Month: July 2018

Regular Edition

OER Digest – July 26th, 2018

From Camille Thomas and Mo Nyamweya, SPARC | Volume 62 | July 26th, 2018
With updates from Nicole Allen, Sarah Cohen, Cable Green, and Sara Hare.  

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

FEDERAL UPDATE: This week, the U.S. Congress approved legislation reauthorizing the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which governs the nation’s career and technical education (CTE) framework. Included in the bill are provisions permitting OER as an allowable use of funds for state and local activities. The Department of Education took its first public step toward implementing the $5 million Open Textbook Pilot funded by Congress in March by issuing a call for peer reviewers. Candidates interested in reviewing applications for the pilot can submit their resume by August 6th. New America has analysis on what to expect as the program rolls out here.

IN THE STATES: Texas continues to collect applications for its OER grant program, and will hold public hearing on the draft of its Statewide OER Feasibility Study this week. Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission released a report assessing progress on the OER course designation requirements established in 2015. Recommendations include increasing consistency across institutions and ensuring course materials are reported in a timely manner. Meanwhile, the editors of the forthcoming monograph Marking OER Courses: Best Practices and Case Studies are currently seeking chapter and case study contributions.

OPEN SUSTAINABILITY: As the OER movement grows, community colleges are thinking deeply about OER sustainability, including ways in which student savings affect institutions’ bottom lines. To navigate this changing landscape, some community colleges are seeking funding based on increased enrollment, while others see OER course fees as an option. Open advocates continue to seek sustainability models that uphold open principles and include stakeholders.  

CURRENT EVENTS: This week, the Open Textbook Network is hosting its fourth annual Summer Institute and Summit, bringing together more than 100 leaders from across the country to connect, share, and strengthen their programs and the open education community. You can follow the action on Twitter at #OTNSI18. Next week, the Greater Western Library Alliance and Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries will host OER: From Vision to Action, a conference to build up regional partnerships and collaborations. Follow along at #OERvisionaction18.

NEW CO-AUTHOR: Hi there! I’m Mo Nyamweya and I’ve just joined the SPARC team as Open Education Coordinator. I recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where I worked as a student employee in the library on the campus OER initiative. I’m excited to join as a Digest co-author while working on SPARC’s Open Education programming. You can find me at @MoNyamweya.

OPEN CONFERENCES
Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs

REGISTER: Registration is now open for the Open Education Conference, October 10-12 in Niagara Falls, NY. Early bird registration ends August 31.

PROGRAM: The Open Education Southern Symposium has released its schedule and session descriptions. The conference is October 1-2 in Fayetteville Arkansas and registration ends September 7.

SAVE THE DATE: Florida Virtual Campus will be holding the Florida OER Summit on October 24-25.

JOB: BC Campus is hiring a Researcher for Open Practices. This position will work on projects that inform and advance the use of Open Educational Practices in British Columbia post-secondary education.

STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted

FROM MICHIGAN: “Faculty OER adoptions at Lansing Community College have increased 71% since Fall 2017. The Michigan community college now boasts 127 faculty members in 46 courses using OER for the Fall 2018 semester, with a total of 227 sections using OER.” Read more >

FROM SOUTH CAROLINA: “USC English professor Hannah Rule switched to OERs several years ago after receiving a $500 grant from USC libraries and USC student government. That money goes toward overhauling the entire course, in order to convert from conventional textbooks to free online textbooks.” University of South Carolina’s OER program has saved students an estimated $429,000 since 2014. At least 24 professors across seven of USC’s colleges use open textbooks for their courses, thanks in large part to support from the University’s student government. Read more >

HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource

The Center for Open Education Research (COER) released Experiences in Self-Determined Learning, a textbook on heutagogy from a variety of learning environments from secondary to the workplace. It was edited by Lisa Blaschke, Chris Kenyon and Stewart Hase. The text is available as a PDF or in print, with all proceeds from print copies donated to educating children in Africa.

WEIGH IN
Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

University of British Columbia: Recognizing Open in Promotion and Tenure | Educause Review
https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2018/7/university-of-british-columbia-recognizing-open-in-promotion-and-tenure

7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Practices | Educause
https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/7/7-things-you-should-know-about-open-education-practices

Interesting to Consider >>

Open textbooks – an untapped opportunity for universities, colleges and schools | UKSG
https://insights.uksg.org/articles/10.1629/uksg.427/

Free Digital Textbooks vs. Purchased Commercial Textbooks | Inside Higher Ed
https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/07/16/measuring-impact-oer-university-georgia

UB research lab studies how university courses can be more ‘open’ | UBNow
http://www.buffalo.edu/ubnow/stories/2018/07/open-educational-resources.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 – July 12th, 2018

From Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA | Volume 61 | July 12th, 2018

With updates from Walter Butler, Angela Davis, Nicole Allen and Camille Thomas

 

THE OER DIGEST

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

IMPACT OF OER: A new, large-scale study from the Association of American College and Universities (AAC&U) in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education analyzed the impact of OER on student performance, particularly among historically underserved populations. Key facts (from the abstract):

  • OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students.
  • OER improve course grades at greater rates and dramatically decrease DFW rates at greater rates for Pell recipient students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education.

MORE NEW DATA: The ACRL/CJCLS OER Task Force is out with a new survey report on the state of community college OER programs. Among the conclusions, one particularly strong theme emerged: libraries are leading the way on campus. Key findings:

  • 35% of institutions reported that their library leads the campus program. The next highest percentage was faculty, at 19%.
  • Libraries were reported as contributing departmental support to 90% of campus programs, with IT, Instructional Development, and Professional Development departments all coming in around 42%.
  • More than 50% of respondents reported “Faculty Perception” as the biggest institutional challenge to OER adoption.

STATE UPDATES: In California, the Governor signed a bill that includes a $6 million appropriation to support the development of, and expansion of the use of, open educational resources at California Community Colleges. It also requires the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges to submit a report on their progress toward supporting and expanding the use of open educational resources pursuant to the bill. In Michigan, a bill relating to the Michigan Virtual University included funds that can support the creation and development of OER was signed by the Governor. Texas opened the call for applications for their OER grant program established under SB 810.

ON THE FEDERAL FRONT: The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would renew funding in Fiscal Year 2019 for the $5 million Open Textbook Pilot approved by Congress this spring. While this is a significant step, the bill is not expected to move any further until after the 2018 election.

CAMPUS ACTION: It was a big week for community colleges in particular, as a number of campuses made summer news for their open education and open textbook programs, including LBW Community College, Jefferson Community College, Mid Michigan Community College, and Herkimer Community College.

 

OPEN CONNECTIONS

Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs  

DEADLINE: Applications for OpenCon 2018 are due tomorrow July 13. The conference will be held November 2-4 in Toronto.

DEADLINE: Registration ends July 15th for OER: From Vision to Action in August 1-2, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. Register here.

PROGRAM: The program has now been published for the Open Education Conference, which is coming up this October 10-12 in Niagara Falls, NY. Early bird registration ends August 31.

COMING SOON: Registration for Big Ideas Fest, in DC this November 29th-December 2nd, will open soon. More info here.

 

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

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

FROM DC: “From my own experience searching for resources that I could use with my students, and my experience supporting districts in this regard, I knew that OER was the way to go. And luckily, teachers, instructional coaches, curriculum directors, and other educational professionals had been developing an abundance of OER—not only individual lessons and activities, but also full curricula, courses, and other professional learning resources.” Read More >

FROM NORTH CAROLINA: “Too often students must choose between their academic success and meeting basic needs. In order to address this problem, educators have begun creating and adopting open, free e-textbooks for the most common college courses. These textbooks are available to students at no cost, ensuring that every student has an equal opportunity to succeed in the classroom, regardless of their financial status.” Read More >

TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: “The current business model fails the students, the faculties and the authors,” he says. “Students are used to having choices in what to buy; instead they’re getting the same thing they got 50 years ago and paying a lot for it. Instructors have different teaching styles, but a one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter book never allows them to deliver it. The authors are getting paid less and less for their book.” Read More >

 

HOT OFF THE PRESS

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

Portland State is out with a new textbook called “EmpoWord: A Student-Centered Anthology & Handbook for College Writers” by Shane Abrams. From their description: “EmpoWord is a reader and rhetoric that champions the possibilities of student writing. The textbook uses actual student writing to exemplify effective writing strategies, celebrating dedicated college writing students to encourage and instruct their successors: the students in your class.”

 

WEIGH IN

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

CSU Channel Islands to offer two textbook-free majors and has plans for more | VC Star

https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/education/2018/07/07/csu-channel-islands-offer-textbook-free-majors-fall/738949002/

Interesting to Consider >>

Technology profoundly impacts the opportunity gap | Iowa State Daily

http://www.iowastatedaily.com/opinion/article_17ba72c4-81a4-11e8-b619-1ffe5e9fe9c0.html

Engaging With Learning on a Low Budget | Association for Talent Development

https://www.td.org/magazines/td-magazine/engaging-with-learning-on-a-low-budget

The evolution of educational publishing: Does OER have a quality problem? | EdScoop

https://edscoop.com/the-evolution-of-educational-publishing-do-we-have-an-oer-quality-problem

 

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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