From Mo Nyamweya | Volume 113 | September 10, 2020
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
OPENSTAX MILESTONE: OpenStax has officially surpassed $1 billion in student savings since publishing their first open textbook in 2012. In just under a decade of operation, OpenStax has had a massive impact on teaching and learning, serving over 14 million students worldwide. They’ve also just announced that they have plans to double their library of open textbooks with $12.5 million in grant support from various national foundations, marking the largest investment in OER to date.
OER PROJECT PARTNERSHIP: The Nevada Department of Education announced the OER Project’s collaboration with the state on two new history courses. The Big History Project focuses on foundational skills and concepts for students to help prepare them for high school-level work, while the World History Project focuses on preparing students for Advanced Placement coursework. The courses will allow teachers to adapt lesson plans and materials to the needs of their middle and high school students.
COLLABORATION IN BC: Science and geography faculty from post-secondary institutions in British Columbia collaborated on developing an open resource that will be introduced this fall. In three months, they developed a 22-assignment lab manual for students in first year geography courses. The project was conceptualized as a result of the sudden shift to online learning necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
REGISTER NOW: The 2020 Open Education Global Conference (November 16-20) has opened registration.
JOB OPPORTUNITY: Renton Technical College – located in Renton, Washington – is hiring an OER and Instruction Librarian. Applications received by Wednesday, October 7th will receive priority consideration, but the position is open until filled.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM KENTUCKY: The Eastern Kentucky Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Open Textbook Resources is awarding a $23,000 grant funding courses with zero textbook costs. As a result of this first round of funding, approximately 4,500 EKU students will save an estimated $333,000 each year. “It provides a huge return on investment in terms of the impact it will have for EKU student success,” said EKU librarian Kelly Smith. “For some students, it could mean the difference between passing and failing a class.” Read more >>
FROM ARKANSAS: The University of Arkansas Library’s new course development project resulted in savings of over $50,000 for students who take the required core curriculum two semester sequence in American history during the 2020-21 academic year. “As a third of our first-year students from Arkansas are Pell eligible, this project further reduces the barriers students face to access our undergraduate courses,” said James Gigantino, professor and chair of the Department of History. Read more >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
The University of San Francisco has published “A Way of Proceeding: Ethical Decision-Making for Management Students at Jesuit Colleges”, a resource including assignments, suggested readings and lectures for a 7 week course on ethical decision making.
University of Iowa instructor Brandon Myers created a new resource titled “Guided Inquiry Activities for Programming Language Concepts”, a collection of open resources intended to support the use of POGIL in intermediate level undergraduate computer science courses on functional programming and the implementation of programming languages.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
Interesting to Consider >>
Textbook Affordability in the Time of COVID-19 | Taylor & Francis Online
Instructors prepared for fully online semester | The Connection
The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. Subscribe here.