From Mo Nyamweya (SPARC) | Volume 79 | April 18th, 2019
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
POLICY UPDATE: Meanwhile, the Illinois Senate passed SB 2096, which would prohibit publishers from offering any institution instructional materials for adoption, sale or exchange until certain requirements are met. Oregon’s HB 2213 passed the House and would require each community college and public university to establish textbook affordability plans with measurable goals. HB 839 was amended in Florida to authorize the adoption of innovative pricing options, a term associated with inclusive access programs. SB 6 was also signed by their governor, deleting an expired requirement that the Florida College System board of trustees examines the cost of materials.
NEW Z DEGREES: Orange Coast College in California and Austin Community College in Texas have both recently made the news for their new Z-degree programs, which will slash textbook costs for participating students. OCC’s Z-degree program, which uses OER to replace traditional publisher materials, was funded by a grant from the State of California. ACC launched their Z-degree program in spring 2017 and has since expanded to include more than 400 classes. In total as of spring 2019, more than 31,000 students have benefited from ACC’s Z-degree class offerings and they’re now working on developing a zero textbook cost Business degree.
NEW OER CONSORTIUM: Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College is working with three of the largest community college systems in the U.S. to increase adoption of interactive OER through the creation of the Consortium for Open Active Pathways. Funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the Consortium will use technology to increase the availability of higher education materials. The project also includes a research element focusing on how the use of active OER might improve degree attainment.
NEW RESEARCH: Two new research articles on the efficacy of open educational resources in the classroom looked at student outcomes for various K-12 and university mathematics courses. The research found that OER can be used in place of traditional materials with little to no difference in student performance, while also reducing costs and allowing for local modification.
LUMEN PARTNERSHIP: Carnegie Mellon University’s Simon Initiative announced a partnership with Lumen Learning to share tools for developing, evaluating and improving evidence-based learning materials. Together, they’ve collaborated to integrate the RISE Framework into a new educational effectiveness toolkit, which will be released soon. Lumen and Carnegie Mellon also have plans to build on established relationships with higher ed institutions focused on teaching and learning innovation with the goal of improving student outcomes.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Session proposals for the 2019 Open Education Conference close this Friday, May 19th at midnight. The conference takes place October 30 – November 1 in Phoenix, AZ.
REGISTER NOW: Registration is now open for the 2019 Creative Commons Global Summit, taking place May 9 – 11 in Lisbon, Portugal.
WEBCAST: Registration is now open for SPARC’s webcast “Expanding the Scope: Illustrating the Impact of OER”. The webcast, happening May 1, is open to anyone who wants to join and you can find more details here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM CALIFORNIA: Grossmont Community College’s OER program is expanding, with a total of about 100 teachers using OER in spring 2019 compared to just six teachers using OER in 2016. They also now offer two full Associate’s degrees in Geography and Sociology using OER. “We realized students were making decisions like, ‘Do I want to buy food today or do I want to purchase my textbook?'” says Professor Dave Dillon, who has championed the program at Grossmont. Read more >>
FROM WEST VIRGINIA: Marshall University’s student body president Hunter Barclay and vice president Hannah Petracca recently held an OER training for faculty members. During the training, Barclay and Petracca discussed affordable options for education materials and how to find them. “The purpose of this training was to make the whole process that Hunter (Barclay) and I have been through together simpler and less daunting for faculty, because we have done the research, and we have done a lot of the number crunching, and we understand that it can be a daunting task,” Petracca said. Read more >>
FROM TEXAS: The University of Texas system recently formed the UT System Task Force with the goal of brainstorming and implementing new ways to make learning materials as affordable as possible. “We want to speed up, accelerate, build up the momentum we have to really lower the cost of higher (education) for students to make learning more affordable,” said Rebecca Karoff, co-chair of the Affordable Learning Accelerator Task Force and UT System associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. Read more >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Affordable Learning Georgia published Becoming America: An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonial to Post-Revolution, an open anthology representing the diverse voices in early American literature, including reading and review questions.
Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share
Great to Share >>
Getting around overpriced textbooks | Daily Emerald
Letter to the Editor: Open Source Textbooks | The Online Beacon
Interesting to Consider >>
Is Anyone Happy about the College Textbook Market? | UCLA Anderson Review
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.