[Open-education] OER Digest - May 2nd, 2019

OER Digest oerdigest at gmail.com
Thu May 2 20:50:51 UTC 2019

>From Ethan Senack | Volume 80 | May 2nd, 2019


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

MERGER ANNOUNCED: Yesterday morning, Cengage and McGraw-Hill announced
their intent to merge, combining the #2 and #3 largest textbook publishers
into a $3 billion dollar company controlling over 44,000 titles. The move
is planned for 2020, and will be pending approval by regulators. Advocates
for students and consumers have expressed significant concern about the
impact on pricing and choice in the industry, especially as it relates to
inclusive access and online homework platforms. You can read more coverage
of it here:


   MarketWatch: McGraw-Hill and Cengage are merging — is that good or bad
   news for textbook prices?

   Yahoo Finance: 'The textbook market is broken' and the latest
   mega-merger makes it worse

   Chronicle of Higher Ed: Planned Merger of Cengage and McGraw-Hill Could
   Remake College-Textbook Market

BC GOES BIG:The provincial government in British Columbia announced
<https://www.ubyssey.ca/news/provincial-government-funds-oers/> a $3.26
million commitment to open educational resources at the Cascadia Open
Education Summit last month. The money is allocated not just for open
textbook adoption and creation, but also for the development of an open
homework management system to reduce dependency on the closed models big
publishers are pushing.

ARIZONA CONTROVERSY: Tensions around textbook prices are high at Arizona
State University, where a professor published an email
<https://i.redd.it/zjfb7v9yl3t21.jpg> revealing what he claims is
“unethical behavior” on the part of his economics department. The letter
alleges that the university is requiring students to pay to submit homework
assignments via Cengage’s MindTap - a fact the university does not dispute
-  that they required him to fail a significant percentage of his students,
and that they were motivated by financial kickbacks to the school. The
university vehemently refuted the professor’s claims
<https://provost.asu.edu/rebutting-series-false-claims>, but has since
been forced to walk back
some of their statements after a leaked contract revealed a revenue-sharing
agreement for the development and adoption of the courseware. The Student
Government has since called for an independent investigation
into the process, and the university accepted.

SPARC ANALYSIS: A new landscape analysis
from SPARC cautions that academic publishers are shifting their business
model beyond content toward data and data analytics. The report looks at
the implications for academic institutions, particularly around privacy,
data management, and control over teaching, learning and research
infrastructure. The report is especially relevant given the recent
announcement from Cengage and McGraw-Hill and the ASU controversy.

TRENDS SNAPSHOT: The State Educational Technology Directors Association
(SETDA) released an analysis of trends
in instructional materials at the K12 level. The papers finds that that 38
states have an official definition of instructional materials, and 21
states have an official definition of OER.

CC SEARCH: Creative Commons revealed the revamped CC Search tool, which now
includes over 300 million images for 19 different repositories, and an easy
attribution feature to make re-use even simpler. You can read more about it
here <https://creativecommons.org/2019/04/30/cc-search-images/> or try the
search for yourself: https://search.creativecommons.org/


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

JOURNAL PROPOSALS: The upcoming edition of the Library Trends journal is
focusing on “OER and the Academic Library”. You can submit a proposal here
<https://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/library-trends/calls-papers-1>, due by
May 15th.

APPLY: The Open Education Group is accepting applications for their OER
Research Fellowship. You can submit yours here
<https://www.formpl.us/form/267776001>, due May 15th.

APPLY: The SPARC Open Education Leadership Program is accepting applications
for their 2019-2020 cohort, due by May 10th. The program is for library
professionals at U.S. and Canadian institutions.


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

FROM LOUISIANA: “But the problem won’t be fixed by what these large
publishing companies are offering. The nature of the textbook industry
allows several multinational publishing companies to completely dominate
the market. Instead of completely relying on publisher-sponsored materials,
there instead needs to be a complete reshaping of the market in the
direction of Open Educational Resources.” Read More >

FROM TEXAS: “Moving toward open access instructional materials brings
several benefits. It allows for flexibility and quick adaptation of
materials to align with the rapidly evolving nature of the field, current
events, and updated tools with which students must be familiar upon
graduation. I also believe that course quality will be higher with a more
hands-on and cyclical approach to curation among our faculty.” Read More >


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

Match Fishtank, a charter school in Boston, released their K-12 curriculum
under an open license this week. The content prioritizes cultural
relevance, and you can read more about their scores on EdReports here
or check out the content for yourself: https://www.matchfishtank.org/


Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

Traditional Textbooks Make No Difference in Your Child’s Learning. Let’s
Change the Model
. | El Paso Herald Post

Interesting to Consider >>

Open at Scale: Creating Affordable Student Resources in Targeted Subject
| eCampus Ontario

College Textbook Affordability: Landscape, Evidence, and Policy Directions
<https://www.mhec.org/news/new-affordability-series-report> | MHEC

Harrisburg leads open educational resources innovation in geology courses
| PennState

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
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/open-education/attachments/20190502/43dbdbf1/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the open-education mailing list