Monday, October 31, 2022

Durbin Visits Harper College, Meets With Apprentices - Journal & Topics

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D) recently visited Harper College in Palatine to discuss a variety of topics related to education, student support and Illinois’ workforce needs. The senior U.S. senator from Illinois met with Harper President Avis Proctor to talk about subjects ranging from open educational resources and student services to partnerships with school districts and universities. Durbin participated in a discussion with Harper faculty, staff and apprentices who are studying and working in health careers, supply chain management and CNC precision machining. “Harper and other community colleges are key to our ability to replenish and transform the workforce,” Durbin said. “Colleges can make sure our workforce matches our needs as a state.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

SU advocates for more open educational resources on campus - Eula Mengullo, the Gauntlet (University of Calgary)

The University of Calgary’s Students’ Union (SU) is advocating for increased use of open educational resources (OERs). OERs are any type of teaching, learning or research resource presented in different formats which are free and openly available through an open copyright license.  With the constant rise of tuition over the past years along with provincial budget cuts, students have seen added financial strains in attaining course materials. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Carolina Distance Learning® providing open online science course lab kits

Carolina Distance Learning® is an OpenStax Ally, providing online science course lab kits that faculty can use with OpenStax textbooks in their courses. The two organizations join in the mission to improve access to affordable educational materials. Carolina Distance Learning® has partnered with OpenStax and, for the first time ever, is offering an on-demand free digital lab manual containing seven biology labs. Learn about this new initiative along with other exciting options from Carolina in this webinar.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Free Educational Resources Save Students Money, Create Efficiencies - MHEC

With colleges and universities across the Midwest increasingly seeking ways to reduce costs and enhance quality education for students, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact is stepping up its work to expand access to freely available, openly licensed educational resources that serve as alternatives to conventional textbooks. Fueled by a second grant of $432,400 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced this month, the Compact is helping institutions and states create policies, make connections, and build awareness around open educational resources (OER). “We seek to build the capacity of colleges, universities and states to find, create, and effectively use free, high-quality teaching and learning resources,” said Jenny Parks, vice president of policy and research for the Compact. “We find states are in vastly different places on this. We are helping each member state develop plans and leadership.”

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Introduction to OER: Making higher education more equitable through free and open resources - Carnegie Mellon

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely available and openly licensed educational materials. OER lower the costs of higher education by replacing commercial educational resources. As openly licensed materials, OER allows instructors to remix and tailor the materials to meet their specific course needs. This Zoom session will explore OER, the benefits of using OER in a classroom, and provide examples of ways instructors can start engaging with open educational resources in their courses. Participants will receive the zoom link after registering. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

St. FX University And Students Union Team Up On A Grant Program To Reduce Textbook Costs - St. Francis Xavier University, XFM

The StFX Students’ Union and StFX University have announced the launch of the first Open Educational Resources (OER) grant program at the school.  A partnership between the university and the students’ union, the grant program offers StFX professors funding to switch from using traditionally published textbooks to open educational resources, which are a free alternative to regular textbooks.Naomi Stobart, vice president academic for the students union, said the program is a first for StFX.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Preparing learners for growing industries with higher ed - Lisa Gevelber,Founder, Grow with Google

We’re announcing Industry Specializations, a new addition to the Google Career Certificates program. We’ve joined forces with leading universities so people can learn from top experts at Google and world-class faculty in an affordable and accessible way — no experience or application required. Plus, top institutions are working with us to reach even more people with the Google Career Certificates. UCLA Extension, one of the first and largest continuing education providers in the country, is offering the Google Career Certificates to any learner, at no cost, through UCLAxOpen. Stanford Digital Education is partnering with the Bay Area Community College Consortium to provide in-person and virtual instruction programs to deliver the Google Career Certificates across the Bay Area. And the SkillUp Google Career Certificate program at Rutgers University provides alumni with free access to the Google Career Certificates through their career services office.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Equity is main focus during Wisconsin Open Education Symposium - Baldwin Bulletin

CVTC is proud to take part in the second annual Wisconsin Technical College System Open Education Symposium, virtually, on Friday, Oct. 28. Hundreds of attendees from throughout the U.S., Canada and China are expected to participate. Register here for the free virtual event. The Symposium is a space for inclusive and open sharing, conversation, and creating meaningful collaborations to advance OER work. “The Symposium is instrumental in bringing Wisconsin open education advocates, developers and faculty together and on the same page,” said Vince Mussehl, CVTC’s Director of Library Services and Open RN Lead Librarian. “We want to make sure we are sharing our work with other colleges and industry, avoiding duplication and celebrating our accomplishments. Open educational resources can save students thousands of dollars during their time in college. It also promotes equity and increases student graduation rates.” 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Free online textbooks really work - Bill Gates, Gates Notes

What makes the OER Project different is that it is far more than worksheets and videos. It offers complete courses, including the equivalent of online textbooks for students, coupled with instructional support and professional development for teachers. Every course is available free, online, for any educator who wants it. All of the content is aligned to state standards and created by well-known subject-matter experts and master teachers. (Here’s a list of the OER Project’s creators and advisory board of scholars and historians. Although I fund the project, I am not involved in creating the content.)  

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Open Educational Resources (OER) - Umass Dartmouth

Key Benefits of OER:
  1. Increased Retention (Zao, Satyanarayana, and Cooney 2020)
  2. Recruitment/Enrollment opportunity
  3. Improved Student Performance (Colvard, Watson, et al. 2018)
  4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Lapum, Bailey, et al 2022)
  5. Affordability (NBC's review of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data)
  6. Faculty can customize course materials to their preferences and needs of the course (see permissions of Creative Commons Licenses)
  7. Students maintain access to their materials beyond the class

Friday, October 21, 2022

Leveraging Analytics to Reduce College Costs, Boost Student Success - Susan Fourtané, Fierce Education

In fact, according to a recent study on higher education expectations, college savings, and student debt, four in ten college students rated ‘cost’ as the most important factor they take into account when choosing where and how to pursue their education.  This important issue has been widely acknowledged by colleges and universities, which are actively looking for affordable alternatives to traditional textbooks as a way of responding to students’ concerns. By introducing additional open educational resources (OERs) not only institutions can help students to reduce costs but can potentially boost student engagement as well as improving resource usage. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Mini-grant program helps faculty build Open Educational Resources - Emily Carreon, Iowa State Daily

Faculty around campus are finding a new way to be innovative within their own courses by using a new grant program that promotes the usage of open educational resources. The Miller Open Education Mini-Grant provides faculty with a new way to utilize Open Educational Resources (OER). OER has been proven to increase student learning while making it affordable and interactive. Many on campus have been pushing to use the program more because of its accessibility and affordability for students worldwide.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

WVU Libraries offering teaching and pedagogy workshop series - West Virginia Mountaineer News

The teaching and pedagogy series of workshops are designed to develop participants’ familiarity with access and application of affordable education resources, technologies used for instruction and techniques for active learning. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Guest Essay: Textbooks should be free - Ryan Carny, NYU News

On average, full-time undergraduate NYU students spend $752 annually on books and supplies — an increase from last year’s $718 estimate. During my first and second years at NYU, I remember having to pay $200 for a single textbook, because without it, I would be unable to do the homework or class assignments.  I am not alone in this experience. Even though it is a small portion of our entire tuition, the cost of textbooks is still burdensome to students at NYU and around the country. Around 65% of students across the nation skipped buying textbooks, despite concerns for their grades, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s education fund. But there is a potential solution — students can save money on textbooks with open educational resources.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Campus Zero Textbook Cost Program grows to include over 40 percent of faculty -Victoria Truesdale, the CR Connection

Cosumnes River College’s Zero Textbook Cost and Open Educational Resources Program has made significant progress in the year since the program started. College President Ed Bush and OER Project Lead Andi Adkins-Pogue started working in August 2021 on a program that would transition CRC into a ZTC campus. The program’s designed to give professors more freedom over their teaching material and relieving financial stress from students, Bush said. “Many of our students live in poverty or low-income households and struggle to get textbooks. This program can help remove that cost barrier,” Adkins-Pogue said.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Celebrating Teachers: OER for Teaching and Learning - OER Africa

OER Africa has recently worked with UNESCO’s Regional Office for Southern Africa, based in Harare, to put together a series of four short tutorials on using, finding, adapting, and sharing OER for Zimbabwean educators. While these tutorials address the Zimbabwean context, they would be of interest for all educators wherever you are in the world.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Follett Bookstore and TTU Libraries OER Adoption Initiative - TTU Libraries

The Follett Bookstore and TTU Libraries Open Educational Resources (OER) Adoption Initiative is funded by the TTU Follett Bookstore and supported by TTU Libraries. This initiative is intended to help increase OER adoption efforts in core curriculum classes at Texas Tech University. Generally, awards will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis and priority will be given to faculty who have never received funding from the Follett and TTU Libraries Open Educational Resources Adoption Initiative in the past. Funds received will serve as a one-time payment stipend to recognize the time and effort needed to select and adopt existing OER in a course. Funding is limited to $750 per faculty member, per academic year.

Friday, October 14, 2022

The Pathways Project - Boise State University

The Pathways Project, an initiative from the Department of World Languages at Boise State University, is a collaborative network of open educational resources (OER) including instructional language teaching materials and professional development created by and uniquely for Idaho’s K-16 language teachers and students. Teachers and students participating in the Pathways Project come from different fields of study and schools across Idaho to create open (i.e., free), digital activities that support the teaching and learning of foreign languages and promote intercultural competence. We hope to impact the opportunities learners have to connect to the global world!

Thursday, October 13, 2022

AMU Prof Deliver Keynote Address, Receive ‘Best Paper Award’ - India Education Diary

In the keynote address at the joint conference of MS University and Indian Council of Social science Research (ICSSR); Prof Naushad highlighted national and international initiatives for endorsing OER. He said: “OERs are teaching, learning, and research materials that are either in the public domain or have been published under a license that allows for their unrestricted use, no-cost access and redistribution by others”. “The hassle-free access of OERs is eliminating the digital divide and its importance reached new heights since the pandemic outbreak”, Prof Naushad pointed out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

University Libraries play key role in lowering students’ educational costs - Jill Stockton, Nevada Today

The University of Reno Libraries and partners are helping faculty move away from high-cost textbooks and toward OERs.  The Education Data Initiative reports the average four-year college student paid an estimated $1,226 for textbooks and supplies in academic year 2020-2021. Additionally, the price of textbooks increases by an average of 12% with each new edition published. The University of Nevada, Reno’s 2019 “Speak Your Truth” Climate Survey revealed that students are experiencing financial hardships. Results reported indicated that 58 percent of students surveyed noted the high cost of textbooks as the source for their hardship, second only to tuition.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Online Ed and OER: the perfect pairing - Fred Lokken, CC Daily

Every mode or format of instruction – including online learning – presents certain challenges as well. For instance, students – and faculty – are required to have regular access to a device and decent wi-fi. We learned during the pandemic that the digital divide is real for many of our students – but we also learned that the digital divide is also very real for many of our faculty (especially our part-time faculty). The ability to work independently (maturity and organizational skills) is another challenge that impairs overall student performance and success in an online class.   The open educational resources (OER) movement has provided a wonderful solution for these challenges. OER materials have been around for a long time but historically have had to deal with substantial resistance from faculty. As the 2022 ITC National Survey results indicate, major roadblocks to OER adoption continue to concern faculty:

Monday, October 10, 2022

MIT Professors Propose a New Kind of University for Post-COVID Era - Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

Five professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have some answers. They released a white paper yesterday called “Ideas For Designing An Affordable New Educational Institution,” where they lay out a framework for essentially a new class of university that would take advantage of various trends that have emerged in the past few years. In part, this adopts a model some MIT professors already use, called a Small Private Online Course, or SPOC—a customized adaption of the Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, that sparked wide attention a decade ago. Diana Henderson, one of the white paper’s authors and a literature professor at MIT, says that the ideal would be for professors at this new type of university to be encouraged to spend part of their research time adapting and adding to rich lecture videos and other materials that other professors have already published to the internet—a riff on the concept of customizable open educational resources.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

A New Book From ACRL: Using Open Educational Resources to Promote Social Justice - Gary Price, Library Journal

Using Open Educational Resources to Promote Social Justice explores the opportunities and challenges of moving the discussion about open educational resources (OER) beyond affordability to address structural inequities found throughout academia and scholarly publishing. OER have the potential to celebrate research done by marginalized populations in the context of their own communities, to amplify the voices of those who have the knowledge but have been excluded from formal prestige networks, and to engage students as co-creators of learning content that is relevant and respectful of their cultural contexts.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

UNI's Rod Library offering grants to support open educational resources - Courier

The University of Northern Iowa has announced funding opportunities for the adoption, customization or creation of open educational resources. Such teaching, learning and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers and licensed for open use by anyone. The program is open to UNI instructors proposing projects as individuals or teams of up to three. The UNI Textbook Equity Mini-Grant Program was created after funding was received from the Provost’s Office, as well as support from the Rod Library Dean’s Office.

Friday, October 7, 2022


The University of Massachusetts Amherst has been selected as one of 73 institutions to participate in the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2022-23 Institute on Open Educational Resources. Theresa Dooley, Open Education Librarian, will be leading the UMass Amherst team, which includes Jennifer Friedman, Associate Dean for Research and Learning, UMass Amherst Libraries; Sam Sharp, Learning Commons Supervisor, UMass Amherst Libraries; Jonah Carlson, Student Services Coordinator, University Without Walls (UWW); and Dan Cannity, Instructional Designer and Faculty Support Coordinator for Instructional Design, Engagement and Support (IDEAS).

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Arispe presents on open educational resources and mobile apps for language acquisition - Boise State University

Kelly Arispe, professor in the Department of World Languages and principal investigator for a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, presented at the Open Education Global Conference in Nantes, France at the end of May. Her presentation titled, “Partnering Higher Education and K-12 Institutions in OER: A Sustainable Model for Engaging K-12 Teachers in OER-Enabled Pedagogy,” showcased the Pathways Project model for strategic K-16 community engagement.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Texas A&M Faculty Delivering On Digital Innovation To Improve Student Success - Texas A&M

This summer, Texas A&M University faculty in the Departments of English, History and Physics and Astronomy began working with faculty at Rice University and The University of Texas at Austin to develop, deploy and scale high-quality introductory college course materials that incorporate innovative instructional design, current insights from the science of learning and development, open educational resources and a commitment to ongoing research and improvement. The collaborative effort is part of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) Digital Design for Student Success (D2S2) Project. Together, faculty across disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences are leading the way in improving student success in classrooms across the state and beyond.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

University Writing offers free online resources on accessibility, APA style and personal statements - Auburn University

University Writing is pleased to offer writing instruction resources for students, faculty, and writing professionals on its Open Educational Resource, or OER. Over 150 worksheets and handouts cover a range of writing topics. This semester, we hope you’ll pay special attention to our materials on accessibility, APA style, and personal statements:

Monday, October 3, 2022

Let's help struggling students rather than benefiting textbook publishers - GARY K. MICHELSON AND MICHELLE PILATI, EdSource

While we may not be able to control the cost of gas, rent, and food, we can make a difference in how much students pay for textbooks. College textbook prices have risen more than the average rate of inflation and have increased by 178% since 2000. Approaches such as “bundling” that require students to purchase new editions of textbooks in order to obtain access codes for digital resources, market consolidation that removes competition as a means of controlling prices, and a lack of price transparency in terms of which option is truly the least expensive have all contributed to this increase.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

UNG Press director named to committee - UNG

Dr. BJ Robinson, director of the University of North Georgia (UNG) Press, has accepted an invitation to serve a three-year term on the Open Access Committee for the Association of University Presses. "I'm especially pleased to have been asked to liaise with another, related Committee, the Equity, Justice, & Inclusion Committee," Robinson said. "This shared focus on equal opportunities and economic justice seems to me the heart of open access."

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Newsom’s bid to make textbooks free delayed in community colleges central office - Michael Burke, EdSource

The funding was approved last summer by lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom, just months after Newsom generated headlines when he called the textbook industry a “racket.” The money is meant to fund degree and certificate programs that will allow students to complete those programs without spending anything on textbooks. For months, the money has been with the statewide chancellor’s office that oversees the colleges. Officials said they can’t distribute funds until they finish developing an application for the colleges to fill out. That application is expected to be available to the colleges within the next month. They also needed time to build a portal that will allow the college system to track whether the free textbook programs are contributing to student success.