of enabling rampant piracy in a lawsuit filed in Virginia federal court. Macmillan Learning, Cengage Learning Inc, Elsevier Inc, McGraw Hill LLC and Pearson Education Inc said Canada-based Shopify turned a blind eye to repeat notices that its users sell pirated digital textbooks and other materials, allowing for copyright and trademark infringement "on a massive scale."

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Skillsoft Strikes $525 Million Deal to Acquire Ed-Tech Rival Codecademy

Skillsoft Corp. has agreed to acquire rival U.S.-based educational technology company Codecademy for $525 million in cash and stock, the companies said Wednesday, the latest bet on consolidation in the online learning market. Closely held Codecademy offers free, basic online computer coding classes in areas such as programming, data science and cybersecurity. The New York-based startup’s services also include more in-depth paid offerings. In February, Codecademy raised $40 million in new funding, seeking to expand into markets such as India where a high percentage of people are pursuing engineering degrees.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Open texts and student success Marco Seiferle-Valencia University of Idaho Library, Moscow-Pullman Dailly News

According to a 2020 survey, 65 percent of college students nationwide can’t afford their textbooks and course materials. This makes sense when you realize textbooks can cost more than $1,200 a year. For some students, costs can easily exceed even that impressive amount. Advice published for some majors in 2021 suggests students budget at least $400 a text. All these costs have real impacts. Publishers have enjoyed record profits and revenues as prices for textbooks have soared more than 400 percent the past 20 years.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

San Antonio Colleges to Loan Digital Textbooks for Free - Danya Perez, San Antonio Express-News

 Alamo Colleges will email students before the start of classes and ask them to choose either a physical or digital copy of textbooks and instructional materials, to be paid for by $17 million in federal grant funding. Thousands of students at all five Alamo Colleges will start the new year with a little more money in their pockets thanks to a $17 million investment in a free textbook rental program. It will start during the spring semester and run through the summer of 2022. But even students enrolled for the current “wintermester” — three-week courses taught online during the holidays — will have free access to textbooks through a soft launch.

Monday, January 3, 2022

NUI Galway project makes free educational material more accessible - Michael Malone, Galway Daily

A new platform with free reusable materials has been created by NUI Galway for students to use in teaching and research. The Open Educational Resources project sees academic staff and students supporting the development of textbooks, videos, lecture notes, handbooks, manuals, lesson plans, worksheets, and annotated books/memoirs. The home-grown materials are easily accessible, free and tailored for specific courses such as medicine and health, anatomy, genetics, mathematics, language learning, history, English, media studies and Irish studies.

Sunday, January 2, 2022


Thomas Edison State University (TESU) has saved students more than $1.6 million this year with Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) courses. ZTC courses harness Open Educational Resources (OER) and other no-cost alternatives to replace standard textbooks. OER materials reside in the public domain – or are openly licensed – and encompass a rich array of readings, articles, case studies and multimedia components like videos and podcasts that are integrated into the online courses.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

SPC students save thousands of dollars using OER’s - Joshua Ramirez, KCBD

“Our faculty have been working on what’s called open education resources,” Dean of Arts & Sciences Alan Worley said. “This is a no textbook no online supplemental components so it will be free for our students.” The cost of a college degree is going up and has been for decades. The administration at South Plains College is taking steps to lower their costs. “Our faculty are working hard as far as trying to find ways to save them money,” Worley said. “By producing materials they can have for free on the first day of class.” Those OER’s saved nearly $700,000 for students over the fall semester.