From Bilan Jama (CC USA) | Volume 154 | June 2, 2022
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
U.S. OPEN TEXTBOOK PILOT: The 2022 application period for the Open Textbook Pilot program is now open. Published last week by the U.S. Department of Education, the grant competition will award approximately $2.6 million in federal funds to higher education institutions to create new open textbooks and expand the use of open textbooks in courses that are part of a degree-granting program, particularly those with high enrollments. The program is funded by Congress and administered by the U.S. Department of Education through the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). While the total funding available is lower than in previous years (due to funds reserved for existing projects), the Department may fund additional applications submitted this round in future years. We strongly encourage anyone interested in the program to apply. More resources will be posted soon on SPARC’s policy page. Applications are due July 25, 2022.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
APPLY NOW: Utah State University (USU) Libraries seeks an Assistant to support the Open Educational Resources (OER) Program. Working in a collaborative team environment, the Library Assistant will contribute to OER initiatives to promote awareness, development, and integration of quality OER across all disciplines at USU. Learn more and apply here.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The call for proposals for Open Texas 2022 is open, and the deadline has been extended to June 17, 2022. Proposals must be submitted via Cvent. Open Texas 2022 is being held virtually on September 21-23, 2022. Learn more here.
REGISTER NOW: Register now for a free, one-day professional development opportunity as part of The Pathways Project at Boise State. This August 5th workshop will include practice locating and editing OER and is geared toward all world language teachers, so please share with instructors you know who may be interested. RSVP has been extended to June 20th, and professional development credit is available. Please complete this form to register: https://forms.gle/LWRMZRWaLNvJ6czHA.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM MICHIGAN: A Delta College initiative to save students money and provide free access to course materials has reached a new milestone. Since 2016, Delta’s Open Educational Resources initiative has saved students a total of $1 million in textbook costs. Michele Pratt, manager of Library Programs and Services and OER Committee co-chair, said the effort began to help with student success. Students saved more than $142,000 during the winter 2022 semester alone. “We know that a lot of students are financially constrained and one of the things they cut is textbooks,” Pratt said. “They often don’t realize they need a textbook until it’s too late. With OER, everyone has a textbook from day one of class because it’s free and online.” Read More >>
FROM PENNSYLVANIA: During the past few years, many Penn State Lehigh Valley faculty members have made it a priority to incorporate open and affordable educational resources (OAER) into their classroom instruction. That commitment was on vivid display at the first-ever Penn State Lehigh Valley Open and Affordable Showcase, a half-day conference sponsored by the campus Library and Academic Affairs. There, attending faculty and staff had the chance to recognize and celebrate OAER-related work at the campus, and to advance the importance of the resources regarding student access, affordability, and retention. “This is a relatively new and fast-growing movement within academia,” said Reference and Instruction Librarian Elizabeth Nelson, who coordinated the event with Head Librarian Jennifer Jarson. “According to a lot of students, many of these free resources are often better quality than paid materials.” “Free does not mean low quality. These are high-quality resources,” added Professor of Marketing Denise Ogden. Read More >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
The Iowa State University Digital Press is happy to announce the final publication of a new open resource, written by Dr. Kelly L. Reddy-Best, Iowa State University, which has been undergoing final edits after an initial pilot phase: Dress, Appearance, and Diversity in U.S. Society. This textbook invites readers to explore how individuals and communities use dress as a way to communicate their various identities, with heightened attention to social justice, power, privilege, and oppression.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Open educational resources help students save money | The Connection
Interesting to Consider >>
Students’ Opinions of Professors Lean Positive | Inside Higher Ed
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.