OER Digest – November 22, 2017

From Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA | Volume 45 | November 22, 2017

With updates from Brady Yano


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

SIGNING OFF (from Digest co-author Brady Yano): I’m sad to share that this will be the last OER Digest I contribute to in my capacity at SPARC. Thank you to our readers for engaging with our bi-weekly content and thank you to Ethan Senack for bringing myself and SPARC onto this fantastic project! While I leave my role at SPARC at the end of the month, you can still find me on Twitter @bradyyano. Bye for now!

IN THE STATES: California passed a bill last year requiring most state institutions to mark courses using OER or no-cost materials on their course schedule. That legislation is set to become operative in just a few weeks on January 1st. In Washington, a bill to create grants at six different state universities is still on hold, though proponents are hopeful.

ON CAMPUS: Institutions – and increasingly, their student governments – are stepping up on open education. SUNY Oswego made news around their Shakespearean Acting OER, Lansing Community College’s OER Project Manager Regina Gong was featured on their Fox affiliate, and student governments advocating for OER made news at the University of Tennessee, University of Missouri, and University of Illinois. In Canada, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance released a policy paper on their vision for OER in province.

ON THE RANGE: The Wyoming Department of Education announced this week that they’re developing a statewide, K-20 Learning Management System in hopes of encouraging more educators to incorporate OER into their classes. Officials say they hope the change will spur greater personalization and reduce costs.

PUBLISHER PRESENCE: The increasing interest of textbook publishers like Cengage in OER has made headlines this week, following the announcement of their new OER-based learning platform. While many questions remain unanswered, their team is working to sell the higher education community on the idea. More discussion of the changes from their perspective in the Community College Daily and on Xconomy.

OPENSTAX IN ACTION: The open textbook publisher and the math technology company Carnegie Learning have announced a partnership to combine their open books and materials with Carnegie’s deep AI-based learning software to improve student access to and performance in developmental math. Also from OpenStax, their open textbooks are now available through VitalSource and RedShelf, two major digital textbook providers for college campuses.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: To all the folks celebrating tomorrow!


Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: BCcampus’ Festival of Learning is set to return next spring! The deadline to submit a proposal is December 11th. https://bccampus.ca/festival-of-learning-2018/call-for-proposals/

CALL FOR PROPOSALS EXTENDED: Missed out on submitting to #OER18 in Bristol? Fret not, the deadline has been extended to November 26th. https://oer18.oerconf.org/call-for-proposals/.

REPORTING BACK: Last week nearly 200 early career open advocates from around the world convened in Berlin, Germany as participants of the 4th annual OpenCon. This year’s program featured four plenary sessions ranging in topics from next generation open initiatives to a highly regarded panel on diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as for the first time seven regional workshops and a full day do-a-thon! To catch up on what you missed, check out #OpenCon, outputs from the conference on GitHub, and recordings from the event here.


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

FROM ILLINOIS: “Jose Loazda, freshman in FAA, notes that many books are published by the University, and that professors expect a quick turnaround to purchase books right away. “I have to make a pros and cons list for each book like, ‘Do I really need it?’” Lozada said. “A lot of classes’ curriculums follow the books, so if you don’t have it, then you cannot follow along.” Ashley Garcia, junior in Education, said she sometimes just asks classmates to borrow their textbooks, or sometimes she will split it with someone.” Read more >

FROM TEXAS: “Through our membership…Texas Tech instructors can easily find affordable, quality textbook solutions that have not only been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality,” Gerlich said, “but also are funded, published and licensed to be freely used, adapted and distributed.” Read more >


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

Authors working in partnership with the Rebus Community have just released a new open textbook, Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The book, in their description: “is the first edition of a modular open textbook designed for entrepreneurial journalism, media innovation, and related courses.” The book will be available for print-on-demand in December and you can read more about it here.

The Center for OER and Language Learning is out with an openly-licensed student workbook called Recorridos to improve understanding of don Quixote in upper-level spanish courses. More information here.



Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

If a textbook falls in the forest… | Inside Higher Ed


Interesting to Consider >>

The Era of the Textbook is over | EdWeek


A PlayBook to Go Open: 5 Steps to Adopting OER | EdSurge


OER: Bigger than Affordability | Inside Higher Ed


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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