Sunday, April 30, 2023

Instructor Support for Open Educational Resources at McLaughlin Library, University of Guelph

The McLaughlin Library is home to a wide range of Open Educational Resources (OER), free educational materials such as textbooks, streaming video, and test banks that are openly licensed and available for anyone to use. Many are high-quality and peer-reviewed resources that can be modified and repurposed to meet your teaching needs. The library wants to help alleviate the affordability and accessibility barriers that commercial textbooks present for students and OER can help. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

OCC adopts ‘open educational resources’ -: Mark Vest, C adn C Newspapers

A press release from Oakland Community College states that faculty at OCC are helping students with the cost of college, reducing barriers and improving completion rates by adopting open education resources for their classes.  Those resources encompass free and low-cost teaching, learning and research resources with legal permission for open use, including textbooks, videos, labs, course modules, assignments and assessments, the release states.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Northern Essex CC Provides Free Digital Textbooks, Materials - Mike LaBella, The Eagle-Tribune

Students at Northern Essex Community College in Lawrence and Haverhill can now access certain digital textbooks, courseware and materials on the Lumen Learning platform for free. This is in addition to the free open source materials the college began offering students in 2014. Northern Essex is one of just seven colleges in the state selected to participate in the Digital Textbook and Materials Pilot program. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education approved a million-dollar grant shared by the seven schools to access digital textbooks, courseware, and materials on the Lumen Learning platform at no cost to students, college officials said.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

College students are struggling with the cost of textbooks. There's a push in Congress to make them free. - Madison Hall, Business Insider

College students say they often struggle to afford to pay for textbooks. Two-thirds of students reported skipping buying course materials because they were too expensive. Some members of Congress have joined the movement to provide free textbooks to university students.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Textbooks: pricing the future of open education - Jonah Wexler, the Mac Weekly

On the afternoon of Thursday, March 30, students, faculty and staff gathered in the library’s Harmon Room to hear a presentation entitled “Textbooks are expensive! How did we get here?” The talk was hosted by Joel Sadofsky ’25, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) in Macalester College Student Government (MCSG), Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communications Librarian at the DeWitt Wallace Library Louann Terveer and associate professor Britt Abel of the German Studies department. The goals of the event were simple.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The Open edX Platform Reaches 4,5K Deployments, with 70K Courses, and 77M Users - IBL News

The Open edX Platform has reached 4,500 deployments, hosts 70,000 courses, and has 77 million registered users worldwide, including 45 million at 2U’s organization behind Open edX, now renamed Axim Collaborative, presented the state of this international community during its annual conference at MIT’s Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts last week. During the opening talk at the 2023 Open edX Conference, Anant Agarwal, Chief Platform Officer at 2U, Founder of edX, and Professor, presented his ideas on “Reimagining the ‘3 Rs’ for Higher Ed in 2023.”

Monday, April 24, 2023

Ethical considerations for the integration of Indigenous knowledge into open education resourc - Letta Henville, UA/AU

My favourite resource for all types of academic writing by and about Indigenous Peoples is Greg Younging’s Elements of Indigenous Style (2018). In general, he notes, a respect for Indigenous ways of being “does not come from following rules” (p. 30). He advises that consent and collaboration are the key to respecting Indigenous cultural property, including Traditional Knowledge and Oral Traditions. Indigenous Peoples own their knowledge and culture, and “everyone else must seek permission to use them” – even in cases where non-Indigenous laws might imply that something is “public domain” (p. 38).

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Faculty senate debates open educational resources, funding and implementation - Jack Lee, the Battalion

Scott said the committee found most instructors have the ability to decide which textbooks and other materials they use. “We found that 71% of the instructors do have complete control over the materials they use,” Scott said. “Twenty-three percent don’t, and 6% have some say. The faculty are really in the driver’s seat [regarding implementing OER].” The committee looked into why faculty were not adopting OER, Scott said. “The biggest [barrier], 47% said, is ‘We don’t know what’s available,’” Scott said. “Thirty-five percent% said, ‘We need time to develop new materials.’ 21% said, ‘We’re not sure about the quality of [OER].’ We asked, ‘What would it take to get you interested?’ and 45% said funding.”

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Using an open textbook: Q&A with Dr. Christopher Hamaker Author - Anne Shelley, Illinois State University

There are several Illinois State faculty members who already use open textbooks. One of those is Dr. Christopher Hamaker, associate professor of chemistry. He uses a textbook published by OpenStax, based at Rice University. The book is free to read online and download as a PDF, or students can order a copy at the cost of printing. It was written and revised by academics, has undergone peer review, and includes instructor and student resources such as lecture slides and a solutions manual. In the following Q&A, Hamaker discusses his motivations for and experiences with using an open textbook:

Friday, April 21, 2023

UCF updates procedures for minimizing textbook costs Ralph Linardic, Nicholson Student Media

UCF Libraries' established Textbook Affordability Program, in partnership with UCF's Affordable Instructional Materials Initiative, offers support to students in three ways: print textbook reserves, open educational resources and library-sourced e-books. Library-sourced materials and open educational resources are available for free to students, and there is a textbook affordability librarian whose job it is to help faculty adopt these free resources for students, Schlueb said via email. UCF's eTextbook Portal is another resource where anyone can locate e-books and open educational resources used for courses. 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Take your teaching online - the Open Learn University

Open Educational Resources (OER) are learning materials that are freely available in the public domain and are specifically licensed for reuse without cost. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has supported many OER initiatives. It defines open education and OER in the following way: ‘At Hewlett, we use the term “open education” to encompass the myriad of learning resources, teaching practices and education policies that use the flexibility of OER to provide learners with high quality educational experiences. Creative Commons defines OER as teaching, learning, and research materials that are either (a) in the public domain or (b) licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities – retaining, remixing, revising, reusing and redistributing the resources.’(William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2021)

Wednesday, April 19, 2023


When Vince Mussehl was a student at Chippewa Valley Technical College 15 years ago, he struggled to pay for textbooks. “I remember applying for an Amazon credit card just so I could save $50 off my first book purchase,” he said. “Of course, the $50 was no real savings after I finished paying off the interest.” One of his accounting textbooks was more than $200. His experience as a student and now his help in leading the open educational resources (OER) effort at his alma mater make him an ideal candidate for the national OER advocacy organization, SPARC. Mussehl was appointed to the SPARC steering committee, recently.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Polk State’s Open Educational Resources save students $2.5 million - Polk Newsroom

More than 25,000 Polk State students have saved $2.5 million in textbook costs thanks to faculty and staff who have worked to implement Open Educational Resources in College courses. Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials available in the public domain or released under open licenses that permit free access, use, and adaptation, as well as redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. The initiative was launched at Polk State in 2017 with the assistance of a Complete Florida Grant and Staff and Program Development Funds.

Monday, April 17, 2023

NMU explores Open Educational Resources program - Caden Meines, WLUC 

Open Educational Resources are materials that are available for free or little cost to students or teachers. The library, along with the Center for Teaching and Learning, is exploring the use of Open Educational Resources, which are materials that are available for free or little cost to students or teachers. Lydia M. Olson’s Collection Management Librarian Emera Bridger Wilson said teachers can apply for this program. "We’ve created a two-year initiative to support faculty in switching their courses over from a traditional textbook based or purchase based course to an OER course,” Wilson said. “So, we are going to provide them a small stipend to help with the effort of creating or recreating their courses.”

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Open Education Development Series now available for online educators - Boise State University

Applications are now open for the Open Education Development Series, a new learning experience offered through the eCampus Center in the Division of Extended Studies. The five-part series seeks to provide training, funding and support for online faculty to grow in their understanding, use and creation of open educational resources (OERs). Sessions include opportunities to explore and interact with existing OERs, as well as support for the creation of new open educational resources. Several programs are available to faculty who are teaching online courses and programs. For more information and application requirements, visit the Open Education Development Series page.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Western grant supports faculty in using free, open-access course materials - Saniya Niyoosha, the Gazette

Western Libraries is finishing their first year of a grant and support program that provides instructors with funding to use Open Educational Resources.  The OER Grant and Support program offers $25,000 each year, providing a maximum of $7,500 to an instructor who wants to create or develop a new open textbook or educational resource for their course.  OERs are openly-licensed teaching and learning resources that are freely available and created with intent to use and reuse, according to Emily Carlisle-Johnston, a Western Libraries research and scholarly communications librarian. 

Friday, April 14, 2023

New grant will improve OER awareness and engagement - Gauri Raje, the Paisano UTSA

UTSA recently received a $10,000 grant to “promote faculty adoption and student awareness” of open educational resources, also known as OERs. OERs are openly licensed educational resources, including textbooks, that are available for free in the public domain. The university’s efforts to promote OERs began in 2016 with the Adopt A Free Textbook initiative. Since then, UTSA Libraries has been working with faculty to implement OERs into their courses as a way to defer the cost of textbooks. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Using OER for equity and more - Steve Owen, Community College Daily

I recognized the benefits of OER early on and have used it since the beginning of my teaching career. However, the turning point in my OER use occurred when I participated in Open Oregon Educational Resources’ Equity and Open Education Faculty Cohort Model in the summer of 2020. The Equity and Open Education Faculty Cohort Model is a course that guides faculty in considering open educational practices with an equity lens, including universal design, cultural relevance and diverse perspectives. When I participated in the program, I was a part-time faculty member at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, and I had been looking for ways to revamp my course. While I was familiar with OER, the course filled gaps in my knowledge that I didn’t realize I had. For example, I learned about equitable design techniques that can improve the online learning experience for students with disabilities.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Nicolet Program Saves Students Money in Textbook Costs - WJJQ

Last week, Nicolet announced that their Open Education Resource program has now exceeded $1.5 million in textbook savings for students. Cindy Domaika helped launch the program in the fall of 2018. She says, "The cost of attending college is a huge factor for many of our students and this is just one way we've been able to ease the financial challenges of earning the college education that will help them get ahead in life," Rather than relying on students purchasing textbooks and other course materials, instructors utilize programs such as OER Commons. Accessible online, educators openly share peer-reviewed instructional material such as electronic textbooks and PowerPoint presentations.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Senator’s Affordable College Textbook Act empowers colleges to utilize open-source textbooks and other free materials to cut textbook costs for students - Senator Kyrsten Sinema

Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act – legislation saving Arizona students and their families money on college textbooks by helping colleges utilize more open-source and free online materials. “Our new bill cuts college textbook costs by expanding the use of open-source materials in classrooms across Arizona. It’s a commonsense approach that will save students money,” said Sinema. Open educational resources are learning, teaching, and research materials that are legally open for the free use of the public. Sinema’s legislation creates a competitive grant program that helps colleges and universities expand use of these resources in classes, reducing mandatory textbook costs for students.

Monday, April 10, 2023

OER23 Guest Blog Post: ‘OER as a tool to educate against discrimination’ - Fiona Jones, ALTC Blog

Open educational resources (OER) are to a large extent and relatively less discriminatory compared to books and journals which are not freely available, non-public libraries, and paid subscription resources such as newsletters, members-only resources, and so on. Although one can still argue that access to a digital device is still required. Nonetheless, when digital access is not an issue, anything that must be paid for is discriminatory to a certain extent, especially in this day and age.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

CULLS hosts an Open Textbook Review Program Workshop - University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico College of University Libraries and Learning Services (CULLS) has partnered with the Open Education Network (OEN) to offer an open textbook review workshop for faculty at UNM main campus. The first Open Textbook Review Program Workshop will take place virtually 2:30- 4 p.m., Friday, April 7. OEN is a community of educational institutions and consortia working to make education more equitable, affordable and inclusive. UNM is a proud member of OEN and welcomes facilitator Meggie Mapes who will lead the informative and dynamic workshop. Mapes is a faculty member and introductory course director in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas. Her workshop is designed to introduce faculty to the benefits open textbooks can bring to student learning, faculty pedagogical practice and social justice on campuses. OEN workshops have resulted in a 45% adoption rate by participating faculty. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Barton Community College passes OER milestone with certification of 100th course - Great Bend Tribune

Barton Community College celebrated another milestone in its Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative by certifying its 100th course. The three-credit-hour Computer Concepts and Applications course joined the OER line-up to help make Barton classes more accessible and affordable for students. The foundational computer course became the second course Business Computer Management Instructor Deanna Heier certified for the College’s initiative. The transition of this course to OER represents a significant step towards additional initiative goals since the course is required to complete an associate degree.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Opening textbooks for all: open education Rachel Becker, The Clarion of Madison Area Technical College

However, one tool has emerged to help address this situation: open educational resources. These resources provide the same curricula support as traditional textbooks but are published under a copyright license that lets anyone access them online or print them for free. Unlike other freely available content floating around the internet, open educational resources are often extensively peer reviewed by subject experts and contain high quality up to date information. Instructors can customize course content to fit their teaching style and preferences by reorganizing the online content or adding their own updates.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Open Education Resources Progress at UMass Lowell - Qinglong Diep, Umass Lowell

The Open Education Resources (OER) initiative at UMass Lowell began in 2016 according to Dr. Julie Nash, Vice Provost for Academics Affairs, when she came into the Provost Office. When the initiative began, a couple of faculty members from different departments were early leaders in using OER in their courses. “We worked with faculty on a case by case basis and worked with the library to find research materials or course materials for faculty. We’ve got some great allies in the library who are really committed to this and we were making progress kind of one class at a time and it was a little bit slow but steady” said Dr. Nash. “Faculty kind of saw that this is actually kind of interesting how you can put together your own materials and actually create a text that’s better than one that you would find that someone else writes for you”. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Open Education Development Series now available for online educators - Boise State University

Applications are now open for the Open Education Development Series, a new learning experience offered through the eCampus Center in the Division of Extended Studies. The five-part series seeks to provide training, funding and support for online faculty to grow in their understanding, use and creation of open educational resources (OERs). Sessions include opportunities to explore and interact with existing OERs, as well as support for the creation of new open educational resources.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

NMU discussing the use of Open Educational Resources - Nicole Walton, WNMU

Northern Michigan University is exploring the use of Open Educational Resources, or OERs. The Lydia M. Olson Library and NMU Center for Teaching and Learning recently held a panel discussion about OERs. It was the kick-off event for a two-year pilot program to increase OER use on campus. Available at little to no cost, OER materials can be used for teaching, learning, or research. Resources may include textbooks, videos, simulations, and course content. The materials are often digital and available to faculty under a Creative Commons or similar usage license.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Embry-Riddle’s Digital Textbook Initiative Saves Students $2 Million in Past Six Years - Everly Chadwick, Embry-Riddle

The rising costs of college textbooks can be a barrier to success for some. Yet, students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University can take advantage of an initiative that provides affordable and accessible digital course materials at low to no cost. As a longtime leader in virtual learning and provider of award-winning online programs, Embry-Riddle has been offering accessible digital content, or Open Educational Resources (OER), to students for many years. The university began tracking the impact of these efforts six years ago and found significant savings — totaling nearly $2.2 million saved for students across the university’s three main campuses.$2-million-in-past-six-years

Sunday, April 2, 2023

You’ve Got This: Lessons Learned from Adopting an OER for First Year Students - Kennesaw State University

This presentation will include an overview of how the College of Coastal Georgia transformed You’ve Got This, an online OER book, into a media-rich online course. The first edition of this OER was created by a team of instructors and librarians at Nashville State Community College and revised by a team at the College of Coastal Georgia in 2022. While some content, graphics, and activities changed, the purpose of this OER remained the same: to introduce first-year students to college and the skills they need to succeed. Attend this session to hear tips for assembling a project team, managing the technical aspects of the project, customizing an existing OER, and involving administrators, key leaders, and students as pilot testers.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Open educational resources help undercut rising college costs - Megan Kamerick, KUNM

The expense of going to college has risen drastically in the last 20 years. And even if students get scholarships or financial aid to cover tuition, there are still other expenses, like books. Students spend $10 billion annually on textbooks in the United States. Those who cannot afford to buy or rent the books may fall behind in their education. Hard copy books can cost as much as $400, with an average price between $80 and $150. But there’s a growing alternative: open educational resources. These are teaching and learing resources that are openly licensed and freely available on the internet. Teachers can also adapt them for a specific student population and even remix the materials and share them.