OER Digest – June 14th, 2018

From Ethan Senack | Volume 59 | June 14th, 2018

With updates from Prathima Appaji and Rich Hershman



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


REPORTING BACK: A new report from the Open Government Partnership on the US’ progress toward the commitments in our Third National Action Plan finds that the OER provisions around #GoOpen and the Open Licensing Rule at the Department of Education “substantially opened government with respect to access to information.” The report also concludes that “the #GoOpen campaign represents the clearest example of a change in government practice that has enhanced public access to educational information.”


STATE POLICY UPDATES: The state Senate in New York passed two bills relating to OER, one requiring the CUNY and SUNY systems to gather information and report on the accessibility and availability of alternative course materials, and the other requiring all institutions of higher education to adopt policies allowing the use of innovative pricing techniques for textbooks.


MORE ON STATES: A report from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) found that the number of states with formal definitions of instructional materials that include open educational resources has increased in recent years, from 9 in 2015 to 17 in 2017.


FACTS AND FIGURES: New data from the National Center for Education Statistics places student spending on textbooks around $550 per year. Important to note – this number reflects student spending on books, which is impacted by the number of students who opt out of purchasing books entirely, students who are assigned OER, and those use other methods to cut costs.


UPDATED RESOURCE: BCcampus released an updated version of their Accessibility Toolkit for open education. The new edition specifically discusses meeting accessibility requirements in Pressbooks, among other new topics.



Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs  


SAVE THE DATE: OpenCon 2018 will be held November 2-4 in Toronto, Canada. Applications are now open and will close on July 13. Apply here.


REGISTER: The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) and Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries joint conference on OER in higher education will take place August 1-2, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. Register here.


REFLECTIONS: Did you share or post your thoughts on the Northeast OER Summit, the Saylor Summit on Credentialing, the Iowa/Nebraska GoOpen Summit, or the BCcampus Festival of Learning? Send them our way (oerdigest@gmail.com) to be included here.


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


FROM VIRGINIA: With 30 courses being offered without textbooks, students at Central Virginia Community College have saved $250,000 only in textbook costs in the last two years. “What we’re really doing is providing access to students as much as providing a cost savings,” explained Edward McGee the Instructional Technology Coordinator. Read more >


FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA: “We’re continuing to make education and training as accessible as possible for people,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Adult Basic Education opens the door for people to advance their opportunities, improve their chances of success and participate in the workforce. Investing in more open textbooks for Adult Basic Education programs builds on our previous step of making Adult Basic Education programs tuition free.” Read More >



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


The UH Mānoa Outreach College released a slew of new open textbooks this past week, including Human Nutrition, Principles of Microeconomics, and Mathematics for Elementary Teachers. From their announcement, “Teams of faculty leads, graduate and undergraduate students, and instructors collaboratively developed content that offers unmatched relevance for our students.” Find the books here.


Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>


How Textbook Rentals Undercut Students | Inside Higher Ed



Interesting to Consider >>

Copyright a growing concern in the digital classroom | Education Dive https://www.educationdive.com/news/copyright-a-growing-concern-in-the-digital-classroom/524864/

Open Resources Are a Huge Help for Students, but Cost, Quality & Access Can be a Challenge. The Feds Can Help |  The 74


LearnZillion Going After District Curriculum Business, Aims to Compete With Big Publishers |  EdWeek Market Brief


Some Thoughts on OER | e-Literate


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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