Aishah Abdullah (SPARC) | Volume 149 | March 24, 2022
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
AFFORDABLE COLLEGE TEXTBOOK ACT: U.S. House and Senate lawmakers have reintroduced the Affordable College Textbook Act, a bill to expand the use and awareness of open educational resources at college and university campuses. The Affordable College Textbook Act (H.R.7040/S.3818) would authorize a federal grant program while strengthening existing textbook information disclosure requirements to better inform faculty and students. This bill also includes new requirements to disclose how publishers intend to collect and use student data.
OPEN TEXTBOOK PILOT: The U.S. Congress approved the fiscal year 2022 spending package, which includes $11 million in new funding for the Open Textbook Pilot grant program—a significant increase over last year. This brings the total amount secured for this program to $35 million over the last five years and marks a significant increase in annual funding over last year’s $7 million. It is important to note that the Department of Education plans to use $8.3 million of the new funds to cover second and third year costs for the last round of grantees, but the remaining funds would be available for new grants.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
#OPENED22 SAVE THE DATE: The Open Education Conference is excited to announce that #OpenEd22 will be held as a virtual event on October 17-20, 2022. Organized through a community-driven process, the 2022 Open Education Conference seeks to engage advocates and practitioners who strive to make education more accessible, affordable, and equitable to everyone.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, OR is hiring a full-time faculty Textbook Affordability Librarian to lead OER, Low-Cost Text, and other collection-focused initiatives to support students and faculty at CCC.
APPLY NOW: The Institute on Open Educational Resources is now accepting applications for their 2022-2023 program. This is a year-long program that is designed for campuses aspiring to launch or expand their initiatives to develop free and affordable learning materials.
NOMINATE NOW: The ACRL Academic Library Services for Graduate Students (ALSGS) Interest Group seeks nominations for the 2nd Annual Notable Works list for Library Support of Graduate Students. Submissions can include projects and publications by library workers or researchers in related fields who shed light on important elements of serving graduate students.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: The Journal of Open Educational Resources in Higher Education (JOERHE), a new scholarly open peer-reviewed journal, is looking for submissions. JOERHE welcomes quantitative and qualitative research articles and discussion pieces concerning OER, Open Access, Open Data, or anything open in higher education.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM MINNESOTA: The University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library reached a total of 1,000 open education resources in its collection. This library has just reached its 10th anniversary and is also celebrating this huge achievement of expanding its library. David Ernst, the founder of the Open Textbook library shares, “The Library visibly demonstrates our commitment to a more equitable higher education system. At this 10-year milestone mark, we’re thrilled with the Library’s success and see it as a reflection of the community’s generosity with their time, expertise, and resources.” The library plans to continue to expand their library and help open education become the standard. Read More>>
FROM OHIO: Lorain County Community College faculty members have been awarded a grant from OhioLink to learn how to teach with no-cost open resource course materials for students. Karin Hooks and Michelle Yuhasz are two of 29 faculty members from 15 colleges and universities across Ohio who will receive grants from the OhioLink Affordable Learning Open Course Redesign Grants program. OhioLINK estimates that over 4,000 students in Ohio could save as much as $300,000 per year as a result of instructors switching to OER or library materials to teach their classes. Read More>>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
The Iowa State University Library released a new set of open illustrations for biology labs titled Biology 351 Anatomical Illustrations. These anatomical illustrations are an open resource created by Biological and Pre-Medical Illustration (BPMI) students.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Growing Program Reduces Textbook Costs for UNK Students | Kearney Hub
Georgia Highlands Wins National Award for Creating Free Textbook | Rome News Tribune
Interesting to Consider >>
Democratisation of Higher Education | The Pioneer
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.