From Bilan Jama (CC USA) | Volume 135 | August 5, 2021
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
CALIFORNIA PROVIDES MONEY FOR OER: In late July, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a monumental $115 million investment in developing Zero Textbook Cost degree pathways that eliminates course material costs through OER and other no-cost materials. The funding is dedicated to the California Community College system, which serves 2.1 million students per year. The funding will support grants to scale up the successful ZTC pilot that concluded in 2019, with additional funds available to develop OER for individual courses.
NEW TOOL HELPS LEADERS LEVERAGE OER TO ADVANCE EQUITY: From WCET Frontiers – The DOERS3 Collaborative Equity Work Group created the Equity Through OER Rubric, a comprehensive self-assessment tool designed to guide students, faculty, administrators, and other academic leaders toward better understanding and also acting on the equity dimensions of OER. With members from the university and community college systems in Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, Texas and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the creators of the Blueprint tapped into a diverse range of identities, perspectives, and institutional roles to develop guidance on how to apply an equity lens to all aspects of OER engagement.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
APPLY NOW: Open Oregon Educational Resources is hiring a Grant Project Manager for a grant-funded, two-year position. Learn more and apply for this position here.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Library Publishing Special Interest Group (LibPub SIG) are seeking submissions for its 9th annual Library Publishing Directory. Submissions are due by Monday, September 13th. Learn more here.
APPLY NOW: Scholarships are available for the 2021 Open Education Conference. Anyone for whom cost is a barrier is encouraged to apply by August 13th for priority consideration. (Registration is also open for $75 USD or $25 USD for students.)
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM IOWA: Five Cornell College professors have been awarded a total of $32,250 in grants to create and use OER in upcoming classes. Consulting Librarian for Social Sciences & Special Collections Meghan Yamanishi helped guide this grant effort. She says the funding originated from COVID relief funds and had a quick turnaround that required faculty to write their proposals in just a couple of weeks. “I’m thrilled many of our faculty members received funding! Open Educational Resources are an important strategy for reducing the cost of college attendance, and reducing the financial stress that students experience–at Cornell, that’s eight times a year,” Yamanishi said. “This, in turn, can improve student success and equity, by helping to ensure that all students can access class materials from the very first day of the block.” Read More >>
FROM MASSACHUSETTS: A consortium of colleges led by Framingham State University, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, has received a $440,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a new project that aims to boost the number of college courses that make use of OER rather than costly textbooks. Staff will receive monetary incentives and professional development to engage in this work. Framingham State estimates that student savings on textbooks over the three-year grant period could be more than $800,000. “When students have the ability to have textbooks immediately and don’t have to worry about purchasing them, they can apply that money they were going to spend on a $100 textbook on their cell phone, they can pay their rent, and they’ll have that textbook (on) day one,” said Millie Gonzalez, the interim director of Framingham State University’s Whittemore Library. Read More >>
FROM NEW YORK: SUNY Canton faculty members have helped students save an estimated $1,072,840 in three years by using OER with the Southworth Library. “Even students who plan ahead and save money for college can find themselves in the difficult position of trying to pay for their textbooks,” said Library Director Cori Wilhelm. “Every time a faculty member decides to switch to OER, it makes classes more affordable and broadens access to our academic programing.” SUNY Canton is part of a SUNY-wide OER initiative that began in 2018. During the first year, SUNY Canton students saw an estimated savings of $140,440. During the 2019-2020 academic year, the savings more than doubled to an estimated $394,419. During 2020-2021, the estimate increased to $537,981. “We found that OER use grew during the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote learning,” Wilhelm said. “During the past year, 4,445 students enrolled in 211 course sections using OER.” Read More >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
BCcampus has released Principles of Social Psychology – 1st International Edition by Rajiv Jhangiani, Hammond Tarry, and Charles Stangor. This book helps students organize their thinking about social psychology at a conceptual level.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Removing Educational Barriers, Especially High Textbook Costs | Los Angeles Sentinel
Interesting to Consider >>
A Spotlight on Our Open Educational Resources Spark Grantees | Michelson 20MM
New California Law Pours Money Into Open Educational Resources | EdWeek Market Brief
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.