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.  

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.

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.

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 >

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.

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

University of British Columbia: Recognizing Open in Promotion and Tenure | Educause Review

7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Practices | Educause

Interesting to Consider >>

Open textbooks – an untapped opportunity for universities, colleges and schools | UKSG

Free Digital Textbooks vs. Purchased Commercial Textbooks | Inside Higher Ed

UB research lab studies how university courses can be more ‘open’ | UBNow


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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