Showing posts from October, 2019

Lyryx Celebrates Their Impact on 100,000 Students

A proud publisher of open educational resources (OER) since 2019, Lyryx Learning has been committed to providing open textbooks and affordable online homework to students in higher education throughout Canada and the United States. Now they are celebrating a major milestone - more than 100,000 students have registered in Lyryx with Open Texts courses!

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SPARC is pleased to release our 2018-2019 Connect OER Annual Report, which offers insights about OER activities across North America. This year’s report examines the current state of OER activities featuring data from 132 institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Our intent is that these insights will help inform SPARC members, open education advocates, and the library community about current trends, best practices, and the collective impact being achieved through OER at participating institutions.

Wake Tech Celebrates Success of Award-Winning Initiative - Laurie Clowers, Wake Tech

Four years ago, Wake Tech embarked on an ambitious plan to change the face of online education. As one of 17 colleges and universities across the country to be awarded a First in the World grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Wake Tech received $2.7 million dollars. The college used the funds to find out how technology could be leveraged to increase retention and success among students of color in online courses. Today, the college celebrated the completion of the grant project and the research it yielded.

College works to reduce student textbook costs - Cumberland Times-News

Garrett College, the Garrett College Foundation and a private donor couple are combining to fund an initiative to drastically reduce student textbook costs. The college and foundation, along with part-time Garrett County residents Lori Richards and Ken Newbaker, are teaming up to provide $15,000 annually over the next two years to fund creation of Open Educational Resources by Garrett College faculty. OERs are online resources available to students at free or dramatically reduced costs to replace traditional textbooks and other course materials.

Nonprofit provides Fresno State students with free textbooks - Sun Gazette

As Valley college students began their semester at Fresno State last month, they may have noticed it was a lot cheaper to buy textbooks. In some cases, it was free. 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.

What Is Holding Back the Rise of Digital Textbooks? - Kipp Bentley, GovTech

Though one-to-one computing programs continue to grow, particularly in higher education, K-12 school districts have been slow to adopt digital textbooks and curricula, often citing concerns like cost of annual updates. With a new school year underway, many American middle and high school students are once again leaving their homes in the morning carrying backpacks overloaded with textbooks and school supplies, and perhaps also a laptop or tablet. With so many aspects of these students’ lives fully transformed by the digital realm, one might wonder, “What happened to digital textbooks? Weren’t schools supposed to be using those by now?”

Macmillan Learning Launches a Search Engine Designed for Supplemental OER - PR Newswire

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.

Take *that*, expensive textbooks! - David Brooks, Granite Geek

It’s been a very long time since I was in college .... Things haven’t changed much, except the cost of textbooks is way higher. This is why there’s an open-textbook movement trying to create digital versions that would be cheaper and more flexible. In New Hampshire the program is being pushed especially hard at the community college level, where daily costs can be more of an obstacle.


The textbook is dead.  So says John Fallon, CEO at publishing giant Pearson. The company recently announced it will be a digital-first publisher, reflecting a shift to nearly two-thirds of revenue coming from electronic channels as opposed to physical-only copies. But technology isn’t the sole factor behind the textbook’s demise. A key part of the shift to digital has been the steady rise of open educational resources, or OERs. It’s an umbrella term that covers educational materials, including media and textbooks, that are licensed for free use and reuse.

Pearson's Hurting from Lower Textbook Sales - Alex Hickey, Morning Brew

Pearson, the publisher you paid $215 for an Econ 101 textbook you opened twice, is hurting. Yesterday, the company said courseware sales to U.S. universities are expected to fall as much as 12% this year, far more than expected. From 1998–2019, U.S. college textbook prices increased over 180% (nearly the same rate as college tuition and fees).  But from Aug. 2018 to Aug. 2019, prices dropped 0.8% as students increasingly opted for digital textbooks, open-source textbooks, and Morning Brew. They're all cheaper options and some even quiz you on Fridays.

CLIx launches its Open Educational Resources - Uni India

State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) launched the Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx) Open Educational Resources (OER) web portal here on Friday.

Educators: Open Educational Resources Level the Playing Field - ACRL (to be shown at UIS)

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This will be shown at UIS LLC 9Brookens 230A:

Join ACRL for a free ACRL Presents webcast to kick-off Open Access Week. The webcast, "Open for Students and Educators: Open Educational Resources Level the Playing Field" will be held Tuesday, October 22, 2019, from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central time (11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Pacific | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Mountain | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Central | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern).

Letter to the EdiOpen Access Week at GVSU Autumn Mueller, Grand Valley Lanthorn

Open Access week is such an important week during any college academic year. Open Access is a widespread event that is celebrated internationally about promoting access to knowledge, highlighting activities that are ‘open’ and free, and advancing actions that will help make educational materials more freely available to educators and students.

Educators: Open Educational Resources Level the Playing Field - ACRL

Join ACRL for a free ACRL Presents webcast to kick-off Open Access Week. The webcast, "Open for Students and Educators: Open Educational Resources Level the Playing Field" will be held Tuesday, October 22, 2019, from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central time (11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Pacific | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Mountain | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Central | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern).

Expand the use of OERs - Pitt News

The University has already taken the first steps to tackle the rising rate of textbook prices. As of January 2018, Pitt’s Student Government Board called for the adoption of OERs as well as open textbooks to help make resources for students more accessible and affordable. While this is a step in the right direction, Pitt should continue to develop and inform both students and professors of such resources, ensuring that all materials used in class are accessible through OERs and open textbook materials.

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

It’s been a dual track. As states across the country look for ways to provide more high-quality resources to classroom teachers, universities have been experimenting with materials that reduce the crushing cost of college textbooks. 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.

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.

Use of open educational resources grows at Greenwood institutions - ALEKS GILBERT, Index Journal

The push to bring down the cost of textbooks at Greenwood institutions continues, with Lander University and Piedmont Technical College expanding the number of courses that rely on free or low-cost alternatives. Piedmont Tech and Lander have touted their efforts to reduce financial barriers to enrollment, and textbooks are low-hanging fruit in this regard, said Jack Bagwell, vice president of academic affairs at Piedmont Tech.

Officials eye ways to stem the rising costs of textbooks - Justyna Tomtas, LewistonTribune

As the cost of college textbooks continues to rise, faculty and administrators in higher education met Thursday at Lewis-Clark State College to learn how they can mitigate the financial burden for students across the state. Harold Crook, a professor at LCSC, said the statewide push for faculty to utilize free or low-cost textbooks can help colleges and universities retain more students who may be in a financial crunch. “Textbooks are a slice of the whole cost our students are facing, but it’s an important one,” Crook said. “Students manage to get rent paid, and tuition paid, and then they won’t buy textbooks. Some of them will fall through the cracks, and it can be the small part that leads to students dropping out.”

100+ Accessible Open Educational Resources - JCALDWELL, BC Campuis

We’ve recently crossed a major milestone and now have over 100 Accessible Open Educational Resources available for learners throughout the province and around the world. Josie Gray, Coordinator of Collection Quality in Open Education at BCcampus, recently informed us that we now have 103 open textbooks in the B.C. Open Textbook Collection that meet our criteria for accessibility. This is fantastic news for all learners, especially those who use assistive technologies to complete their course studies.

OpenSciEd Releases OER MS Science Curriculum - Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

OpenSciEd is rolling out one of the first curricula that both aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards and, as an open science education resource, is free. The nonprofit is working to produce an entire science curriculum that runs from elementary through high school, is freely downloadable and is designed to be used with low-cost standard laboratory equipment and materials. The organization is led by 10 partner states, science educators, curriculum developers and philanthropic organizations, including BSCS Science Learning, Northwestern University, Boston College, the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin and Digital Promise.

We Must Own Our Own Futures - John D. Simon, (President, Lehigh University) Inside HIgher Ed

We find ourselves at a precarious time in the history of higher education. Politicians and the public are increasingly questioning the value of what we do. The cost of education is rising while a population with greater need for financial aid is growing. Research and teaching are becoming more globalized at the same time that international collaboration is under scrutiny. And technological innovation is rapidly transforming the very definitions and methods of teaching and learning.