From Kaitlyn Vitez and Cailyn Nagle (U.S. PIRG) | Volume 72 | January 10th, 2019
With updates from Nicole Allen.
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
HAPPY NEW YEAR: Happy Public Domain Day! For the first time in twenty years, U.S copyright expired on hundreds of published works from 1923, which can now be freely adapted. Books by Aldous Huxley, Kahlil Gibran, and Robert Frost are now available without restriction online, as well as over a thousand works such as of movies and songs. You can check out a partial list of released works and the history of copyright fights here.
FACULTY ATTITUDES ON OER:The Babson Survey Research Group released their latest report yesterday, “Freeing the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2018,” a survey of 4,100 faculty, 20% of whom were department chairs. Quotes from faculty underline dissatisfaction with traditional textbook publishers and the ways in which faculty are already working towards textbook affordability beyond adopting OER. The survey found that nearly half of faculty were aware of OER, nearinga key threshold in the movement to increase the use of open textbooks. Other key findings include:
- 13% of faculty used an OER as required materials in class,up from 6% last year.
- More faculty preferred digital (40%) over paper (25%) materials.
- 61% of faculty and 73% of department chairs believe that the cost of course materials is a serious problem for their students.
- Faculty are already making changes to existing course materials in line with the 5Rs that make the continued growth in OER adoption likely, such as replacing content with their own (45%), presenting material in a different order (70%) or revising material (20%).
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS: Following up on the announcement at OpenEd18 that the OER movement had saved $1 billion worldwide, the project team released the results of a new study used to estimate student savings. Based on data gathered from a nationally-representative sample of 120 U.S. colleges and universities, the study found that OER saves students $116.94 on average per course when adopted in place of traditional materials. Read more from SPARC and David Wiley, and the study will be submitted for publication later this year.
BIG SAVINGS IN THE BIG APPLE: The CUNY System recently released their first year-end report after receiving $4 million in state funding for OER programming for the 25 schools across the five boroughs. The state’s initial investment has yielded $9.5 million in savings for 76,000 students, and laid the groundwork for zero-textbook-cost degrees, city- and state-wide collaboration, and the creation of ancillary materials beyond textbooks. Campus Technology also profiled the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s ZTC associate degree in criminal justice, which transitioned 20 courses to OER to save students a projected $2,500 in textbooks costs each while in the program.
NEW AUTHOR: Hello, I’m Cailyn Nagle and I’m excited to be joining the Digest’s team as the director of U.S. PIRG’s Affordable Textbooks Campaign. For the past three years I’ve worked on college campuses in Southern California to organize students around college and textbook affordability. I’m looking forward to working with y’all to recruit and train students to work on OER initiatives. You can find me @CailynNagle.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
REGISTER: In advance of Open Ed Week in March, the Open Ed Consortium is asking open advocates to list events taking place across the globe. Submit events happening at your campus here.
REGISTER: The California Community College and Cal State University systems are hosting a joint OER summit, “Beyond Textbook Affordability: Equity and Achievement Across California,” on February 6th in Los Angeles. Register here.
REGISTER: The Indiana Department of Education is hosting its third annual #GoOpen Summit In Greenwood on January 24th. Register here.
OPPORTUNITY: The Canadian Association of Research Libraries is looking for a one-year Visiting Program Officer in OER and members for an OER Working Group. Applications are open to those in Canadian academic libraries. Apply here by January 18.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Cascadia Open Education Summit has made a call for proposals. The summit takes place April 17-18, 2019 in Vancouver, and proposals are due January 25, 2019.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM KANSAS: “Once in office, Ries discovered two resources: Open Educational Resources through KU libraries, a service that includes a curated list of more than 500 cheap or free textbooks through the Open Textbook Library; and Openstax, a nonprofit grant-funded initiative that re-creates textbooks for high-enrollment classes. And he found like-minded people on campus — librarians, faculty and representatives from KU Bookstore — who were all working toward the same goal of reducing textbook costs.” Read more >
FROM NORTH DAKOTA: “The North Dakota Student Association has identified grants, funding for a free online textbook program and overall system support as its three legislative priorities for the 2019-21 biennium, NDSA President Jared Melville said.” Read more >
FROM NEW JERSEY: Rowan University’s textbook pilot program begins this spring through the Textbook Alternative Program which has granted five professors “grants of $2,000 each to adapt lessons for classes from free materials online.” From the five courses expecting to switch to open materials, students are expected to save around $116,000 in 2019. Read more>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Dave Dillon, a counselor at Grossmont College in San Diego, has released a series of three open textbooks for use in College Success classes that are a common course for first year students: Blueprint for Success in College and Career, Blueprint for Success: Indispensable Study Skills and Time Management Strategies, and Blueprint for Success in Career Decision Making. He has also released a blog on how the OER have affected retention and been adopted across the California Community College System.
Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share
Great to Share >>
Interesting to Consider >>
What’s Next for LibreTexts? l Open Education Rising
Supporting States and Districts that Choose to #GoOpen l New America
Slow Burn for OER Adoption, Awareness l Inside HIgher Ed
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. You can join the open Google Group or check out the distribution list here.