From Bilan Jama (CC USA) | Volume 109 | July 2nd, 2020
With updates from Kaitlyn Vitez
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
NEW REPORTS: The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) released their report by its Open Education Working Group (OEWG) that examines the landscape of regional and institutional post-secondary support for open education in Canada. The report illustrates the state of open education in Canada, and highlights regional variations, strengths and weaknesses of current approaches, as well as gaps and opportunities. The Open Education in European Libraries of Higher Education report was just released, which summarizes the results of a survey of European libraries on Open Education (OE) and Open Education Resources (OER) prepared by SPARC Europe in consultation with the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL). The survey was launched at the beginning of this year, and targeted academic libraries across Europe, garnering 146 responses from 29 countries.
STATE BILLS: Several states are adopting new legislation relating to textbooks. In Florida, SB 72 was signed by the governor, allowing Florida institutions to make “inclusive access” style automatic course material billing programs to be opt-out. Previously, the law had guaranteed students the right to opt-in. Meanwhile, Georgia adopted SR 87, which creates the “Senate Study Committee on Digital Education and Screen Time” in Georgia public schools. This bill requires the committee to undertake a study of the conditions, needs, and issues identified in this resolution, including the effect of “digital education” on academic effectiveness and its effect on student users.
OPEN FL DEFUNDED: Also from Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis unexpectedly vetoed funding in the state budget for the program that houses the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC). FALSC provides online journal subscriptions, e-books, and other resources for schools across the state, and FALSC’s Open Florida initiative provides training and support for institutions to switch to OER. Advocates have expressed opposition to the move, because it cuts off faculty and students from essential resources and advising during a crucial period of preparation for summer and fall classes, which are still largely remote.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
APPLY NOW: The Open Education Group is accepting applications for the 2020-2021 OER Research Fellows due July 10th. Click here for more information.
APPLY NOW: OpenStax is accepting applications for its 2020-2021 institutional partnership program. The deadline has been extended to July 17th.
REGISTER NOW: The Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas is hosting a webinar on July 15 titled “Open Texas: State Initiatives to Support OER in Higher Education.” Click here for more information and registration.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The call for proposals for the Creative Commons Global Summit is live. The event will be virtual and free of cost, taking place October 19-24. Proposals are due July 17th.
APPLY NOW: Open Oregon Educational Resources seeks a researcher to work on a contract basis to conduct research on the impact of the Equity and Open Education Faculty Cohort Model. Please submit your proposal by July 31, 2020, to email@example.com.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: Umpqua Community College is hiring a library director. Learn more and apply for the position here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM KENTUCKY: The University of Kentucky Libraries recently awarded 10 Alternative Textbook Grants to faculty who will replace traditional commercial textbooks with open educational resources, library-licensed materials or original content created by the faculty themselves. So far, the program has saved nearly 9,000 students over $1.14 million. Each student who enrolled in a course taught with an alternative textbook saved approximately $129. “Having relied on my open source textbook has made my current start into the online teaching world due to COVID so much easier,” Regina Hannemann from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering said. Read more>>
FROM NORTH CAROLINA: With remote learning becoming the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic, some groups have expressed concern that expensive access codes for online learning materials may pose a barrier for some college students. Last month, U.S. PIRG released a new study titled Fixing the Broken Textbook Market, Second Edition, highlighting the impact of textbook prices on college students. The survey received 121 responses from UNC students. “If they don’t buy the access code, students are being priced out of access to their homework, their exams, the materials they’ve been assigned and participation in a class they’ve already paid tuition for,” Nagle said. Read more>>
FROM UTAH: When Melissa Hardy took over a biology laboratory class at Salt Lake Community College, she inherited a commercial lab manual that was out of date and did not align with the structure of her course. The manual also cost each student $100, a price they couldn’t avoid by purchasing a used copy, since the book was designed to be written in. In response to this issue, Hardy and a colleague decided to create their own open access lab manual. They added activities that take advantage of resources in their region, and the lab manual is “super adaptable”, according to Hardy. “What I’ve long said about OER is, it really makes the instructor think differently about their teaching and their courses,” says Steve Greenlaw, a professor of economics at the University of Mary Washington . “It gives you the possibility of doing these revisions. Suddenly you think about stuff you never thought about before.” Read more>>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Oregon State University released State and Local Government and Politics: Prospects for Sustainability (2nd Ed.). Written by Christopher A. Simon, Brent S. Steel and Nicholas P. Lovrich, the textbook considers their decades’ long research, and the meaning of that research to both the broader society and to students of contemporary politics.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Interesting to Consider >>
We’re All in This Together | Inside Higher Ed
Letter: Save our neighbors’ jobs | Pocono Record
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