Thursday, August 31, 2023

Intensive English Communication Program focuses on sustainable development goals - PSU

One essential component of this programmatic transformation was the adoption of exclusively open educational resources (OER) as opposed to commercial textbooks and materials for all core courses. The core courses are a group of eight courses focused on either speaking and listening or reading and writing for international students in higher education. The adoption of OER was supported by Penn State OER librarians Christina Riehman-Murphy and Bryan McGeary.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

MTSU team completes training to expand OER free course accessibility for students - WGNS

While the cost of textbooks in higher education poses a significant challenge to many students, accessibility to course materials for those with disabilities is an even greater challenge for some whose limitations make learning more difficult. So a multidisciplinary team of five Middle Tennessee State University faculty is working toward improving accessibility for all through Open Educational Resources, which are course materials made free to students through a variety of platforms.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

UW Libraries Names Alternative Textbook Grant Recipients for 2023-24 Academic Year - University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming Libraries recently awarded alternative textbook grants to six faculty members to implement open educational resources (OER) in their classes for the 2023-24 academic year. The open course materials and textbooks resulting from the grants are projected to save UW students more than $30,400 per semester. Grants are awarded to instructors who adopt, adapt or create new open textbooks or other learning materials for their courses.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Open Educational Resources at The Open University

Projects led by The Open University (OU) around open educational resources (OER) aim to tackle a range of questions from 'What is the impact on teaching and learning of OER?' to 'How can we help researchers and practitioners in the OER field to contribute to the evidence of OER effectiveness?' Research around OER is broad and can be institutionally driven or set by external funders. 

Sunday, August 27, 2023

University of Manitoba OER Grants for UM Full-time tenure track/tenured faculty, continuing/probationary instructors, and librarians

Advance Open Ed 2023-24 provides financial and practical support along with educational opportunities to help the UM community create, adapt, and/or adopt OER. OER are teaching materials that have an open-copyright license that allow them to be created, adapted, adopted and shared by instructors and students at no cost.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

What does “free for profit” mean? - Can Tech Letter

“Free for profit” is a term that might seem contradictory at first glance. However, it typically refers to content or resources that are made available without cost or payment for use in for-profit activities. In other words, even though something is provided for free, it can still be used in ways that generate profit. For example, in the context of creative works like music or art, “free for profit” might mean that the content is offered without requiring payment upfront, allowing individuals or businesses to use it in their projects, products, or services that are intended to generate revenue. This approach can sometimes be part of a broader strategy to attract more users or customers by offering useful resources at no initial cost.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Wreaths Across America Unveils New Curriculum - Oakdale Leader

This week, Wreaths Across America (WAA) announced new, back-to-school curriculum as part of its year-round Teach program. The free, downloadable, standards-based lesson plans include resources for all grade levels. The K-12 curriculum includes new lesson plans for Constitution Day and lessons focused on the Navajo Code Talkers and Patriot Day. The free, downloadable plans ensure stories of service, sacrifice and valor are passed down to future generations while building good character and self-worth through service to others. Lesson plans and other educational resources are standards-based and created for teachers, parents and anyone educating young people.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

OpenStax to launch open access organic chemistry textbook - Rice University

The first 12 chapters of the textbook Organic Chemistry: A Tenth Edition are now freely accessible to students through OpenStax, an educational initiative of Rice University. On Sept. 20, students and faculty will have free access online to the full version of this historically costly textbook that is a required material for organic chemistry courses nationwide. OpenStax is also providing free, aligned supplemental resources, including lecture slides, test items and a solution manual on their website. For those preferring print materials, the textbook will be available to purchase at an affordable price in hardcover and paperback.  

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Open Educational Resources: Innovative Practices - Michael S. Dillard, PA Times

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free communication technologies designed to increase student participation, engagement and interactivity. Materials are openly shared educational resources that are translated, combined or broken apart for educators and students to reuse and recycle for teaching, learning and research. The shift in teaching and learning ideology empowers the users to engage in a more robust pedagogical experience that augments classroom instruction with blended learning access and support. The “open” in OER denotes that anyone can participate in 5R activities, which are to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

UN To Relaunch Chair On Multimodal Learning And Open Educational Resources At North-West University - IedNewsDesk

A key United Nations agency has shown its confidence in the North-West University (NWU) by relaunching the Chair on Multimodal Learning and Open Educational Resources for a second term of four years. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has approved the NWU’s submission for a renewal of the chair, which was initially awarded to the university in 2019. The chair was relaunched in June. “The renewal shows that the NWU is recognised as a leader in promoting multimodal learning and research in open educational resources (OERs),” says the chairholder, Prof Dorothy Laubscher, associate professor in mathematics.

Monday, August 21, 2023

How can you use open educational resources for E-learning? Powered by AI, LinkedIn

E-learning is a convenient and flexible way to learn new skills, but it can also be expensive and time-consuming to create or purchase high-quality courses. That's where open educational resources (OER) come in. OER are free and openly licensed educational materials that anyone can use, adapt, and share for teaching and learning purposes. In this article, you'll learn how you can use OER for E-learning, and what benefits and challenges they offer.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

CALS Entrepreneurship Fellow innovates to deliver engaging course material and save students money - Ann Y. Robinsonm, Iowa State

Walter Suza is making plant genetics educational materials more engaging and accessible for students on campus and far away.  An adjunct associate professor in agronomy at Iowa State University, Suza teaches the Genetics 320: Genetics, Agriculture and Biotechnology class in his department for several years. From the beginning, he was dissatisfied with the textbook options. The information that was most relevant to agronomy students was limited and came at a high price. “I thought there must be a better way than to assign a $200 textbook that we only use a few chapters from,” he said. He also found the available materials lacked hands-on examples or online demonstrations to reinforce concepts and laboratory techniques.  

Saturday, August 19, 2023

UNO Students Save Nearly $5 Million in Textbook, Course Material Costs Through Open Nebraska Initiative - University of Nebraska Omaha

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has saved students nearly $5 million since 2018 through its efforts to make college textbooks and course materials more affordable as part of the University of Nebraska System’s Open Nebraska initiative. The broader University of Nebraska System has collectively saved students more than $16.7 million in textbook costs as of August 2023 – far exceeding a goal set in late 2020 to save students $10 million by 2023. Of those total savings, UNO students have saved $4.92 million in textbook costs since the Open Nebraska initiative began in 2018.

Friday, August 18, 2023

MIT Press’s Direct to Open (D2O) opens access to 82 new books in 2023 - Jessica Pellien, MIT News

With support from 322 libraries — a 33 percent increase in participation over its first year — the D2O publishing model will include over 160 scholarly monographs and edited collections by the end of 2023. Launched in 2021, D2O from the MIT Press is a sustainable framework that harnesses the collective power of libraries to support open and equitable access to vital, leading scholarship. D2O moves scholarly books from a solely market-based, purchase model, where individuals and libraries buy single e-books, to a collaborative open-access model, supported by libraries. Instead of purchasing a title once for a single collection, libraries now have the opportunity to fund MIT Press books one time for the world through participant fees.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Montclair State University Sprague Library News

Whenever possible, the Library encourages instructors to assign materials already freely available online or licensed through the library catalog ( to help minimize MSU students’ textbook expenses. Sprague Librarians can assist instructors in locating textbook alternatives from both existing library e-resources and open educational resources (OER), and Access Services staff can assist with scanning and placing limited selections of physical material held by the library or provided by instructors through electronic reserves into your Canvas course.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

University Libraries launches open textbook program to promote student success and faculty innovation - Sara Velasquez, University of New Mexico

University Libraries has announced the launch of its Open Textbook Pilot Program, an initiative designed to empower faculty in adopting, adapting, and creating Open Educational Resource (OER) materials for their courses. The program aims to alleviate the financial burden on students, encourage innovative teaching practices, and foster a community of practice centered on OER integration. Faculty who hold the rank of Lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor are eligible to apply. Proposals from graduate students or graduate assistants are also eligible. The application will close on Oct. 1, 2023.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

ICDE OER Advocacy Committee

The OER Advocacy Committee (OERAC) works towards increasing global recognition of Open Educational Resources (OER), and provide policy support for the uptake, use and reuse of OER. All members of the ICDE OERAC are appointed as Ambassadors for OER for the period 2023-2024 and their work is aligned with the ICDE Strategic Plan 2021-2024 and the ICDE Activity Plan 2023-2024. The Committee is Chaired by Prof. Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson, Vice-President of the Swedish Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (SADE).

Monday, August 14, 2023


OER play a key role in AAC&U’s mission of democratizing higher education. Faculty and students can use, customize, and share these free educational materials, from single lessons to entire textbooks, regardless of the size and type of institution. But affordability is only one benefit of adopting and implementing OER in higher ed settings. AAC&U has partnered with members in advocating for ways to use OER as a lever to develop more equitable, inclusive, and diverse classrooms. Successful OER initiatives do not need to be massive, resource-intensive, or exhaustive. They do, however, require strategic planning, targeted approaches, collaborative leadership, and goal-oriented advocates. AAC&U’s Office of Curricular and Pedagogical Innovation (OCPI) has a variety of programming and events available to support our members in such efforts.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Open education resources combat high textbook prices - Steven Ovadia, Open Source

Eben Upton is best known as the man behind the Raspberry Pi, a tiny, $25 computer designed to help turn kids into programmers. Upton priced it at $25 because he thought that's around what an average textbook cost: "I now understand that's an incorrect estimate. If we had a better idea of what school textbooks cost we would have had an easier job with the engineering over the years," he joked to Wired years later. It's a funny story but also a sad story. Textbooks are expensive. More expensive than most non-students even realize.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Draft OER Recommendation Guidelines v4 - OER Africa

Following the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER), UNESCO initiated a programme to support governments and educational institutions in implementation of the Recommendation. Part of this support includes the development of a series of five briefing notes or guidelines – one for each Action Area in the Recommendation. These briefing notes were developed through a lengthy consultative process and in cooperation with OER experts worldwide. OER Africa has provided technical and editorial assistance to UNESCO on this work as part of its cooperation with UNESCO. The Guidelines offer advice on how to operationalize each Action Area of the Recommendation. They are not prescriptive, but aim to offer suggestions for activities, as well as background on the specificities for the Action Area. Users are encouraged to contextualize the elements of these Guidelines as appropriate for their specific national and institutional contexts.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Copyright and Open Access Coordinator - University of Canberra

The University of Canberra’s Library and Study Skills business unit is looking to appoint a Copyright and Open Access Coordinator to their highly collaborative and successful team. The Copyright and Open Access Coordinator is a specialist role, providing copyright-related guidance to internal stakeholders and representing the University on the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) in copyright matters. This role involves ensuring compliance with relevant legislation, policies, and licensing related to copyright survey activities and publications in the University Research Portal. Additionally, the officer will handle invoicing and payment-related communications with stakeholders.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Open RN and XanEdu announce the release of Nursing Assistant in both low-cost print and free digital nursing textbook

XanEdu, a custom publishing company working with the higher education and K-12 markets and a part of the Scholarus learning portfolio of companies, and Open RN, a provider of peer-reviewed, openly-licensed (OER) free nursing textbooks, announce the release of their latest nursing education textbook, Nursing Assistant in both low cost print and free digital versions.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

BLUFORD LIBRARY RECEIVES LSTA GRANT TO LOWER CLASS COSTS, BOOST OER USE - North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

]F.D. Bluford Library at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has received a $31,902 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to support an Open Educational Resources (OER) syllabus review service. This service is designed to lower the cost of classes for N.C. A&T students and increase the use of high-quality OER within the university. Bluford Library will pilot the syllabus review service where the grant team will evaluate the cost of a particular class. Each instructor will be provided with a list of free or low-cost alternatives to their course materials, which could include Open Educational Resources or materials licensed by the library.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Dr Patrina Law: A quick guide to designing and delivering effective bite-sized learning - Laura Bandell, the Open University

Bite-sized learning can allow for a more targeted and specific learning experience, presenting information in small, focused portions whereby learners can better absorb and process concepts without feeling overwhelmed. Here, Dr Patrina Law, head of OpenLearn at the OU, explores the best way to find out the best ways to deliver bite-size learning....  Use free and open educational resources to embellish your content – there’s plenty to choose from and keep one eye on copyright if incorporating other’s materials.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Disability Resource Center: Lifting Educational Barriers - Jared Libby, TMCC

The transition to fully online classes was unexpected but revealed an opportunity for educational progress we had never known before! “The expanded adoption of Canvas and digital resources has been an enormous boon to students with disabilities. The increased availability of electronic textbooks and open educational resources has been a huge benefit because they can use screen readers with those, adjust the color contrast, and manipulate them in so many ways that a hard copy textbook can’t be,” said Proebstel.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

State directors reflect on wins, challenges ahead - KATHRYN GIMBORYS AND ALEXIS GRAVELY, Community College Daily

Several states highlighted programs they recently launched or will soon launch to help reduce barriers to postsecondary education access for students, such as:

Louisiana’s M.J. Foster Promise Program, which allows eligible students to receive a year of funding without completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Wisconsin’s and Oregon’s bolstered focus and funding for open educational resources.

Massachusetts’ MassReconnect program, which provides free community college for adults without a two-year degree.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

New Venture Fund For The Open Education Program At The Scholarly Publishing And Academic Resources Coalition - Hewlett Foundation

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), a fiscally sponsored project of New Venture Fund, is a nonprofit advocacy group that supports systems for research and education that are open by default and equitable by design. With this grant, SPARC will continue to advance open education by building capacity through libraries, promoting structural change in policy and the marketplace, and supporting strategic collaboration. The outcome will be greater opportunities for the use of open educational resources and practices in North American higher education, which will enable more equitable and effective educational experiences for students. (Substrategy: Sustainable Systems)

Friday, August 4, 2023

Hidden Treasure: Uncovering the Potential of Open Educational Resources (OERs) - UPM

Have you ever found yourself struggling to create teaching materials or worried about copyright infringement when browsing online resources? As an academician, you are constantly searching for new resources to enhance your teaching, research, and manuscript preparation. However, have you ever considered using Open Educational Resources (OER)?
OERs are educational materials that are openly licensed and freely available to anyone. They can be used, shared, and modified by educators, students, and researchers alike. You may have already used OERs without realizing it, such as diagrams, infographics, or figures to supplement your teaching materials, or sourcing images from Wikimedia Commons in your research.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

TrineOnline’s Brown recognized with PALNI award - Trine University

The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) has recognized Melissa Brown, academic director in TrineOnline, with its Palsave Open Educator Award.The award recognizes innovation and excellence in support of higher education, textbook affordability and student success. As part of the PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning Program, individuals who receive the honor have been key players in the creation and adoption of Open Educational Resources, or OER — a move that reduces costs for students, improves access to required texts, and increases student success and retention.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

3 Questions for Lance Eaton of College Unbound - Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed

I’ve continued to develop this practice of care over the years. It has led me increasingly towards a range of open educational practices including creating and using OER, open pedagogy, open access or universal design for education—ultimately, doing what I can to eliminate artificial barriers to learning and sharing learning in public ways. These practices continue today around my work with generative AI in creating and maintaining this crowdsourced document of syllabi policies on AI and more. Openness practices have led me to rethink my relationship with teaching and how I support faculty. I seek to make explicit the conversation of power and agency in teaching and learning with the intention of nudging educators towards more collaborative, empowering and less harmful means of teaching and learning.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Open Educational Resources - Open for Learning, Lake Washington Tech

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that have been openly licensed to share intellectual content or reside in the public domain. OER include textbooks, streaming videos, assessment materials, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support knowledge acquisition. "OER Defined" by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
The benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER) include:

Cost savings for students.
Availability of course materials–including textbook content–on day one of class for all students.
Opportunity for faculty to remix openly licensed materials to fit course learning objectives and to make more relevant and meaningful connections to student experiences, interests, and goals.