From Mo Nyamweya and Hailey Babb (SPARC) | Volume 93 | November 8th, 2019
With updates from #OpenEd19
THE OER DIGEST
Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders
LIVE FROM #OPENED19: This year we are pleased to bring you our annual video edition filmed last week at the Open Education Conference in Phoenix, AZ. As the original organizer of the conference is stepping down, there are many conversations ahead about what might be next. Share your thoughts here. Watch the video for updates from speakers and community members, and be sure to stay through the end for blOERpers!
DIFFERENTIATED OER: Tailor-ED, a San Francisco-based provider of a platform of open educational resources for math subjects that allows educators to group and assign work to students based on indicators like proficiency, now offers K-8 math and is being used by more than 1,500 schools worldwide, with 70 schools paying for subscriptions. CEO and co-founder Maayan Yavne says she wants to add English language arts materials next and continue to build partnerships with content publishers.
NEW Z DEGREE: Kwantlen Polytechnic University has launched a full bachelor’s of arts degree in general studies with no textbook costs. According to KPU, the course is the first of its kind in North America. The four-year 120 credit degree is the seventh offered at the university and is expected to save students just over $5,000 during their four years of study. An estimated 27,500 students in ZTC (zero textbook costs) courses have saved more than $3.1 million combined since the spring 2018 semester.
Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities
SAVE THE DATE: New America is hosting an event on LGBTQ-inclusive teaching on November 19 in Washington, DC. Click for more info.
SAVE THE DATE: The fourth annual Northeast OER Summit is taking place on May 28th-29th, 2020 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.
HIRING NOW: University of Alaska Anchorage is hiring an Open Educational Resources Librarian. Click here to read more about the position and apply.
REGISTER NOW: Registration for the 2020 Creative Commons Summit (May 14th-16th, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal) is now open.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted
FROM MANITOBA: This month, University of Manitoba Students’ Union hosted an open educational resources fair to give students and faculty the chance to see some materials directly. UMSU is working closely with the Manitoba Open Textbook Initiative of Campus Manitoba — a consortium of publicly funded colleges and universities that works to expand access to post-secondary programs — to spread awareness of OER through the university’s students, faculty and administration. “I think it’s the next frontier in education in terms of something that’s innovative and really, really helps improve student performance and student affordability,” said Student Union President Jakob Sanderson. Read more >>
FROM WASHINGTON: Christine Curtis, a senior instructor in the Washington State University Murrow College of Communication, developed materials to supplement an open textbook for her public speaking course. Funded by an Affordable Learning Grant, Curtis’ investment is paying off for students – they’d previously been paying $100 or more for Top Hat access. “I think to go this route you definitely have to be student-centered to be successful,” Curtis said. “I do it because I recognize the financial hardships of my students. I really like working with them and if I can make that process a little bit easier, then I’ve been successful.” Read more >>
FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA: Camosun College recently received $32,250 from BCcampus in order to establish the Open Education Demonstration Initiative. The college received the money in the form of an Institutional Sustainability Grant from BCcampus and will use it to redevelop 10 courses with open textbooks through a committee of up to 10 faculty members, librarians, curriculum developers, and other specialists. “I feel like a lot more students will have access to educational material, much more than they currently do, because sometimes the bookstore runs out of textbooks, or sometimes we just can’t purchase because they’re really expensive,” said Camosun College Student Society (CCSS) external executive Fillette Umulisa. Read more >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Each edition, we highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource
As part of a broader affordability effort, NYU Law professors Barton Beebe, Jeanne Fromer, and Christopher Jon Sprigman have chosen to make the textbooks they authored—“Trademark Law: An Open-Source Casebook” and “Copyright Law: Cases and Materials”—available to all students for free.
Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider
Great to Share >>
- How Creative Commons works, and why it enables access to knowledge | The Conversation
- Textbooks could be free if universities rewarded professors for writing them | Phys Org
Interesting to Consider >>
- Open Education… Is Closed | Inside Higher Ed
- Alternative Textbook Providers on the Rise | Inside Higher Ed
- Textbook piracy: When free isn’t free | The Columbia Chronicle
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.