[Open-education] OER Digest - January 25th, 2018

OER Digest oerdigest at gmail.com
Thu Jan 25 20:21:36 UTC 2018

>From Saman Azimi and Kaitlyn Vitez, U.S. PIRG | Volume 49 | January 25th,

With updates from Nicole Allen, Cheryl Cuillier, and Katie Steen


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

OPEN 101: U.S. PIRG released a new report
titled “Open 101: An Action Plan for Affordable Textbooks,” The report
investigates the cost of course materials in the ten highest-enrollment
courses in the country, zeroing in on how bundled materials prevent
students from finding low-cost alternatives. The report also provides a
comparison of course materials used for those ten courses across criteria
such as availability unbundled, retention, and the cost for new and used
books. Key findings include:


   Of the access code bundles (text + access code) examined in the report,
   45% were unavailable from any source besides the campus bookstore, forcing
   students to pay full price. For courses using textbooks only, students
   could cut costs as much as 58% by buying online.

   Schools that have invested in OER generated significant savings for
   students, e.g. at Greenfield Community College, where three of six courses
   investigated used OER, students spent as little as $31 per course versus a
   national average of $153 per course.

   If the ten highest-enrollment courses nationally switched to using OER,
   students save up to $1.5 billion each year.

TOP OF THE CLASS: EdReports, an independent education nonprofit that
reviews K-12 curricula on a set of three criteria - alignment to Common
Core standards, academic rigor, and usability - gave its highest ever rating
to Open Up Resources’ Illustrative Mathematics 6-8. The curriculum, which
is fully OER, was the only one of fifty-four math curricula reviewed by
EdReports to earn a designation of “meets expectations” in all three

STATE POLICY: SPARC and Creative Commons USA released a pair of companion
documents examining state policy on OER and offering recommendations and
analysis for lawmakers and advocates:


   SPARC’s OER State Policy Playbook
   provides a framework of ideas that state legislators can pursue to harness
   the power of OER to reduce the cost of college for students. The playbook
   suggests several policy strategies, like establishing a grant program,
   assembling a statewide task force, issuing a savings challenge, and
   requiring course designations, and provides real life examples.

   Creative Commons USA’s OER State Legislative Guide
   looks at seven examples of state legislation supporting OER, each
   representing a different perspective and legislative language. The guide
   annotates the bills to highlight strengths, areas for improvement, and
   unique tactics.

OER IN OR: A new report from Open Oregon Educational Resources
covering the cost savings community college students have seen in the two
years since Oregon established an OER initiative found that students in
three transfer degree programs spent 16% less in 2017 than 2015, for over
$1 million in savings. The report also found that the number of hours
working at minimum wage it would take to cover materials costs has fallen
by ~25% across all three degrees because of lower prices and higher wages.

HBD CAPE TOWN DECLARATION: Happy 10th Anniversary to the Cape Town Open
Education Declaration
<http://www.capetowndeclaration.org/read-the-declaration>! To celebrate, a
small group of open education advocates met in Cape Town in March 2017 to
discuss the accomplishments and challenges in the movement over the last
decade. At the meeting, advocates identified ten key directions
<http://www.capetowndeclaration.org/cpt10/> to move open education forward.
Check out the conversation on twitter at #CPT10


Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs

REGISTER: OpenStax is hosting its first Creator Fest for biology, physics,
math, and chemistry instructors in Houston, TX from April 5th-6th. Register
here: OpenStax.org/OXCFRegister <http://openstax.org/OXCFRegister>

REGISTER: The Puget Sound Educational Service District is hosting a summit
on the state of OER in K-12 in Washington at their office in Renton, WA on
March 26th. Register here: https://s01.123signup.com/servlet/SignUpMember?

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Participate in Open Education Week (March 5-9) by
submitting an event you’re hosting or an open resource to be featured on
the OEW website. Submit by February 25th here:


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

FROM PENNSYLVANIA:  A committee being formed by provost Patricia Beeson is
expected to explore options, including a student-developed idea calling for
expanded use by faculty of these lower-cost materials, and creation by Pitt
of grants and other incentives for professors willing to participate. Read
More >

FROM INDIANA: The four-week course will focus on finding educational
materials that are both high quality and reviewed, highlighting those
available through IU South Bend or IU-subscriptions. “We will also learn
about copyright considerations and, finally, creating new, homegrown OERs
here at IUSB. Faculty and instructors taking the redesign institute will
identify and integrate alternative materials into existing or future
courses,” states the syllabus for the course. Read More >


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

>From Steven W. Ellingson of Virginia Tech comes a beta of Electromagnetics
Volume 1 <https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/78735> (CC BY-SA 4.0).
The text, which is intended for third-year undergraduates in an electrical
engineering program, employs the “transition lines first” approach and is
currently being field tested in a Spring 2018 course.


Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

5 Ways to Get Started with OER | eSchool News

Interesting to Consider >>

Amazon’s Education Hub, Amazon Inspire, Has Quietly Restored “Sharing”
Function | EdSurge


Administrators Consider Teachers’ Professional Learning Needs Using
Digital, OER Resources | Education Dive

This 1 Particular Area of Ed Tech is Ripe for Disruption | Entrepreneur

Opinion: It’s Time to Rid Ourselves of the Textbook Industrial Complex |
Collegiate Times


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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