From Bilan Jama (CC USA) | Volume 132 | June 24, 2021
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
IDAHO POLICY: On June 16, the Idaho State Board of Education approved a new policy related to OER. The board’s goal is to make faculty aware of all the lower cost and open resources that are available so they can design their courses with affordability in mind. This policy was developed through extended consultation with faculty and academic leaders from all institutions in the state. “In a survey we did, we had 471 of our faculty respond when we asked if they were using OER in their courses and they commented that there were 600 courses that they taught that 25,000 students took where the cost of materials was less than $10,” said President of the State Board of Education Kurt Liebich. “That’s just a huge issue and a huge win for the students of Idaho that they can choose courses that are more affordable for them.”
HOW OPEN EDUCATION ENABLES CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING: With culturally responsive teaching being a major topic of conversation across the nation, it has become more noticeable that there is a lack of culturally relevant educational materials for students to use. One way around this challenge of finding culturally relevant learning materials is to look to OER. Guided by the idea that high-quality materials should be available to—and reflective of—anyone, OER are free for educators and students to use, customize, and share. Because OER are customizable, they give educators the flexibility to incorporate voices, examples, and activities that reflect their students’ backgrounds and realities. They also allow students to contribute to educational content, bringing in their own experiences and knowledge. Several of the community colleges in Achieving the Dream’s (ATD) nationwide network are leveraging both CRT and OER to promote student success and equity. One example is Northeast State Community College in Tennessee, which has launched a new course called Reclaiming Our Past: The Truth about Tennessee.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
APPLY NOW: The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries is seeking a new Department Head of Access and Discovery. Learn more and apply here.
APPLY NOW: The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries is seeking a new Director of Open Educational Resources. Learn more and apply here.
PARTICIPATE: The Open Education Conference is holding its monthly community meeting on Friday June 9th at 1:00pm EDT. All are welcome to give input on the conference planning process. Register here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM OHIO: Cleveland State Community College has received three new grants. The OER Grant was awarded for a project called The Open Educational Resources Initiative in the Honors College at CSCC. This project was awarded approximately $29,000 to focus on expanding non-traditional course formats for honors courses and First Year Seminar courses. The variety in available resources provided by utilizing OER enables the instructor to increase the ways of collaborative learning, community building, and higher order thinking. Dr. Victoria M. Bryan, dean of the Honors College and Academic Enhancement at Cleveland State says both initiatives will bring a new level of efficiency and inclusion to the college community. Read More>>
FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Misericordia University was recently awarded two Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (PA Goal Grant). This funding will allow several US History Survey Courses offered at the university to be redesigned to provide more accessibility for students through zero-cost textbooks and additional resources. A team will collaborate to replace current textbooks with Open Educational Resources (OER), providing a savings to students. “The primary goal of the grant is to save students money” according to Dr. Jennifer Black, Associate Professor of History. “We project an approximate savings of about $90,000 for all students who might be served by these measures over the next five years. This type of work aligns perfectly with our institution’s history and mission to make education more accessible.” A secondary goal of the grant administrators is to amplify underrepresented voices in American history. Read More>>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
The University of Arizona has released Humans R Social Media by Diana Daly. The book uses plain language and features contributions by students to help readers understand how we as humans shape social media, and how social media shapes our world in turn.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
- Bridging the Digital Gap Through Technology Innovation | Campus Technology
- Opinion: Textbooks are expensive. Universities should use Open Educational Resources instead | The San Diego Union-Tribune
- OEG Voices Podcast | OE Global
Interesting to Consider >>
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.