[Open-education] OER Digest - September 22, 2019

OER Digest oerdigest at gmail.com
Thu Aug 22 20:53:21 UTC 2019


>From Mo Nyamweya, SPARC | Volume 88 | September 22, 2019


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

MERGER OPPOSITION MOUNTS: Last week, SPARC submitted a detailed filing
to the U.S. Department of Justice opposing the proposed merger between
Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education. The 49-page document
<https://sparcopen.org/our-work/oppose-cengage-mcgraw-hill-merger/> makes
the case that the merger would violate federal antitrust guidelines, reduce
competition in ways that harm students, and open the door for a new data
giant forming in the education sector. Since the release, several news
outlets have published articles about the filing. Last edition, the Digest
covered how consumer, antitrust, and student organizations are also voicing
their concerns regarding the merger, including a letter sent
last month by U.S. PIRG on behalf of more than 40 student organizations.

NEW OER RESEARCH: BYU researcher John Hilton has published a new study on
OER <https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11423-019-09700-4>,
student efficacy, and user perceptions - a synthesis of research published
between 2015 and 2018. Looking at sixteen efficacy and twenty perception
studies involving over 120,000 students or faculty, the study’s results
suggest that students achieve the same or better learning outcomes when
using OER while saving a significant amount of money, and that the majority
of faculty and students who’ve used OER had a positive experience and would
do so again. K.M. Wagner published an Ed. D. dissertation
at faculty and student perceptions of OER at Wilmington University, which
found that both program chairs and faculty have a favorable view of OER and
open textbooks, and that students are open and receptive to alternatives to
traditional textbooks.

STATEWIDE MEETINGS: Earlier this month, Pennsylvania’s first OER Summit was
at Penn State University in conjunction with Affordable Learning
Pennsylvania <http://www.palci.org/alpa-about/>. The summit’s goal is to
help higher education librarians across the state collaborate, discuss
challenges and solutions for using open course materials, and ultimately to
lower the cost of attending college statewide. Texas also held a statewide
convening entitled Open Education Texas: Policy, Practice & Potential
<http://www.60x30tx.com/oer> to offer new insights into OER policy and
practice at the state and national levels. Conference materials are
available here
and the results of a statewide landscape analysis will be available soon.

AUTHOR LAWSUIT: A class action lawsuit
has been filed by authors against Cengage, alleging that the publishing
company has underpaid royalties for the sale of digital products, including
the company’s Netflix-style all-access subscription Cengage Unlimited.
Cengage settled
another lawsuit brought by authors last fall.


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

REGISTER NOW: Early bird registration
<https://openedconference.org/2019/registration/> for the 2019 Open
Education Conference (October 29-November 1 in Phoenix, Arizona) ends
September 6.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Ohio State University is searching for an Affordable
Learning Instructional Consultant to join their Teaching & Learning
Department. Applications are due August 25 - click here
<https://www.jobsatosu.com/postings/97226> to read more about the position.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Fort Lewis College in Colorado is searching for an
Academic Engagement and Open Education Librarian position - applications
are open until the position is filled. Click here <https://g.co/kgs/cuiW8C>
to read more.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: College of Southern Maryland is searching for an Open
Educational Research/Instruction Librarian. Applications are open until the
position is filled - click here
read more.

FREE WORKSHOP: Glendale Community College is hosting a free, day-long OER
workshop on October 29th, the day before the Open Education Conference.
#OpenEd19 attendees, especially those from Arizona, are encouraged to
attend, but the workshop is open to all. For those who cannot attend in
person, make sure to RSVP <https://ti.to/hypothesis/oerizona2019> as a
virtual participant.

REGISTER NOW: Early bird registration is now available for the 2019 North
Carolina OER Conference <https://sites.google.com/cccc.edu/ncoer19/home>
through August 30th. The conference takes place in Sanford, North Carolina
on October 7.

OPPORTUNITY: Rebus Community has announced their Textbook Success Program,
a professional development program for OER creators and project managers.
Those interested in joining their first cohort can schedule a consultation
here <https://about.rebus.community/textbook-success-program/>.


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

FROM KANSAS: Butler Community College’s English department authored new
textbooks for their English Composition I and II courses, offered for the
first time during the 2018-19 school year. Each student in Comp I and II
saved about $200 as a result of the switch, adding up to about half a
million dollars in savings. “By definition, college students [anywhere] are
broke. That’s not unique to Butler. So the department decided to do what we
can to put more money back into their pockets,” said department chair Jim
Buchhorn.

FROM ILLINOIS: College of DuPage is one of nine institutions chosen by
OpenStax for the 2019-2020 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program,
which encourages the use of OER. OpenStax will provide the college with
consulting, strategic planning services, training, and support as well as
access to their full catalog of open textbooks. "The use of open
educational resources and other innovative tools that community colleges
can employ will help drive student success and reduce their financial
burden," said DuPage Provost Mark Curtis-Chávez.

FROM NEW JERSEY: Faculty at Rowan University are reworking their courses to
bring down the cost of course materials as part of their Textbook
Alternative Program, launched in 2018. They estimate that over 10,000
students have saved money as a result of the grant program, leading to over
$1.2 million is savings. "Overarching goals of the program are one, to
raise awareness of the rising course of college materials. The second goal
would be to collaborate with faculty and departments to drive down costs.
The third would be to provide students with access to materials on their
first day," said Assistant VP Sean Hendricks.


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

The Check, Please! Starter Course
shows learners how to fact and source check. The entire online curriculum
is two and a half to three hours and is suitable homework for the first
week of a college-level module on disinformation or online information
literacy, or the first few weeks of a course if assigned with other
discipline focused homework.


Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

Advocacy Group to DOJ: Cengage-McGraw Hill Merger Could Create a ‘Platform
Monopoly’ in Education

Boston-based Cengage to merge with rival publisher McGraw-Hill
| Boston Globe

Interesting to Consider >>

The Radical Transformation of the Textbook
<https://www.wired.com/story/digital-textbooks-radical-transformation/> |

How Administrators Can Support Adoption of Open Educational Resources on
Campus <https://higheredconnects.com/open-educational-resources-on-campus/>
| Higher Ed Connects

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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