From Mo Nyamweya, SPARC | Volume 108 | June 18, 2020
With updates from Nicole Allen
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
NEW REPORT: U.S. PIRG has released a new study titled Fixing the Broken Textbook Market, SecondEdition, a follow-up to their 2014 survey, which found that 65% of students skip buying textbooks because of their high cost. The new study, which is based on a survey of over 4,000 students across 83 college campuses, shows that despite the supposedly lower cost of access codes versus hard copy textbooks, students still report skipping buying textbooks at the same rate as 2014. In addition, nearly 1 in 5 students reports having skipped buying an access code.
OPEN HUMANITIES: The U.S. National Endowment for Humanities announced twelve awards through the inaugural round of the Fellowships Open Book Program, a special initiative for scholarly presses to make recent monographs freely available online under an open license. The books range from studies of literature and history to musicology and sociology, and each will receive $5,500 to support digitization, marketing, and a stipend for the author. Applications for the next round of awards are due August 17th.
LUMEN EXPANDS: Lumen Learning announced that it is expanding its work beyond OER and digital courseware with a new faculty professional development offering. Edsurge reports that the new cohort-based service is made possible by Lumen’s acquisition of the higher education assets of Faculty Guild, an instructor coaching company.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
READER SURVEY: The OER Digest team is collecting feedback from our readers – please take 5 minutes to complete our survey.
APPLY NOW: SPARC’s Open Education Leadership Program is accepting applications for the 2020-2021 cohort. Apply by tomorrow, June 19th, for priority review. The program is open to academic librarians and other professionals working on OER in U.S. and Canadian higher education.
REGISTER NOW: Library Juice Academy’s new certificate program, Introduction to Open Educational Resources, is an interactive six-week course structured around crafting a final proposal for an OER initiative. Click here for registration, costs, and more information.
REGISTER NOW: The National Association of College Stores’ Textbook Affordability Conference is taking place throughout the summer, with free “virtual experiences” starting on June 30th.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The call for proposals for the 2020 OE Global Conference is live. The event will be virtual, taking place November 16-20. Proposals are due June 30th.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: The International Journal of Open Educational Resources is welcoming submissions for short blog articles on topics relating to OER, COVID-19, instructional design, online learning, and more. Ideas are due by Tuesday, June 30th. Submit ideas here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM CALIFORNIA: Shasta College History professor Jesse Lynch has been collaborating with the OER Project on their latest effort, the World History Project, to develop, evaluate and apply a new set of open curriculum for his World Civilizations classes. “I remember the many hoops and hardships students face in becoming a student,” said Lynch. “I admire all my students and how they balance their lives while taking my intensive history courses and completing their degrees.” Read more >>
FROM PENNSYLVANIA: A new OER initiative at Central Pennsylvania Community College (HACC) has taken off, investing $36,000 in funding to develop open textbooks and other course materials. Nearly 2,300 students – about 13% of their student population – will benefit from the initiative, with an estimated cost savings of $196,000 in just the first semester of implementation. “In a time of so much turmoil and uncertainty, OER are one small way to create stability for students – not just at HACC but around the country. This small step has the potential to help level the academic playing field.” Read more >>
FROM IOWA: Forty Iowa colleges and universities have combined for a joint membership with the Open Textbook Network. The partnership will provide the colleges and universities involved with access to a repository of training materials, support in finding open materials, and future training and faculty development opportunities to expand the use of OER in Iowa. Before this expanded partnership, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and St. Ambrose University in Davenport were already individual members of the OTN. The expanded partnership is due in great part to the efforts of the Iowa Open Educational Resources Action Team. Read more>>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Pressbooks has released Ryerson Open Moments, a new open resource that describes the journeys of eight educators who came to discover open education through projects in which they developed open educational resources. Each of these stories recounts a different journey towards open and what open education has come to mean for each author.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Open Educational Resources: Questions Answered | New America
My Journey to Open | Digitex
Interesting to Consider >>
Improving the Digital Accessibility of OER | Open Oregon Educational Resources
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.