From Bilan Jama, Torrey Feldman, and Kennina Ip (CC USA) | Volume 103 | April 2nd, 2020
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
#COVID19: We will continue to share some of our favorite, new links for planning, reading, and supporting our communities during this time:
- Reading Aloud: Fair Use Enables Translating Classroom Practices to Online Learning
- NPR’s All Things Considered shared a short exploration of the new learning reality for children across the country in a story entitled, The Biggest Distance-Learning Experiment In History: Week One.
- 50 Resources Schools & Teachers Can Use During COVID-19 Closures
OPEN TEXTBOOK PILOT: The U.S. Department of Education opened a 30 day public comment period for the federal Open Textbook Pilot grant program, which was renewed by Congress at the end of last year. The public comment period is an opportunity to weigh in on the priorities, requirements, and definitions for the program’s forthcoming call for proposals, which will have approximately $6 million in available for new grants. Comments can be submitted here by Thursday April 30, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT and there is additional information here.
GLOBAL ACTION: Library consortia around the globe continue to sign on to a statement issued by the International Coalition of Library Consortia urging publishers of digital content to remove paywalls and open access to datasets related to COVID-19 research, in addition to removing online access barriers to digitally subscribed content to facilitate the shift to online learning.
$1 MILLION GRANT: A new $1 million grant to bridge the achievement gap in chemistry was awarded to three co-principal investigators at California State University, San Bernardino, by the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research on March 19, 2020. The three-year innovation grant, titled, “Rebalancing the Equity Gap in Chemistry Education with Culturally Sensitive Adaptive Learning,” will use online, personalized learning technologies to decrease the achievement gap for approximately 8,000 students per year through a coordinated effort with University of California, Davis’s LibreText, the California State University Chancellor’s Office, and Mendocino College.
EDUCAUSE REPORT: The 2020 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report was just released, and the report finds a steady increase in OER momentum. Advancements move past traditional textbook boundaries and include online utilities like Stanford University’s Center for Health Education’s mobile application that promotes public health education. The report is based on the perspectives and expertise of a global panel of leaders from across the higher education landscape.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
JOB OPPORTUNITY: University of Texas at Arlington is hiring an OER Coordinator. Click here for more information about the position, including how to apply.
WATCH ONLINE: The online edition of OER20: The Care in Openness reached more than 1,100 registered participants over April 1-2. The full online program with recordings is available to watch online, along with the conference hashtag #OER20.
PROPOSALS: The Michelson 20MM Foundation is launching a new round of the Spark Grant program on April 6th. Grants will be up to $25k for organizations doing work to support students and educators during the current crisis. Click here for more information.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM MICHIGAN: When Michigan State University Libraries faculty and staff developed a new strategic plan last year, they defined a vision of promoting equal access to information and spaces for all, then got right to work to advance the accessibility, equity and inclusion they promised. As part of a new OER Program, they are awarding nine MSU faculty funding assistance for the creation and adaptation of OER course material for the 2020-21 academic year. “Our award program supports open education resources, which are resources that reside in the public domain and permit free use. The program reflects many of our values. We want to invest in collaborative relationships, and these awards will honor the contributions our faculty partners make to OER initiatives. We want to advance accessibility, and that is what open resources are all about,” said Dean of Libraries Joseph Salem. Read more >>>
FROM NEBRASKA: The University of Nebraska–Lincoln announced that their students have saved an estimated $1.6 million in textbook costs. More than 23,000 students have participated in the programs, with an average savings of about $70 per student. “The instructors using these materials have put in a tremendous amount of effort in reworking their courses and classrooms to make their students’ experiences successful and affordable,” said Amy Goodburn, senior associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate education. The university began pilot programs for digital course materials in fall 2018, with $117,836 in savings for almost 2,000 students. Read more >>>
FROM KENTUCKY: To help students whose schools are closed to in-person classes because of the coronavirus, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education announced Tuesday that K-12 students and teachers in Kentucky now have free access to an online portal of educational resources to support learning from home. Those materials are available through the Kentucky Virtual Library, a consortium of nearly 300 institutions from across the state. The content includes academic journals, encyclopedias, magazines, e-books, research and materials for building skills and preparing for tests.”The council is tapping every available resource to assist students, parents and educators during this time,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “It’s absolutely critical that we harness the power of digital content through remote learning opportunities. I’m confident we will overcome these challenges, but it will require swift action and innovative thinking at every level.” Read more >>>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
The 4th edition of “Communication, Affect, & Learning in the Classroom”, authored by Virginia Richmond, Jason S. Wrench, and Joan Gorham was just released. The textbook synthesizes the first three decades of research in instructional communication into a single volume that could help both researchers and instructors understand the value of communication in the instructional process.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
The Shift to Remote Learning: The Human Element | Inside Higher Ed
Interesting to Consider >>
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.