Month: January 2018

Regular Edition

OER Digest – January 25th, 2018

From Saman Azimi and Kaitlyn Vitez, U.S. PIRG | Volume 49 | January 25th, 2018

With updates from Nicole Allen, Cheryl Cuillier, and Katie Steen

THE OER DIGEST

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

OPEN 101: U.S. PIRG released a new report titled “Open 101: An Action Plan for Affordable Textbooks,” The report investigates the cost of course materials in the ten highest-enrollment courses in the country, zeroing in on how bundled materials prevent students from finding low-cost alternatives. The report also provides a comparison of course materials used for those ten courses across criteria such as availability unbundled, retention, and the cost for new and used books. Key findings include:

  • Of the access code bundles (text + access code) examined in the report, 45% were unavailable from any source besides the campus bookstore, forcing students to pay full price. For courses using textbooks only, students could cut costs as much as 58% by buying online.

  • Schools that have invested in OER generated significant savings for students, e.g. at Greenfield Community College, where three of six courses investigated used OER, students spent as little as $31 per course versus a national average of $153 per course.

  • If the ten highest-enrollment courses nationally switched to using OER, students save up to $1.5 billion each year.

TOP OF THE CLASS: EdReports, an independent education nonprofit that reviews K-12 curricula on a set of three criteria – alignment to Common Core standards, academic rigor, and usability – gave its highest ever rating to Open Up Resources’ Illustrative Mathematics 6-8. The curriculum, which is fully OER, was the only one of fifty-four math curricula reviewed by EdReports to earn a designation of “meets expectations” in all three criteria.

STATE POLICY: SPARC and Creative Commons USA released a pair of companion documents examining state policy on OER and offering recommendations and analysis for lawmakers and advocates:

  • SPARC’s OER State Policy Playbook provides a framework of ideas that state legislators can pursue to harness the power of OER to reduce the cost of college for students. The playbook suggests several policy strategies, like establishing a grant program, assembling a statewide task force, issuing a savings challenge, and requiring course designations, and provides real life examples.

  • Creative Commons USA’s OER State Legislative Guide looks at seven examples of state legislation supporting OER, each representing a different perspective and legislative language. The guide annotates the bills to highlight strengths, areas for improvement, and unique tactics.

OER IN OR: A new report from Open Oregon Educational Resources covering the cost savings community college students have seen in the two years since Oregon established an OER initiative found that students in three transfer degree programs spent 16% less in 2017 than 2015, for over $1 million in savings. The report also found that the number of hours working at minimum wage it would take to cover materials costs has fallen by ~25% across all three degrees because of lower prices and higher wages.

HBD CAPE TOWN DECLARATION: Happy 10th Anniversary to the Cape Town Open Education Declaration! To celebrate, a small group of open education advocates met in Cape Town in March 2017 to discuss the accomplishments and challenges in the movement over the last decade. At the meeting, advocates identified ten key directions to move open education forward. Check out the conversation on twitter at #CPT10.

 

OPEN CONFERENCES

Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs

REGISTER: OpenStax is hosting its first Creator Fest for biology, physics, math, and chemistry instructors in Houston, TX from April 5th-6th. Register here: OpenStax.org/OXCFRegister

REGISTER: The Puget Sound Educational Service District is hosting a summit on the state of OER in K-12 in Washington at their office in Renton, WA on March 26th. Register here: https://s01.123signup.com/servlet/SignUpMember?

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Participate in Open Education Week (March 5-9) by submitting an event you’re hosting or an open resource to be featured on the OEW website. Submit by February 25th here: https://www.openeducationweek.org/page/call-for-participation

 

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

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

FROM PENNSYLVANIA:  A committee being formed by provost Patricia Beeson is expected to explore options, including a student-developed idea calling for expanded use by faculty of these lower-cost materials, and creation by Pitt of grants and other incentives for professors willing to participate. Read More >

FROM INDIANA: The four-week course will focus on finding educational materials that are both high quality and reviewed, highlighting those available through IU South Bend or IU-subscriptions. “We will also learn about copyright considerations and, finally, creating new, homegrown OERs here at IUSB. Faculty and instructors taking the redesign institute will identify and integrate alternative materials into existing or future courses,” states the syllabus for the course. Read More >

 

HOT OFF THE PRESS

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

From Steven W. Ellingson of Virginia Tech comes a beta of Electromagnetics Volume 1 (CC BY-SA 4.0). The text, which is intended for third-year undergraduates in an electrical engineering program, employs the “transition lines first” approach and is currently being field tested in a Spring 2018 course.

 

WEIGH IN

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

5 Ways to Get Started with OER | eSchool News

Ehttps://www.eschoolnews.com/2018/01/23/oer-get-started-open-resources/?all

Interesting to Consider >>

Amazon’s Education Hub, Amazon Inspire, Has Quietly Restored “Sharing” Function | EdSurge

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-01-11-amazon-s-education-hub-amazon-inspire-has-quietly-restored-sharing-function?

Administrators Consider Teachers’ Professional Learning Needs Using Digital, OER Resources | Education Dive

https://www.educationdive.com/news/administrators-consider-teachers-professional-learning-needs-in-using-digi/504588/

This 1 Particular Area of Ed Tech is Ripe for Disruption | Entrepreneur

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/307712

Opinion: It’s Time to Rid Ourselves of the Textbook Industrial Complex | Collegiate Times

http://www.collegiatetimes.com/opinion/it-s-time-to-rid-ourselves-of-the-textbook-industrial/article_c66d980e-fe15-11e7-a970-a77a06c48e72.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.

Regular Edition

OER Digest – January 11th, 2018

From Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA | Volume 48 | January 11th, 2018

With updates from Nicole Allen, Cheryl Cuillier, and Karen Lauritsen

THE OER DIGEST

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

CHEERS TO 2018: As we kick off the new year, the Digest team just wants to express a quick word of thanks to our readers. Send us your predictions, blogs, or other reflections for 2018 at oerdigest@gmail.com or @oerdigest and we might include them in the next edition!

HITTING A GROOVE: If the first couple weeks of this month are any indication, the OER community seems to be heading for a banner year. Check out some of the most recent headlines from articles featuring OER:

BREAKING, FROM CA: California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a new, public, online community college for the state as a means to improve economic mobility and prepare the workforce for a changing job market. As part of the proposal, the college will leverage OER and “z-degree courses” to keep the cost of attendance as low as possible. More details are expected in coming weeks.

IN OTHER STATES: A host of legislators in Virginia, Washington, New York, Mississippi, and Indiana introduced bills around access to- and cost of- course materials this past week, including many provisions around OER. The Digest will be following these, and other bills, as they proceed.

BIG NUMBERS: So far in 2018, institutions are putting big numbers on the board – Pierce College announced last week that they crossed the $1 million mark in student savings from OER, and the University System of Maryland’s annual scorecard revealed $1.6 million in savings for their students. In a different vein, UMUC hit record enrollment last year after years of struggling to maintain existing levels – and they credit their switch to OER as a major factor in the improvement. They’ve also seen increased retention, and dropped their average ‘books and supplies’ cost to zero. Additionally, Wiki Education announced that their programs had added more than 7.68 million words of science content to the open online encyclopedia.

10 YEARS: January 22, 2018 marks the official 10 year anniversary of the publication of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration. Consider marking the occasion on the 22nd with a blog post on your predictions for the next 10 years or join in on social media with #CPT10.

NEW EFFORT: Late last year, the Open Textbook Network announced the creation of The Publishing Cooperative, a group of institutions working together to “establish publishing infrastructure, processes, and community to expand the development of open textbook publishing in higher education.” Their goal is publish two dozen CC-BY textbooks by 2020.

 

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, April 13-15th. Register here: https://summit.creativecommons.org/register2018/

REGISTER: The 2018 OE Global Conference take place in Delft, The Netherlands on April 24-26th. Register here: https://conference.oeconsortium.org/2018/registration/

REGISTER, TAKE 2: The Florida OER Summit takes place next month, February 7-8th, after it was postponed due to Hurricane Irma last year. Registration is open now, here: https://www.flvc.org/oersummit-registration

REGISTER: The Library Collective is hosting a conference February 28-March 2nd in Tennessee. Register here by February 1st: http://www.thelibrarycollective.org

 

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

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

 

FROM PENNSYLVANIA K-12: “It really is a grassroots effort,” he says. “It’s not a top-down [situation], where we have to submit resources to the state level or the intermediate unit level to be approved. … Instead, it starts at the district level where teachers, who are the best evaluators of the content that they’re utilizing in the classroom, can begin that process.” Read More >

FROM PENNSYLVANIA HIGHER ED: The resolution cited the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, which recommends students prepare to pay $772 for textbooks for the 2017-2018 school year. “That cost, that’s someone’s rent. That’s someone’s grocery money for the entire semester,” Patel said. “That impacts the students way more than people really see.” Read More >

 

HOT OFF THE PRESS

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

The Public Data Lab released under CC-BY A Field Guide on “Fake News” – exploring the best ways to identify and fake news and verify real stories. The authors are also attempting to build the guide out into a full textbook as well.

 

WEIGH IN

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

To combat soaring textbook costs, look to an open-source approach | The Globe and Mail

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/to-combat-soaring-textbook-costs-look-to-an-open-source-approach/article37477566/

Interesting to Consider >>

How OER Can Help Low-Income School Districts | Kajeet.net

http://www.kajeet.net/extracurricular/how-oer-can-help-low-income-school-districts

As Textbook Companies Try New Options, Many Students Say Price Is Biggest Factor | EdSurge

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-01-09-as-textbook-companies-try-new-options-many-students-say-price-is-biggest-factor

White Paper on Open Educational Resources | Ontario Council of University Libraries

https://ocul.on.ca/node/6820

Highlights From a Year of Tracking Future Trends in Education | EdSurge

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-12-22-highlights-from-a-year-of-tracking-future-trends-in-education

Districts to watch in 2018 | Education Dive

https://www.educationdive.com/news/districts-to-watch-in-2018/513734/

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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