OER Digest – June 1st, 2017

From Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA | Volume 32 | June 1st, 2017
With help from Brady Yano (SPARC) and Katie Steen (SPARC)


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

OPEN LICENSING RULE: After numerous delays, the Department of Education’s Open Licensing Rule has gone into effect starting on May 22nd. The rule, finalized earlier this year, ensures that educational resources and other copyrightable works created with Department discretionary grant funds are openly licensed. A number of organizations wrote comments in support of implementing the rule, including this coalition letter.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES: In Connecticut, the Senate passed SB948, which grants the state Office of Higher Education the authority to establish guidelines that encourage public and private colleges and universities to implement programs that reduce the cost of textbooks and other educational resources for students. In Maryland, Governor Hogan signed SB424, which provides a $100,000 grant to the University System of Maryland for their open textbook initiative. In TexasSB810 – which creates a state OER grant program, establishes protocols for OER course designations in course catalogs, and orders a statewide feasibility study – has been sent to the Governor for his signature.

ACROSS THE POND: More than 60 civil society and trade organizations are calling for the European Union to get copyright reform efforts back on track. From the letter: “Deliver a reform that is fit for purpose in the digital environment and that upholds and strengthens fundamental principles such as the rights of citizens to freedom of communication and access to knowledge”

B&N + UNIZIN: Barnes and Noble recently announced a partnership with the campus education consortium Unizin, to provide LoudCloud – their OER-based learning management system and learning analytics tools – to Unizin’s 22 member schools, including Penn State, Colorado State University, University of Michigan and Ohio State University.

REPORTING BACK: On May 24th-25th BCcampus hosted the 5th Annual Open Textbook Summit at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. The Summit had more than 25 sessions with participation from a variety of Open Education advocates including faculty, student leaders, university administrators, librarians, government officials, and nonprofit policy staff. Ryan Merkley of Creative Commons and Kory Wilson of Aboriginal Initiatives and Partnerships, British Columbia Institute of Technology keynoted the Summit. Check out #OTSummit17 to see more photos and tweets from the Summit!


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

EVENT: The Rebus Community will be discussing accessibility and open textbooks during their June Office Hours taking place on June 5th at 3pm EDT. To RSVP, click here.

EVENT: The UMass Amherst Libraries will host the Northeast Regional OER Summit June 13-14. Registration is required and can be done here.

OPPORTUNITY: The OER Hub is looking for a few more participants to complete their survey on different models of Open, Online, Flexible and Technology Enhanced Learning in higher education. To participate, click here.

RESOURCE: Recordings from the Alberta OER Summit that took place on May 11th are available here.



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

FROM NEW YORK: “The college has an enrollment of almost 27,000 students, half of whom have household incomes under $20,000 and 4,000 of whom have taken one of the classes using OER. Now the school intends to expand the use of no-cost materials and generate cumulative savings of a million dollars.” Read More >

FROM GEORGIA: “Keeping college education affordable is a guiding principle at Dalton State, and one key way faculty members contribute is by collaborating to create open educational resources for their students allowing them to avoid buying costly textbooks for some classes. So far, 10 teams of Dalton State faculty and staff members have sought Affordable Learning Georgia grants to develop course materials, the second most such projects in the University System of Georgia. They have received more than $122 thousand in ALG grant funding to develop materials; cost savings to students over a three-year period could top $1 million.” Read More >



Rajiv Jhangiani‏ @thatpsychprof

Even the commercial publishers predict that use of #OER as primary materials will TRIPLE within 5 years #USNHShare https://assets.cengage.com/pdf/wp_oer-evolving-higher-ed-landscape.pdf



Interesting Reads Relating to Education and Open

OER Pioneer Predicts Community Colleges Will Dump Traditional Textbooks By 2024 | EdSurge


OER, Vertical and Horizontal | Inside Higher Ed


Tech and Costs | Inside Higher Ed


Cengage Continues to Show Strong Digital Growth | MENA Financial Network


Why Pearson shares ‘aren’t good value’ | What Investment



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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