Michael Basmajian | Volume 159 | August 18, 2022
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
“ORGO” GOES OPEN: John McMurry’s Organic Chemistry is the most widely used textbook of its kind and has helped millions of students pass Organic Chemistry (or “orgo”) since it was first printed in 1984. For its 10th edition, McMurry has decided to part ways with his longtime publisher Cengage, and instead sell the rights to OpenStax. That means for the first time, the digital version of Organic Chemistry and its accompanying solutions manual — usually priced at almost $100 — will be available for students to download for free! Read more via InsideHigherEd.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
REGISTER NOW: Registration for the 2022 Open Education Conference on October 17-20, 2022 is open. The early bird rate of $75 USD expires on September 15th. There is also a student rate of $25 USD and scholarships by application. Register here.
REGISTER NOW: The Open Texas 2022 virtual conference coming up next month on September 21- 23, 2022. This year’s conference theme, “The Labor of Open Education,” invites participants to reflect on the work, creativity, art, and science of open education 20 years since UNESCO adopted the term “open educational resources” in 2002. The conference is fully online and free to attend. Learn more and register here!
REGISTER NOW: The Michigan OER Summit of 2022 is taking place online on September 29-30, 2022. The virtual summit’s theme is “Looking Back, Looking Forward,” focusing on how work in open education has been changed and transformed during the past two years and your plans for a re-imagined future. Learn more and register here!
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Forum for Open Research in MENA (F.O.R.M.) is a conference taking place in Cairo, Egypt this October, and is designed to support the spread of Open Science across the Middle East and North Africa. The Knowledge E Foundation is working with UNESCO the Egyptian Knowledge Bank on the event. Organizers are accepting proposals through the end of August. Learn more and submit a proposal here.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Kennesaw State University has a call out for presentation proposals for Open Access Week 2022 at KSU. The deadline for proposals is September 15th. Learn more and submit a proposal here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM CALIFORNIA: The San Diego Community College District plans to adapt 20 courses in high-demand areas to feature free textbooks for students, thanks to a new $975,000 federal grant. Officials say it will help up to 60,000 students attending San Diego City, Mesa and Miramar Colleges. “For many, a $200 to $300 textbook can be the difference between whether a student has enough to eat, can gas up their car, or even pay the rent. Multiply that by four, five or even six classes each semester, and those costs really compound.” said Edward Borek, who was the Associated Student Government president last school year at Miramar College. Read More >>.
FROM INDIANA: Indiana colleges including Earlham College in Richmond, are reducing textbook costs for students with the “PALSave”’ initiative, promoting the use of free open course materials and library e-books. Funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. and supported by the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), this initiative has saved over $850,000 for an estimated 14,000 students. “We’re fortunate to have so many early adopters of this initiative who are actively listening to students’ needs and care about their success,” said Karla Fribley, Earlham’s instructional technologies director, seminaries librarian and faculty liaison for PALSave. Read More >>
FROM ONTARIO: Five faculty members from Western University in Ontario, Canada are embracing the use of open education resource course materials thanks to a pilot initiative spearheaded by Western Libraries. “We are responding directly to students through this program,” said research and scholarly communication librarian Emily Carlisle-Johnston, noting a 2016 University Student Council policy recommending Western facilitate an open educational resources pilot. “Cost is definitely one of the driving factors and is largely tied to equity and ensuring everyone has access to the material that will help them succeed in a course.” Read More >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Touro University Libraries in New York are pleased to announce the publication of a new open textbook, Introduction to Financial Analysis, for undergraduate Business students. This peer-reviewed open textbook is a collaboration between Touro Libraries’ OER initiative and faculty author Kenneth S. Bigel. Students and readers will learn how to insightfully read a Financial Statement, utilize key financial ratios in order to derive forward-looking investment-related inferences from the accounting data, engage in elementary forecasting and modeling, master the theory of the Time Value of Money, and learn to price stocks and bonds in an environment in which interest rates constantly change.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Free online textbooks really work | GatesNotes
Rodríguez: Alternatives to paying for pricey textbooks | San Jose Spotlight
What a Homework Help Site’s Move to Host Open Educational Resources Could Mean | EdSurge
Interesting to Consider >>
The Old World (of Textbooks) Is Dying, and the New World (of Textbooks) Hasn’t Arrived | Voice of San Diego
Textbook publisher: NFTs will let us squeeze even more money out of students | The Verge
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.