From Kaitlyn Vitez and Cailyn Nagle (USPIRG) | Volume 94 | November 21st, 2019
With updates from Paula Crossman, Matthew DeCarlo, and Nicole Allen
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
UNESCO ON OER: UNESCO unanimously recommended a new policy on OER in support of achieving the UN’s 2030 Development Agenda. Their recommendations include five objectives: building capacity of stakeholders to create, access, use, adapt, and redistribute OER; developing supportive policy at the national level; encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER; nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and facilitating international cooperation. The recommendation is expected to be approved next week at the UN General Conference next week.
MA PROPOSAL: After meetings over the course of the course of the 2018-2019 school year, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s OER Working Group has released their recommendations on what a state OER initiative should look like. Among their recommendations are a council of stakeholders and staff housed in the department, a statewide grant program, course markings for OER, and consideration of OER for tenure and promotion. The next step in the process is for funding to be earmarked in the state budget, due out in January.
ROADMAP: SPARC released a new strategic document Academic Community Control of Data Infrastructure – A Roadmap for Action, which outlines individual and collective actions that colleges and universities can take to address the publishing industry’s increasing control over data infrastructure. The topic of student data collected through digital courseware has come up several times in the last year, including a data breach disclosed by Pearson this summer.
CO ZTC CHALLENGE: Earlier this year, Colorado began a funded statewide OER initiative. Building upon that, Governor Jared Polis recently launched a ZTC Challenge and will award top schools and departments for progress made by the end of the school year. To support the challenge, the OER Council and staff at the Department of HIgher Education have developed a ZTC training, workshops, and ambassador program.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
PROPOSALS: Submit your proposals for Open Con Cleveland by December 1st here.
JOB OPENING: Maricopa Community College is hiring an Academic Engagement and Open Education Librarian. Check out the job description and apply here before December 6th.
DEADLINE EXTENSION: The Library Publishing Forum has extended their deadline to submit proposals for sessions to tomorrow November 22nd! So act fast if you have a poster presentation, presentation, or session idea. Submit your proposals here.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM SOUTH CAROLINA: Cami Westall teaches history at Piedmont Technical College, and likes the customization OER enables for her history classes. “With OER, we can include local history, such as the town of Ninety Six and its importance in the American Revolution. It makes history come alive for students,” Westall said, “while information like that might not be included in a standard textbook.” Read More >
FROM OREGON: Open textbooks have been on the ground at Blue Mountain Community College since 2012 and have picked up steam since state legislation passed in Oregon supporting OER adoption. Open textbooks are now used in a quarter of classes at BMCC and have saved students $1.1 million in the past four years alone. Read More >
FROM ARKANSAS: Over the past four years the University of Arkansas at Cossatot has saved students over $1.57 million with their Textbook Rental and Open Educational Resource program, resulting in 54% of classes using OER. “Developing and maintaining this unique program has been one of the most challenging projects I’ve undertaken, but it is also the most rewarding,” said Relinda Ruth, Director of Educational Resources and OER Specialist. The award-winning program got its start in 2015 and. Read More >
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
Three professors from College of the Canyons – Jennifer Paris, Kristin Beeve, and Clint Springer – released “Introduction to Curriculum for Early Childhood Education.” The new textbook focuses on developing curriculum for young children. Last year the same professors published “Child Growth and Development,” found in the Open Textbook Library.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Open Access Resources would be financially beneficial to students | The Daily Bruin
Investing in Open Textbooks will Ease Burden on Students | Edmonton Journal
Interesting to Consider >>
A Class of Published Authors | Muhlenberg College
How Traditional Publishers Price Textbooks | Pedablogy
Teaching Note: Creating Open Textbooks for Social Work Education l Journal of Social Work Education
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. You can join the open Google Group or check out the distribution list here.