From Mo Nyamweya, SPARC | Volume 70 | November 21st, 2018
With updates from Tanya Spilovoy, Kaitlyn Vitez and Cailyn Nagle
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
NORTH DAKOTA AUDIT: According to a new report from the state auditor’s office, North Dakota’s investment of $110,000 in OER has saved students at least 10 times that, and likely much more. Looking at the first two years of the initiative, the audit documented at least 650 courses across the public higher education system that exclusively used OER, affecting at least 15,000 students and saving between $1.1 million and $2.4 million in textbook costs. State legislators released an accompanying report with additional data from institutions that put savings related to the initiative north of $10 million. Experts say that this is the first independent audit of a state OER initiative and that it confirms the case advocates have made.
STUDENT HABITS: A newly published survey conducted during the Fall 2015 semester at American University shows that rising textbook prices affect students at expensive private universities similarly as those attending less expensive, public institutions. Habits including not purchasing textbooks, resorting to illegal downloads, and poor study habits were all present within AU’s student population. OER proves to be a promising solution to these issues.
OER COURSE SEARCH: Starting in Spring 2019 for some campuses and Fall 2019 for all campuses, University of Hawaii instructors will be able to give their courses a “TXT0” attribute to indicate that the course has adopted an open textbook or moved to using only free materials. This implementation is meant to help students make informed choices regarding their course selections. Meanwhile, commercial provider Civitas Learning has launched a new OER search tool within their academic planning platform, which has been piloted by both California State University System and Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan.
THANKS: To those celebrating this week, we’d like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving from the OER Digest team! We are thankful for everyone out there working to advance the vision of open education to benefit students, and especially to those who take the time to share news about your work with us. Help us build the Digest by sending in tips, news, or events to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
SURVEY: The OCLC is collecting responses for their 2018 Open Access Content Survey until early January. Click through to participate!
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Cascadia Open Education Summit has made a call for proposals. The summit takes place April 17-18, 2019 and proposals are due January 25, 2019.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The call for proposals for the Creative Commons Global Summit in Lisbon is now open. The Summit takes place May 9-11, 2019 and proposals are due on December 10, 2018.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Library Publishing Coalition is hosting their annual forum in May of next year; proposals are accepted here.
REGISTER: the first Arizona Regional OER Conference will be held in Phoenix on Friday, February 22, 2019, followed by a half-day OER Leadership Strategic Planning Summit on Saturday, February 23, 2019.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM PENNSYLVANIA: “We decided, why not write our own materials 100 percent?”
At first, they considered building this new product on Canvas, a web portal for enrolled students. However, Taub-Pervizpour—who’d helped other faculty members explore the use of OERs in their classrooms—was “very convincing” that the OER path was the right one, Leisawitz says.
“It’s a matter of equity,” he says. “It’s free and open to anyone who wants to use it. We’re very happy if people outside Muhlenberg want to use it to learn Italian on their own. Since we’re going through the trouble, why not make it available to other people for free so they too can learn Italian?” Read More >
FROM UTAH: Salt Lake Community College’s mathematics department recently won the Digital Learning Innovation award from the Online Learning Consortium, presented on Nov. 13th during the annual OLC Accelerate Conference. “With the integration of OER into our learning management system, students have immediate access to learning materials from the first day of class,” said SLCC mathematics department Associate Dean Suzanne Mozdy. Read more >
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
BCcampus and the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Learning Centres recently released University 101: Study, Strategize and Succeed, edited by Christina Page. The book helps readers create a foundation for post-secondary studies by learning how to learn.
Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share
Great to Share >>
Open textbook pilot should be made permanent | The Baltimore Sun
Interesting to Consider >>
Open Educational Resources: What We Don’t Know | Inside Higher Ed
Does OER Actually Improve Learning? | EdSurge
Why do textbooks cost so much and how can you spend less on them? | The Global Dispatch
The Coming Wave of Affordable Textbooks | The Scholarly Kitchen
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. You can join the open Google Group or check out the distribution list here.