From Hailey Babb (SPARC) | Volume 122 | February 4th, 2021
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
OPEN EDUCATION WEEK: Open Education Week is a month away! Organized by Open Education Global and held from March 1-7, institutions, organizations and individuals from around the world committed to the ideals of Open Education are welcome to join and contribute. Participation is free, and there are many different ways to engage. Check out the OE Week page for more info and register your local event, and be sure to browse their library of OE Week resources that have been compiled over the years. We hope to (virtually) see you there!
EBOOK PRICE GOUGING: Almost 3,000 librarians in the UK have signed onto an open letter outlining their frustrations with the academic ebook market, citing it as “unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible”. With COVID-19 exacerbating the urgent need to provide digital course materials to students, libraries say the matter has come to a head and are now seeking a public investigation into the matter. The article went viral on Reddit, amassing over 3,600 comments. Many of these comments raised OER as an alternative to traditional ebook publishing and advocated for their adoption.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: Achieving the Dream is seeking 8–10 institutional partners to participate in a study on OER in community colleges, with a goal to better understand how OER leads to the adoption of new pedagogical strategies in the classroom. Learn more here.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: SPARC is seeking a full-time, remote, U.S.-based candidate to join their Open Education Team as an Open Education Coordinator. The job posting is available here.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: Bellevue College is currently recruiting for a tenure-track OER Librarian Assistant. The job posting is available here.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: George Mason University is hiring for an Open Educational Resources & Scholarly Communication Lead. The job posting is available here.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: The University System of New Hampshire is hiring an Instructional Designer with preference for an OER-experienced candidate. The job posting is available here.
WEBINAR SERIES: Beginning on Thursday, February 11th at 10am, join North Carolina State University Libraries for the recurring weekly Open Café Express – an open education themed drop-in series. View sessions and register here.
WEBINAR: OpenOregon is hosting a webinar on Innovative Textbook Procurement Models from 12:00-1:00pm Pacific time, February 19, 2021. The webinar will highlight two student-centered models for textbook procurement. Learn more and register here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM CANADA: AtlanticOER will officially launch on February 9th as Canada’s first multi-provincial OER repository. Funded by the Council of Atlantic University Libraries, AtlanticOER will provide OER development grants to educators in Canada’s Atlantic region. Stay tuned for more details!
FROM NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina Community College System launched it’s cloud-based library of open educational content on February 1st to provide faculty and students with free digital materials to enhance teaching and learning. OpenNCCC, which replaces the North Carolina Learning Object Repository (NCLOR), will support new approaches to teaching and provide equitable access to quality educational materials throughout the state. Read more >>
FROM LOUISIANA: Students and professors at Louisiana State University are speaking out about the rising cost of textbooks and other educational resources amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “The increase in textbook prices is a red flag; it is a cash grab,” says Mass Communication Professor David Stamps. “They are not as updated as they should be and ultimately it will put students into deeper debt.” Students like Mary Grace Parks are advocating for the adoption of free or low-cost materials like OER instead. “Professors, especially for lower level classes, should look into free online resources,” Parks said. “It gives every student the same learning opportunity without a financial barrier.” Read more >>
FROM LOUISIANA: Also from Louisiana, LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, is announcing $26.8 million in reported student savings by utilizing more open and affordable textbooks and materials since 2012. “Post-secondary education students in Louisiana spend an average of $1200 per year on textbooks and materials for their classes,” says Dr. Teri Gallaway, Associate Commissioner and Executive Director for LOUIS. “In Louisiana we have the second highest rate of food insecurity in the United States. When students are struggling to afford the most basic life necessities, we want to do all we can to reduce the financial burden of textbook and material costs.” Read more >>
FROM OREGON: The Student’s Association at the University of Oregon is supporting state legislation that would increase the transparency of fees related to course materials. Oregon Students Association Legislative Director Emily Wanous, states that knowing course material fees in advance will allow students to adequately budget for classes before the course begins rather than learning about textbook costs on the first day. ASUO State SecretaryAaron Lewis agrees, saying that fee transparency is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic because many students are spread more financially thin. Read more >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Lumen Learning has recently released a new set of courseware focusing on Abnormal Psychology.
Siobhán McElduff has released Spectacles in the Roman World: A Sourcebook, created for a second-year undergraduate class on spectacles in Greece and Rome at the University of British Columbia.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Interesting to Consider >>
Co-creating OER with Students in the Trades | BcCampus News
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