[Open-education] OER Digest - Sept 19, 2019

OER Digest oerdigest at gmail.com
Thu Sep 19 23:43:31 UTC 2019

Volume 90

>From Kaitlyn Vitez, Cailyn Nagle, and Andrew Husson (USPIRG) | Volume 90 |
September 19th, 2019

With updates from Lana Hall, Erin Fields, and Susan Higgins


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

FEDERAL UPDATE: Efforts to renew the U.S. federal Open Textbook Pilot
continue to march forward in Congress. After the House approved a bill
including $5 million of renewal funding in June, this week the Senate
released a proposed bill that would increase funding to $6 million and
attach additional instructions for the Department of Education to improve
the program's implementation. Meanwhile, Congress has also announced plans
to delay the deadline for passing the federal budget to the end of
November, so there is still a long way to go before the bills are finalized
and passed into law. For frequently asked questions and background on the
Pilot, read more here <https://sparcopen.org/our-work/open-textbook-pilot/>

OPENSTAX MILESTONE: The open publisher has reached a new milestone: they
estimate that nearly 3 million students will use an OpenStax book this
school year. In the coming year,
students are expected to save a quarter of a billion dollars, with 90% of
them accessing the materials digitally for free. “Until a few years ago the
college textbook bubble had seen sustained growth — textbook prices had
risen 800% over 50 years,” said Mark Perry, a scholar at The American
Enterprise Institute and professor of economics and finance at the
University of Michigan. “In 2017, there was a market-wide drop in textbook
prices, and I believe that free alternatives like OpenStax books are
central to that disruption.”

NEW RESEARCH: A new report titled “A Place for Policy: The Role of Policy
in Supporting Open Educational Resources and Practices at Ontario’s
Colleges and Universities" examines the benefits, barriers, and OER
policies in North America. The report
lays out the benefits of using a policy model and how policies directly
answer the barriers to implementing and expanding open educational
materials and practices.

BIG OER INVESTMENT: University of British Columbia launched a new OER Fund
<http://open.ubc.ca/oer-fund> with a commitment from their Office of the
Provost of $250,000 for the four years of the program. The funds will be
used to create two grant pathways, a smaller grant for innovative
activities and a larger grant for incorporating OER as required materials
in credit courses. The program is prioritizing large freshman and sophomore
classes as well as multi section courses and the creation of quiz and test

NEW AUTHOR: Hello! I’m Andrew Husson, and I’m excited to be joining the OER
Digest team as an intern with U.S. PIRG. I’m a rising senior studying
economics at George Washington University in DC, and I’ve spent the last
summer working with PIRG to do citizen outreach on our campaigns to protect
consumers and ban harmful pesticides. I don’t have Twitter, but you can
follow along as I partner with GW’s @GelmanLibrary
and @GWStudents_ <https://twitter.com/GWStudents_> to expand the use of OER
on my campus this semester!


Conferences, jobs, and other OER-related opportunities

RESERVE NOW: Hotels are selling out quickly for the annual OpenEd
Conference taking place in Phoenix, AZ at the end of October. Conference
organizers have secured discounted rates at additional hotels,
<https://openedconference.org/2019/venue-and-travel/> so make your
reservations now before prices go up.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: University of San Diego's Seventh Annual Digital
Initiatives Symposium, happening on April 27-28, 2020, is now accepting
proposals for the full day conference with a submission deadline of
November 22. The conference is especially looking for international
perspectives from a wide variety of institutions. Learn more here.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Amigos Library Services online conference on December
4th is accepting proposals now until Sept 25th on the subject of “the
Library’s role of supporting open educational resources.” Learn more and
submit your proposal here. <https://www.amigos.org/node/5976>

REGISTER NOW: “OER Hangout: Creating OER with Students,” hosted by the
University of Texas and faculty and staff from two other universities, is
accepting registrations for their discussion based webinar. The webinar
takes place Sept 25th and you can register here.

REGISTER NOW: The Open Education Consortium is hosting a webinar on Open
Education Leadership October 1st covering the broad work they are doing
internationally. Learn more and register here.


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

FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Temple University officials estimate the faculty
outreach effort, which began in 2011 and has gotten buy-in from nearly 90
of the university’s 3,850 full- and part-time professors, has saved
students $1 million. Eight projects are underway via “North Broad Press,”
including a book being written by the criminal justice department for its
intro course. “The goal is to try to create as much open content as
possible,” said Steven Bell, Temple’s associate university librarian. “This
isn’t something that happens overnight. This is a long-term project, but we
are seeing a revolution.”

FROM DC: The number of courses included in the George Washington University
course reserves  program, which allows students to borrow materials from
the library for up to three hours at a time, more than doubled – from 32 to
65 courses – at the beginning of the semester. Dean of Libraries and
Academic Innovation Geneva Henry said the expansion will help alleviate the
financial burden on students who are enrolled in classes that require them
to buy or rent expensive textbooks. “Our end goal, however, is to bring
down the costs of course materials through the use of open educational
resources, including openly licensed textbooks.”

FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: “Our goal is not to get to 100% lower-cost or no-cost
materials in every class … sometimes it’s not possible. But in those big
gateway courses that everybody takes – Intro to Sociology, Computing 101,
Psychology 101 – there’s no reason students should be spending $250 on a
textbook,” said Jennifer Cournoyer, Vice President of Academic and Student
Affairs at River Valley Community College in Claremont. “We... are not
re-inventing the wheel at the point, so we are able to move pretty rapidly
in this.”


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

Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Mind
<https://press.rebus.community/intro-to-phil-of-mind/> surveys both
historical and contemporary theories and debates around philosophy of mind
to introduce first time readers to the field. The book covers dualism,
functionalism, freedom of the will, and consciousness among other subjects,
with each chapter written by different experts in that field. This is the
first complete textbook from the new Rebus Community Introduction to
Philosophy series <https://www.rebus.community/t/project-summary/618>,
which will eventually include 9 introductory Philosophy textbooks in


Great reads to repost or share and interesting discussions to consider

Great to Share >>

College works to reduce student textbook costs
l Cumberland Times-News

Interesting to Consider >>

Questioning the Textbook Rep Culture
l Inside Higher Ed

College students’ latest headache? Digital access fees on top of rising
textbook prices
l Chicago Sun Times

Why college textbooks won’t get cheaper anytime soon
l The Daily Trojan

Students should not have to pay for their homework
| The Pine Log

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/20190919/745b9fc9/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the open-education mailing list