From Michael Basmajian (PIRG) | Volume 144 | January 13, 2022
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
HAPPY NEW YEAR! From all of us at SPARC, PIRG, and Creative Commons USA, we want to wish you all a happy new year! Last year was challenging in many ways for all of us, and we know that we face more challenges ahead in 2022. But we are excited and optimistic for all of the great work coming this year to expand OER and make research and education more accessible and equitable for all. Happy 2022!
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: The OTESSA 2022 conference will be from May 16-19, 2022, online. Come to facilitate a session, panel, workshop, or more. The submission deadline for conference proposals is January 15, 2022. Learn more and submit your proposal here.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: The OER22 Conference in London, UK and online will be this April 26-28, 2022. Proposals for presentations, workshops and alternative format are open until February 10th. Learn more and submit your proposal here.
REGISTER NOW: Registration is open for the OER and Dual Enrollment Conference in Atlanta, GA on February 24-25, 2022, hosted by the Southern Regional Education Board. Join policymakers, state education agency leaders, faculty, teachers and administrators from around the country to share policies and learn about emerging practices at this conference. Learn more and register here.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: The Michelson 20MM Foundation is looking to hire a Digital Equity Program Manager, based in Los Angeles, CA. The Digital Equity Program Manager will be responsible for managing and supporting the foundation’s long term commitment to the Digital Equity Initiative, which seeks to improve access to devices, broadband connectivity, and digital literacy resources for California’s students.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: ISKME is hiring a full-time Senior Research Associate to join a team of researchers, educators, and digital library creators, to develop, manage, and implement research grants and applied research projects. The position is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a remote-first team.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: The University of New Mexico is hiring an Open Educational Resources Librarian. The OER Librarian will be an advocate for open educational resources on campus and throughout the state. The desired start date is June 1, 2022.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi is hiring an Assistant/Associate Librarian of Open Education. This is a non-tenure track faculty librarian position. Review of applications will begin Monday, February 7, 2022.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM NEW JERSEY: Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, NJ has saved students more than $1.6 million this year with Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) courses. “At Thomas Edison our mission is to deliver high-quality education that is accessible to a wide range of students, and, as such, we are always striving to add programs while eliminating unnecessary costs that can drive students away from earning their degree.” said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, TESU president. “The ZTC initiative is an outstanding example of how we are achieving this goal by wiping away the cost barrier of expensive textbooks and other related material.” Read More >>
FROM TEXAS: South Plains College in Hockley County, Texas has saved nearly $700,000 for students over the fall semester with OER. “It’s amazing to think that we’re gonna save students over one million dollars over one academic year because of the work they’ve put into trying to save students money,” said Dean of Arts & Sciences Alan Worley. “It will allow them to invest in potentially a laptop, internet access at home, gas, food, rent…we want our students to be able to survive financially.” Read More >>
FROM NEVADA: The University of Nevada, Las Vegas saved students about $36,000 from just one Liberal Arts seminar that switched to OER. The book, College Success from OpenStax, was offered to 375 students in 15 sections of the seminar, replacing the previous textbooks which cost more than $80 per student. “It was really exciting to find a textbook that met all of our needs. Nationwide we’ve become more concerned with the cost of textbooks and that being a real obstacle for our students,” said Denise Tillery, associate dean for students in Liberal Arts and a professor of English. Read More >>
FROM WEST VIRGINIA: Earlier this year, West Virginia’s public higher education office launched a program to give faculty the opportunity to implement OER in their classrooms. Thirty-four faculty members participated in the pilot in Spring 2021, and a handful more adopted OER over the summer – resulting in more than $250,000 in savings for about 1,200 students. “We’re only just starting Open Learning WV, but we are thrilled with the early savings students have seen.” said Sarah Tucker, West Virginia’s chancellor of higher education. Read More >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
A new Organic Chemistry open textbook was released last month out of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, Canada. The new OER is written by Professor Xin Liu and is suitable for the first semester of organic chemistry.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Building and Renewing Community Support: A Recap of the 2021 #GoOpen Convening | Medium
My Turn: A step toward college affordability | Greenfield Recorder
Why are Students Paying So Much for Textbooks? | The Mirror News
Interesting to Consider >>
How did Pearson succeed in the U.S. higher-education publishing market? | Marketplace
Biennial Report – Advancing an Ecosystem for Open Educational Resources | OER in Texas Higher Education
NUI Galway project makes free educational material more accessible | Galway Daily
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.