Month: August 2018

Regular Edition

OER Digest: August 23rd, 2018

From Kaitlyn Vitez, U.S. PIRG | Volume 64 | August 23rd, 2018

With updates from Tim Holt, Mo Nyamweya, and Camille Thomas

 

THE OER DIGEST

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

LAST CALL: The call for proposals for the US Department of Education’s $5 million OER grant program closes next week on August 29th. Last week, officials held a Q&A session for interested applicants with technical questions; you can watch a recording here.

STATE UPDATES: California bills supporting open are moving forward: AB2385 was sent to the governor’s desk; it urges textbook publishers to inform students and faculty about information such as the substantive differences in editions to help cut costs. SB947, which would require the state Department of Education to develop digital literacy best practices for school districts, passed through the Assembly.  

LEARNING REGISTRY: The Department of Education announced that it would end support for the Learning Registry, a public index of metadata about learning resources.The project was launched in 2011, and played a role in the #GoOpen campaign. The Department will post the code base, documentation, and archived metadata on GitHub after closing submissions for new data on September 1st. Federal support ends September 24th.

NOW TRENDING: Educause released its 2018 Horizon Report, listing OER as one of the key trends accelerating technology adoption in higher education for the next three to five years. “Perhaps the most powerful potential outcome of OER is the opportunity for institutions to develop a broader set of investments in course development and infrastructure”.

REPORT SAVINGS: At OpenEd 2013 OER leaders Nicole Allen and David Wiley issued a challenge to the OER community to reach $1 billion in student savings by 2018. SPARC announced an effort to collect information on whether the community reached this goal. Click here to learn more and sign up to help.

LOWER PRICES?: The National Association of College Bookstores (NACS) has released the findings from its annual survey of textbook costs. The survey concluded that annual spending on course materials has dropped to a low of $484, spurred by “increased use of free and lower-cost digital and rental materials.” Advocates point to the 32% of students who use OER and other free materials as driving the downward trend. Others question the finding that only 17% of students download texts for free, speculating that unreported illegal downloads may be nearly twice that number.

ANOTHER MILESTONE: After OpenStax declared last month that its books were in use at half of American colleges and universities, Lumen Learning announced that in June, more than 100,000 students were using its products per term. The company has doubled enrollment in its courses each term since it launched in 2012.

 

OPEN CONNECTIONS

Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

LEADOERS: SPARC announced the 2018-2019 cohort of fellows in their Open Education Leadership Program. These 24 academic librarians will complete a yearlong program to strengthen OER leadership skills.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: MERLOT and the Online Learning Consortium are seeking proposals for the OLC Innovate conference on April 3rd-5th, 2019. This year’s theme is “Moving Mountains in Digital, Blended, and Online Learning.” Proposals are due by September 12th. Submit here: https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/attend-2019/innovate/cfp/

LAST CALL: Early bird registration for the OpenEd conference in Niagara Falls ends on August 31st. Register here: https://openedconference.org/2018/

 

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

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

WRITING FROM CALIFORNIA: “The average amount that students spend on textbooks throughout their entire undergraduate experience at [CSU Channel Islands] is $6,206.67,” says openCI Ambassador Program faculty coordinator Jacob Jenkins. For students who must work their way through college, not having to pay for textbooks can be a game-changer. Jacobs explains that many of CSUCI’s students are first-generation and Pell Grant recipients who hold down a job while going to school. Read more >>>

PODCASTING FROM NEW YORK: Theater professor Mya Brown talks about finding and developing OER with her students at SUNY Oswego on “OER Stories” with Felice Banner. “There’s this misconception that if [the textbook] is not from some big [publishing] house, that it has less value… but the wealth of knowledge from people that are currently working in the industry, to me, was just invaluable.” Listen here >>>

 

HOT OFF THE PRESS

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

Washington State University has published Essentials of Abnormal Psychology, written by Alexis Bridley and Lee W. Daffin Jr. and edited by Carrie Cuttler. The book covers five key categories of psychological disorders and lays out different models of abnormal psychology, plus an overview of clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.

 

WEIGH IN

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

Local schools tackle aging textbook problem, shortages by going online l FOX25 OK City

https://okcfox.com/news/back-to-school/local-schools-tackle-aging-textbook-problem-shortages-by-going-online

Interesting to Consider >>

Why a professor buys his books from the bookstore | Chuck Pearson https://chuckpearson.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/why-a-professor-buys-his-books-from-the-bookstore/

New semester, same burden | U.S. PIRG
https://medium.com/u-s-pirg/new-semester-same-old-tricks-8ea46b54f456


The campus push for open educational resources continues into 2018 | The Arbiter
http://arbiteronline.com/the-campus-push-for-open-educational-resources-continues-into-2018

Op-Ed: Dual Credit Programs – It Could be Better | El Paso Herald-Post

https://elpasoheraldpost.com/op-ed-dual-credit-programs-it-could-be-better/

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 – August 9th, 2018

From Ethan Senack, Creative Commons USA | Volume 63 | August 9th, 2018

With updates from Kendra Lake, Nicole Allen, and Mo Nyamweya

THE OER DIGEST

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

FEDERAL UPDATE: The formal call for proposals around the US Department of Education’s $5 million OER grant program was announced late last month. Applications are due August 29th. The Department stated their intent to only make 1-3 individual grants from the pool, requiring applications to be submitted by consortia, and seeking to prioritize “technology-based” strategies. OER champions in the Senate sent a letter raising concerns with the limited number of grants and requesting the strongly maintain open licensing requirements for all materials created through the grant.

  • Additional Reading: Lindsey Tepe and Sabia Prescott of New America have an in-depth analysis of the implementation process here >

GOING MAINSTREAM: The open textbook publisher OpenStax announced this month that their textbooks are in use at 48% of all US colleges, and at an additional 1,150 schools abroad. By their count, that totals around 2.2 million students, saving $177 million on textbook costs.

FROM INSIDE THE INDUSTRY: Continuing the recent trend of traditional publishers conducting studies that conclude textbook prices are too high, both VitalSource and Cengage are out with new research on the subject. Some findings include:

  • 85% percent of current and former students say that their textbook and course material expenses are financially stressful, more so than meals and food. – Cengage

  • 43% percent of students have taken out a loan; and 31 percent have taken fewer classes to save on textbooks costs. – Cengage

  • 85% of students admit they have either postponed buying required materials or chosen not to buy them at all, and almost all (92%) the students who delayed or skipped buying textbooks cited costs as the reason for their decision. – VitalSource

OPEN CONNECTIONS

Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

REGISTER: Michigan is hosting an OER Summit on September 21st, in Port Huron. Register here: http://www.mioersummit.org/

VOTE: There are a number of OER-focused panels up for consideration at next year’s SXSW, including “How Students Created the Open Education Movement”, “Making Open Educational Resources Work for You”, and “Scaling the OER Movement for Growth and Impact”. Create an account to vote on these sessions or other OER ones here: https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote

REGISTER: Registration for Big Ideas Fest, this Nov 29 – Dec 1 in Washington, DC, is now open. Register here: http://www.bigideasfest.org/

JOB: The Open Textbook Network is hiring a Community Manager. See the description: z.umn.edu/communitymanager

 

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

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

FROM ARKANSAS: “I used an free, open, and online textbook in my Introduction to Sociology class this past semester, just as I have done for last five years,” commented Dr. Kelly Damphousse, chancellor. “My students have the option of purchasing a very inexpensive version of the book or to download the book, for free, to their phone or other device. I believe that these kinds of textbooks increase the likelihood of student success in the classroom.” Read More >

FROM NEW YORK: “Learning outcomes for a course should drive the instructions, not a commercial textbook. Sometimes even a free OER textbook does not entirely address the learning outcomes. I tell faculty that they may need chapters from several OER textbooks, supplemented with library resources, like e-books, journal articles and videos to create the new material.” Read More >

 

HOT OFF THE PRESS

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

The Rebus Community released an updated version of “Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship” this month, edited by Michelle Ferrier and Elizabeth Mays. The new version includes a chapter on product management for media professionals, feedback from full-book peer reviewers, and more.

 

WEIGH IN

Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

OER is at a tipping point. Here’s how to keep it moving in the right direction | EdScoop

https://edscoop.com/oer-is-at-a-tipping-point-heres-how-to-keep-it-moving-in-the-right-direction

Interesting to Consider >>

SETDA guide urges educators to focus on the process, not the purchase | EdScoop

https://edscoop.com/focus-on-the-process-not-the-purchase-of-quality-instructional-materials

Open Educational Resources Provider Talks About Shaking Up the K-12 Market  | EdWeek

(Login Req).

https://marketbrief.edweek.org/analysts-view/open-educational-resources-provider-talks-about-shaking-up-the-k-12-market/

Thoughts on OER and Cost Savings | OpenContent

https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/5658

When It Comes To Free Textbooks… Who Pays? | Forbes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshmoody/2018/07/29/when-it-comes-to-free-textbooks-who-pays/#2e110c323181

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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