Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Kudos to Roadrunners going above and beyond - Glavin Walp, MSU Denver

The Metropolitan State University of Denver Open Educational Resources Taskforce received $130,000 in grant funding to support the University’s commitment to enhancing the affordability and accessibility of MSU Denver.  These grants include $100,000 to expand OER in General Studies courses and develop degree programs with zero textbook cost, with $30,000 going toward open textbook-review workshops, OER faculty learning communities and adoption grants for all faculty members. The OER Taskforce projects the savings for students to be more than $260,000 in the first year of implementation of this new grant, which doesn’t include the $3.7 million it has saved students in the past five years. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

WMU Libraries publishes two new open textbooks - Sara Volmering, Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University Libraries is thrilled to announce the publication of two new open textbooks by Western faculty funded by Open Educational Resources Creation Grants. Western students and learners worldwide now have free online access to “Leadership Communication: Principles and Practice” by Dr. Leah Omilion-Hodges and Dr. Annette Hamel and “Vida y cultura de España” by Dr. Mariola Pérez de la Cruz. These new open textbooks are free to use for Western students and learners everywhere. These titles were created with support from the Libraries’ Open Educational Resources (OER) Grants program, which supports the adoption and creation of OER that are free for instructors and students to use, adapt and remix. Although all three authors have previously published books through traditional publishers, these titles are their first published open textbooks.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Open Pedagogy - North Carolina State University

Open pedagogy is a high-impact practice that empowers students by providing them an opportunity to engage in information creation through the use of renewable assignments. The Open Pedagogy Incubator is a semester-long program designed to incentivize faculty to go beyond the first step in open education - adopting open course materials - to implement multiple open-enabled practices in their courses. Modeled on our successful Alt-Textbook program and the 2019 pilot of our OPEN Incubator, the Open Pedagogy Incubator brings together a cohort of faculty instructors to develop competencies in open pedagogy through a series of hands-on workshops, curated readings, and cohort discussions. NC State University Libraries offers training and support for faculty looking to learn more about open education and open pedagogy.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Librarian Shares How Aptitude Test Changed Her Career Path - Syracuse University

Heather Crane G’23 is an open education librarian at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. She graduated from Syracuse’s iSchool in December with a master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Two years ago, Heather Crane decided to take a career aptitude test after feeling worn out working in retail. To her surprise, the test suggested she would make an excellent librarian. “I looked up the job requirements and realized I already had many of the same skills: customer service, instruction, inventory management, etc. All I needed was a master’s degree,” Crane said. “Being a librarian also checked off all my boxes of what I wanted out of a job: I could be good at it, it was meaningful work, it paid well enough and there was enough of a demand.” Crane is now an open education librarian at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. In her role, she advocates for open access through the use of library resources and Open Educational Resources (OER). 


Friday, April 19, 2024

Open Education Engagement Series sessions offered in spring 2024 - University Libraries, Penn State

Penn State’s Open Education Engagement Series, offered online by Penn State University Libraries, is a series of interactive sessions on topics related to open educational resources (OER). The spring 2024 series focuses on OER technologies and University resources and support available to instructors and staff interested in learning more about OER. Each of the following one-hour sessions is offered on two different occasions. When registering, participants are asked to select which date they wish to attend.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

New Data From Open Syllabus: “OER Adoption Update: 2023” - Gary Price, Infodocket

With the release of version 2.11 of the OS dataset, we can update our reporting on adoption rates for open educational resources (OERs) — specifically, open textbooks and ‘open access’ monographs. We track OER adoption via the appearance of titles on syllabi — the point of use rather than the point of sale or distribution. In 2013, OER textbooks were barely on the scene and used in only around 1 in 400 classes. By 2023, it was 1 in 80. Over the past 10 years, the growth rate in OER textbook use has averaged around 17.5% per year in the US.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Strategic plan funds extend impact of open educational resources - Jeff Budlong, Iowa State University

The use of open educational resources (OER) has expanded significantly across the university in the last five years, but the need remains for program- and course-specific options. University Library dean Hilary Seo and staff used a $300,000 initial strategic plan award to add to Iowa State's free and affordable instruction materials. OER range from textbooks to lesson plans and videos. They are openly licensed, allowing instructors to adapt and edit them to their course needs. At Iowa State, the use of OER has saved students $2.5 million since 2018. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Save Money on Textbooks Next Semester With No-Cost Course Materials List - University of Arkansas

The University Libraries and Associated Student Government have collaborated to create a list of courses utilizing no-cost materials in lieu of traditional textbooks. Students are encouraged to view this list prior to enrolling in courses for the summer and fall 2024 semesters.  "It is so important for the student body to be aware of these resources so they are able to make informed decisions as they register for classes," said Brooke Williard, director of open access resources for the Associated Student Government. "That is why I am so excited to advertise the 'No Cost Textbook Guide' for this upcoming registration." 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Professors team up with West Library to save students thousands of dollars on textbooks - Kehinde Hopkins, the Texas Weslyan Rambler

Flyers are posted throughout campus to highlight professors who have saved their students money through implementing open education resources in their curriculum. Throughout the fall and spring semesters, the library and its staff have encouraged professors to adjust their curriculum and use open education resources to make their classes more affordable and accessible for students.  Open education resources (OER) are openly licensed resources such as textbooks, syllabi and online tools that are of low to no cost for students. The West Library has launched a Textbook Heroes campaign to highlight professors who have saved students money by implementing OER. Flyers and posters were hung throughout campus to showcase specific professors and the amount of money they’ve saved students.  


Sunday, April 14, 2024

New Report From SPARC Europe: “Open Education in European Libraries of Higher Education 2023” - Gary Price, Library Journal

Supported by the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL), this report draws on a survey conducted between November 2023 and January 2024. SPARC Europe follows the uptake of OE and OER in European Higher Education closely: this is the fourth time that we have conducted such a survey. This report examines the roles, challenges, and benefits associated with OE and OER. The findings highlight that libraries play a central role, despite facing challenges related to resource constraints and resistance in their institutions.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

How Creative Commons works, and why it enables access to knowledge - 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.

Friday, April 12, 2024

College textbooks can be pricey. Minnesota State system is offering more for free. - Liz Navratil, Star Tribune

System leaders hope free resources will help reduce disparities in higher education, while giving professors more power to tailor course materials.... Brian Welch, a senior at St. Cloud State University, is one of more than 85,000 students in the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities who has taken a class that relies on free materials, also called open educational resources. System leaders estimate those students have saved a combined $8.5 million over the past decade and are hopeful that the classes are starting to slowly chip away at disparities in higher education.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Labster and OpenStax Partner to Expand Equitable Access to Interactive Science Learning - Business Wire

“Making science education more accessible to all learners everywhere has been Labster’s core vision since its founding. By offering high-quality course materials that are affordable for students as well as sustainable for educational institutions, this partnership is a significant step forward in our shared commitment to breaking down the barriers to equitable learning,” said Julian Allen, PhD, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Labster. “Partnering with Labster as one of our valued OpenStax Allies enables the OpenStax library of peer-reviewed, customizable, free digital science content to connect directly with Labster’s immersive learning platform for science simulations. This partnership supports the growth of scientific literacy amongst students, while also increasing awareness amongst educators on the many powerful benefits of OER,” said Anthony Palmiotto, Director of Higher Education at OpenStax.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A Guide to Getting Started With Open Access and Open Educational Resources - Xanthippe Pack-Brown, Information Today

In working with serials in an academic library, I interact frequently with open access (OA) publications and open educational resources (OERs). Not only do OA publications and OERs free up physical space in libraries, but they also make education fairer and more equitable, providing students with resources that they otherwise may not have access to. OA, specifically pertaining to journals, refers to publications that are of no cost for patrons to access. Libraries can provide these journals as part of their collections for no extra cost.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Book Program Saving SCSU Students Money - Jay Caldwell, KRFO

St. Cloud State is offering a program that is saving students money on text books.  The program is called Open Educational Resources, and Z-degrees.  St. Cloud State University President Robbyn Wacker and SCSU Library Dean Rhonda Huisman joined me on WJON.  Huisman explains z-degree means anything priced lower than $40.  She says z-degrees is being led by MN State with all 17 institutions doing this.

Monday, April 8, 2024

RCTC to offer no cost ‘Z-degrees’ by spring 2026 - Marissa Mantalvo, KTTC

RCTC, along with six other colleges and universities in Minnesota, has committed to creating, finalizing, and implementing a new Z-degree by spring 2026. Since its inception in 2020, ten Minnesota State colleges have offered Z-degrees. Z-degrees are degree programs in which students pay zero textbook costs using Open Educational Resources or other no-cost options. Open Educational Resources are digital textbooks and other educational materials that are freely licensed and available at no cost, potentially saving students thousands of dollars.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

UNC received two grants totaling nearly $82,000. - University of Northern Colorado

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education has awarded $1 million to 26 Open Educational Resources (OER) projects, including two at the University of Northern Colorado. These projects aim to create high-quality teaching and learning materials at no cost to Colorado students. The OER grant program, now in its sixth year, has saved Colorado students over $31.5 million on textbook costs and transformed more than 1,600 courses to no-cost options. The grants support various initiatives, including zero textbook degree development, collaborative partnerships and institutional general incentive funds.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

UMW Faculty Members Receive VIVA Open Grant Awards - LISA CHINN MARVASHTI, University of Mary Washington

A trio of UMW faculty members has received VIVA Open Grants for adopting, adapting and creating open and affordable course materials from the Virtual Library of Virginia that can be made available to students at little or no cost. These grants work to save students money on expensive textbooks and help professors enhance the knowledge and learning experiences they’re able to offer through their courses. College of Business Assistant Professor Samira Fallah, Professor of Computer Science Stephen Davies and Associate Professor of Communication Adria Goldman received 2023 awards that together represent more than $72,000 in student cost avoidance throughout a five-year period. “Congratulations to these professors!” University Librarian Amy Filiatreau said in an email to UMW teaching faculty. “Thanks to all who strive to make educational materials more open and affordable for our students and other researchers.”

Friday, April 5, 2024

Getty’s Open Content Program Has 88,000 Images You Can Use for Free - Jeremy Gray, PetaPixel

The J. Paul Getty Museum added around 88,000 images of artworks from its collection to its Open Content database. People can download, edit, and repurpose any high-resolution images without any restrictions using a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. The museum’s Open Content program began in 2013, but today’s news marks the transition of the entire image library to CC0 licensing, which dramatically increases transparency and how people can use the extensive library of images. “We are committed to supporting and growing a diverse audience and have already noticed an uptick in image downloads on our site, averaging about 30,000 per month,” explains Jenn Stringer, vice president, chief digital officer at the J. Paul Getty Trust. “This shows demand is high and we anticipate that number will grow as more images from the Getty collection are made available.”

Thursday, April 4, 2024

St. Lawrence University launches educational resources for total solar eclipse - Dan Mount, Informnny

St. Lawrence University is celebrating its position within the path of totality with a new website dedicated to informing the public about the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8. The website includes an explainer video from Henry Priest Professor of Physics Aileen O’Donoghue and will feature a livestream of the event with expert commentary. Professor O’Donoghue, who teaches several astronomy courses at the national liberal arts college, explains what you should expect to see-and experience-in the path of totality.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Why you should start using open educational resources in your teaching - LOLEEN BERDAHL & HEATHER ROSS, University Affairs

Your students don’t buy the textbook because it is too expensive. The textbook has the same errors as the last edition. The bookstore is still waiting for the textbook to come in. Many instructors have faced one or more of these problems — but they don’t have to. By using an open educational resource (OER) such as an open textbook, instructors can dramatically reduce costs for students, and easily fix any errors, and students always have access. In this edition of The Skills Agenda, I am delighted to bring in my colleague, Heather M. Ross. Heather is an educational development specialist at the University of Saskatchewan’s Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning and has led the university’s open educational practices (OEP) initiative, which has already saved students more than $5 million since 2015. It has also sparked the creation of several OER, as well as multiple projects where students have contributed to the creation or adaptation of OER.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

CMU receives $74K open educational resource grant from state - Grand Junction Sentinel

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) approved 26 proposals for Open Educational Resources (OER) projects across the state on March 1, aiming to produce teaching and learning materials at no cost to Colorado’s college students. The CCHE awarded $1 million to these projects, including $74,520 to Colorado Mesa University for CMU MORE (Maverick Open Resource Educators). CMU MORE received the third-largest grant out of the 26 projects awarded statewide.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Assistant Professor of Learning, Design and Technology Ela Castellanos-Reyes Outlining Creation of Open Educational Resource Wins Best Research Paper Award from AERA Design and Technology SIG - Janine Bowen, NC State

Now, a paper outlining the creation of open educational resources and co-authored by Castellanos-Reyes has been selected to receive the Best Research Paper Award by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Design and Technology Special Interest Group (SIG).  “This means a lot to me, because I have always been very excited about this project. It’s the project that brought me to the USA and gave me the opportunity to understand what educational research could be,” Castellanos-Reyes said. “It’s a reflection of a lot of perseverance. The project and the paper showed to me that, when God gives me a project, and I see it has a future and believe in it, I have to keep working.”