Month: December 2017

Regular Edition

OER Digest – December 22nd, 2017

From Katie Steen (SPARC) | Volume 47 | December 22nd, 2017

With updates from Ethan Senack

THE OER DIGEST

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

OPENING THE TEXTBOOK: A new report by the Babson Survey Research Group found that OER awareness and adoption are on the rise. Babson surveyed more than 2,700 U.S. faculty about OER. Although awareness and adoption of OER remain small, the survey showed that the OER movement is growing. Highlights from the report:

  • 30% of faculty say they are “aware” or “very aware” of OER, up from 26% last year.

  • 9% of faculty report having adopted an open textbook, up from 5% last year.

  • 44% of faculty say they will use or consider using OER in the next 3 years, up from 38% last year.

The report was shared widely on twitter and was also covered by Inside Higher Ed.

CANADIAN GOV SUPPORTS OER PILOT: At the urging of the Canadian Alliance for Student Associations (CASA), the Canadian federal government’s Standing Committee on Finance recommended that the government create a pilot program to provide students and faculty with incentives to develop OER. The Committee’s report will be considered by the Minister of Finance in the 2018 federal budget process.

HEA MOVEMENT: The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed a Republican version of the Higher Education Act Reauthorization (HEA) last week. HEA is the federal legislation that governs higher education in the U.S. and has not been reauthorized in nearly 10 years. An amendment to add the Affordable College Textbook Act to HEA was proposed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) to raise awareness about OER but it was known in advance that the committee was unlikely to adopt most amendments. OER advocates in the U.S. will be working with champions in the House and Senate to find other opportunities for OER in HEA.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS: The OER Digest team wishes you a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year! Stay tuned for the next Digest on January 11th.

THE YEAR IN REVIEW

A quick look back at some of this year’s biggest changes

US AGENCIES STEPPING UP:  The U.S. Department of Education adopted an open licensing policy for grant-funded educational materials while the Department of State developed a Federal Open Licensing Playbook.

NEW ACTORS: Businesses started offering OER through their proprietary platforms including Cengage, Follett, VitalSource, Barnes + Noble, and Top Hat. This represents a significant shift in the the course content market as businesses look to get involved in the growing OER movement.

STATE LEGISLATION: States invested significant time and resources in OER initiatives. 5 states passed OER legislation in 2017 with notable bills from Texas, Colorado, and Maryland.

GLOBAL FRONT: In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, OER advocates released a community resource with 10 new recommendations to move open education forward.  Delegates from 111 countries at the OER World Congress adopted the 2017 Ljubljana OER Action Plan.

OPENSTAX SAVINGS: Students are projected to save an estimated $145M in the 2017-2018 academic year by using OpenStax books.

GO OPEN SUMMITS: 2017 #GoOpen Summits reached 325 school districts and more than 2,000 educators across the country.

CAMPUS SAVINGS: Campus OER initiatives saved students millions of dollars this year. Specifically, Maricopa Community College saved students more than $9M and Georgia Highlands College who saved students $3.8M.  Send us your institution’s savings at oerdigest@gmail.com and we may feature them in a future Digest!

OPEN CONFERENCES

Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs

REGISTER: Early bird registration is open for the Creative Commons 2018 Global Summit in Toronto. Register here: https://summit.creativecommons.org/register2018/

REGISTER: The 2018 OE Global Conference take place in Delft, The Netherlands. Register here: https://conference.oeconsortium.org/2018/registration/

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

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

FROM PENNSYLVANIA: “My responsibilities also include implementing a robust faculty development program. That entails finding grants that are available to professors for creating their own textbooks and encouraging them to work with students to develop content and receive credit.” Read More >>

FROM MASSACHUSETTS: “I think it really goes to who the Wheaton student is. Someone who not only cares about getting free textbooks, but cares about the social justice aspect of it.” Read More >>

HOT OFF THE PRESS

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

Dr. Emma Hutchinson from the University of Victoria adapted Principles of Microeconomics originally published by OpenStax. This adaption expands on the original book and includes more than 200 multiple choice questions and eight case studies.

WEIGH IN

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

Students’ Vital Role in OER http://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2017/12/13/students-have-vital-role-creating-and-spreading-oer

New Zero-Cost Textbook Classes Minimize Educational Barriers http://www.pcccourier.com/news/new-zero-cost-textbook-classes-minimize-educational-barriers.html

Interesting to Consider >>

What will the rollback of net neutrality mean for innovation in higher ed? | Education Dive https://www.educationdive.com/news/what-will-the-rollback-of-net-neutrality-mean-for-innovation-in-higher-ed/513250/

Moocs focus ‘distracted universities from other online tools’ | Times Higher Education https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/moocs-focus-distracted-universities-other-online-tools

Free Online Learning Resources for a Bilingual Wales | Business News Wales

https://businessnewswales.com/free-online-learning-resources-bilingual-wales/

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.

Regular Edition

OER Digest – December 7th, 2017

From Saman Azimi and Kaitlyn Vitez, US PIRG | Volume 46 | December 7th, 2017

With updates from Ethan Senack, Katie Steen, and Nicole Allen

THE OER DIGEST

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

STUDENTS SPEAK UP: A new report details student impressions of courses that switched to OER at Reynolds Community College in Virginia. Hundreds of students across 11 courses participated. The data reveal that 74% of students surveyed found the OER content more engaging than a traditional textbook, and 21% specifically mentioned how open materials were more flexible and tailored to their class.

COURSE LABELLING: Four states – California, Texas, Washington and Oregon – as well as individual institutions across the country are requiring a logo or other indicator of cost in their course catalogues. Advocates, oppositions, and faculty weigh in on the challenges of getting their projects off the ground. They detail the technical challenges of posting the essential price information, as well as debating the threshold of affordability for students.

CENGAGE UNLIMITED: Cengage announced the release of a new subscription service that gives subscribers access to the entirety of Cengage’s digital portfolio for a set price. The Netflix-style service doesn’t include any OER, but represents another new model that OER advocates may encounter on campus. It is available at the cost of $119.99 for a semester’s access to more than 20,000 Cengage resources.

OTN GOING GLOBAL: The University of Southern Queensland became the first non-U.S. university to join the Open Textbook Network. The Open Textbook Network, based out of the University of Minnesota, maintains the Open Textbook Library and helps higher education institutions and systems advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses. SQU is currently planning on developing Australian editions of Open Textbook Library resources.

OPEN CITATIONS: Scientometrics researchers are calling on scholarly publishers to provide open citation data in an open letter with more than 200 signatories. Proponents claim that citations, which the letter says “provide essential information for studying science and making decisions about the future of research,” should not be limited to scholars with access to expensive database subscriptions. The letter builds on the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC), which aims to establish a global, public web of linked scholarly subscription data.

THE OA EFFECT: Research group Springer Nature released a report comparing the performance of open access and non-open access academic books, measured by usage, citations, and online mentions. Key findings, including that open access book see seven times more chapter downloads, 50% more citations, and ten times more online mentions than non-open access books, conclude that there are tangible benefits to publishing using open access models.

THE NEW KNEWTON: Knewton announced that it will be releasing its own line of online courseware in January. This marks a major pivot for the company, which gained publicity over the last year by marketing its services as offering artificial intelligence to help major textbook companies make their content more adaptive. The announcement places Knewton as a competitor to the major publishers, but the company claims that its mix of OER and adaptive learning will set it apart.

OPPORTUNITY: SPARC is seeking OER leaders to serve as mentors for its Open Education Leadership Program pilot. Learn more and sign up by December 11th here.

OPEN CONFERENCES

Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs  

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Festival of Learning 2018 is accepting session proposals until December 11th. The theme this year is “Handle with Care” and proposals can be submitted here: https://bccampus.ca/festival-of-learning-2018/call-for-proposals/

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Submit proposals for the Southern Regional Faculty & Instructional Development Consortium’s Annual Conference, this year titled “Creative Connections: Teaching, Learning, Open Educational Resources,” due December 17th. http://srfidc.weebly.com/conference-information.html

CALL FOR PROPOSALS EXTENDED: The Utah OER Forum has extended the call for proposals until December 17th. Registration opens January 1st. http://oerutah.org/index.php/oer-forum/

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

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

FROM TEXAS: “In the process of complying with the state mandate to identify potential for low- and no-cost textbooks, we are demonstrating the value of partnerships between departmental faculty and subject librarians. Faculty have more control over what and how the material is covered, and the savings to students are estimated at greater than $600,000 per year. I think that’s a story worth shouting about!” Read More >

FROM NEW JERSEY: “I participated in the [Open and Affordable Textbook] project because of my belief that the university education now, more than ever, should not be restricted to textbooks in many cases. Students should browse and learn from available resources on the internet. With so much emphasis on research, this project sends the message that teaching/learning is still important.” Read More >

HOT OFF THE PRESS

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

Professor Ellen C. Carillo of the University of Connecticut partnered with the University Press of Colorado and the Colorado State WAC Clearinghouse to release A Writer’s Guide to Mindful Reading. As part of the openly licensed “Practice and Pedagogy” series, it offers “a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction by focusing on reading and writing.”

WEIGH IN

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

Why Should Institutions Consider Publishing Open Access Textbooks | Jisc

https://etextbook.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2017/12/04/why-should-institutions-consider-publishing-open-access-textbooks/

Interesting to Consider >>

Exploring the Use of E-Textbooks in Higher Education | EDUCAUSE

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/10/exploring-the-use-of-e-textbooks-in-higher-education-a-multiyear-study

Carlsbad Plan Would Put Technology in the Hands of Students | San Diego Union-Tribune

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/sd-no-carlsbad-devices-20171129-story.html

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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