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Showing posts from September, 2019

On Open Educational Resources… - Lucilla Crosta, Edulai

Another main objective in the use of OER is to support an Open Pedagogy where students become autonomous actors of their own learning process and where they can build their own learning pathways. They can actively engage with content and tools in their learning process. In the same way teachers can revise their teaching practice in alignment with the idea of providing a more active role for students.

https://medium.com/edulai/on-open-educational-resources-6e7eb01d9283

It’s time to get serious about open educational resources - Steven Murphy, Times Higher Ed

In an era of mounting student debt in many countries, this is unsustainable. But what are we in higher education doing to change this reality? Open educational resources (OER) is a term that was introduced in 2000 at a Unesco conference to refer to course materials that are hosted online and available to all. We have seen a range of actors, including the government of British Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and even Amazon make significant investments in this area.
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/opinion/its-time-get-serious-about-open-educational-resources

FREE OER PLATFORMS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW - Henry Kronk, Elearning Inside

Most OER can be downloaded, republished, edited, and customized. So much OER has circulated in recent years that some companies have even developed business models around packaging, delivering, and supplementing this open course material. This article instead goes over what is available and what is currently possible with free OER platforms.

https://news.elearninginside.com/free-oer-platforms-everything-you-need-to-know/

Program helps faculty redesign courses using open educational resources - Penn State

Penn State faculty interested in providing greater access to higher education through affordable course materials are encouraged to participate in the third round of Affordable Course Transformation at Penn State (ACT@PSU). The call for proposals will open on Wednesday, Sept. 25, and the deadline to submit is Monday, Nov. 11.
https://news.psu.edu/story/588625/2019/09/18/academics/program-helps-faculty-redesign-courses-using-open-educational

OER Embraced - Lilah Burke, Inside Higher Ed

As California's community colleges implement degree pathways with no textbook costs, what -- if anything -- can be gleaned from their data?  An ambitious, Legislature-funded effort by nearly two dozen California community colleges to create degree and certificate pathways with no textbook costs is scaling up this year, and early -- if imperfect -- data suggest that the program is saving students money and improving their educational outcomes.
https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2019/09/19/california-community-colleges-implement-zero-textbook-cost

Nicholls faculty cuts costs for textbooks - Halle Parker, Houma Today

This year, students across several first and second-year courses at Nicholls State University didn’t have to think about how much their textbook would cost on top of their credit hours. Over 15 faculty members decided to use openly licensed textbooks as part of a move toward using more open educational resources, or OERs, in the classroom to improve affordability. https://www.houmatoday.com/news/20190920/nicholls-faculty-cuts-costs-for-textbooks

OER Embraced - Lilah Burke, Inside Higher Ed

As California's community colleges implement degree pathways with no textbook costs, what -- if anything -- can be gleaned from their data? Community college grantees say they expect to save students a total of almost $43 million over the course of three years. That number is an aggregate of the estimates each college provided in its grant application, so it is hard to judge its reliability.
https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2019/09/19/california-community-colleges-implement-zero-textbook-cost?mc_cid=c60cb5f662&mc_eid=879d6835e3

Cohort seeks to lessen students’ textbook expenses - Carolina Alvarez, the Prospector

Creative Studios and UTEP’s library are working together in a faculty-led cohort to create educational resources that are cheaper than textbooks for students, following the passing of Senate Bill 810.  SB 810, which passed in June 2017 and signed by the Texas Senate, encourages colleges and universities to create Open Educational Resources (OER) to support students, according to Steven Varela, associate director of Creative Studios and Technology Support Services.

https://www.theprospectordaily.com/2019/09/17/cohort-seeks-to-lessen-students-textbook-expenses/

Houston CC System Expands OER Use Across All Campuses - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

In an effort to increase the use of open educational resources across its nine campuses, the Houston Community College System is partnering with OER provider panOpen. PanOpen's platform will give HCCS faculty "greater options for robust and fully supported tools to aid their use of OER," according to the company. HCCS is no stranger to OER: In 2017 it launched a pilot Z-Degree program (Z for zero textbook costs), offering OER-based associate degrees in business administration and general studies. In the last two years, HCCS OER initiatives have saved students more than $2.5 million, according to a news announcement.

https://campustechnology.com/articles/2019/09/17/houston-cc-system-expands-oer-use-across-all-campuses.aspx

USM Libraries join The Open Textbook Network - USM

The University of Southern Maine Libraries have joined The Open Textbook Network (OTN), a national consortium of colleges and universities working together to promote and develop open educational resources (OER). The primary focus of these efforts is on faculty adoption of free, open textbooks. OTN saves students money and provide day-one access for every student.

http://usmfreepress.org/2019/09/16/usm-libraries-join-the-open-textbook-network/

Policy needed to address and remove barriers to OER/P in higher ed: Study

An eCampusOntario report investigates what institutions of higher learning can structurally do to improve the uptake of open educational resources and practices. Discussing various obstacles to open educational practice (OEP), such as a lack of professional recognition for professors, the study recommends the development of “strong institutional policy supports for open educational resources.” Such policy developments should be guided by a “think globally, act locally” approach, and informed by dialogue across grassroots members of institutions.

https://www.academica.ca/top-ten/policy-needed-address-and-remove-barriers-oerp-higher-ed-study

2019 Zero-Textbook Cost (ZTC) Degree Summit

Last week the Michelson 20MM Foundation was able to attend the Zero-Textbook Cost (ZTC) Degree summit hosted by College of the Canyons and The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER). Hundreds of ZTC and OER advocates gathered to learn about the impact of these movements within California. ZTC Degree program was created in 2016-17 to reduce the overall cost of education for students and decrease the time it takes students to complete degree programs offered by community colleges.

https://20mm.org/2019/09/12/2019-zero-textbook-cost-ztc-degree-summit/

Otago Polytec receives top honours at international award ceremony - Voxy

An online course developed by Otago Polytechnic for the OERu international network headquartered in Dunedin has won the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Award for Excellence in Distance Education Materials. The "Learning in a Digital Age" course won the Open Educational Resources (OER) category and was announced at the ninth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 11 September 2019. The Pan-Commonwealth Forum is a triennial gathering organised by COL for the 53 member states of the Commonwealth, to increase the capacity of developing nations to meet the demand for access to quality education and training.
http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/5/347646

Macmillan Learning Launches a Search Engine Designed for Supplemental OER

Macmillan Learning announced the availability of Intellus Search, a new search engine designed to make it simpler for instructors to discover free and relevant supplemental materials. While nearly three quarters of professors require textbooks for their courses, a recent study from the Babson Group found many also require supplemental materials like articles/case studies (47%) and videos (28%). Intellus Search offers hundreds of educator-selected OER (Open Educational Resources) per course. "Discovering open resources is easy, but finding truly useful resources can be a bit more challenging," said Charles Linsmeier, SVP Content Strategy, Macmillan Learning. "With Intellus Search our goal is to make the process of curating the right open supplemental resources faster and easier for each instructor."
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/macmillan-learning-launches-a-search-engine-designed-for-supplemental-oer-300917046.html

Open Textbook Network Faculty Workshop and Paid Review - University of Arkansas

"Faculty are essential allies in the OER movement because they make important decisions about the course materials assigned to their students," said Elaine Thornton, open education and distance learning librarian. "Their choices impact thousands of students every semester. The campus OER Team is here to offer faculty the knowledge and support they need to adopt open resources."

https://news.uark.edu/articles/49892/open-textbook-network-faculty-workshop-and-paid-review

Bundling is Back - Matt Reed, Inside Higher Ed

Even Open Educational Resources are a form of bundling.  As anyone who has worked with OER knows, selection and curation are major components of doing it well.  It’s a big internet; knowing what to select and how to put it together is where faculty come in. While OER can offer significant and welcome cost savings for students, they can also customize course materials to be exactly the way faculty want them.  This is the polar opposite of autodidactism; it’s taking the faculty-as-guide model into the very guts of the books themselves.

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/confessions-community-college-dean/bundling-back

Fresno State Partners with OpenStax to Increase Use of Free Textbooks On Campus - Goldrush Cam

Fresno State announced it was one of 10 schools chosen to participate in the 2019-20 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program to encourage the use of free, peer-reviewed textbooks on campus. Fresno State was chosen to participate in this strategic partnership with OpenStax after a rigorous application process that included demonstrating a willingness to drive adoption of open educational resources. Institutional partners will receive individualized consulting from OpenStax and join a cohort of schools advocating widespread use of these resources at their schools.

https://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/20050-fresno-state-partners-with-openstax-to-increase-use-of-free-textbooks-on-campus

Nicholls State University library Purchases textbooks with LOUIS funding - Caroline Pontiff, nicholl's worth

Nicholls State University’s Ellender Memorial Library provides many textbooks for students to use. The library is able to purchase these textbooks with funding from a program titled LOUIS. Many university libraries belong to the LOUIS consortium. LOUIS is able to help universities afford expensive resources. This is possible because a large number of universities are investing in LOUIS, allowing LOUIS to purchase resources at a discounted price. Elizabeth Batte, electronic resources librarian and open-educational resources (OER) coordinator, said that she will email professors to let them know that the library has purchased the textbook for their class. This allows every person in that class to access the textbook online for free.

https://thenichollsworth.com/7007607/news/nicholls-state-university-library-purchases-textbooks-with-louis-funding/

Open Education Resources Access Awareness day

The Okanagan College Students’ Union, representing students at the Kelowna, Penticton and Salmon Arm campuses will be hosting Open Education Resources Access awareness day on October 23. This one-day 3-campus event will include promoting the Open Textbooks Now campaign from the British Columbia Federation of Students. We will be calling our students, faculty and administration to take action on using open and alternative texts in the classrooms.

https://bccampus.ca/event/open-education-resources-access-awareness-day/

Nonprofit provides Fresno State students with free textbooks - Sun Gazette

Nine U.S. colleges and universities, including Fresno State, partnered with Rice University-based nonprofit publisher OpenStax last summer to provide students with free textbooks. OpenStax is a unique publisher of peer-reviewed textbooks given to students for free and made available under an open license that gives instructors flexible use of the material. After its launch in 2012, OpenStax quickly became the largest publisher of open educational resources (OER). With more than 35 titles currently in its library, OpenStax books are used in nearly half of all colleges and universities in the U.S. and over 1,100 institutions internationally. The partnership is expected to save thousands of students at the nine universities a collective $9.1 million on textbooks and other course material costs during the current academic year.

http://www.thesungazette.com/article/news/2019/09/04/nonprofit-provides-fresno-state-students-with-free-textbooks/

UTEP Initiative seeks low-cost options for textbooks - El Paso Herald

An interdisciplinary cohort of faculty members from The University of Texas at El Paso will work with select UTEP staff from fall 2019 through fall 2020 to develop Open Educational Resources (OER) or other affordable instructional materials that eventually could save students millions of dollars.
https://elpasoheraldpost.com/utep-initiative-seeks-low-cost-options-for-textbooks/

The Open Education Consortium Awards Contributors to OER and Online Projects - IBL News

The Open Education Consortium announced yesterday the winners of its Awards for Excellence, that recognize “outstanding contributions, exemplary leaders, open educational resources, and open projects and initiatives.” The Leadership Award went to Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams, “a leading figure in the international open educational resources (OER) research community and currently holds the first-ever UNESCO Chair in Open Education and Social Justice,” the Open Education Consortium described
https://iblnews.org/scholars-contribution-to-oer-and-open-education-get-recognition/

Changing the Equation: Empowering Adult Learners with Edtech - Luminary Labs, US Dept of Ed

These case studies — featuring diverse stakeholders, actions and approaches, and lessons learned — prove there is not a single prescriptive path to supporting successful adult learning. Administrators, educators, and funders can apply the insights that work best in their unique contexts to advance adult education in their own communities.
https://lincs.ed.gov/publications/pdf/advancing_math_market_scan_08_22_2019.pdf

Connecticut One of 20 States Leading the Charge on Creating Open Education Resources That Stretch From K-12 to College - the 74

In Connecticut, one state commission is looking to unite the two and share open educational resources at all levels, from local school districts through state universities and colleges. “The idea is that we would have one big repository or index of materials from K-12 and higher ed,” said Doug Casey, executive director of the Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology. “In speaking with some of the folks in secondary education and higher ed, they are excited about that.”
https://www.the74million.org/article/connecticut-one-of-20-states-leading-the-charge-on-creating-open-education-resources-that-stretch-from-k-12-to-college/

Granite Geek: Cheaper, ‘open’ textbooks are a goal in N.H. community college system - DAVID BROOKS, Concord Monitor

As thousands of students settle in on college campuses in New Hampshire, they will be facing a sometimes unexpected expense: Textbooks. Lots of big, costly, mandatory textbooks. Or maybe not.
“Our goal is not to get to 100% lower-cost or no-cost materials in every class … sometimes it’s not possible. But in those big gateway courses that everybody takes – Intro to Sociology, Computing 101, Psychology 101 – there’s no reason students should be spending $250 on a textbook,” said Jennifer Cournoyer, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at River Valley Community College in Claremont.
https://www.concordmonitor.com/open-resource-college-textbook-materials-27565703

Libraries to Host Workshops on Reducing Textbook Costs for Students - University of Arkansas

The campus community is invited to a series of events Tuesday, Sept. 24, in ARKU 512 to learn about ways to reduce the cost of textbooks for students. Speakers from the Open Textbook Network will be visiting the University of Arkansas to provide a full day of workshops focused on open educational resources.   Earlier this year through the Libraries' membership, the U of A became the first 4-year university in the state to join the Open Textbook Network. The Open Textbook Network brings together teaching faculty, academic librarians, instructional designers, campus administrators and others engaged in advocacy for open educational resources on over 600 campuses. Joining the Open Textbook Network provided the opportunity to host two of their national workshop presenters on campus.   

https://news.uark.edu/articles/49789/libraries-to-host-workshops-on-reducing-textbook-costs-for-students

Chemistry I Laboratory Manual - SUNY OER

This lab manual accompanies the college chemistry courses and is used to support and assess knowledge acquired in the classroom setting to be applied in the real world. Labs include activities such as measuring the density of a sucrose solution, calculating the percent composition, stoichiometry, determining limiting reactants and more to complement an introductory chemistry course. This lab manual was developed by Jessica Garber Morales at Tidewater Community College.
https://oer.suny.edu/courses/chemistry-i-laboratory-manual/

Cheaper, ‘open’ textbooks are a goal in N.H. community college system - DAVID BROOKS, Concord Monitor

As thousands of students settle in on college campuses in New Hampshire, they will be facing a sometimes unexpected expense: Textbooks. Lots of big, costly, mandatory textbooks. Or maybe not. “Our goal is not to get to 100% lower-cost or no-cost materials in every class … sometimes it’s not  possible. But in those big gateway courses that everybody takes – Intro to Sociology, Computing 101, Psychology 101 – there’s no reason students should be spending $250 on a textbook,” said Jennifer Cournoyer, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at River Valley Community College in Claremont. Cournoyer has been spearheading an initiative launched by the state community college system known as OER (this is education, so you’ve got to have an acronym). It stands for Open Education Resources, with “open” in the sense of open software.

https://www.concordmonitor.com/open-resource-college-textbook-materials-27565703

Cheaper, ‘open’ textbooks are a goal in N.H. community college system - DAVID BROOKS, Concord Monitor

As thousands of students settle in on college campuses in New Hampshire, they will be facing a sometimes unexpected expense: Textbooks. Lots of big, costly, mandatory textbooks. Or maybe not. “Our goal is not to get to 100% lower-cost or no-cost materials in every class … sometimes it’s not  possible. But in those big gateway courses that everybody takes – Intro to Sociology, Computing 101, Psychology 101 – there’s no reason students should be spending $250 on a textbook,” said Jennifer Cournoyer, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at River Valley Community College in Claremont. Cournoyer has been spearheading an initiative launched by the state community college system known as OER (this is education, so you’ve got to have an acronym). It stands for Open Education Resources, with “open” in the sense of open software.

https://www.concordmonitor.com/open-resource-college-textbook-materials-27565703

10 Colleges Expect to Save Students Millions of Dollars on Textbooks - College Post

A collaboration between Rice University’s nonprofit publisher OpenStax and ten post-secondary institutions across the country is expected to turn out as a major money saver for their students in the next academic year. In this year’s cohort, Prairie View A&M University is the first historically black university to participate in the program. “We have a diverse group of students that come from different countries, ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic groups,” said Yolander Youngblood, professor of biology at Prairie View A&M and an advocate for the university’s participation in the OpenStax program.

https://thecollegepost.com/openstax-free-textbook-initative/

College of DuPage Partners with OpenStax to Increase Use of Free Textbooks

The high cost of traditional textbooks not only impacts students’ access to college but also their ability to complete coursework. A new partnership aims to reduce those textbook and course material costs for College of DuPage students. OER eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully, College of DuPage President Dr. Brian Caputo said. "College affordability is extremely important to our students, and this partnership will support the College’s efforts to remove financial hurdles and provide instant access to educational materials," he said.

http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/08/27/1907226/0/en/College-of-DuPage-Partners-with-OpenStax-to-Increase-Use-of-Free-Textbooks.html

College students find cost of textbooks a barrier as MCC looks for answers -CARL HOOVER , Waco Tribune-Herald

New car buyers know the feeling of sticker shock, when their interest in a car hits the reality of its price. For college students, it is the sticker on their textbooks causing the shock, with book expenditures following tuition and fees as a major financial hurdle. The fall semester at McLennan Community College starts Monday, and a visit to the college bookstore days earlier found some students discovering their first class assignment involved figuring out how to pay for their books.
https://www.wacotrib.com/news/higher_education/college-students-find-cost-of-textbooks-a-barrier-as-mcc/article_f2922194-4c01-58e0-9d89-d61bfa8ad5b9.html

10K ACC students use e-textbooks after college partners with nonprofit to expand program - KXAN

Some Austin Community College students won’t have to worry about textbook fees this semester after the college expanded a partnership with a nonprofit that offers access to free e-textbooks. OpenStax is a nonprofit ed-tech initiative based at Houston’s Rice University. Stuents can have access to Open Educational Resources (OER) like text and other digital assets that are freely accessible and available online. At present, more than 50 programs at ACC use OER’s including English, Social Studies and History. These resources are used in Z-degrees where the classes use free materials to save students money.

https://www.kxan.com/news/education/10k-acc-students-use-e-textbooks-after-college-partners-with-nonprofit-to-expand-program/

Wake Tech added OER to one class and saved students $360K - EdScoop

“Many Wake Tech students take at least one online course, and it’s continuing to grow more and more all the time,” Shahid-El says. “That’s something that we’re thinking will really start to shape more and more how students experience not just their campus but the college community.” An introductory business course, which used OER developed by the class’ lead instructor and college’s instructional support team, saved students money on traditional textbook costs, she says. During the 2015-2016 grant cycle, Wake Tech received a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to address the “achievement, success and withdrawal gaps for students of color and in online courses.”
https://edscoop.com/video/oer-cost-savings-wake-tech-community-college/