From Ethan Senack | Volume 77 | March 21st, 2019
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
STATE UPDATES: The Governor of Virginia signed HB2380 into law, requiring public institutions of higher education to clearly designate in the course catalog which courses are using no- or low- cost materials. In West Virginia, HB 2853 (creating a program to encourage OER use in both higher ed and K-12) passed the Senate and will be sent to their Governor. Legislators in Texas introduced HB3650 and HB3652, which would encourage OER use in dual credit programs and would establish a statewide OER repository, respectively. In Hawaii, the state House has proposed asking the University of Hawaii to conduct and OER feasibility study in HR72, and in Iowa, SF433 requires universities to explore open education.
NEW DATA: The annual survey of higher education presidents from Inside Higher Ed contains some interesting reflections on OER and administrator perception of textbook costs. Some of the key takeaways:
- 87% of presidents agree that textbooks and course materials cost too much
- 85% support the use of open educational resources
- Only 49% of presidents said they were well-prepared or very well-prepared to deal with digital learning matters.
GOING OPEN: A new study from the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) at the University of Delaware reflects on OER in K-12 education. The analysis, which tracked underperforming students in a rural Delaware school district over the course of 3 years, found that the students using an OER curriculum on English Language Learning by Bookworm started to outperform the statewide average after 3 years. From their release: “The upward trajectory of scores was consistent across not only multiple cohorts, but also multiple demographic groups within those cohorts.”
IMPORTANT INFO: A new white paper from CSU Channel Islands finds that, while textbook prices are a significant burden on all students, they are disproportionately harmful to marginalized students. Researchers collected 700 survey responses, and compared responses between a variety of demographic.s
CCs IN THE NEWS: A host of community colleges made the news this week, as they increasingly invest in open education. Grand Rapids Community College announced student savings of $3.3 million over the last two years. Blue Mountain Community College announced over $1 million in student savings, thanks to OER. Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon, Nicholls State University and Fletcher Technical Community College in Louisiana, and East Central College in Missouri all had articles reflecting on their OER this week.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
PROPOSALS: The call for proposals for the annual OpenEd Conference in Phoenix, AZ, is now open. You can submit a session here, due by April 19th.
REGISTER: The 3rd International GoOpen Summit will be held in San Diego this year, on April 16th. Registration is live here.
REGISTER: You can register for the Northeast OER Summit here, on May 22nd-23rd in Amherst, MA.
PARTICIPATE: The third iteration of the Open Learning MOOC is launching next month. You can find out more from the folks at OpenVA here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM MARYLAND: “The state’s OER repository now has more than 200 new resources that were developed by the educators alongside content specialists and coordinators. The resources were vetted for copyright, accessibility, privacy and evaluation concerns and approved for entry into the repository once they met certain specifications.” Read More >
FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Third-year science student Julia Chai is running to be a senator-at-large on a platform of accessibility of open educational resources (OERs) and improving student engagement with Senate. She emphasized the importance of OERs in terms of equity, citing the additional costs that students pay for textbooks and other educational resources.“[The] additional financial burden not only causes stress on students, but also brings upon a barrier and […] an inequity of students who are able to afford and have that full accessibility to education,” Chai said.” Read More >
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Rebus Community recently published the sixth video in their YouTube series “Making Open Textbooks.” So far, the videos have covered making and building a team, project scoping, content creation, and edition. Check it out here.
Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share
Great to Share >>
Interesting to Consider >>
Open-access chemistry textbooks gain popularity | Chemical and Engineering News
Are online textbooks a force for good? | The Inquirer
Have suggestions for the next edition? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.