[Open-education] OER DIGEST - December 7th, 2017

OER Digest oerdigest at gmail.com
Thu Dec 7 21:11:23 UTC 2017

>From Saman Azimi and Kaitlyn Vitez, US PIRG | Volume 46 | December 7th, 2017

With updates from Ethan Senack, Katie Steen, and Nicole Allen


Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and

student impressions of courses that switched to OER at Reynolds Community
College in Virginia. Hundreds of students across 11 courses participated.
The data reveal that 74% of students surveyed found the OER content more
engaging than a traditional textbook, and 21% specifically mentioned how
open materials were more flexible and tailored to their class.

COURSE LABELLING: Four states - California, Texas, Washington and Oregon -
as well as individual institutions across the country are requiring a logo
or other indicator of cost in their course catalogues. Advocates,
oppositions, and faculty weigh in
the challenges of getting their projects off the ground. They detail the
technical challenges of posting the essential price information, as well as
debating the threshold of affordability for students.

CENGAGE UNLIMITED: Cengage announced the release of a new subscription
that gives subscribers access to the entirety of Cengage’s digital
portfolio for a set price. The Netflix-style service doesn’t include any
OER, but represents another new model that OER advocates may encounter on
campus. It is available at the cost of $119.99 for a semester’s access to
more than 20,000 Cengage resources.

OTN GOING GLOBAL: The University of Southern Queensland became the first
non-U.S. university
<https://www.usq.edu.au/news-events/news/2017/11/otn-ernst-17> to join the Open
Textbook Network <https://research.cehd.umn.edu/otn/>. The Open Textbook
Network, based out of the University of Minnesota, maintains the Open
Textbook Library and helps higher education institutions and systems
advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses. SQU is
currently planning on developing Australian editions of Open Textbook
Library resources.

OPEN CITATIONS: Scientometrics researchers are calling on scholarly
to provide open citation data in an open letter
<http://issi-society.org/open-citations-letter/> with more than 200
signatories. Proponents claim that citations, which the letter says
“provide essential information for studying science and making decisions
about the future of research,” should not be limited to scholars with
access to expensive database subscriptions. The letter builds on the Initiative
for Open Citations (I4OC)
which aims to establish a global, public web of linked scholarly
subscription data.

THE OA EFFECT: Research group Springer Nature released a report
<http://www.springernature.com/the-oa-effect> comparing the performance of
open access and non-open access academic books, measured by usage,
citations, and online mentions. Key findings, including that open access
book see seven times more chapter downloads, 50% more citations, and ten
times more online mentions than non-open access books, conclude that there
are tangible benefits to publishing using open access models.

THE NEW KNEWTON: Knewton announced
that it will be releasing its own line of online courseware in January.
This marks a major pivot for the company, which gained publicity over the
last year by marketing its services as offering artificial intelligence to
help major textbook companies make their content more adaptive. The
announcement places Knewton as a competitor to the major publishers, but
the company claims that its mix of OER and adaptive learning will set it

OPPORTUNITY: SPARC is seeking OER leaders to serve as mentors for its Open
Education Leadership Program pilot. Learn more and sign up by December 11th


Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Festival of Learning 2018 is accepting session
proposals until December 11th. The theme this year is “Handle with Care”
and proposals can be submitted here:

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Submit proposals for the Southern Regional Faculty &
Instructional Development Consortium’s Annual Conference, this year titled
“Creative Connections: Teaching, Learning, Open Educational Resources,” due
December 17th. http://srfidc.weebly.com/conference-information.html

CALL FOR PROPOSALS EXTENDED: The Utah OER Forum has extended the call for
proposals until December 17th. Registration opens January 1st.


Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those

FROM TEXAS: "In the process of complying with the state mandate to identify
potential for low- and no-cost textbooks, we are demonstrating the value of
partnerships between departmental faculty and subject librarians. Faculty
have more control over what and how the material is covered, and the
savings to students are estimated at greater than $600,000 per year. I
think that's a story worth shouting about!" Read More >

FROM NEW JERSEY: “I participated in the [Open and Affordable Textbook]
project because of my belief that the university education now, more than
ever, should not be restricted to textbooks in many cases. Students should
browse and learn from available resources on the internet. With so much
emphasis on research, this project sends the message that teaching/learning
is still important.” Read More >


Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource

Professor Ellen C. Carillo of the University of Connecticut partnered with
the University Press of Colorado and the Colorado State WAC Clearinghouse
<https://wac.colostate.edu/index.cfm> to release A Writer’s Guide to
Mindful Reading <https://wac.colostate.edu/books/mindful/>. As part of the
openly licensed “Practice and Pedagogy” series, it offers “a comprehensive
approach to literacy instruction by focusing on reading and writing.”


Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

Why Should Institutions Consider Publishing Open Access Textbooks | Jisc


Interesting to Consider >>

Exploring the Use of E-Textbooks in Higher Education | EDUCAUSE


Carlsbad Plan Would Put Technology in the Hands of Students | San Diego


Have suggestions for the next edition? Let us know at oerdigest at gmail.com,
or tweet us @OERdigest <https://twitter.com/oerdigest>.

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
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