OER Digest – April 6th, 2017

From Brady Yano (SPARC) | Volume 28 | April 6th, 2017


Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders

THAT’S A WRAP, #OPENEDUCATIONWK: Last week the world celebrated the 5th annual Open Education Week. While the official statistics have not yet been announced, we think participation and engagement were high!

EXPLORING ENGAGENY: A new study conducted by the Rand Corporation exploring the use of EngageNY sheds light on the ways in which OER can better support teachers and the implementation of state standards. Engage NY is one of the first efforts to create standards-aligned OER curriculum materials. Key findings:

  • EngageNY is among the most commonly used curriculum materials for mathematics and English language arts (ELA).
  • High use of EngageNY was at least partly driven by educators’ desire to help students meet state standards.
  • EngageNY gives students more opportunities to engage in standards-aligned practices compared with other materials.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Last week a new book entitled “Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science” was launched. Written in collaboration between a number of open leaders, the book covers open education, open access and open science and was published by Ubiquity Press (CC-BY). The material was edited by Rajiv Jhangiani and Robert Biswas-Deiner and is available both online and in print. Congratulations to all those involved!

NEW AUTHORING GUIDE: The Open Textbook Network has created a new guide for faculty authors, librarians, project managers and others who are involved in the production of open textbooks in higher education and at the K-12 level. Content includes a checklist for getting started, publishing program case studies, textbook organization and elements, writing resources and an overview of useful tools.

FUNDING BOOST FOR BCCAMPUS: Last week the province’s Minister of Advanced Education announced $250,000 in funding for BCcampus’ Open Textbook Project. The funding is welcomed by BCcampus who currently boasts a collection of 180 open textbooks and has saved BC students $4 million to date.

RPT CHANGES AT UBC: During a regular revision of the institution’s Guide to Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Procedures, faculty pursuing the Educational Leadership Stream at UBC can now be evaluated for their contributions to “open education repositories/resources”.

COOL4ED STUDY: A new study exploring the instructor and student experiences of open textbook use at higher education institutions in California was published last month. The study entitled “Instructor and student experiences with open textbooks, from the California open online library for education (Cool4Ed)” was conducted by Ozgur Ozdemir and Christina Hendricks.

MORE MILLIONS SAVED: The Maricopa Millions OER project has saved Maricopa Community College students over 9 million dollars in its first four years. The project which was projected to save students 5 million dollars in five year’s has already surpassed that initial goal and the cost savings are set to continue.

ED OPEN LICENSING POLICY: Two months ago the Department of Education formally adopted its Open Licensing rule for grant programs. Two weeks ago, the Department published a notice that it would be delaying the effective date of the rule by 60 days as an extension of the Administration’s regulatory freeze, and it will now go into effect until May 22. The Department has opened up a public comment period about the delay, and we encourage the community to comment prior to the April 20th deadline.


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

EVENT: Registration for the Open Textbook Summit 2017, is now open! BCcampus’ annual event will be taking place May 24-25 in Vancouver, BC. https://bccampus.ca/otsummit-2017/ 

OPPORTUNITY: The Open Textbook Network is seeking your feedback to help their library grow. What is a new open textbook (or two!) that you would like to see in the Open Textbook Library? http://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/Submit.aspx

OPPORTUNITY: The Year of Open is looking for your thoughts on how they can improve this effort! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/yearofopen

OPPORTUNITY: The rightcopyright.eu Campaign for Education could use your help! Sign the petition here www.rightcopyright.eu

OPPORTUNITY: The Rebus Community is looking for individuals interested in taking part in their Peer Review Working Group. https://forum.rebus.community/topic/130/review-peer-review-for-open-textbooks


A brief snapshot of those making change on the ground level, and those most impacted

FROM ALBERTA: “The undergraduate Students’ Union has been a strong advocate for OERs, and Alicia Lunz, current vice-president academic of the SU has been a driving force behind this initiative. “This pilot program is the culmination of a lot of hard work between Dr. Lynn Taylor and myself. The program will allow professors to enhance their knowledge of open education resources and in turn, make them more available to students. As I leave my role in the Students’ Union, I look forward to seeing the impact this will have on the student experience and on the financial barriers that persist in post-secondary education,” she says.” Read more>>

FROM WASHINGTON: The goal for faculty, administration and student government is helping students finish their degrees on time and with as little cost as possible. Sacrificing textbooks to pay bills doesn’t help accomplish that. For Troy, the move toward OER is an obvious one, despite the challenges. “Affordable textbooks will increase student success, help students be more engaged in the classroom, and when students have access to the materials they need, they will be more successful overall,” Troy said. “It’s going to be a game-changer.” Read more>>


Rajiv Jhangiani‏ @thatpsychprof March 27

It’s out!!! Our new edited book (CC-BY) about Open #oep #oer #oa #openscience from @ubiquitypress Pls share widely! http://www.ubiquitypress.com/site/books/10.5334/bbc/ …


Interesting Reads on Education and Open

A Defender of Impoverished Students, and a Scholar of Their Struggles | The Chronicle of Higher Education


Annie Gaines | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Advocates | Library Journal


April Open Perspective: What is Open Pedagogy? | The Year of Open


At SLCC ‘Open Education Resources’ Lowering Cost of College | benzinga


Campaign Spotlights Global Open Education Movement | Campus Technology


E-ffordability Summit Looks at Textbook Costs | WIproud.com


International Projects Category: Award Winner and Runners Up | The Guardian


Open Educational Resources Movement Scales Up | Education Week


‘Open’ Ed. Provider Steps Into English/Language Arts Market | EdWeek Market Brief


Proposed Cap On Textbook Costs in Peril After Colleges Object | Columbus Business First


Schools Shift to Free Public Domain Curricula | Wall Street Journal


The Open Educational Resources Movement is Redefining the Concept of Online Textbooks | University Affairs


Trial and Error: Cutting Textbook Costs | Inside Higher Ed


Vancouver Pilots Comprehensive Open Math Curriculum | Getting Smart


What is OER? 5 Questions About Open Educational Resources | Education Week


Have suggestions for the next edition?

Let us know at oerdigest@gmail.com, or tweet us @OERdigest.

You can subscribe to the OER Digest here.

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