From Aishah Abdullah (SPARC) | Volume 134 | Date July 22, 2021
With Updates from Cailyn Nagle
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
SIGNING OFF (digest co-author Cailyn Nagle): Hello community and thank you for everything! At the end of July, I will be moving on from my position as the Affordable Textbooks Campaign Director with US PIRG and onto new projects within the open textbooks space. It has been a real honor and privilege to work alongside the entire open community and I am thrilled to continue to do so in new ways. If you need to reach me, feel free to do so over email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or over Twitter (@CailynNagle). I’m sure I’ll see y’all soon.
UCT ONLINE HIGH SCHOOL: University of Cape Town (UCT) is launching an online high school in January 2022. This high school will be using only OER for their courses which will allow learning materials to be open to the public, regardless of whether they are enrolled in the program. This will not only benefit students in South Africa but high schoolers across the globe who can access the curriculum. UCT shares how “The full curriculum of the UCT High School will be available as an open education resource throughout South Africa. This means learners will have free access to a self-paced curriculum where they can progress at their own pace.”
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: A call for papers has opened for the Journal for Multicultural Education. The submission should be focused on the intersections of open educational practices and equity pedagogy. Learn more and submit here.
REGISTER NOW: Michigan OER Virtual Summit’s registration is open. This conference is free of cost and takes place on August 11th and 12th. Learn more and register here.
REGISTER NOW: Southern Regional Education Board is hosting a webinar “Equitable Access and College Affordability” on July 28th which will explore how the use of open educational resources in dual enrollment can open pathways to postsecondary education for minority and low-income students. Learn more and register here.
REGISTER NOW: BCcampus is hosting a webinar on learning how to use Pressbooks to create and share OER. This webinar will be taking place on August 25th. Learn more and Register Here.
APPLY NOW: The Student PIRGs is seeking a Higher Education Campaign Associate. This two-year DC-based program emphasizes hands-on training and leadership development, giving staff the opportunity to make a tangible impact on critical issues while gaining real-world skills. Please indicate your interest in the Higher Education Associate Position on your cover letter. Learn more and apply here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM PENNSYLVANIA: The Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Anthropology was awarded a grant of $10,700 to assist in implementing OER in their courses. The funding will be used to create OER for introductory anthropology courses. One course, Contemporary Anthropology, enrolls nearly 1000 students a year and will assist in saving these students a substantial amount of money. Dr. Ben Ford, chairperson of the IUP Department of Anthropology shares how, “This grant is indicative of the student-focused work that my colleagues do every day. I’m really proud of how everyone came together on this project.” Read More >>
FROM TENNESSEE: Columbia State Community College (CSCC) has been awarded $60,000 in funding to implement OER in courses that use commercially published textbooks. This grant will be used for transforming some of their film and world literature classes. Columbia State has received funding for Introduction to Film and Modern World Literature grant projects. Dr. Stuart Lenig, a professor at CSCC, shared how, “The grant will allow us to create a text for the Introduction to Film class that studies the origins, history, business, technology, trends, genres, and ideologies.” Pilot courses utilizing these new open educational resources will be offered beginning in the spring 2022 semester. Read More >>
FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Immaculata University Textbook Affordability Initiative will be launching ten courses that utilize OER this fall. These courses serve several majors and are requirements for many students. Angela Tekely, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost states “The impact of the shift to zero-cost textbooks within the ten courses will have a measurable and positive effect on students.” With the start of this initiative, the university aims to increase the usage of OER courses by targeting core courses and courses required across several majors and within popular majors. The grant comes from PA GOAL (Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning) which is a program that funds efforts of creating, adapting, and adopting OER at higher education institutions. Read More >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
The University of Edinburgh has released Forces Fiona Asks About Gravity by Amy Cook. This resource is a video paired with activity pages that can be used as a teaching resource to give young students a better understanding of basic physics.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Interesting to Consider >>
How Today’s Curriculum Content Must Change | MarketScale
OER May be Free but You Still Need to Invest to Use Them | World Bank Blogs
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.