Michael Basmajian (PIRG) | Volume 165 | November 10, 2022
With updates from Bilan Jama
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
2022 FLORIDA SURVEY: Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) has released the results of the 2022 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey, reporting the impact that high textbook costs have on college affordability, student success, and degree completion based on responses from 13,000 students. “This report highlights the real struggles that college students face due to the high cost of textbooks, and their perceptions of how those costs impact their academic decisions and progress.” said Dr. John Opper, executive director of Distance Learning and Student Services at FLVC. View the full survey >>
OER CIVICS: The midterm elections were this week, so in the spirit of civic engagement, we’d like to share a collection of OER focused on the history of voting rights, how the electoral college works, and other civics related topics. Check out the resources via OER Commons here.
SIGNING OFF (digest co-author Bilan Jama): Hello, OER Digest community! Working alongside the entire open community has been an absolute privilege. At the end of this week, I will move on from my position as the Education Policy Specialist with Creative Commons USA and onto new projects within the education field. Feel free to tweet (@blnjama) if you’d like to reach me.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
PARTICIPATE: The Open Education Conference is holding its monthly community meeting on Friday November 18th at 1:00pm EDT. All are welcome to give input on the conference planning process. Register here.
APPLY NOW: Applications from prospective doctoral students are currently being sought for two generously funded PhD positions that will focus on OER in relation to late medieval/early modern book history and literary studies. These practice-based PhD opportunities are offered as part of an EU-funded MSCA Doctoral Network called “Re-mediating the Early Book: Pasts and Futures.” Applications are due by January 10, 2023. Learn more and apply here.
CALL FOR PROPOSALS: With generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) invites proposals from individuals and groups seeking to develop OER that build upon, enhance, or complement dLOC. There will be three open calls for proposals awarding over $100,000 over the course of the program period. In this first round, proposals will be due on March 15, 2023. Learn more and submit your proposal here.
OER COFFEE CHAT: Join the #GoOpen Network for another Saturday Morning Chat “OER” Coffee! This Saturday November 12, 2022 at 11:30 AM EST via Twitter. Participate here.
RSVP NOW (California): LibreTexts has announced four new in-person workshops on their ADAPT and LibreStudio platforms as free homework assessment platforms for all California instructors and students. Workshops will take place at: Folsom River College (11/18), Chabot College (11/19), San Diego City College (12/2), and College of the Canyons (12/3) from 9-3 PST. Learn more and RSVP here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM TEXAS: As part of its Adopt a Free Textbook Initiative, the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) libraries awarded 13 grants to faculty members for the 2022-2023 academic cycle to incorporate OER into their curriculum. Four of the 13 grants were awarded to faculty members to develop their own OER. “[So far,] we’ve had 138 grants awarded with student savings [that just passed] the $10 million mark,” said Dean Hendrix, university librarian at UTSA, “What we have spent is about $200,000 since 2016, but the result of just that little investment has been $10 million, which gives us a return on investment of [approximately] $48 per one dollar spent.” Read More >>
ALSO FROM TEXAS: The Texas A&M Student Senate unanimously passed a bill urging the Texas Legislature to further expand and maintain the sustainability of statewide OER programs. The “Expanding Open Education Resources” bill acknowledges the rising cost of the prices of textbooks and additional course materials, placing a burden that affects students’ academic performance. “I think [OER] is something that can really be done at the Texas Legislature this upcoming session,” said Legislative Relations Chair Patrick Englehart”. Read More >>
FROM IDAHO: Graf Kirk, a recent graduate and student government leader from Boise State University teamed up with Shannon Smith, the university’s OER librarian to form a task force to address access, accessibility and affordability of course materials for students. Smith and Kirk presented the work of the task force to the Associated Students of Boise State University and got $15,000 allocated towards Smith’s OER work at the library. The duo co-authored “More Than a Seat at the Table: Including Students as Peers”, an OER & Beyond article about how students and librarians can work together effectively to advocate for affordable learning options. Read More >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
From the University of Oregon’s school of Planning, Public Policy, and Management, comes a new OER on nonprofit organizations called Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector. The book, written by professor Dyana Mason, provides an overview of the vocabulary used in defining the work of nonprofit organizations, topics of interest to nonprofit managers, and describes the primary roles nonprofits play in American (and to a lesser extent international) communities. The book is featured on the UMN Open Textbooks Library website.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
How We Learned to Relax and Encouraged Others to Embrace OER | Journal of Open Educational Resources in Higher Education
Alberta needs its own OER program | The Gauntlet
Interesting to Consider >>
How and Why to Evaluate Open Educational Resources | Faculty Focus
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.