From Bilan Jama | Volume 92 | October 17th, 2019
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
COLORADO OER ANNUAL REPORT: A new report titled “Colorado Rises: Transforming Educational Practices through Open Educational Resources” highlights the need for wide-scale implementation of open educational resources (OER). In the first year of implementation, Colorado students are saving $3.4 million thanks to OER developed through the statewide grant program. The OER Council and CDHE also had this to share: “What’s clear is OER saves students money, but this investment matters beyond the financial benefit. OER and open education practices help educators redesign approaches to teaching through innovative methods, ultimately supporting the transformation of education for the future of learning. The work inspired by the OER legislation is important to educators and Coloradans everywhere.”
OER INVESTMENT: More than $45,000 was saved at Penn State Abington this semester after seven faculty members redesigned courses to eliminate the need for textbook purchases while maintaining the integrity of the coursework. Funded by a Chancellor’s Grant, they adopted free course materials, revised their syllabi, and made changes to teaching practices. Zach McLaughlin-Alcock, lecturer in mathematics, called the experience a major win. “I was able to find and integrate two open access textbooks and an open access computerized homework tool,” he said. “We were able to connect curated problem-solving videos from other mathematics instructors on YouTube to supplement specific ideas and chapters.”
OPEN FOR WHOM? Next week is international Open Access Week, a community-driven week of action focused on opening up access to research. This year’s theme is Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge, which is intended to provoke conversations about how to ensure emerging open systems for research address inequities in the current system, not replicate or reinforce them. Check out openaccessweek.org for a list of events happening around the world and join the conversation on twitter at #OAweek.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
REGISTER NOW: Registration for the National #GoOpen Summit: Leading with Pedagogy is open. The Practitioner registration deadline is October 18th and each district, state or education service agency is invited to bring up to three (3) team members. The conference is being held on November 7-8, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
REGISTER: San Jose State University is hosting a free Open Access Conference on October 21, 2019. Further information can be found here.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: Hostos Community College in Bronx, NY is seeking a part-time Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Access (OA) Librarian to join their staff. Click here to read more about the position.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: Penn State is hiring a Learning Design and Open Education Engagement Librarian. Click here to read more about the position and apply.
SEE YOU IN PHOENIX: The Digest Team will be at #OpenEd19 in two weeks filming our annual video edition. Stop by the SPARC table to pick up some OER Digest swag.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM ARKANSAS: Three openly licensed textbooks written by University of Arkansas faculty are now available in the Open Textbook Library, in addition to the institutional repository. All three faculty members were awarded OER Course Materials Conversion Program funding from the libraries and UA’s Global Campus to help them complete these textbooks. Said Elaine Thorton, the Open Education and Distance Learning librarian: “. One of the goals of the open education community is to share resources as broadly as possible. Having the textbooks listed in the Open Textbook Library takes sharing to another level by making our authors’ work visible to a larger population of educators and students.” Read more >>
FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: Across the Community College System of New Hampshire, OER teams have been working together to develop “no or low-cost” courses, sharing best practices along the way through the system OER team known as CCSNH Open. This fall, Nashua Community College launched its first “textbook-free” Open Educational Resource class with English 101, one of the most commonly enrolled courses. This change has impacted 21 percent of the NCC student body and brought the cost for the English 101 textbook from $118.25 to $0. Read more >>
FROM TEXAS: Houston Community College System (HCCS) is partnering with OER provider panOpen to increase the use of open educational resources across its nine campuses. HCCS has been implementing OER since 2017 when it launched a pilot Z-Degree program offering OER-based associate degrees in business administration and general studies. In the last two years, HCCS OER initiatives have saved students more than $2.5 million. Through the panOpen collaboration, students enrolled in Z-Degree programs will be able to access their courseware on the panOpen platform for free, and those taking non-Z-Degree courses will pay a nominal fee. Read more >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
OpenStax just released guidelines to help K-12 educators align between the OpenStax AP Biology textbook and the College Board’s newly revised Course and Exam Description for AP Biology. The document itself incorporates as much content as possible from The College Board’s Course and Exam Description so that an instructor can easily use this document for planning with OpenStax content.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
The Case Against Course Costs | The Duke Chronicle
Interesting to Consider >>
For This Campus, Choosing Textbooks Has Gotten a Lot More Complicated | The Chronicle of Higher Education
Op-ed: Textbook prices impose a heavy burden on students | The Huntington News
Grants Fund Higher Ed Projects Using Technology for Public Good | Campus Technology
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.