OER Digest – October 26th, 2017

From Kaitlyn Vitez (USPIRG) | Volume 43 | October 26th, 2017

With updates from Brady Yano, Ethan Senack, and Katie Steen


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

HAPPY OPEN ACCESS WEEK: In celebration of International Open Access Week, Stephen Hawking announced that his 1966 Doctoral Thesis on Properties of Expanding Universes would be made publicly available for the first time. Demand to view his work was so high it crashed the Cambridge University’s repository! Be sure to check out local events near you, and follow the conversation at #OAWeek.

CENGAGE SIGNALS CHANGE: Earlier this month, publishing giant Cengage launched OpenNow, a new product line targeting general education courses. Cengage has indicated that they plan to license the  narrative and assessment content in OpenNow under a CC-BY open license. OpenNow includes content from OpenStax and other sources, new content created by Cengage, and content previously under a Cengage copyright. Cengage advertises the starting cost per course as $25.

CALL TO ACTION: Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo published a letter last week that highlighted the state’s open textbook initiatives. The governor’s letter calls for students, faculty, and staff to do more at Bryant University and other schools to do more to promote OER.

KEY QUOTE: One year into the initiative, we can report over $870,000 in savings for over 6,000 Rhode Island students. And that number is growing.”

TWO NEW TOOLS: Creative Commons USA, the Rebus Community, and the Open Textbook Network created an Adaptable Open Educational Resources Publishing Agreement, designed to be a starting point for higher education institutions looking to contract with their faculty to create OER. Earlier this week SPARC in conjunction with a team of librarians released a new resource entitled OER Mythbusting, aimed at busting seven of the most common North American higher education OER myths.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: On behalf of the entire OER Digest team, happy birthday to our friends at BCcampus who earlier this week celebrated the 5th birthday of the BC Open Textbook Project!


Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs  

FEEDBACK: Have feedback after attending #OpenEd17? Submit your suggestions here.

REPORT BACKS: Read (or listen to) some hot takes on #OpenEd17: Kelsey Merkley, Daniel Williamson, Amanda Coolidge, Bonni Stachowiak, Karen Cangialosi, David Wiley, Lauri Aesoph, and Scott Robison. Send us your own additions at oerdigest@gmail.com.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: OE Global 2018 has extended their call for proposals until October 30th! https://conference.oeconsortium.org/2018/call-for-proposals/

REGISTER: Michigan is hosting a #GoOpen Summit at three sites across the state on December 5th.The program’s breakout sessions are designed for K-12 district administrators. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/GoOpen_Summit_Flyer_600903_7.pdf

REGISTER: OpenCon Live will be taking place November 11-13th. Tune in for a few hours, or a few days, from wherever you are to become an expert in different areas of Open, build your network, and help accelerate progress! http://www.opencon2017.org/opencon_2017_live

REGISTER: The 2017 Textbook Affordability Conference will be held on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, November 10th-12th. https://tac.nacs.org/


Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted

FROM MISSOURI: “At first we were seeing some resistance [from instructors to OER],” scholarly communications librarian Josh Bolick. “But I think they are beginning to see that this is a reality moving forward and it can not be ignored… More lower-income bracket students are going to college today than ever before, so you see universities around the country starting to pay more attention to cost issues.” Read more>>

FROM CONNECTICUT: The Daily Campus editorial board highlights the work of student activists in promoting OER at UConn, and calls on the school to provide more resources to make the switch to OER in introductory courses: “As long as the textbooks are of the same quality, there is no justifiable reason for professors not to switch to open source resources. Students are already weighed down by the cost of tuition and room and board, as well as other university fees and expenses. If the university can save students several thousand dollars by merely switching textbooks, it should do so.” Read more >>>


Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource

The Rebus community released their first book, Financial Strategy for Public Managers, by Sharon Kioko and Justin Marlowe. It was peer-reviewed by a team of eight experts, and holds the top ranking on Amazon for Government Accounting books. It covers everything from the basics of accounting to the politics and process of budget preparation.


Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

EdTech Hero: Barbara Soots paves the way for OER adoption in Washington | EdScoop


Interesting to Consider >>

A Horizontal Move in the Right Direction | Inside Higher Ed


Imagining the “open” university: sharing scholarship to improve research and education | PLOS Biology


Openness and the Decline of the Textbook Author | Inside Higher Ed


Why am I spending three hundred dollars on textbooks? | The Student Life


Textbook Capitalism | The Stanford Daily


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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