[Open-education] OER Digest - October 3, 2019

OER Digest oerdigest at gmail.com
Thu Oct 3 21:38:29 UTC 2019

Volume 91

>From Mo Nyamweya | Volume 91 | October 3, 2019


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

MAJOR OER INVESTMENT: The University of Texas at Arlington is investing an
impressive $500,000
<https://www.uta.edu/news/news-releases/2019/10/01/library-oer> to fund
open educational resources this academic year, marking the largest award by
a public academic institution in Texas specifically supporting OER
initiatives. Student feedback collected in courses impacted by the UTA CARES
<https://libguides.uta.edu/utacares/home> Grant Program in spring 2019
demonstrated overwhelming support for the program and expanded OER use at
UTA, with 98% of students reporting that the quality of the UTA CARES
materials were as good or better than traditional commercial materials.

CONNECT OER REPORT: This week, SPARC released its 2018-2019 Connect OER
Annual Report
The report provides insights on OER trends, practices, and impact in the
U.S. and Canada, using data submitted by 132 higher ed institutions in the
Connect OER directory. Insights include that more than half of the campuses
have a faculty or staff position with OER responsibilities and that the
average award for an OER mini-grant program is $1,339.

NEW RESEARCH: A new article titled “Efficacy of Open Textbook Adoption on
Learning Performance and Course Withdrawal Rates: A Meta-Analysis”
<https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2332858419872212> compares
learning performance and course withdrawal rates between open and
commercial textbooks. Based on a systematic search of research findings,
there were no differences in learning efficacy between open textbooks and
commercial textbooks. However, the withdrawal rate for postsecondary
courses with open textbooks was significantly lower than that for
commercial textbooks.


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

APPLY NOW: Open Textbook Network’s Certificate in OER Librarianship is
applications <http://research.cehd.umn.edu/otn/oer-cert/>. Applicants
should be, or anticipate becoming, newly responsible for building open
education programs at their institutions. Applications are due on Nov 8th.

REGISTER NOW: Registration
<https://conference.oeconsortium.org/2019/registration/> for the 2019 OE
Global Conference is open until October 31. The conference is being held on
November 26-28 in Milan, Italy.

HIRING NOW: Touro College in New York, NY is hiring an Open Educational
Resources & Instruction Librarian. Click here
<https://touro.peopleadmin.com/postings/4860> to read more about the
position and apply.


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

FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Faculty who participate in Penn State’s Affordable
Course Transformation  program receive a grant stipend, instructional
design support from Teaching and Learning with Technology, and additional
support from the Open Educational Resources coordinator and Open Education
Librarian. “The ACT team introduced me to existing materials that allowed
me to create something beautiful, useful, and free for my [ECON 102 and
104] students which will be used for many, many years to come,” said
Zachary Klingensmith, assistant teaching professor of economics at Penn
State Behrend, when asked about his ACT at PSU <https://oer.psu.edu/act/>
project last year.

FROM LOUISIANA: Over the next three years, the Nicholls’ Textbook
Affordability Task Force aims to cut student spending on textbooks by 20%.
This year, over 15 faculty members at Nicholls State University used open
textbooks in their classrooms to improve affordability. “Open educational
resources are one way faculty and librarians can directly affect the
barriers and help students get a degree with less money,” said Elizabeth
Batte, Nicholls’ OER Coordinator, who estimates that Nicholls faculty
teaching with OER have saved students about $200,000 this semester. Read
more >>

FROM CONNECTICUT: The Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology is
aiming to unite secondary and higher education OER initiatives by creating
a repository of higher ed and K-12 materials. Executive director of the
Commission Doug Casey envisions a future where professors of community
college remedial classes can easily find high school materials that are
aligned with state standards to quickly bring their students up to speed,
for example. Conversely, high schools would be able to offer classes
normally found only at the college level without breaking their budgets.
“If you could somehow open that all up and connect it, you would have a
phenomenal statewide collection of lesson plans that are all aligned with
state standards,” said Casey.


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

OpenStax published “Business Law I Essentials”
<https://openstax.org/details/books/business-law-i-essentials>, a brief
introductory textbook designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements
of courses on Business Law or the Legal Environment of Business. Each
chapter contains learning objectives, explanatory narrative and concepts,
references for further reading, and end-of-chapter questions.


Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider

Great to Share >>

The Role of Libraries in College Innovation
(Podcast) | EdSurgeLive

It’s time to end the era of wasteful and overpriced textbooks
| The McGill Tribune

Interesting to Consider >>

A simple question: why are language textbooks so expensive?
| The Mac Weekly

Textbook merger could create more problems than just higher prices
| The Conversation

Questioning the Textbook Rep Culture
| Inside Higher Ed

Lyryx Celebrates Their Impact on 100,000 Students
<https://lyryx.com/2019/10/01/100k-milestone/> | Lyryx

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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