Wednesday, August 31, 2022

UC approves policy to make textbooks cheaper - Allison Kiehl, the News Record

The University of Cincinnati (UC) Board of Trustees recently approved a textbook auto adoption policy to make textbooks more affordable and accessible to students. With the ever-increasing price of college course materials, the Ohio General Assembly mandated through H.B. 110 that universities consider applying the auto adoption policy in June 2021. UC approved its version of the policy a year later, in June 2022. One of the ways the university strives to lower textbook costs is by utilizing databases such as Open Educational Resources (OER) to find required class materials.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

How OER Can Support Equity Practices in Higher Education: Lessons from a 3-year Study - Pamela Baker, Every Learner - Everywhere

Sebastian says OER are becoming a more established part of college and university courses and that digital learning platforms are integrating it. Increasingly, he adds, faculty recognize the importance of using OER to support culturally responsive teaching and other teaching practices that promote equity. It has the potential to support students seeing themselves in the subject they’re learning and to remove other barriers to learning.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Yavapai College leads a consortium of eight Arizona community colleges with $2 million in shared grant funds to battle pricey textbook costs - Tyler Rumsey, Yavapai College

Through a $2 million shared grant from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, Yavapai College is leading a consortium of eight Arizona community colleges to develop Open Educational Resources, or OERs, to reduce the amount of money students must spend on textbooks. In June 2021, the Open Textbooks for Rural Arizona project was awarded $801,218. Earlier this month, the Department of Education announced that they were increasing the grant award by $1,198,782, to bring the grant award total to $2 million. With these additional funds, Cochise College, the only rural Arizona Community College not originally included in the proposal, will be joining the consortium.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Community College District Receives $975K Grant to Expand Use of Free Online Textbooks - Elizabeth Ireland, Times of San Diego

The grant money will be used to develop more zero-textbook-cost courses, which use digital materials that are free to students. Textbook prices, which have risen more than 800% since 1978, can be a prohibitive cost for many students, who on average spend about $1,200 a year for textbooks.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

5 websites to download free textbooks - Sofiya Shazal, Study International

The prospect of beginning your first class — and being told that you need to purchase a list of expensive textbooks — only adds to that. If only there was a way to find free textbooks online. If this sounds like you, you’re in luck — there are many resources for you to do exactly that, all without sacrificing quality or authenticity (as long as you don’t mind being without a physical copy). The best part? Many of these resources often offer lesser-known perks as well, like career and self-help resources. The only thing you’d need is your laptop, a decent note-taking and annotating tool like Preview or Adobe Acrobat, and access to a printer whenever you feel you’d need a physical copy to study from. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Open Educational Resources - Wageningen University

Open Educational Resources can be freely used in education. You can use them as a source of inspiration and adjust them to your needs or incorporate them into your course as they are. Open Educational Resources are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or that come with an open license (Creative Commons license such as CC BY and CC BY-SA) and are also known as Open Digital Teaching Materials. Anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share these open teaching materials (See also this definition by UNESCO). In other words, any teacher is legally allowed to use (parts) of the Open Educational Resources in his/her own course or use them as an inspiration.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Immaculata Works to Replace Costly Textbooks by Providing Affordable Learning Resources Through Grants - Leah Mikulich, Vista Today

Immaculata University received a total of three grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s PA GOAL (Grants for Open and Affordable Learning) program. PA GOAL is aimed at eliminating or reducing the cost students’ pay for textbooks and other materials for college courses. As an experienced leader in using open educational resources (OER), Immaculata used the new funds to help faculty members integrate OER into their courses.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Handbook of Open, Distance and Digital Education - Open, Distance, and Digital Non-formal Education in Developing Countries Sanjaya Mishra & Pradeep K. Misra

Non-formal education contributes significantly to improve the literacy and livelihoods of individuals. Its significance becomes much more in developing countries where 70% of the world population lives. However, population densities, geographical diversities, and varied socioeconomic conditions in many developing countries make it difficult to offer need-based non-formal education (NFE) to all. Fortunately, open, distance, and digital education (ODDE) has emerged as a viable approach to offer quality non-formal education programs at a minimal cost. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER) - Commonwealth of Learning

Its purpose is to provide readers with a quick and user-friendly introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) and some of the key issues to think about when exploring how to use OER most effectively. The second section is a more comprehensive analysis of these issues, presented in the form of a traditional research paper. For those who have a deeper interest in OER, this section will assist with making the case for OER more substantively. The third section is a set of appendices, containing more detailed information about specific areas of relevance to OER. These are aimed at people who are looking for substantive information regarding a specific area of interest. Originally published 2011; Revised 2015.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Can open-source technologies support open societies? - Victoria Welborn and George Ingram, Brookings

As the Roadmap noted, DPGs are “open source software, open data, open AI models, open standards and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable laws and best practices, do no harm, and help attain the SDGs.”[1] There are a number of factors why such products have unique potential to accelerate development efforts, including widely recognized benefits related to more efficient and cost effective implementation of technology-enabled development programming. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

This Textbook Deal Could Change Education Publishing - Derek Newton, Forbes

In a deal announced this week, OpenStax, the open educational resource initiative at Rice University, will publish the 10th edition of John McMurry’s organic chemistry textbook.That may not sound like a big deal, but it is. This one textbook deal may change the way textbooks and other education materials are made and used and could also have a big impact on publishing, teaching and even the cost of going to college.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

A Best-Selling Textbook Is Now Free - Liam Knox, Inside Higher Ed

A popular chemistry book's jump from a publishing titan to an OER pioneer could be pivotal for the open access movement. For the author, it's also a fitting tribute to his late son. John McMurry's textbook Organic Chemistry has helped millions of students across the globe pass the infamous gauntlet of its namesake class -- also known among stressed-out pre-med students as "orgo" -- since the book was first printed in 1984. For his bestseller's 10th edition, McMurry has decided to part ways with his longtime publisher, the industry giant Cengage, which has published the book since the beginning. He recently sold the rights to OpenStax, a nonprofit based at Rice University that is dedicated to developing open education resources (OER), learning and research materials created and licensed to be free for the user.

Friday, August 19, 2022

University of Western Ontario: New pilot program makes education more accessible - iednewsdesk

Five Western faculty members are embracing the use of open education resource course materials thanks to a pilot initiative spearheaded by Western Libraries. The open education resources (OER) grant and support program offers instructor funding and in-kind support to integrate OER into teaching. The program is a partnership between Western Libraries, the Instructional Technology Resource Centre, the Centre for Teaching and Learning and Western Research’s knowledge exchange and impact team.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Smart Ways to Use Tech Solutions to Pursue Higher Education - Mihai-Alexandru Cristea, Business Review

Another great way to use technology to get a higher education is to use open educational resources. Open educational resources are materials that are freely available online for anyone to use. This includes textbooks, lectures, and even entire courses. A number of colleges and universities have started to make their materials available for free online. This is a great way to save money on your education. You can also find a number of open educational resources on the internet. A quick search will reveal a wealth of materials that you can use to further your education.

Monday, August 15, 2022

What a Homework Help Site’s Move to Host Open Educational Resources Could Mean - Daniel Mollenkamp, EdSurge

In May, the homework-help site that relies on student-generated content, Course Hero, dipped its toes into freely available, openly licensed alternatives known as Open Educational Resources, or OER, course materials. The company took over hosting some popular OER offerings hosted by Lumen Learning, a courseware provider that argues that OER can make higher education more equitable.It’s the secrecy of the deal and the lack of clarity around it that’s, at least in part, caused some of the reaction, according to Bryan Alexander, a futurist and senior scholar at Georgetown University.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Second edition of pioneering linguistics e-textbook emphasizes accessibility and diversity - Sara Laux, Brighter World (McMaster)

In 2017, Anderson and colleagues from McMaster created Essentials of Linguistics, a free online e-textbook designed to introduce students to the scientific study of language.  Developed with support from McMaster and eCampus Ontario, Essentials of Linguistics was largely a response to the high prices charged by commercial textbook companies, and was intended to make high-quality information accessible to anyone who wanted it. “I had initially put it together for my students in five months,” explains Anderson, a teaching professor who has taught the introductory linguistics course at McMaster for more than a decade. “It was one of the first really comprehensive open-access introductory linguistics textbooks available, which started to attract attention from outside of McMaster as well.” Downloads for the first edition of Essentials of Linguistics were recorded from 149 countries.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Textbook publisher: NFTs will let us squeeze even more money out of students - Adi Robertson, the Verge

“In the analog world, a Pearson textbook was resold up to seven times, and we would only participate in the first sale,” said Bird after the company announced its latest quarterly earnings this week. “The move to digital helps diminish the secondary market, and technology like blockchain and NFTs allows us to participate in every sale of that particular item as it goes through its life.” Bloomberg suggests this would mean letting buyers resell ebooks, something that’s so far been a rarity in the publishing world.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Alternatives to paying for pricey textbooks - Raul Rodriguez, San Jose Spotlight

One aspect of the college experience students typically do not find positive is the sticker shock they feel when purchasing textbooks and supplies for their classes. Described earlier this year as a “racket” by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the price of college textbooks has risen by more than 800% since 1978. According to a recent report by College Board, textbooks and supplies now cost community college students almost $1,500 per year on average.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

JOERHE is Now Accepting Proposals to Review OER Content! - Journal of Open Educational Resources in Higher Education

JOERHE is now accepting proposals for OER content reviews. OER content eligable for review includes textbooks and ancillary materials, activities, lesson plans, modules, and simulations at the post-secondary level. Proposals should be submitted as other articles in the current CFP to the "Reviews" section unless previously agreed upon by the Reviews Editor. The Reviews Editor will select the OER review proposal and invite a review submission.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Free online textbooks really work - Bill Gates, Gates Notes

And this year marks the tenth anniversary of a project I fund personally, separately from the foundation, that has also learned a lot about that subject. It’s called the OER Project (OER is short for Open Educational Resources), and for the past decade, the team there has been creating free online courses and professional development for educators. Although OER courses won’t solve every problem that the pandemic has caused for schools, they’re an important part of making sure teachers get the support they deserve—and students get the high-quality curriculum they need—in such difficult times.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022


This is a massive collection of links to OER materials. Click through the menus to more specifict resources in each discipline.

Monday, August 8, 2022

OER for teachers to learn and share - Chhun Sunly, Khmer Times

OER can be accessed on Soveacha said teachers could use OER “to publicise their personal documents or their writing for release under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others”.  The education ministry yesterday held a training session via Zoom video conferencing on the use of the OER that was participated by 242 teachers from private and state schools in the Kingdom.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Textbook cost reduction - MTSU

To combat this issue, MTSU faculty members are using information already available free to the public or writing and publishing their own materials. In total, more than 70 faculty members in 25 different courses used OER in the most recent academic year. Stone said that the free materials are just as high-quality as their expensive counterparts. OER materials are available to students on the first day of class, ensuring students don’t fall behind..

Saturday, August 6, 2022

NUC Warehouses 2m Repository Of Resources For Varsities - Henry Tyohemba, Leadership (Nigeria)

No fewer than two million resources deposited in form of courseware, lecture notes, textbooks, videos, maps, podcasts as well as conference presentations and journals are currently being warehoused as repositories for Nigerian Universities. The executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed said the repository was established by the Commission in 2017.

Friday, August 5, 2022

India - Perceptions Of Open Educational Resources In India 2014-2015 - the World Bank

The study aims to map the current preconceptions and behavioral determinants that influence academics' engagement with Open Educational Resources (OER) in India. The key objectives of this research were to examine teachers' attitudes towards OER in selected Indian universities, establish teacher perspectives on OER use in order to establish the uptake of OER in India, identify barriers to the creation and use of OER in India, identify the factors motivating teachers' uptake of OER in India, analyze teachers' perceptions of quality of OER in India, and investigate relationships amongst teachers' attitudes, motivation, perceptions of quality and barriers to the use of OER.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

OER Accessibility Evaluation Rubric - Moodle

The OER Accessibility Evaluation Rubric is an evaluation tool for faculty, librarians, instructional designers, and other stakeholders in open educational resources to determine the accessibility of the OER they are creating and/or adopting for use in their courses.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

California OER Efforts Get Funding Boost - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU), Creative Commons (CC) and open education-focused nonprofit SPARC are working to advance the adoption of open educational resources in California and beyond, thanks to funding from the Michelson 20MM Foundation's Open Educational Resources initiative. The organization recently awarded Michelson Spark Grants to three projects that will support the implementation of California's Zero-Textbook-Cost program, provide education on licensing and copyright issues, and protect student privacy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Student and Instructor Generated Open Educational Resources Compare Favorably to a Traditional Textbook - Jeremy P Stovall, Shelby G Laird, Lana Welford, Allison Williams, Oxford, Journal of Forestry

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available materials that can be used in courses and modified by instructors. We developed an online OER silviculture textbook (OT). Some sections of OT were developed by the instructor, whereas others were developed by students enrolled in a silviculture course and subsequently edited by the instructor. As a preliminary examination of the effectiveness and student preference of OT, we administered a knowledge assessment and survey to both freshman and junior-level forestry students. We compared OT to a highly respected textbook in the field, The Practice of Silviculture, 9th Edition (Smith et al. 1997). Based on this study, both resources performed similarly and were similarly preferred by students. 

Monday, August 1, 2022

The difference between free and open. - UW Pressbook

“If all that was meant by open was free, we wouldn’t need a new word. We’d just call it free.”
– David Wiley [1]

Free materials serve a meaningful purpose in education by providing tools to support teaching and learning, but free resources are not necessarily open resources. “Free” means that there is no required cost to access materials. It does not mean that users may also reuse, modify, or share the materials. When a resource is open, users know they can reuse and share the resource widely, so long as they abide by the terms of the creator. Open materials also allow users to revise and remix them with other open resources or self-generated content to produce new material. These terms and permissions are typically established in the work’s license.