Category: Affordable Education

Milne Library Colleagues Launch OASIS  | SUNY Geneseo

From SUNY Geneseo:

“In the growing world of open education resources (OER), SUNY Geneseo’s Milne Library recently developed and launched an innovative new search tool that can access 52 different OER sources that contain more than 150,000 items. OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search), was co-developed by Ben Rawlins, director of Milne Library, and Bill Jones ’09, ’11, digital resources and systems librarian at SUNY Geneseo.”

Read more here:
Source: Milne Library Colleagues Launch OASIS  | SUNY Geneseo

7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Policies | EDUCAUSE

From the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative:

Open education policies are formal regulations regarding support, funding, adoption, and use of open educational resources (OER) and/or open education practices (OEP). Such policies are designed to support the creation, adoption, and sharing of OER and the design and integration of OEP into programs of study. Open education policies underscore the viability and value of OER in teaching and learning and can help inculcate OEP at colleges and universities. The development of open education policies will help move OER and OEP from the periphery to the center of education practice.

This publication is one in a three-part series designed to provide a point of departure for conversations about all aspects of open education

Read the publication here:

Source: 7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Policies | EDUCAUSE

System Leaders Attend the Open Textbook Network Summer Institute & Summit – PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning

This July, in Chaska, Minnesota, six Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) System Leaders spent a week at the Open Textbook Network (OTN) Summer Institute and Summit.

The conference provided PALNI’s official introduction to the Open Textbook Network, which PALNI joined this summer.

The System Leaders closely explored OTN’s method of introducing the Open Textbook Library to educators via workshops, the faculty perspective, and the process of building and sustaining program momentum. They also examined the obstacles, both perceived and actual, to adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education. OERs are openly licensed educational materials like textbooks customizable by faculty, and available free to students.

The PALSave System Leaders are:

Andrea Cohn, Coordinator, Teaching and Learning Services for University of Saint Francis
Amanda Hurford
, Scholarly Communications Director for PALNI
Erin Milanese, Head of Learning Technologies for Goshen College
Heather Myers, Public Services Librarian for Anderson University
Jennifer Raye, Scholarly Communication Librarian, Butler University
Dr. Tim Ziebarth, Executive Dean, The School of Professional and Online Education for Grace College and Seminary

PALNI’s OTN membership and attendance at the Summer Institute and Summit are instrumental in the new PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning program, a collaboration of PALNI’s Scholarly Communication and Instructional Technology initiatives. System Leaders will facilitate this program along with others on the PALSave Administration Team at PALNI. The PALSave initiative will provide a resources and framework for open educational resource awareness, education, and engagement, based on the OTN model.

The PALSave Team will be in touch soon to form teams of ambassadors to foster OER on PALNI-supported campuses. Later this Fall, OTN staff will be facilitating an Open Textbook Workshop for these campus leaders. The PALSave Admin Team, in concert with campus ambassadors like librarians and instructional designers, will support faculty adoptions of affordable learning materials across the PALNI institutions.

For more information about PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning and to get in touch, please email or get in touch with one of our team members. Meet the system leaders and the whole team here:

Source: System Leaders Attend the Open Textbook Network Summer Institute & Summit – PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning

Foundations for Open Scholarship Strategy Development | Tennant et al.

From Jon Tennant et al.:

“The purpose of this document is to provide a concise analysis of where the global Open Scholarship movement currently stands: what the common threads and strengths are, where the greatest opportunities and challenges lie, and how we can more effectively work together as a global community to recognise the top strategic priorities. This document was inspired by the Foundations for OER Strategy Development and work in the FORCE11 Scholarly Commons Working Group, and developed by an open contribution working group.”

Read more here:

Source: Foundations for Open Scholarship Strategy Development

The Evolution of Affordable Content Efforts in the Higher Education Environment: Programs, Case Studies, and Examples | Open Textbook

From Kristi Jensen and Shane Nackerud, Editors:

“Provides both inspiration and guidance for those beginning work on affordable content and evidence of the growth that has occurred in this arena over the last decade.”


Access the book here:

Source: The Evolution of Affordable Content Efforts in the Higher Education Environment: Programs, Case Studies, and Examples | Open Textbook

Free Digital Textbooks vs. Purchased Commercial Textbooks | Inside Higher Ed

From Lindsay McKenzie via Inside Higher Ed:

A large-scale study at the University of Georgia has found that college students provided with free course materials at the beginning of a class get significantly better academic results than those that do not.

The Georgia study, published this week, compared the final grades of students enrolled in eight large undergraduate courses between 2010 and 2016. Each of these courses was taught by a professor who switched from a commercial textbook costing $100 or more to a free digital textbook, or open educational resource, at some point during that six-year period.

By comparing the before and after results of these eight courses, the study found that switching to OER increased the number of A and A-minus grades students received by 5.50 percent and 7.73 percent, respectively. The number of students who withdrew or were awarded D or F grades (known as the DFW rate) fell by 2.68 percent.

Read more here:

Source: Measuring the impact of OER at the University of Georgia

PALNI Joins the Open Textbook Network – PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning

The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) recently joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN) in order to further its initiatives for affordable education and student success across the state. OTN maintains the Open Textbook Library, and is well known for helping organizations to advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses. They’ve had great success with their initiative: OTN members have saved their students over 8.5 million dollars!

To kick things off, PALNI’s selected system leaders will attend the OTN Summer Institute this July for a week of intensive training. They’ll be trained to bring expertise, mentorship, and best practices back to PALNI, and specifically learn how to facilitate workshops to engage faculty. Through this model, system and campus leaders alike will encourage the adoption of open and affordable resources in the classroom, and in doing so maximize student success.

PALNI’s Affordable Education Initiatives Task Force, as a result of their exploratory efforts, recommended membership in OTN as the first step in PALNI’s program strategy in this area. The program, recently christened PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning, includes many elements with which other consortia have experienced success, such as outreach, project facilitation, and assessment.

As part of PALNI, supported institutions will enjoy affiliate status in OTN, have access to a trained team to educate faculty on benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER), and help redesigning courses via the PALSave team, at no additional cost. Additionally, OTN staff will be coming to Indiana this fall to facilitate an Open Textbook Workshop (date to be announced).

For more information about PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning or PALNI’s membership in OTN, contact PALNI Scholarly Communications Director Amanda Hurford (

Source: PALNI Joins the Open Textbook Network – PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning

Seeking PALSave System Leaders! – PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning

The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) seeks applicants for four System Leaders for its PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning program.   The PALSave team will work across PALNI in support of open and affordable learning.

For consideration, please submit a brief personal statement that describes why you are interested in the PALSave System Leader opportunity, along with a current curriculum vitae by May 25 to Amanda Hurford, PALNI Scholarly Communications Director at

Read more here:

Source: Seeking PALSave System Leaders! – PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning

How OpenStax Books are Made | Blog – OpenStax

From Anthony Palmiotto writing for the OpenStax Blog:

Our editorial director describes the process, from author recruitment to review to publication.  “So how do you make these books?” We get this question almost every day. While we’re always happy to answer it, and value the resulting discussions and suggestions, we thought it would be helpful to share a general overview of our development process.Our earliest research efforts, circa 2011-12, involved speaking to hundreds of instructors to determine the initial criteria for textbook adoption – what it took to make the “short list.” While the answers varied, there were some common themes:

  • general alignment to the topical coverage and sequence of the course
  • evidence of a strong faculty review process
  • typical elements of a textbook in one’s discipline

Read more here:

Source: Blog – OpenStax

PALNI Affordable Education Plan and Name Contest

The PALNI Affordable Education Initiatives Task Force has proposed a multi-component project plan for PALNI to begin implementing this summer. This plan draws upon best practices and program elements other consortia use to further the use of open and affordable educational resources at their campuses. An informational presentation on this program is forthcoming.

Right now, we are seeking the power of PALNI to help us come up with a concise yet interesting name for this program. Some examples of peer initiatives are Affordable Learning Georgia, Open Oregon, MOST (Maryland Open Source Textbook), and Maricopa Millions to name a few. Have an idea for a program name? Reply here or email by Friday, May 11. The submitter of our favorite program name gets a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!