Posts

Showing posts from January, 2019

Free Resources for Mathematics Educators - Illustrative Math

Supplement your professional learning with self-guided resources. We’re dedicated to providing the support, tools, advice, and insight you need to give your students the very best mathematics education possible. That’s why we provide free access to our library of tasks and resources, and the latest articles, case studies, and wisdom from our respected curriculum authors. https://www.illustrativemathematics.org/free-resources/

March 4-8, 2019: Open Education Week is a celebration of the global Open Education Movement - Open Education Week

Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide. Open Education combines the traditions of knowledge sharing and creation with 21st century technology to create a vast pool of openly shared educational resources, while harnessing today’s collaborative spirit to develop educational approaches that are more responsive to learner’s needs. The idea of free and open sharing in education is not new. In fact, sharing is probably the most basic characteristic of education: education is sharing knowledge, insights and information with others, upon which new knowledge, skills, ideas and understanding can be built. Open Education seeks to scale up educational opportunities by taking advantage of the power of the internet, allowing rapid and essentially free dissemination, and enabling people around the world to access knowledge, connect and collaborate. https://www.openeducationweek.org/…

Not by the book: Some Massasoit Community College professors opt for free digital texts - Joe Pelletier, The Enterprise

Free digital textbooks. It’s been a campaign that started brewing five years ago, and has found its footing in 2018 thanks to budding faculty support and several state grants. Today, Massasoit offers 71 classes (105 sections) that come with free digital textbooks and resources. Take Cotter’s calculus class this semester, for example. In years past, there was a $200 textbook required of his students. This year, his class can get it for free right on their laptop or phone. “I really think it’s a social justice issue,” said Jesse Schreier, Massasoit’s coordinator of instructional technology. “It’s about access to information and access to learning. For many of our students, buying a $200 textbook is cost-prohibitive. They’re trying to put food on the table, they’re trying to pay rent. To ask them to buy that book when that same information is available for free online is not right.” https://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20181228/not-by-book-some-massasoit-community-college-professors-opt…

FlatWorld Launches Fully Customizable Textbook Subscription Solution for Universities - Flatworld

Ability to only subscribe to textbooks that students use enables universities and departments to save money on FlatWorld’s peer-reviewed, affordable learning materials. BOSTON, January 7, 2019 — FlatWorld, a publisher of college learning materials that are both affordable and high quality, today announced FlatWorld Institutional, a fully customizable college textbook subscription offering for university- or department-wide textbook adoptions. “For the last two years, FlatWorld has offered a subscription solution that gives access to our entire catalog. While many larger universities appreciated this unlimited option, we also received feedback from universities big and small that they wanted the option to subscribe to select textbooks, as opposed to paying for an ‘unlimited’ subscription that included many textbooks their students didn’t need,” said Alastair Adam, Co-CEO of FlatWorld. “We piloted a customizable subscription solution in 2018, and are thrilled to offer FlatWorld Institut…

Renting College Textbooks Can Be An Even Bigger Ripoff Than Buying Them - Tally Goldstein, Huffington Post

George Washington University graduate Alison Oksner learned her lesson. After she failed to return a rented textbook on time to Amazon, Oksner said she was fined $87.61. That was more than she earned in a week as a resident dormitory adviser. All told, she spent $118.24 in rental and late fees — more than if she had bought the book new. In theory, that might have been fair: When Oksner rented the book, she agreed to pay an additional fee if she returned it late. But in practice, consumer advocates argue, what happened to her — and to thousands of other students on college campuses across the country — could be against the law. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/textbook-renting-buying-college_us_5c2fd6ede4b0d75a9830b7a4

INSTRUCTORS TAKE NOTE – OER CAN HELP - the Advocate Online

With the start of Winter Term, many MHCC students once again felt the burden of the cost of textbooks weighing on their wallet. Open Education Resources (OER) could help alleviate that burden, and more Mt. Hood instructors should embrace them. A study published by the Student Public Interest Research Groups (Student PIRGs) last year states, “Since 2006, the cost of textbooks has increased four times the rate of inflation.” And, due to the lack of textbook market competition, students are forced to purchase materials required for classes, meaning it’s essentially out of their control. The people who do have control are the professors or instructors choosing the textbooks for classes. The same PIRG study put the national average of textbook cost per course at $153; when compared to a course that uses OER, the average drops to $31. http://www.advocate-online.net/instructors-take-note-oer-can-help/

Criminal Justice Associate Program Redesigned for Zero Textbook Costs - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

A community college in New York City has introduced a criminal justice associate's degree that will use only open educational resources. The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) said the move is expected to save each student about $2,500 in textbook costs. The OER work was funded by a two-year grant from Achieving the Dream, as part of a broad initiative to boost college access and completion by underserved students. BMCC faculty — including those in the criminal justice department and core subjects — have redesigned 20 courses to create the "zero textbook cost" degree, which is the school's first to use OER across the entire program. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/01/09/oer-based-criminal-justice-associate-program-redesigned-for-zero-textbook-costs.aspx

Professors Worry About the Cost of Textbooks, but Free Alternatives Pose Their Own Problems - By Beth McMurtrie, Chronicle of Higher Ed

When it comes to textbooks, faculty members have a lot of feelings. Many of them negative. But their thoughts on digital coursework and openly licensed materials aren't any less conflicted. These opinions, found in "Freeing the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2018," a survey of more than 4,000 faculty members and department chairs released Wednesday, paint a complex picture of a fast-changing landscape, one in which instructors and students have more options about course materials than ever before, yet the best path forward remains unclear. https://www.chronicle.com/article/Professors-Worry-About-the/245435

6 Things to Know About Textbooks for Online Courses - Jordan Friedman, US News

Online students may consider purchasing rather than renting textbooks if they plan to keep course materials as career resources.  Certain professors may not assign any textbooks and will simply have students download a series of journal articles and other reading materials at no cost. Other online courses may utilize Open Educational Resources, or OERs, which are free materials on the internet that are often available to anyone and are produced through university, state or federally funded projects, says Tony Contento, program manager for the School of Professional Studies at Colorado State University—Global Campus. “What they represent is a free resource for students designed by active professors,” Contento says. “And sometimes these professors even design other materials – videos, interactives, assessments – for student and faculty use.”   https://www.usnews.com/higher-education/online-education/articles/2019-01-15/6-things-to-know-about-textbooks-for-online-courses

Seven Things to Consider Before Developing Your Online Course - Brian Udermann, Faculty Focus

Explore avenues to find course content. During the past 11 years, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with about 300 faculty at my institution who made the decision to develop an online course. One trend I’ve seen over the past three to five years is faculty exploring beyond textbooks when gathering course content. These options include open educational resources (OER’s) such as Khan Academy, College Open Textbooks, OER Commons, OpenStax, MERLOT, MIT Open Courseware Online Textbooks, Lumen Learning, and many others. Leveraging OER’s presents an opportunity to save students money, and early research on OER’s suggests student learning is similar to that achieved with traditional sources, such as textbooks. https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/seven-things-to-consider-before-developing-your-online-course/

Pacific University Press’ Latest Publications Highlight Growing OER Movement - Joe Lang Pacific U

Pacific University Press is quietly fostering the open educational resources movement (OER), one that could very well reshape higher education. Consistent with the university’s mission to advance scholarship and discovery, the Press recently published an open-access textbook available for free download and use by instructors and students everywhere, as well as a primer for academic librarians who wish to promote the use of OER on their campuses. In October, the press published the first textbook in its three-year history, An Introduction to Technical Theatre, by Pacific professor and award-winning set designer Tal Sanders. Published under the Press’ Tualatin Books imprint, the book draws on Sanders’ extensive experience and is appropriate for both high school and college-level theatre courses. https://www.pacificu.edu/about/media/pacific-university-press%E2%80%99-latest-publications-highlight-growing-oer-movement

As OER Grows Up, Advocates Stress More Than Just Low Cost - Jeffrey R. Young and Sydney Johnson, EdSurge

Open educational resources hit a turning point in 2018. For the first time ever, the federal government put forward funds to support initiatives around open educational resources, and recent studies show that faculty attitudes towards using and adapting these openly-licensed learning materials are steadily improving. But fans of OER are increasingly facing a problem. While OER started off as free online textbooks, it still costs money to produce these materials, and professors often need guidance finding which ones are high quality. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-01-15-as-oer-grows-up-advocates-stress-more-than-just-low-cost

Call for Expressions of Interest to Chair the OER 2020 Conference - Maren Deepwell, ALT

We are seeking experienced Co-Chairs for the 2020 Conference Committee of the 11th Open Education Conference, who will play a major role in planning and delivery of the conference in 2020. For information about previous OER conferences please visit https://oer19.oerconf.org/ . The conference format evolves each year to keep pace with the changing expectations and priorities of participants and speakers, but its core values around Open Education remain strong. https://oer19.oerconf.org/news/call-for-expressions-of-interest-to-chair-the-oer-2020-conference/

OER Awareness Among Faculty Gaining Ground - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

The use of open educational resources (OER) could be at a turning point: It's beginning to shake off its fringe reputation and gain greater recognition among faculty and department heads. A recent Babson Survey Research Group study found "steady growth in awareness" among these individuals and predicted that adoption growth could accelerate. The study analyzed responses from over 4,000 academics and found that 46 percent of faculty now know what OER is, up from 34 percent in 2014-2015. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/01/09/oer-awareness-among-faculty-gaining-ground.aspx

Criminal Justice Associate Program Redesigned for Zero Textbook Costs - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

A community college in New York City has introduced a criminal justice associate's degree that will use only open educational resources. The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) said the move is expected to save each student about $2,500 in textbook costs. The OER work was funded by a two-year grant from Achieving the Dream, as part of a broad initiative to boost college access and completion by underserved students. https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/01/09/oer-based-criminal-justice-associate-program-redesigned-for-zero-textbook-costs.aspx?admgarea=news

Program helps Mt. Wachusett students save $52,000 on books - Sentinel & Enterprise

Mount Wachusett Community College students in 11 classes saved $52,353.82 in textbook costs during the fall semester as part of an ongoing pilot effort to expand Open Educational Resources (OER) throughout the school. The pilot program that ran for the first time in the fall semester was part of an ongoing effort at the college to incorporate OERs into the classroom. These resources benefit students financially, with some textbooks costing hundreds of dollars, but there are also benefits to their classroom experience, said Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Michelle Paranto. http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/news/ci_32380459/program-helps-mt-wachusett-students-save-52-000

Faculty Survey Finds Awareness of Open Educational Resources (OER) Up Amid Growing Concern with Textbook Costs - Cision

Awareness of open educational resources (OER) among U.S. higher education teaching faculty has increased by 12 percentage points over the past three years, but remains less than a majority, according to the new report.The study by the Babson Survey Research Group, Freeing the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2018, was supported by a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and is based on responses from over 4,000 faculty and department chairpersons. The study shows improvements in OER awareness, and growing concern among faculty regarding the cost of course materials. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/faculty-survey-finds-awareness-of-open-educational-resources-oer-up-amid-growing-concern-with-textbook-costs-300775651.html

Slow Burn for OER Adoption, Awareness - By Mark Lieberman, Inside Higher Ed

The number of instructors aware of and using OER continues to grow -- but many remain out of the loop. Will the market continue to shift? Open educational resources remain a foreign concept to many instructors, but awareness continued to grow steadily last academic year, according to a new survey published today by the Babson Survey Research Group. The number of instructors who understand the copyright implications of OER remains lower, though it’s also trending upward. https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2019/01/09/oer-adoptions-awareness-continue-grow-many-faculty-members-still

ACC Teaches Without Textbooks - AUSTIN SANDERS, Austin Chronicle

As enrollment for the spring semester at Austin Community College gets underway, the school is encouraging students to consider signing up for "Z-classes," which help make college more affordable by eliminating the need for costly textbooks. The courses cover a variety of subjects across a range of degree pathways, but they all have one thing in common: None require the purchase of a textbook. School officials estimate that the average textbook for an ACC course costs $100, and they can cost students about $2,000 throughout the completion of a degree. https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2018-12-21/acc-teaches-without-textbooks/

Salt Lake Community College honored for use of free online resources in math curriculum - Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News

Salt Lake Community College's initiative that uses free online educational resources in its math curriculum is getting national attention. The approach cuts students' textbook costs and ensures they are ready to go the first day of class. SLCC's math department was recently awarded the Digital Learning Innovation award by the Online Learning Consortium during the group's conference in Florida. The award recognized both SLCC’s math department and the college’s Faculty Development and Educational Initiatives office's use of open educational resources or OER, which can be downloaded for free, edited and shared. https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900048726/salt-lake-community-college-honored-for-use-of-free-online-resources-in-math-curriculum.html

Not by the book: Some Massasoit Community College professors opt for free digital texts - Joe Pelletier, The Enterprise

Alex Cotter remembers well the small horror of buying college textbooks. After he dished out dough on tuition, fees and every other school-related expense, the Massasoit bookstore would ring up a number like $500 for a fresh stack of books each semester. “It was always a gut punch,” said Cotter, a former student who is now the chair of the math department at Massasoit Community College. “Semester after semester, it was another couple hundred bucks out of your pocket.” It’s not right, he and many others believe. And they are part of a growing army of Massasoit administrators and faculty members seeking to combat that problem with a 21st century solution. Free digital textbooks. https://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20181228/not-by-book-some-massasoit-community-college-professors-opt-for-free-digital-texts

Free educational resources encourage student success at RVCC - Donna Stolzer, Raritan Valley Community College

In response to the skyrocketing cost of student textbooks, Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) has launched a pilot program to provide students in 10 different classes with free access to textbooks. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of college textbooks increased 181 percent from 1998-2016, compared to an overall increase of 51 percent in the consumer price index. Textbook prices are creating barriers to student success, forcing some students to delay or even forgo buying the required course textbook. https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/education/in-our-schools/2018/12/17/rvcc-free-textbooks-open-educational-resources/2294553002/

After 26 years, Wheelock Books closes - Andrew Culver, the Dartmouth

Wheelock Books founder and owner Whit Spaulding ’89 wrote in an email that Wheelock Books is “price-competitive with most everything” including online, e-book and rental purchases. However, students are accessing free digital copies of textbooks online, a phenomenon that is happening in “higher and higher volume,” Spaulding wrote. Due to copyright rules that the business must follow, it is “impossible” for Wheelock Books to compete with free online sources, he added. http://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2019/01/wheelock-books-is-closing

Textbook Alternative Program to save students nearly $120K in first year - Rowan Today

For generations, students have grumbled about the ever-rising cost of textbooks, and with good reason. Today, textbooks for undergraduate classes can cost $100 or more and up to $200, sometimes more, for graduate and professional school courses. A Rowan University pilot program starting this spring is aimed at eliminating the cost of texts for some classes by substituting free, online materials for pricey, paper-bound books. https://today.rowan.edu/home/news/2019/01/03/textbook-alternative-program-save-students-nearly-120k-first-year

The Future of MOOCs Must Be Decolonized - Taskeen Adam, EdSurge   

MOOCs, if designed inclusively, have the potential and ability to create reciprocal channels between truly diverse global participants, where a plurality of voices can be heard and true diversity of global knowledge can be achieved. This would require taking into account the context of the marginalized virtual participant such as financial difficulties, geographic limitations, educational and emotional support, resources and infrastructure constraints, data costs and connectivity access, time and opportunity costs, levels of education, and aspirations, amongst many other factors. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-01-03-the-future-of-moocs-must-be-decolonized

Salt Lake Community College honored for use of free online resources in math curriculum - Marjorie Cortez, KSL

Salt Lake Community College's initiative that uses free online educational resources in its math curriculum is getting national attention. The approach cuts students' textbook costs and ensures they are ready to go the first day of class. SLCC's math department was recently awarded the Digital Learning Innovation award by the Online Learning Consortium during the group's conference in Florida. https://www.ksl.com/article/46459425/salt-lake-community-college-honored-for-use-of-free-online-resources-in-math-curriculum

2018's biggest trends and headlines in Louisiana higher ed - Leigh Guidry, Lafayette Daily Advertiser

LCTCS reported saving students millions of dollars using e-textbooks and other open educational resources (OERs) over the course of a year. Working with LOUIS (The Louisiana Library Network), faculty have implemented open educational resources like e-books in more courses. https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/education/2018/12/27/2018-s-biggest-trends-and-headlines-louisiana-higher-ed/2422185002/

Open Educational Resources Drop-In Consultations - University of Houston

The Open Educational Resources Coordinator will be available in the Faculty Cafe to help you find and evaluate OER for your courses. Stop by with questions or to learn more about OER. This event is in partnership with Faculty Engagement and Development. https://uh.libcal.com/event/4844812

$352 for a textbook? Rising costs leave some students bookless; KU student leader wants to change that - Kathy Hanks, LJ World

“The cost of textbooks has risen 812 percent between 1983 and 2013 in the U.S.,” Ries said. “Biology, chemistry, physics, especially with online components, are in the $500 range, and then you have labs and four other classes that might have labs and that’s over three grand you are pushing for textbooks.” Often student financial aid or student loans won’t cover the cost of books. Even parents who are paying for their child’s tuition don’t want to pay the high prices of textbooks, Ries said. “Then you are talking out of pocket, and at that point there are so many students who can’t afford it and forgo getting the textbook,” Ries said. “When you are talking about equity in higher education, the best opportunity to succeed goes to those with the financial capital. It becomes a diversity and equity issue as well.” http://www2.ljworld.com/news/ku/2018/dec/24/352-for-a-textbook-rising-costs-leave-some-students-bookless-ku-student-leader-wants-to-change-that/

Creating OER materials - Perspectives of Global Instructors - Nathaniel Ostashewski, Serena Henderson, LearnTechLib

This paper reports on the preliminary analysis of a replication and extension study describing the perspectives of instructors around the globe in relation to OER creation The goal of this research is to explore the perspectives of instructors on barriers, incentives, and benefits to using and creating OER materials The findings of the study suggest that time to create resources, challenges with understanding OER licensing and protection of resources, and heavy workloads are some of the greatest barriers to OERs In theory OERs can decrease the costs of course materials for students and institutions, however the hidden cost may in fact be offloaded onto the shoulders of already overworked teachers Further research focusing on differences between higher education and K12 education OERs may provide insight on how best to incentivize teachers to create OERs HTTP://www.learntechlib.org/p/181241/

Open Educational Resources on Digital Accessibility for Building Your Own Courses - FOSDEM 2019

The EU-funded project MOOCAP (MOOC Accessibility Partnership, https://moocap.gpii.eu/, September 2014 - August 2017) created 11 free online courses about various aspects of digital accessibility. Four of these courses ran as MOOCs (massive open online courses) on platforms such as FutureLearn and edX. The resources from these courses are freely available as Open Educational Resources (OERs) under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence (CC-BY 4.0). This licence allows anyone to share, adapt and redistribute the content of the OERs, provided that they correctly attribute the MOOCAP partner (or partners) who created the resources. https://fosdem.org/2019/schedule/event/educational_resources_on_digital_accessibility/