OER Digest – July 13th, 2017

From Katie Steen and Brady Yano (SPARC) | Volume 35 | July 13th, 2017

With updates from Ethan Senack and Amanda Coolidge


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

STATE LEG UPDATE: Recently, two bills related to OER were signed into law and a third is waiting to be signed.

  • In California, the legislature passed the budget for FY18 that appropriates an additional $5M over last year’s appropriation for community colleges to implement student equity plans. Services for high-need students can include development of OER and zero-textbook-cost degrees.

  • A bill in Connecticut signed by the governor was originally introduced to encourage the use of digital discounts in the state. The final bill language encourages institutions to establish guidelines that reduce the costs of textbook and educational resources.

  • In Oregon, HB 2729 establishes the “Oregon’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Program” and will require the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to regularly convene faculty, staff and librarians from public universities and colleges to coordinate OER efforts.

  • Correction: the vetoed Florida legislation referenced in the last Digest would have changed statute around community college management but would not have altered the state’s existing open textbook policy language.

OPENCON REPORT ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION: This week the OpenCon team released a new report entitled Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Learnings and Next Steps. The report includes relevant lessons learned in organizing the first three OpenCon global conferences, a conference planning checklist based on those learnings, and a self-assessment of OpenCon’s global meetings to date. In addition to the release of the report, the OpenCon team welcomes community feedback on the report through GitHub, where they have created an online version of the site. You can find the online version of the report here and details on contributing here.

CC FILES AMICUS BRIEF: Last week, Creative Commons asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for permission to file an amicus brief in litigation involving the BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

OER, CANADA: BCcampus announced its most recent set of open education grant recipients – including one for the first “zed creds” or zero-textbook cost degree programs in Canada. Three institutions have won funding to create their own Zed Cred programs, and all materials created through the grant will be licensed CC-BY.

OPEN SUNY HITS 20: Open SUNY Textbooks has just added their 19th and 20th open textbooks to their collection. You can check out their new titles here.

OPENSTAX PLATFORM: On Monday, OpenStax launched an online learning platform, OpenStax Tutor Beta. OpenStax Tutor will be available for 3 courses — Sociology, Biology, and College Physics — for Fall. Eventually, OpenStax plans to make Tutor Beta available in all subject areas where it publishes content. The new platform will cost $10 per student, combining existing OER with personalized assessment. OpenStax is working to integrate the new platform into learning management systems by Fall 2018.


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

EVENT: Inside Higher Ed is hosting a webinar, sponsored by Cengage, on “The OER Moment” on July 18th at 2pm EDT. Click here to register.

EVENT: The Open Textbook Network and Rebus Community is hosting their July Office Hours on Wednesday July 26th, at 2pm EDT. The topic of the call is “Keeping Open Textbooks Up to Date”. Click here to RSVP.

EVENT: Apply now to attend OpenCon Nov 11-13 in Berlin, Germany. Travel scholarships are available. OpenCon is the conference to empower the next generation to advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data.

EVENT: Registration for #OpenEd17 is now OPEN! The conference will be taking place Oct 11-13 in Anaheim, CA. Click here to register.

JOB: The Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC) is looking for a Director of Digital Services and Open Educational Resources. Click here to learn more.

OPPORTUNITY: Creative Commons USA is looking for resources around open licensing – open education, data, access, culture, and more. CC-USA will be hosting a “Partner Resources” page on their website and are looking for reports, fact sheets, tools, studies, data sets, search engines, etc to direct traffic to.

OPPORTUNITY: SPARC is working with a team of librarians to develop an OER Mythbusting Resource catered to a higher education faculty audience. Click here to provide your feedback on which myths are worth investigating!

SUBSCRIBE: If you haven’t already – subscribe to the OER Digest here.


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

FROM ILLINOIS: “The camp was an excellent opportunity for faculty to improve the quality of their courses by incorporating new technologies, digital resources and their own expert materials into courses,” said Julie Freelove, co-chairwoman of MCC’s textbook ad hoc committee. “These changes will not only improve course quality but reduce the cost of textbooks for MCC students.” Read more>>

FROM KANSAS: “No one will wait for their loans to buy the book or not buy the book and take academic risks in doing that or take fewer courses if their textbook is free,” said Josh Bolick, a scholarly communications librarian who has spearheaded the effort. Read more>>


Amanda Coolidge‏ @acoolidge

BCcampus is pleased to announce the 2017 Open Education Grant recipients https://bccampus.ca/2017/07/13/bccampus-is-pleased-to-announce-the-2017-open-education-grant-recipients/ … via @bccampus #oer #zedcred


Interesting Reads Relating to Education and Open

A Thumbs Up to Open Up for Delivering Free, Curriculum-Scale OER | THE Journal


Follett Introduces New Tool to Bridge Gap Between OERs, Content and Technology | Campus Technology


Free Foundations: Empowering Open Advocates at the HLLR Open Educational Resources (OER) Day | Open Shelf


KU Partners with Open Textbook Program to Increase Affordability | The University Daily Kansan


National Study Shows Open Education Resources Enjoys Strong Faculty Support | The Suburban Times


New Pilot Project Encourages Faculty Members to Go Beyond the Textbook | U Today


2017 OER State Legislation Roundup | SPARC


Have suggestions for the next edition? Let us know at oerdigest@gmail.com, or tweet us @OERdigest.

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.

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