From Kenneth C. Green in Digital Tweed/Inside Higher Ed:
It’s time to add OER – Open Education Resources – to a list of technologies (or technology resources) that might really be a catalyst for major change in higher education. Admittedly, it is still very early days here – the front end of the Gardner Hype Cycle fueled initially by the Peak of Inflated Expectations, followed by the Trough of Disillusionment, which leads into the Slope of Enlightenment, until we arrive at the Plateau of Productivity. (Remember the NY Times declaration that 2012 was the “Year of the MOOC?”) We’re a long way from the plateau with OER.
The basic OER arguments, offered with great passion by OER advocates and evangelists, are compelling. First, commercial textbooks are expensive. Second, OER offers a seemingly pragmatic strategy to provide “Day One” access to core course materials for students in critical gateway courses. And third, the absence of copyright and related clearance issues means that OER provides significant flexibility for faculty as they select and mix curricular materials from various sources for their syllabi.
Last year, when Congress authorized a second round of $5 million in federal funding for programs that support open educational resources, senators included explicit instructions to the Department of Education, which administers the grant program:
Conduct a new competitive process for grant applications in 2019.
Disperse funds among at least 20 proposals, rather than devoting $5 million to one program, as happened last fall.
But the department appears to have gone in a different direction. Earlier this year, it quietly awarded $2.5 million to each of two applicants from last year’s submission pile. This year’s winning programs are based at Chippewa Valley Technical College and Arizona State University, according to representatives of both institutions.
Whether you are starting to get interested in OER or you already have a team in place, this workshop will help your institution take the next step in affordable learning. Campus OER advocates and teams can use this an opportunity to ask questions of Open Textbook Network leadership and address barriers.
If you came in November, feel free to attend again! Your discussion will shape the content of the workshop, and you can also tell us what you hope to learn on the registration form.
See the invite below (which may be extended to your campus partners such administrators, instructional designers, bookstore managers, centers for teaching an learning, etc.).
PALNI campuses are affiliate members of the Open Textbook Network (OTN) through PALSave, and we’d like to invite you to a workshop with OTN’s leadership to learn about developing successful Open Educational Resource (OER) programs on your campus.
“I believe in the power of open education to help widen equitable access to education. I believe in using open resources, not only for the financial benefits for students, but also for the impact on teaching and learning.
As an early adopter of open textbooks, I have for years witnessed first-hand the tangible impact of the cost savings on my students’ lives. As an open textbook author, editor, and OER project manager, I have heard from numerous faculty who have taken advantage of the open licensing and built upon my efforts. They have updated, augmented, and adapted the resources available to better serve their students. As an open education researcher, I have investigated the perceptions and impact of OER adoption on students, faculty, and institutions. As an open education scholar, I have published articles, chapters, as well as a book on the subject. As an open education advocate, I have had the privilege of working with over 100 institutions across five continents to help build local capacity and guide their efforts to support this important work.”
From Matt Reed via Inside Higher Learning’s Confessions of a Community College Dean blog:
“With The Boy in the midst of his college search — so far 6 acceptances, 1 deferral, and 1 yet to report — I’m becoming fluent in the difference between “tuition and fees” and “total cost of attendance.” The latter figure, which includes everything except opportunity cost, is the one that matters. It’s what we actually have to figure out how to cover. In nearly every case, of course, the published COA is otherworldly and insane; I’m looking at COA after whatever grants are applied. But still, what matters from here is not how the bill is broken out, but what the bottom line is.
I don’t think my family is unique in that.
That’s where wide adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) can be an institutional survival strategy.”
From Jeffrey R. Young and Sydney Johnson via EdSurge News:
“Open educational resources hit a turning point in 2018. For the first time ever, the federal government put forward funds to support initiatives around open educational resources, and recent studies show that faculty attitudes towards using and adapting these openly-licensed learning materials are steadily improving.”
From Jenny Parks, Russ Poulin and Tanya Spilovoy via WCET Frontiers:
“Textbook prices have risen at a higher rate than any other consumer product. Efforts to use Open Educational Resources (OER) have often been limited in scope. How can we take what has been learned and scale it across institutions, systems, and states?
On November 28-30, 2018, seventy delegates from twelve Midwestern states gathered together to learn, share, and create state action plans for the implementation and expansion of the use of open educational resources. The OER Implementation and Policy Summit for the MHEC States was the first multi-state OER meeting of its kind bringing together national advocates and state-appointed delegates from libraries, distance education, systems, legislators, faculty, students, and K-12.”
From Wesolek, Lashley, and Langley via Pacific University Press:
“We intend this book to act as a guide writ large for would-be champions of OER, that anyone—called to
action by the example set by our chapter authors—might serve as guides themselves. The following chapters
tap into the deep experience of practitioners who represent a meaningful cross section of higher education
institutions in North America. It is our hope that the examples and discussions presented by our authors will
facilitate connections among practitioners, foster the development of best practices for OER adoption and
creation, and more importantly, lay a foundation for novel, educational excellence.”